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Middle Class Joe Channels Marie Antoinette
When Marie Antoinette learned that the peasants in France had no bread and were starving, legend has it that she cavalierly threw out a line that not only has survived several centuries but also elevated her to a special place in the hall of fame for royal dunces.
“Let them eat cake,” she’s alleged to have said, though there’s no record that she actually uttered those words – and there’s a good chance she never did.
But whether she did or not, whether anyone actually said those words or not, they have come to symbolize a callous disregard for the less fortunate, words easily uttered by someone living in a palace and has all the food she could ever want.
And so when with a stroke of a pen Joe Biden signed an executive order that cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline, costing thousands of blue-collar workers jobs they needed to pay their bills, it had a Marie Antoinette air to the whole thing.
Not to worry, they were told. They’ll get new jobs. Better jobs. Cleaner jobs. Just wait and see. You have no bread, you say – then just eat cake.
John Kerry, President Biden’s “climate czar,” says that, “What President Biden wants to do is make sure those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels.”
That’s easier said than done. Most solar panels are made in China. Besides, what are these pipeline workers supposed to do until they get their new, clean, high-paying jobs? Wouldn’t it have made more sense if President Biden didn’t cancel the pipeline until those new jobs became a reality and not simply something an aristocrat like John Kerry could promise without worrying about losing his own job?
In the meantime, those workers have to figure out what to do. And so do the folks in small towns along the previously planned route of the pipeline who ran mom-and-pop diners where the workers had their meals – and the people who operated small hotels where the workers stayed while they were on the job.
Joe Biden likes to portray himself as “Middle class Joe,” just a regular guy who cares about “working people.” But he sacrificed those working people because he had a debt to pay to the left wing of his party that helped him win the election. Climate change was their number one priority – not the well being of blue-collar workers, the kind of people they supposedly care so much about.
Sorry, but “Let them eat cake” keeps popping into my head.
And then there’s the president’s desire for legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
This, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would take about 900,000 Americans out of poverty. So far so good. But it also would result in a loss of about 1.4 million jobs. Did Middle Class Joe think about that before he threw another bone to Bernie Sanders and his fellow progressives?
Young and unskilled workers would be the victims of a higher minimum wage. Big corporations could afford to pay workers the higher amount (if they weren’t already getting at least $15 an hour already). But small businesses are another story. A lot of those businesses operate on very slim margins and would have to either fire low skilled workers or never hire them in the first place. What about them?
Marie Antoinette, if she ever spoke those words, may not have really been insensitive to her fellow countrymen who were suffering; maybe she simply was too dense to understand the implications of what she was saying. Maybe she just didn’t know better.
Maybe that’s true of President Biden too. Maybe he doesn’t really understand how many people he’s hurting with his good intentions.
Maybe he should. Maybe he should think twice before giving in to the progressives who won’t be losing their jobs, their livelihoods, for what they like to call “the greater good.”
“Let them eat cake,” has become synonymous with clueless upper crust types like the queen who lived in Versailles. But what’s Joe Biden’s excuse? He grew up blue collar in Scranton.
It’s not enough to claim that he cares about the kind of people who work on pipelines or wash dishes or sell cup cakes and cigarettes at convenience stores in out of the way towns all across Middle America.
I’m sure our new president means well. But good intentions don’t pay the bills – literally.