by Tom Rogan • Washington Examiner
Economic growth and broadly shared prosperity matter. They matter because they inform whether people can pursue their dreams or whether they suffer unnecessarily. Thus follows a question: Why did Democrats refuse to applaud President Trump’s statement of fact in Tuesday’s State of the Union address that minority unemployment rates are at the lowest levels ever recorded?
As Trump said:
“Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century. African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low.”
That statement speaks to lives being made better in new jobs being found, new skills being learned, and new means of rising up the economic ladder being reached.
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that Democrats have disagreements with Trump over how to boost employment. But there is no obvious or moral rationale to reject celebration of lives improved. Unless, that is, you care more about partisanship than anything else.
For what it’s worth, Democrats were ready to applaud economic progress later in Trump’s speech. When he said “no one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year,” there was a bipartisan standing ovation.
Conservatives should run on the momentum of this economic moment. We should have no fear in advancing policies that are making lives better, and are measured as such. Yes, we must reform the nearly bankrupt entitlement system. Yes, we must always endeavor to spend taxpayer money wisely. But today’s economy speaks to something important: The free market is a far better servant of the human interest than Bill de Blasio and his diktats of know-better-socialism.