Thursday, July 12, 2007

John Edwards - how did we survive without him?

I took the following directly from John Edwards web site at:

"Every day, 37 million Americans wake in poverty. Our response to that reality says everything about the character of America. John Edwards has called for a national goal of eliminating poverty within 30 years, with policies rooted in the core American values of opportunity for everyone and responsibility from everyone. We can reach that goal by creating and rewarding work, strengthening families, helping workers save and get ahead, transforming our schools, expanding access to college, breaking up areas of concentrated poverty, reaching overlooked rural areas, and expecting people to help themselves by working whenever they are able."

Now correct me if I am wrong, but does this not sound extremely conservative? Surely these can't be the words of one of the most liberal of presidential candidates. John Edwards apparently understands and approves of the traditional economic values that have made this country great. So, why is it that even though he makes such sensible and logical suggestions I have this feeling that his actions, should be become president, would be in direct opposition to these ideals?

I suppose we need look no further for the answer to that question then to some other words of John Edwards. We can find these words on the same web site where John Edwards gives his solutions to poverty:

Create 1 Million Stepping Stone Jobs for Workers Who Take Responsibility.
2 points about this. First, who foots the bill for these jobs? The government of course. Second, if it is necessary to have illegal immigrants in order to fill the countless menial jobs in this nation why on earth to we need to create additional menial jobs? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the jobs done by illegal immigrants stepping stone jobs? I can assure you they were for me and many others that I know as we made our own way out of poverty.

Raise the Minimum Wage to at Least $7.50.
The only jobs that pay minimum wage are the "stepping stone jobs" mentioned earlier. I won't engage in the minimum wage debate here, you can find that debate in spades elsewhere. Suffice it to say that raising the minimum wage is nothing more than a "feel good" opportunity for politicians to make them think they've done something worthwhile.

When I got tired of working for minimum wage I did what I had to do to work my way up the pay scale. It wasn't easy, but I did it completely on my own with no help from anyone, least of all the government. I can assure you that many minimum wage jobs would simply cease to exist if they were forced to pay higher wages. This is not because the business owner is greedy, but because they can barely afford to provide the job as it is due to the myriads of other hurdles placed in their way by well meaning politicians such as John Edwards.

Strengthen Labor Laws
By this John Edwards means strengthening and encouraging labor unions. I shouldn't even have to say anything more about this idea.

Create Second-Chance Schools for High School Dropouts
This is one of my favorites. Last time I checked, anyone who wants it has a second chance to get their diploma. But, I suppose John Edwards thinks we need a new government program, at tremendous tax payer expense, to provide a service that already exists.

So, if you think about it what John Edwards is saying is that we should encourage people to work, we should reward them for working (I think that's called a paycheck), and we should allow them to get a high school diploma. Well, that's just brilliant isn't it? I am positively stunned by the ability of John Edwards to get to the heart of the matter and find such insightful solutions. I say run, don't walk, to cast your vote for John Edwards.

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