A second Bill of Rights?

My ears perked up when I heard the name Marcy Kaptur – talk about a blast from the past! I had the profound displeasure of being “represented” by her for 20 years, until the state of Ohio finally redistricted most of Wood County (the southern suburbs of Toledo) out of her district and I could afford to move there.

What she made the news for was a quote from the last line in a Toledo Blade article from way back on the 14th of October:

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers.

What’s more interesting about this particular article is the letter from Blade publisher John Robinson Block just prior to that campaign stop asking the question of Barack Obama:

Does every American who wants to work have the right to a job where they live?

Block also asks the One:

President Roosevelt called for a “Second Bill of Rights” guaranteeing the right to a job, the right to a decent home, the right to adequate medical care, and the right to a good education. Do you agree?

Roosevelt proposed this in early 1944, just as another re-election campaign was getting cranked up. America had been through the Great Depression, and FDR may have believed Americans would credit his early-term policies for bringing America back; however, we were in the midst of fighting World War II (months later the D-Day invasion would take America’s fight to Europe) and much of the economic activity created was to fuel that war effort – as just one example, domestic new car production all but ceased after the 1941 model year. In any case, the proposals were good rhetoric but deposing the twin empires of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan were job one, with domestic policy taking a back seat. Roosevelt indeed won the 1944 election but died in office a few months later; his successor Harry Truman wasn’t as radically leftist as FDR and these ideas weren’t resurrected again until Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” of the mid-1960’s.

It’s not surprising to me that Marcy Kaptur would be an advocate of the idea too; indeed, she’s among those liberals in Congress who expend little effort in keeping their seat, racking up 70 to 75 percent of the vote every two years over a game but underfunded GOP opponent. With a district now stretching along the southern shore of Lake Erie from Toledo to Lorain, she has a huge base of union voters and volunteers to keep her in office.

Now that you have an idea about the players, I’m going to answer the question for them. No, we don’t need a Second Bill of Rights, particularly when many of the the items in the one we already have are being so blithely ignored by Obama, Kaptur, Robinson, and their ilk in politics and the press. They’re assaulting in particular the First, Second, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments therein.

There is a great difference in attitude and philosophy between having equality of opportunity as we strive for now (remember, the Constitution was enacted to form a “more perfect Union”; the Founding Fathers knew better than to expect perfection on this Earth) and having equality of outcome as those abovementioned and their allies among the Democrats and mainstream media (but I repeat myself) would like to see. Their version of utopia has everyone’s slice of the pie being equal but does little to increase the size of the pie. Conversely, with few exceptions, the lifestyle of average Americans has been more prosperous than that of their forebears under the system we have in place. Even the dirt-poor and homeless of our generation have access to luxuries that were undreamed of even two decades ago. My fear is that progress will cease under a more “progressive” government because the incentives to work hard and better one’s self would eventually disappear.

We on the conservative side joke about the Obama redistribution scheme when it comes to Halloween candy, like in this cartoon by William Warren:

Cartoon by William Warren.

But there is a larger point in asking what right those inside the Beltway who have never met Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public and family can claim to have in taking the wealth they’ve worked hard for and handing it over to someone else who stands there with their hand out waiting for the check to arrive. Generally the situation afflicting the latter arises from poor choices made in life and not because the system held them down. (It’s sort of ironic then that those on the conservative side favor as much choice as possible in education while leftists believe that all school ills can be solved if only more money were shoveled into the public schools. Many times it’s leaving school that places kids on the wrong path in life.)

In about 20 years of living with Miss Kaptur being my representative in Congress, I can’t point to a single thing that she did which impacted my life in a positive way every day. Perhaps she voted on some pork project or bill which helped one aspect of my life, but on a day-to-day basis my family and I basically worked, scrimped, saved, and once in a great while invested in our own future. Did we make poor decisions along the way? You betcha. But we learned and for the most part recovered because we found out which choices were best for us. Moreover, I think my wife and I raised our daughter a lot better than the government ever could; among those values was a work ethic.

What good is a work ethic though if you’ll be penalized for any success you make through a punitive tax system? We already heard Barack Obama’s answer to a similar question posed by Joe Wurzelbacher, but perhaps he, Marcy Kaptur, and John Robinson Block need to answer my corollary one themselves. Just because all of them have managed to do well in life through various means (Obama and Kaptur as public officials, Block as heir to a communications company) doesn’t mean they can slam the door on the rest of us who would like to build up our fortunes. It’s what will likely happen though if they get their way.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

2 thoughts on “A second Bill of Rights?”

  1. “In the beginning, of course, was Roosevelt. And then came the Brain Trust. After that we had the Great Man and the Brain Trust. The casual reader may suppose this is juat a catchy collection of syllables. But it is impossible to estimate the power othese few words exercised upon the minds of the American people. After all, the crowd of big business boobies, a lot of butter-fingered politicians, two big halls full of shallow and stupid congressmen and senators had made a mess of America. That was the bill of goods sold to the American people. Now admidst the ruins appeard not a mere politician, not a crowd of tradesmen and bankers and congressmen, but a Great Man attended by a Brain Trust to bring understanding first and then order out of chaos.”

    John T Flynn – “The Roosevelt Myth” p.33

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