Liberals such as President Obama seem to live in a kind of fantasyland where we can have an economy built exclusively on the “knowledge jobs” like advertising, marketing, law, media, communications, programming iPad apps, consulting, etc. These jobs favor high IQ and not-so-high-IQ but highly credentialed people like the Obamas. They disfavor the working class. For example, Obama has shut down the Keystone pipeline. He has apparently by executive fiat banned all uranium mining on federal lands in northern Arizona. He has sent government money to money-losing enterprises like Solyndra while doing a great deal to hurt the old school, dirty industries of yesteryear like the oil business.
Hidden away from the urban knowledge economy is another world. It hasn’t gone away, but the knowledge class is increasingly ignorant of it. It’s a dirty, dangerous world of combines, mines, factories, sweat, industrial accidents, and tough men. Look around. The fruits of these jobs are everywhere. The plastic in your computer is from the petrochemical industry. The electricity, a result of the confluence of factories and coal mining for the most part. The gasoline that lets you get to work and take weekend roadtrips is the tail end of a long chain that may start at a wellhead in North Dakota or Texas or Nigeria for that matter.
Making these important foundational economic activities more expensive or completely prohibited will not help the country. It will not help the knowledge economy. These things will still get done, but they’ll done by others, overseas...
Like I say, the Left is for "the working man," but only so long as he's working in China or India, not that everybody's clamoring for living- wage, fair-trade iPads. The Left is pro-environment, or more accurately, pro-US national parks and pro-eco tourism in Costa Rica. The fact that now somebody else has to do something with industrial effluent from making stuff for knowledge-working Americans doesn't get a lot of mention. Incidentally, are any young, idealistic Americans aspiring to the STEM degrees that might give them expertise in these areas? Have any of the thousands of NGO's and their clueless volunteers in Haiti ever got to work on a sewage system for the place?
Leftists like Obama seem more about saying the right slogans and feeling the right feelings. They don't have much to offer for the dirty work of actually getting to advanced living standards. Obama makes speeches about everybody being healthy and having a not-too-hard job making disposable income doing...something. And he just assumes with this cargo-cult mentality that regulations and tax dollars will make it so. He doesn't grasp the whole historical process of capital accumulation, risk-taking and competing property rights that get us there, and require markets to sort out, and a net tax-paying sector to fund all his grand schemes.