Other than the assertion that water has become a human right, the next biggest splash (excuse the pun) was a rousing speech by the newest darling of the Left, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Look out, Schrillary- you have rumblings on your left flank. To reiterate, this is the gist of Warren's manifesto:
1. Tougher rules and regulations for Wall Street. Basically, "blah, blah" populist sloganeering. Words have replaced pitchforks and torches. This suggestion would seem to be at odds with the public comments of such Leftist stalwarts as Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer who allegedly passed "the toughest financial regulations" ever. Having gotten away with that, Warren wants more. As a conservative, I am all for transparency on Wall Street so that investors could make the most informed decisions. But, when you invite Wall Street interests to the bargaining table, you basically negate the whole process.
2. The Left believes in science and science dictates protecting the earth. By this, she refers to climate change or global warming or whatever they are calling it these days. However, the United States is not even the largest producer of greenhouse gases these days, if that is the cause of the warming....if there is even warming to start with. Conservatives also believe in protecting the earth. In fact, they are probably better guardians of nature than your average tree-hugging environmentalist, especially if they have a financial stake in the game.
3. The Internet should not be rigged to benefit big corporations and that means real net neutrality. Let's just stop the games. Net neutrality to the Left is censorship and instituting the Fairness Doctrine again. The Internet works just fine without the government interfering with it. Why does the Left have this tendency to tinker with things that actually work?
4. If a worker works full time they should not live in poverty and that means increasing the minimum wage. Personally, I am for increasing the federal minimum wage to $8.25 per hour provided the issue is not revisited for 6 years and it is not tied to inflation. The fact is this increase would affect a small percentage of the population. And Ms. Warren, minimum wage jobs were never meant to be a career. Besides, almost 80% of those hired at minimum wage receive increases within a year.
5. Fast food workers deserve a livable wage. Everyone deserves a livable wage, not just fast food workers. However, why should someone with no experience at anything get $15.00 an hour to flip a hamburger or get an order wrong? Or make a bed?
6. College students should not be saddled with burdensome debt upon graduation. Agreed! However, college students should be studying something that will prepare them for the actual working world upon graduation, not becoming an expert in Women's Studies or Africana Studies. It would also help if students entering college actually have the basic skills before actually entering college. And a good way to graduate college with little or no debt is something like ROTC, but the Left seems to frown on their presence on campuses.
7. Americans should retire with dignity and that means protecting Social Security and Medicare. Well, first off Social Security was never meant to be the sole means of retirement security. Why are the well off also well off in retirement? Because of decisions they made while working. Why not allow today's younger generation in or entering the workforce to choose some type of privatization of Social Security? The Left is real big on choice on some issues. Why not this one? How come a country like Chile has a private social security system and we don't?
8. Equal pay for equal work. I agree wholeheartedly assuming everything really is equal, but often that is not the case.
9. Equal means equal and that means marriage. Marriage is not an unrestricted constitutional right to start. But as far as the law goes, we are talking about licenses here and licenses are issued by states. Why not leave who gets that license to the states like they have for over 200 years and have had restrictions in other areas (bigamy laws, polygamy laws, incest laws) for over 200 years? Why is the Left afraid of the legislative process?
10. Immigration has made this country strong. Granted, it has- no arguments here. But, Warren leaves out a very important word before "immigration-" LEGAL. As the recent events at the southern border illustrate, illegal immigration makes this country weak and is a national security risk. I am all for immigration reform. I have argued on these pages that I would even be open to amnesty for those illegals here for 15 years or more- a big chunk of the illegal population. But first, the border must be secure and the economic reasons for migrating here- jobs- must be thwarted through vigorous workplace enforcement. Do those two things and I will talk "amnesty" or "comprehensive reform" and an end to chain migration and a transition to cyclical immigration. It worked once in this country; it can work again provided the border is secured.
11. Corporations are not persons and have no religious rights and women have a right to their bodies. Partially correct: most corporations are not persons with religious rights but to assert that a closely held one has no religious rights then infers it has no race. Having no race, it should be exempt from civil rights laws. This may be too nuanced for most Leftists and besides, Warren is just showing her ignorance here. Regardless, if Warren would actually read the Hobby Lobby decision, these "religious rights" extend to a certain class of drugs that the Left contends are not abortificents.
As for women having a right to their bodies, of course they do. No one is arguing with that. But in typical Leftist, selfish fashion Warren simply ignores that once pregnant, it is not solely "their" body any more. There is another human life there. Of course, to the Left its a clump of cells no better and no worse than your average polyp. I am willing to give the Left the rape, incest and maternal physical health/threat to life exceptions for abortion even up to the third trimester if they give me rational state regulations to enhance informed consent and insure safe, sanitary conditions. Face the facts: the vast majority of abortions performed in the US are for selfish reasons, mainly out of convenience. Warren probably cares more for the rights of a laboratory animal than she does for the unborn human child.
And it should be noted that contraception is not a constitutional right. You want to use it, go for it. In fact, I think groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood should be spending money providing birth control rather than fighting laws, lobbying Congress, and donating to Leftist senators from Massachusetts. I'll even help them hand out condoms and birth control pills if that decreases the incidence of abortion in the United States. Of course, taking two aspirin and holding them between your knees or a cold shower is a time-proven 100% method to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but that is another story for another time.