<<Between the strong and the weak, between the rich and the poor, between the master and the servant, it is freedom that oppresses and the law that emancipates.>> LacordaireHow not to like Jack Kemp? He is such a wonderfully gregarious man. He talks with his heart and his soul, embracing the American people, especially when they are the poor and the trodden ones. You can feel his empathy. You can see the power of his convictions and his indomitable will to lift the living conditions of the poorest among the poor within our inner cities and rural communities all the way into the American dream. Jack Kemp would make a potent preacher.
Now, how does our preaching politician propose to reach his goals? Philosophically, he strongly believes in unleashing the creativity of the people. If only allowed to be creative, the American poor would produce miracles, lifting themselves to the Promised Land of middle-class-man-woman-and-children-ship. Practically, two barriers keep the poor from achieving their legitimate dreams, the true American dream of the Pursuit of Happiness: Taxes and regulations, both imposed by a reviled government he wishes to abolish for the most part (Department of Education, Department of Energy, Commerce Department, Labor Department, etc.) once he becomes its head either in 1997 or in 2001. Cut taxes, he says, and leave more money in the pocket of the hard-working poor (mostly who, by the way, do not pay any). And overturn, he adds, all those bureaucratic, almost socialist regulations that stifle our economy. How can we, he continues, assail businesses with so many regulations? Government should not order but only recommend social actions and let them be voluntarily implemented by businesses. So, Jack Kemp is against the minimum wage, would have voted against the Family Leave Act, etc.. You cannot force regulations upon Business, he argues. Business needs to make money. Regulations, as well as taxes, are an impediment to profit. There is no regulation that is worth its name but for that of the market (which is a Natural Regulation, compared to the bureaucratically-imposed regulations). He believes in the enlightenment and generosity of business owners, shareholders and corporate boardrooms. Give people free reign; let them make money and the entire society will profit. Jack Kemp is definitely a believer and he should have gone into the business of beliefs. He should have been a preacher.
Meantime, there is one thing called reality, and other things called facts.
Reproduced below is an 1850 internal regulations of a company located in Chaumont, France, that might serve as a reminder of the consequences that the type of beliefs Jack Kemp so gregariously embraces had in the past and would have in the future on our society:
Fixing Working Conditions of White-Collar Workers