‘You Didn’t Build That’
Two for Thought
By John Fuller
President Barack Obama’s recent remark that “You didn’t build that,” is the “Joe the Plumber” remark of this campaign. In his attempt to exalt the government, he insulted the individual and turned upside down the historical relationship between Americans and their government. The idea that no one can be successful unless they had some extraordinary assistance from the government is as ludicrous as Al Gore’s claim that “I invented the Internet.”
The successful, independent individual is an unacceptable challenge to the liberal’s state-centered, we-know-best mentality. By being successful, their need and dependence on the government is diminished. And liberals, of which Obama is a classic example, must tear down and destroy anyone who challenges their view.
If the government was the major determinant as to who was successful, then why aren’t we all as creative and wealthy as Bill Gates? The government provides valuable services, but it is supposed to do so equally.
No one could excel if government was the dominant force in determining success. But when government can deny the individual’s ownership of his success, government can then deny him the ownership of his rewards. And that is Obama’s goal.
By Joe Carbonari
This is about spending other people’s money. One extreme: “I earned it, and I want to keep it.”
“You didn’t build that” was an un-helpful, ill-advised and insensitive political gaffe. Let’s move on.
Should we trust time to heal our economic wounds, suck it up, and suffer more “creative destruction?” Or should we try to stimulate the economy and heal our wounds faster?
The “time will heal” approach means a seriously diminished life for those close to the economic edge. If we raise taxes and stimulate using some of the “surplus” wealth, lives will indisputably be diminished as well. But, I would argue, these cuts would come less close to the bone and the duration of the discomfort would be shorter.
Can we trust the “market” to see a path and set us on it, or should we try to give it some direction and prime its pump? Both.
We need to maintain our economy’s competitiveness and its rewards, but at the same time control its tendencies toward greed and excess. Sure, we need to fight for our views, but we also need to choose our words more carefully.
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