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May 03rd 2012 print

Thomas Sowell

Bad Politics, Winning Policy

Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs is a viable political strategy, provided the goose doesn’t die before the next election.


Are all Left governments the same? Thomas Sowell at National Review Online:


Bad Policy, Winning Politics

Class warfare drives away jobs, but attracts votes

By Thomas Sowell

A small headline in the second section of the Wall Street Journal last week told a bigger story than a lot of front-page banner headlines. It said, “U.S. Firms Add Jobs, but Mostly Overseas.”

Just as there is no free lunch, there is no free class warfare. Some people may be inspired by President Obama’s talk about making “the rich” pay their undefined “fair share” of taxes, or taking away corporations’ “tax breaks.” But talk is not always cheap. It can be very costly to those working people who are looking for jobs that the Obama administration’s anti-business policies are driving overseas.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Thirty-five big U.S.-based multinational companies added jobs much faster than other U.S. employers in the past two years, but nearly three-fourths of those jobs were overseas.” All these companies have at least 50,000 employees, so we are talking about a lot of jobs for foreigners with American companies overseas.

If the Wall Street Journal can figure this out, it seems certain that the president of the United States has economic advisers who can figure out the same thing. But that does not mean that the president is interested in the same thing.

In this, as in so much else, Barack Obama is interested in Barack Obama. Whatever bad effects his policies may have for others, those policies have had a track record of political success for many politicians in many places.

To put it bluntly, killing the goose that lays the golden eggs is a viable political strategy, provided the goose doesn’t die before the next election. In this case, the goose simply lays its golden eggs somewhere else, so there is no political danger to President Obama.

Read on at National Review Online