by Rod D. Martin
September 4, 2013

My friend Stephen Moore writes in today’s Wall Street Journal that young people, single women and minorities have done far worse economically these past four years than the rest of America.  No duh.

To put that into dollar terms, in the four years between the time the Obama recovery began in June 2009 and June of this year, median black household income fell by just over $4,000, Hispanic households lost $2,000 and female-headed households lost $2,300.

The unemployment numbers show pretty much the same pattern. July’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data (the most recent available) show a national unemployment rate of 7.4%. The highest jobless rates by far are for key components of the Obama voter bloc: blacks (12.6%), Hispanics (9.4%), those with less than a high-school diploma (11%) and teens (23.7%).

Now you might think that all these people were voting for Obama because they started out poor and Obama is working hard to lift them out of heartless, Republican-induced squalor.  But of course that’s pretty obviously not true:  all these losses are during Obama’s time. The indelible Election Night 2008 scenes of poor Democrats in the streets telling reporters that Obama was going to pay off their mortgages and get them cars and phones just go to show how much these people have been played.  And it’s certainly not for lack of government spending that this is true.

No, the fact is, Obama’s policies, far from alleviating the plight of the poor, have actually reversed all the progress they’ve made since 1981.  During the years dominated by Republican Presidents and Congresses, all these groups made astonishing gains.  Just under Reagan, blacks went from two-thirds beneath the poverty line to two-thirds middle class and above.  From 1981 through the end of 2008, no group saw bigger income gains than black women (81%), followed by white women (67%), black men (31%) and white males (8%).

The party stressing color-blind opportunity shrank racial and gender income inequality more than during any time in all of American history.  Obama has largely obliterated that progress in just over one term.

This is not just incompetence, though it is that.  This is the direct result of leftist politics.  “Soak the rich” and “screw the 1%” cannot help but mean “stick it to small business owners”.  But when you do that, you eliminate the ability of the poor to rise, which they almost always do by starting small businesses (and before that, getting hired by small businesses).

But it’s worse than that:  Democrat victories hinge — and have always hinged — on dividing the country into small, warring victim groups.  It’s hard to be a victim when you’re getting ahead.  It’s hard for Democrats to cobble together a coalition of happy, productive people.

What Obama has wrought is tragic.  It’s also antithetical to everything it means to be an American.