In the face of growing criticism of Obamacare and a startling poll that says a majority of Americans under age 25 would like to see Obama thrown out of office, our Dear Leader is trying to change the conversation to “income equality” and a push for higher minimum wages. Like magic, fast food worker strikes have appeared all over the nation calling for unionization and higher wages.
As usual with the progressive agenda, it’s unions (good), entrepreneurs (bad). But of all people to target, the federal government is even going after independent music teachers.
According to Kim Strassel in the Wall Street Journal,
In March of this year, a small nonprofit in Cincinnati—the Music Teachers National Association—received a letter from the FTC. The agency was investigating whether the association was engaged in, uh, anticompetitive practices.
This was bizarre, given that the MTNA has existed since 1876 solely to advance the cause of music study and support music teachers. The 501(c)(3) has about 22,000 members, nearly 90% of them piano teachers, including many women who earn a modest living giving lessons in their homes.
According to the FTC, a provision in the Association’s Code of Ethics regarding members not actively recruit students from other teachers could be construed as an attempt to raise lesson prices. As Strassel writes, “Given that the average lesson runs around $30 an hour, and that some devoted teachers still give lessons for $5 a pop, this is patently absurd.”
Nonetheless, the Association was strong-armed into signing a consent decree, must read statements aloud at every future meeting warning members about discussing pricing, send the statement to all 22,000 members AND develop an antitrust compliance program.
But the long arm of progressivism extends to the local level as well. Last week in Portland, Oregon, 11-year-old Madison Root was barred from selling mistletoe at the Saturday Market because city code forbids unauthorized sales activity in public parks although begging, pan-handling and protesting are allowed. Root was trying to raise money to pay for her new braces.
Her story does have a happy ending, however. According to Fox News, hundreds of orders for mistletoe have poured in since her situation became public and she’s even received $1,000 in seed money for her venture.
Can there be any doubt America is turning into a socialist nation where those who are eking out a living independently are hounded and punished while the “collective” is celebrated?
These instances – and others like IRS targeting or cell-phone monitoring — may all appear to be isolated, but when you connect the dots you’re left with a very ugly picture indeed.