Open Thread: The Left's Far-off Claims of Moral Superiority

While the Left has long held the upper hand in appearing to implement morally superior policies, according to Jim Lacey at National Review, their policies have had particularly negative impacts on poor parts of America and abroad. From often debilitating and expensive policies, including being forced to use alternative energy or banned from using genetically modified food, Lacey explains, "leftist policies continue to destroy the lives of tens of millions in this country and billions worldwide." He adds,

Soon after I published an article questioning the global-warming orthodoxy, the world’s foremost hypocrite, Al Gore, informed anyone who still listens to him that my position is akin to racism. The wise course of action would be to ignore the rants of a man who desperately needs the world to remain fearful of carbon, the element on which all life on earth is based. …

Who do you think holds the moral high ground? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Lacey goes on to explore a number of "morally superior" policies. In the fight against genetically modified foods, liberal policies delayed and stopped the use of modified rice to increase Vitamin A. Had this rice been used, it would have prevented 500,000 cases of child blindness per year. Anti-gentically modified food activists have also prevented Africa from using genetically modified seeds, which would better withstand the effects of drought and disease. This is despite the fact that Africa would become almost self-sufficient in producing food if they began using the stronger genetically modified seeds, curbing malnourishment rates and hunger-related deaths. Another major problem in Africa is malaria, which kills one million people every year. Malaria was eliminated in America and Europe through the use of DDT, but the privilege of using DDT has been denied to African countries because of its ill effects on bird populations.

The effects of liberal policies are not limited to food and chemical issues, though. Due to the push for alternative energy sources, poor countries could be forced to adopt expensive alternative energy over cheap carbon-based energy, only adding another obstacle to escape poverty. Without a cheap source of energy, Africans would be without electricity to refrigerate food and medicine, without modern conveniences including lights and computers, and without a major generator of jobs in factories, schools, hospitals, and shops. This again would lead to more deaths, as people would cook and heat their homes with open fires, causing lung infections, eat spoiled food and drink bad water, causing intestinal diseases, and receive medical treatment from sub-standard hospitals, preventing the proper treatment of malaria, TB, cholera, measles, and other treatable diseases.

Yet, according to Lacey, no one ever cries foul on these policies being racist.

Closer to home, implementing alternative energy would also be a hard hit to the economy. To reduce the carbon output by 80% by 2050, and increase spending on solar and wind power tenfold, we would still only be able to generate 25% of our energy from those sources on good days, lacking the energy output we would need to maintain current GDP levels. As Lacey points out, studies have show that "every 1 percent reduction in power causes a 0.7 percent reduction in GDP," which would put millions of working class Americans out of work. In looking abroad, studies also prove that "in the world’s emerging economies each 1 percent loss of GDP causes almost 2,500 premature deaths per 100,000 population," killing off millions more people in developing countries in the name of a cleaner environment.

Another domestic example is the jobless rate among American black teenagers, currently hovering at 46.5%, and the jobless rate of blacks overall being double that of whites. Much of this unemployment is a result of the liberal policies in inner cities, which have worked to discourage business investment and subsidize a failing education system defended by liberal teachers' unions, permanently trapping poor black students into a failed system without any personal choice.

As Lacey concludes,

...What, for instance, can one say about the morality of economic policies that place a $70,000 debt on every American child? Is it really moral to take all the money the better-off earn and thereby deprive them of funds they could have invested to create the millions of jobs the unemployed need? What is moral about expanding the multicultural dogma, when the one thing it definitely creates is an unassimilated mass of youths with limited future prospects? What is moral about diversity programs that more often than not create isolated warring tribes within America’s most important institutions? Finally, is it really moral to force Americans to purchase medical insurance coverage they don’t want? And if you think it is, then where does government power over private lives end? What of freedom?

What are your thoughts?

Environment Open Thread