Monday, June 23, 2008

The Clubbing the Club For Growth. It's Just Too Easy.

The Club For Growth is an organization dedicated to making the rich richer through politics. I started to read their blog when it looked like one of their own, Matt Shaner, would win the Republican nomination for the Pennsylvania 5th Congressional District. We dodged a bullet on that one, but I've kept the blog in my RSS reader and look at it everyday just for the fun of finding something like this.

Today brings another post from them worthy of ridicule. It is their quote of the day from Arther Laffer which they picked up from another wingnut publication the Wall Street Journal. You all remember Laffer as the discoverer of the Laffer Curve and a father of supply-side economic, i.e. the re-branding the trickle down economics.

Here's the quote.
Pursuing your dream of prospering will benefit everyone . . . When I graduated from Yale University, we had a serious commencement speaker not like the one you are stuck with today. The commencement speaker was President John F. Kennedy. And the point I'm making today is the same point he made all those years ago. He said, "No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and all of us are made better off whenever any one of us is made better off." He concluded by using the analogy that "a rising tide raises all boats."

Never forget or be ashamed of the fact that pursuing your own self interest furthers everyone's interest. Without you, the poor would be poorer.

This inspired me to read JFK's 1962 Yale Commencement Address. I wanted to find the context of the quote. Guess what? JFK doesn't say this anywhere in his speech, but he does somewhat ironically say
For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
I thought I'd give Art the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps JFK said this at another time. You can find a collection of quotes by JFK here. The above quote isn't there. It turns out that only the right wing attributes this quote to Kennedy and most of the reference to it are by Laffer himself.

Only in the mind of Arther Laffer did the man who said, "...ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country," be attributed with the idea that "...pursuing your own self interest furthers everyone's interest. Without you, the poor would be poorer."

Art did get one thing right: he isn't a serious commencement speaker.

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