Whenever campaign season comes around --- and, sadly, we’re already well into it --- the left starts talking about “fighting for” the middle class. They love to say that the right cares only about the wealthy, and that it’s up to THEM, the big heroes on the left, to protect the middle class, even to SAVE the middle class. This time around, the blather will be worse than ever, because now that Robert Mueller’s team has failed to link President Trump with “collusion” (conspiracy) with Russia, the left is having to suddenly pivot to health care and other “middle class” issues.
They’re used to turning on a dime, but this time they’re swiveling so fast, they’ll need chiropractors on their campaign staffs.
It’s not just the candidates doing this; the “journalists” have a huge reason to do it, too. For example, Rachel Maddow had no choice but to drop her nonstop ravings about catching Trump on “collusion,” as the news of that fiasco was so unwelcome to her viewers, her ratings dropped by half in one day. Time to change the subject!
Don’t believe this leftist tactic for a minute. They have to get off the special counsel report and so are moving to the usual drivel they always use to try to dupe the middle class. But every time the left actually tries to do something that supposedly benefits the middle class, the middle class gets poorer.
Take Obamacare. (Please.) It was named the Affordable Care Act so we’d assume we could afford it. As it turned out, the wealthy could afford it, as they can afford whatever they need to afford. The poor could afford it, because they got a subsidy. It was the people in the middle --- too poor to afford skyrocketing premiums, too “rich” to qualify for subsidies --- who couldn’t afford it. (Many of them couldn’t find full-time employment, either, because of the employer mandate.) The middle class does best with the free market and plenty of choice, two ideas the left doesn’t like.
Look at the cities run by the left. They’re the ones with the most income disparity in America and the worst conditions for the middle class, as they can’t even afford to reside there. (To their credit, many of them still hold to the old-fashioned idea that they don’t want handouts.)
I recently ran a commentary about a one-hour news report produced by KOMO-TV on the city of Seattle. Seattle is full of staggeringly wealthy residents. It’s Tech World, with property values way out of reach for what we’d call the middle class. Seattle is also run by leftists. FAR leftists, who care about such things as diversity, social justice and intersectionality. Gosh, you’d think that since the left also professes to care deeply about the middle class, Seattle would have a thriving one. But what they have instead are very wealthy residents, along with middle class non-residents who typically commute long distances to work there and a vast number of homeless drug addicts and mentally ill people who trash the city at will.
Silicon Valley is becoming so famous for its wealth that reporters come from around the world to see what it’s like. The Guardian ran a story on Wednesday about the real estate market in such areas as Menlo Park, Atherton and Palo Alto. To set the scene, writer Carol Pogash describes an open house in Menlo Park that featured a flamenco dancer with guitarist, handmade pesto pizza, a barista making lattes, a face-painter for the young ones, and videos of the house. To publicize the event, the listing agents had mailed brochures to 5,000 homes. To appeal to the potential Chinese buyers there in Tech Land, there was even a brochure produced entirely in Mandarin.
The house sold for $6.82 million, which was $332,000 over asking price. Needless to say, the flamenco dancer, the guitarist, the barista and the face-painter did not live anywhere near that neighborhood.
I don’t begrudge wealth. But the point is, these people are all far-left techies living in their California political bubble, the ones trying to censor conservative speech, the ones for whom the term “limousine liberals” is no exaggeration, the ones who claim to care about the middle class when the communities they run belie that.
And It’s getting worse. Tech companies such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and Pinterest are soon to go public, meaning there will soon be thousands of instant “IPO millionaires” flooding the market in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. In Atherton, one home on the market for $26.5 million (down a bit from its initial asking price of 32 million) features an elevator, home theater, massage room, pool, six bedrooms and eleven baths.
Cary McClelland, author of the new book “SILICON CITY: San Francisco and the Long Shadow of the Valley,” compares today’s Zuckerbergs and Musks to the Carnegies and Rockefellers of old. With half the world’s tech millionaires living in Silicon Valley, he says, the culture they’ve created has “distortions that are very analogous to the Industrial Revolution.” The low-wage drivers for Lyft and Uber are the factory workers “who work unprotected from dawn to dusk.”
Teachers, firefighters, medical technicians and construction workers often drive two hours every morning to get to work. Sometimes to avoid the worst traffic, they get up even earlier, make the trip, and then get another hour of sleep in their cars. People on the next economic rung down –- gardeners, cleaning people, babysitters, and dog walkers, all there to serve the Silicon Valley ultra-rich –- cram into tiny two-bedroom apartments, sometimes 12 workers at one place. (The article doesn’t address the issue of illegal immigration, or the emissions from all those cars.)
In East Palo Alto, where the median price of a home is $953,000, the school district has reported that over half of their students are homeless.
Though some of the pricey neighborhoods look pretty normal –- with homes that a typical income used to buy –- we learn from this report that Mark Zuckerberg’s house is surrounded and obscured by a tall hedge. In fact, Zuckerberg even bought up the residences around his home for a privacy buffer. Black security vans are ubiquitous in the area, as are cameras perched like birds’ nests in the magnolia trees. And, yes, there are walls in neighborhoods like these.
The billionaires are described as playing “real-life Monopoly, buying up houses on their blocks and down the street for family, staff, art collections, or to hold POLITICAL [emphasis mine] and philanthropic events.” Any guesses as to what these political events are like?
Urban planner Peter Calthorpe, who grew up in Palo Alto, says that “single-family homes have become untouchable.”
The people who locate there are almost unimaginably rich, young and (of course) extremely far-left. These are the people who claim to care about the middle class but who have priced them out. They elect far-left city councils who vote for policies that encourage heartbreaking drug abuse, homelessness, crime and filth. Largely, they retreat behind high-tech security, plus walls and tall hedges. And the middle class people who service them have to drive an hour or two every evening to get home to their families.
Remember this when leftists on the campaign trail try to tell you (and they will) how they’re going to help the middle class. They have no idea how to help the middle class. Ronald Reagan must have had the middle class in mind when he said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.” Actually, that’s ten words, but you get the point.