Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia on Friday, Obama said:
Obama also said:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.My response:
I sure am grateful to that Somebldy Else, even if I was mistaken in thinking it was me. Now that I know otherwise, I am asking that Somebody Else to step forward and be acknowledged.
Those of us who believe in the American Principle readily acknowledge that we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those Americans who came before us and gave us a government that was at one time limited in scope and largely protective of individual liberty. We are also grateful for those many productive Americans who made our society wealthy, robust, innovative, founded on mutual trust, reasonably benevolent, and comparatively independent-minded. We have long had a society that expected Americans to be self-managers of their own lives and to live their lives responsibly. There are tremendous benefits to all of us from this. This is a society in which people have largely been able to reap many benefits from their accomplishments and productive work, while providing rich benefits to all of the rest of us in our society.
Our society has largely been based on a robust and rich private sector in which individuals were free to choose their own values and to associate freely with others of their own choice to pursue those values. We have been a trader society which operates on the principle of voluntary exchanges of ideas, goods, and services. I, for instance, could not operate without the many vendors who make and supply replacement parts for my laboratory equipment. I am very grateful to them for offering me that critical service. But, I also pay them well for providing that equipment and the replacement parts. My customers pay for my services because I identity the causes of their materials problems and can often suggest how they can prevent the problem. They are able to make more money because of the service I provide them. But, our largely private sector society of free trade and associations provides the very mechanisms that allow us to acknowledge in appropriate ways the debts we have to others who supply us with valuable ideas, goods, and services.
Obama wants to eliminate this voluntary trade and association. He wants to kill the very mechanisms we have for acknowledging the value of the ideas, goods, and services that others in our society offer us. He wants hordes of government central planners to choose our values for us and impose them upon us using the full force of government. He says that because we have reaped some benefits from others and from having government, that we owe it to government to build it up even more. This Obama prescription is the equivalent of the argument that if taking one aspirin for a headache is good, then taking 100 aspirins for that headache is better. Or if drinking 8 ounces of water now is good, then pouring 10 gallons of water down your throat now is better. There are many things which have an appropriate level, which when exceeded begin to cause harm and when greatly exceeded cause great harm. Obama's argument is shear sophistry. It is wifty logic.
I see that the spell checker does not recognize wifty. OK, Obama has a great propensity for ditzy logic, which unfortunately works for many Americans today. Apparently, that is the outcome of government-run schools that want to produce suitable subjects for a socialist tyrannical government. The biggest ditz of them all, the perfect product of this educational system promoting socialism, is Obama.
Good is done when two or more people agree upon a voluntary exchange. This may be in business or it may be in a non-commercial endeavor. What is good for each of us is very different and we work out the complex evaluations of good in accordance with our personal values in the private sector. While limited government is essential for the purpose of securing our individual rights, larger government can only compromise the individual values of most of us most of the time. As government grows beyond its legitimate rights protecting function, it necessarily becomes an individual rights violator. Government cannot do the complex calculus which 310 million Americans do in living and managing their own lives on a completely voluntary basis with others in all things with which government is not involved. Of course, that assumes that government would even want to do good for each of us if it could. The history of big governments in all times and places indicates that they do not want to do such good. Good government, like good doctors, first does no harm.