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The Philadelphia Inquirer published an op-ed titled “10 policies Biden must pass in his first 100 days, as drawn by Philly artists,” on Jan. 24.
The article, written by Philadelphia blogger Conrad Benner, who organized the initiative aimed at displaying local artists’ policy propositions, calls for radical leftist reforms for the entire country. Nonetheless, radical reforms have become mainstream within the Democratic Party.
“The first 100 days of a new administration are crucial,” writes Brenner. “That’s why I was inspired to create the First 100 Days, a new project developed in collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia and 10 local artists. We asked 10 local artists to create posters, each one highlighting a priority that the artist thinks Joe Biden and Kamala Harris should address during the first three months in office.”
The 10 posters, as depicted in the Inquirer piece, call for reforms and more discussions pertaining to climate change, housing, the economy, student debt, health care, affirmative action-based lending, welfare, and quicker COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Each portrait is accompanied by a short description, essentially explaining the relevance of the position.
The article, while intended for Pennsylvania audiences, is valuable in understanding the radicalized policy preferences of Democrats across the country. Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for a $50,000 student debt forgiveness plan. As prefaced by the 2020 Democratic primary debates, nearly all candidates supported some form of universal health care. Even now-Vice President Kamala Harris put forth a Marxist-inspired “equity” video on Twitter before being elected, essentially saying to hell with American meritocracy.
There’s a big difference between equality and equity. pic.twitter.com/n3XfQyjLNe
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 1, 2020
Below are four notably ridiculous policy suggestions from the drawings that get to the meat of the reforms the left craves in the first 100 days of the Biden administration.
‘Cancel rent/mortgage debt and INVEST in housing for ALL!’ by Candy Alexandra González
The description of González’s poster reads, “Everyone deserves safe, accessible, and affordable housing. … As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the U.S. has the resources to ensure that everyone has access to safe housing.”
One of the more interesting highlights of this piece is that González is from Little Havana. Given this, one would assume she would recall the fatal consequences of state monopoly by the Communist Party of Cuba that caused citizens to flee to freer shores in America. At the hands of dictator Fidel Castro, promises such as the destruction of “hellish tenements” and the building of “safe, modern housing” were to no avail. Because the government controlled all portions of the economy, the fundamental lack of private innovation caused social ruin.
By canceling rent and mortgage debt, we would be stealing money from future generations and asking the government to subsidize even those unaffected by COVID-19 restrictions. González is wholly correct in noting America is “one of the wealthiest countries in the world.” If we want to remain so, we must trust American individuals to make decisions about where they live and incentivize people to seek opportunities to participate in the market economy.
Any time someone on the left calls for a given policy for “all,” we cannot forget that any positive affirmations are a violation of the negative rights of the private citizen. If we say “screw it” to billions of rent and mortgage debt, we would in turn be saying the same to the hardworking landlords, organizations, and affiliated people who participate in this and other sectors.
‘$15 The Minimum’ by Donte Neal
As economists throughout the country have said repeatedly, a $15 minimum wage would be impractical and imprudent and would inflate our economy. A top-down approach such as this would send the message that each state in the union is somehow parallel in economic and social norms, whereas our differences actually make the United States such an awesome place to live.
A standardized wage would be a mess, leading to mass layoffs from more rural employers who simply cannot afford to pay their employees the federally mandated amount. COVID-19 poverty cannot be fixed by the incoming administration implementing an inflated economic system. Rather, the elimination of poor lockdown policies, which according to Canadian researcher Ari Joffe have caused 10 times more economic and well-being harm than good, is the first step. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office made a 2019 projection that a $15 standardized wage, compared to $12 or $10, would wipe out between 3 million and 3.7 million jobs.
Neal writes, “Hardworking folks across the country have found themselves unable to support themselves and/or their families on the current minimum wage of $7.25 for years now.” Neal might be right that the $7.25 minimum wage can be looked at for adjustment on a policy basis, but nearly doubling it to $15 is impractical. This is to say nothing of the fact that minimum wage jobs, which typically require low skills, are not really intended to support full families. They’re traditionally jobs that include a low barrier to entry, accomodating workers in high school, for instance. As an explicitly “minimum” wage, employers are also free to raise wages to attract good workers in areas where costs of living are much higher.
Florida just worked out an exemplary incremental plan that moves the state minimum wage from $8.56 to $8.65, increasing to $10.00 in 2021, up to $15 in 2026. But this is six years from now, and Florida is a red state that has been thriving due to reduced regulations and increased enterprise.
‘Fight for Universal Health Care!!’ by Derick Jones
Jones writes, “Universal health care is a basic right. The government and the people in charge mess with our lives on a daily basis, the least they could do is make sure we’re healthy enough to keep taking a beating haha.”
If Jones acknowledges that health care is a “basic right” but also that the government “mess[es] with our lives on a daily basis,” why does he not believe the government will do so even more if it monopolizes our health services? The government’s ineffectual nature will not cease when it harnesses more power, but only accelerate and bloat to deepen the issues we can already see. Power is intoxicating.
Again, the call for something being “a basic right” or necessity for “all” only diminishes its worth and hurts people at the expense of overbearing government growth. The prospect of lowering costs sounds enticing to consumers when they are told about universal health care, but the reality of that situation — long lines, poor services, and lack of choice — destroys this erroneous assumption. Government spending will skyrocket to immense proportions, resulting in necessary taxation to keep the operation running. In this case, the overall cost of running universal health care would be significantly higher, kicking people off the private insurance they prefer.
Instead, if we increase competition, consumers will determine the price by right of choice. If consumers have the power to choose who will provide their goods and services, superior organizations will succeed only because of their reasonable costs and effective properties.
Most of all, health care is not a right. Instead, it is a commodity, such as food, that the government has no place delivering to the public. If we abolished all grocery stores in America and gave the government power to start rationing out provisions, we would starve. The same goes for health care, wherein delivering effective treatments organized by a select few in Washington will only result in problems for the masses.
‘Reallocate Bloated Police Budgets Back to our Communities’ by Jonai Gibson-Selix
The left’s attempt to employ the term “reallocate” instead of “defund” with regard to police is laughable. In reality, this is a crazy policy suggestion. If we are to deter the sort of violence that has been springing up in cities across the country, we need a properly trained, armed, and strong law enforcement presence.
Gibson-Selix’s argument falls flat when one remembers the left-wing hypocrisy concerning the Antifa riots all summer versus the Capitol breach. During the former, “defunding” the police was a popular message. Kamala Harris notably called for donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund to bail out rioters, who were committing acts of violence against our men and women in uniform.
When the Capitol breach happened, however, all that “defund the police” language was tossed aside. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., arguably the most progressive representative in Congress, failed to condemn the Antifa riots. She, in fact, cheered them on, releasing an emotional-video saying, “We are in the midst of an ongoing uprising over centuries of racial neglect and oppression.”
Rep. @IlhanMN: "We are in the midst of an ongoing uprising over centuries of racial neglect and oppression." pic.twitter.com/XyzJ85JIqQ
— The Hill (@thehill) September 6, 2020
Months later on Jan. 6, when it was lunatics on the right committing (less) violence, Omar called for more law enforcement at the Capitol. She tweeted the following day, “U.S. Capitol security failures need to be fully investigated. We spend billions of dollars on national security and today failed to protect our Nation’s Capitol from a lawless mob. Unacceptable!”
U.S. Capitol security failures need to be fully investigated.
We spend billions of dollars on national security and today failed to protect our Nation’s Capital from a lawless mob.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 7, 2021
All in all, the Philadelphia Inquirer is not unique for publishing such material. The newspaper, like virtually all others favoring Democratic ideals, has joined the leftist mob. In every state, liberalism has turned to leftism. The question is whether any practical moderation can be salvaged in a country led by a commander-in-chief falsely advertising “unity.”
Gabe Kaminsky is an intern at The Federalist, and an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. His work has appeared in The Daily Wire, Townhall.com, The Washington Times, The American Conservative, RealClearPolitics, The Washington Examiner, and other outlets. He is a participant in the Academy program at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter @Gabe__Kaminsky
Copyright © 2021 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
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