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Obama: redistribution of wealth is economic justice

UPDATED
Barack Obama during a radio interview in 2001 said some rather troubling things. He posited that the civil rights movement, while successfully establishing social rights for all, did not pursue "economic justice" and "redistributive change." While said in the context of talking about the segregation movement, he was explicit in noting that the civil rights movement had not gone far enough in terms of providing equal rights for all. In his view racial integration was the first step towards equality in terms of providing racial equality, but true equality will only come with the economic equality of all, beyond the race issue. [Read the text of the interview here].

We've already heard Obama tell Joe the Plumber that its better for everyone when you spread the wealth around, so this is not a radical bombshell, but it does reinforce an important point: when Obama becomes President, capitalists must be vigilant in the fight against socialist trends.

Obama was specifically quoted as saying it was a "tragedy" that "the Supreme court didn't pursue redistribution of wealth" during the time of the civil rights movement. Beyond the obvious economic theory posited there, it also shows this former law professor's bias about progressive judicial activism instead of constitutional activism.

He further established his position on strict constructionism or originalism (the conservative legal philosophy that limits and restricts judicial interpretation) versus living constitution theory (the progressive legal philosophy viewing the constitution as an evolving document pegged to societal trends) when he said this:

"[The Warren Court] didn't break free from the essential constraints put in by the founding fathers in the Constitution...I'm not optimistic about redistributive change through the courts."
That pessimistic view of a progressively activist court's ability to "break free" might have led towards his decision to run for President, as he said "redistribution is an administrative task that takes a lot of time" and it's the President who is the chief administrator of America.

Lets play a quick game, which of the following three statements was made by Karl Marx:

  • "We need to spread the wealth around"
  • "Redistribution of wealth is economic justice"
  • "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"
  • And the answer is–all of them, at least as a paraphrase. Marx specifically believed that the means of production should be distributed to all, and the profit from production belonged to the laborers, not the owner who made it all possible. And at least the first two are almost direct quotes from Obama. That's guilt by association that makes the Ayers controversy look even sillier than it already is.

    Obama's economic policy is socialist trending, but what makes this "not a bombshell" is that he isn't trying to deny that. He is just fighting the label that has garnered so much nastiness in America. Calling him a socialist won't change much at this point the election. John McCain hit back today, citing the redistributive language, but he really doesn't have much a moral leg to stand on after he has pursued similar redistributive policies as Obama has.

    So again the point is this: Stand up Capitalists. Stand up and voice your dismay at the economic philosophy being enshrined in America (Kerry wants a "New Deal II"). Stand up for the perseveration of true free market philosophy. Stand up now, before the war gets too far ahead of us. The Bailout battle might have been lost, but the war has just begun.

    Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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