During a Q&A session in India on his recent stop there, president Obama defended what he called the “healthy materialism” of economic growth and corporate investment that lifts people out of poverty.
But he warned, “If all you’re thinking about is material wealth, then I think that shows a poverty of ambition.”
Interesting rhetoric. Whether it is genuine is another issue. Is Obama maturing?
No. He spent his life under the spell of leftists and communists. But at least he is no longer talking publicly about “spreading the wealth around” as he told Joe the Plumber in the 2008 campaign.
Obama was greeted at the Mumbai airport by Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister. Singh is considered The Father of Modern India because he is the leader who, in various roles over the last 19 years, has pulled a suffering, stuffy, bureaucratic and poverty-stricken nation out from under the spell of socialism and made it a much more capitalist country. Under his leadership, hundreds of millions of Indians have joined the middle class. Yet at the same time the American middle class is shrinking.
India suffered for decades from an anti-colonial mindset. After independence from Britain in 1947, India allied itself with one of the two biggest anti-Western powers on the globe – the Soviet Union – in order to distance itself from its colonial history with the relatively capitalist West. Over the ensuing decades India descended into an obese, sluggish bureaucracy and stagnant Soviet-style economy, like that of all socialist/communist nations.
Singh started out as finance minister in 1991 and began the transformation then. Few in India would go back to the bad old days. And according to National Review commentator Dinesh D’Souza:
‘Recently… Singh, gave a speech at Oxford in which he gave two cheers for colonialism. He said India is growing fast and is on its way to becoming a superpower. How? Because the Indians speak English, they have technology, they have universities, they have property rights, they have democracy. And why do they have these things? They got them from the British. Now, Singh could never have said that a generation ago. But the world is changing.’ (end of excerpt)
In other words, Singh, along with more and more millions of people around the globe recognize the positive aspects of Western capitalism and even colonialism(!), and the totally negative aspects of Soviet-style collectivism.
What about Obama’s support for the “healthy materialism” of capitalism?
Indeed that sounds like a very interesting quote coming from someone steeped in the left as Obama has been all his life. But actually it is not so interesting at all. Because gross materialism is actually a negative aspect of socialism itself.
Just look today at the most materialistic people in America – New Yorkers and their bible of materialism, the left-wing New York Times, with its endless pages of advertisements for luxury goods, yachts, jewelry, clothes, multi-million-dollar apartments, expensive vacation homes, pricey automobiles and on and on. Among the most liberal people in the world.
Look at Follywood and the way they push their mansions and expensive cars and designer clothes and diamond necklaces in our faces in a shameless exhibition of blatant, unfettered materialism. While at the same time preaching radical socialism and anti-capitalism.
Look at the overwhelming majority of wealthy people in America who are concentrated in our cities, where liberals predominate, many of them ultra-rich. Most vote Democrat every time.
The essence of this seeming dichotomy is that ‘materialism’ and ‘prosperity’ are two different things. And we must be careful not to confuse the two.
The Founders of our nation wanted a free-market capitalist culture that assured ‘prosperity’ for every person no matter what level they operated at. If a poor, uneducated man wished to use the tools of his trade to become prosperous enough to own his own home, then that was exactly the type of outcome that the Founders wanted.
‘Materialism’ on the other hand, is an unhealthy obsession with material things and monetary wealth. This historically has been found primarily in cities among a worldwide liberal elite. Like New York.
Is ‘materialism’ part of capitalism?
Well, yes and no. It depends on the level. In the lower levels of capitalism, no. People are just seeking to better themselves. In the upper echelons, sure.
But most people on the conservative right today are not materialists. They enjoy their prosperity, but statistics show that easily an overwhelming majority of wealthy people in America today are liberals, i.e., New York, Follywood, San Francisco, Chicago, hardly a Republican in sight. They are lovers money and lovers of ‘things’.
Are Indians more materialistic now that they are wealthier than they were 30 years ago?
Certainly. But it indeed is a “healthy” middle-class materialism. It is people enjoying their prosperity. After all, humans throughout history have had a natural tendency to embrace material things as their prosperity grew. It is only a negative trait when it become egregious, as it has in the wealthy and liberal precincts in America.
America‘s increasing materialism is the great crisis in our nation today. At the same time we have lost sight of our spiritual founding. Our Christian churches in many part of the nation are emptying yet our shopping malls are full on Sundays, the Lord’s day of rest. And the materialist and left-wing Ancient Media assure us that this is just fine. After all, who wants to be stuck with those Christians in stuffy churches, listening to their long-winded sermons?
This begs the question, however. Why is America losing its middle class while India is gaining one?
Because of the leftward drift of American politics, that is why, toward blatant socialism, materialism and atheism, and away from Christian spirituality and the capitalist processes that would insure prosperity. Both Christianity and capitalism were the bases for the American nation and brought centuries of prosperity and peace.
Meanwhile today the existing wealth of the nation is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the hands of the Democrat elite like John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and Michael Bloomberg and Stephen Spielberg and Lloyd Blankfein. Meanwhile all the richest people in the US Congress are Democrats.
Then through more and more government intrusion into the economy – emanating from the Democrat left and the New York Times editorial pages – businesses find it harder and harder to operate here to create new wealth and expand the middle class. After being subjected to excessive taxation, regulation, lawsuits, environmentalism and radical labor agitation, more and more American companies are moving overseas to more hospitable economic climates like India and China.
The health-care bill is creating so much uncertainty and cost for American business that they are afraid to commit capital to any new growth. Taxes are out of sight, with American corporate taxes the second highest in the world after Japan. Lawsuits, perpetrated by the purely-Democrat trial lawyers of America, are frightening businesses daily.
Meanwhile for decades, labor unions have driven companies out of business while rabid environmentalism makes it impossible for many firms to survive in America. For instance, enviro restrictions on logging in Oregon in the 1990s put 30,000 loggers out of work while shifting those jobs straight to Canada.
No wonder the middle class is disappearing in Oregon. And elsewhere.
In order to bring back our middle class, we should stop focusing on meeting the needs of wealthy materialists in Follywood and New York and listening to their political rhetoric, and concentrating on the needs of American citizens to have basic prosperity in their lives. This is achieved through common-sense capitalist economic growth, the kind embraced by Mr. Singh in India and rejected by Obama’s Democrats here at home.
Look at Obama’s quote: “If all you’re thinking about is material wealth, then I think that shows a poverty of ambition.” That says it all. The Democrat materialists in San Francisco and Denver and Martha’s Vineyard indeed have a poverty of ambition; they want everything for themselves and to hell with the rest of America. Fortunately their ideas are the ones we just voted out in the November 2 election in order to move our nation back toward genuine prosperity for all.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.