"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. . . when we succeed, we succeed because . . . we do things together.” [emphasis added]
--Barack Obama (video transcript)
So there you have it. Obama leads the side of our divided nation that values pie cutters over pie growers. And he doesn’t hide his views. Faced with an overwhelming economic crisis, Obama, Democrats, liberals would rather recut than resize. After all, the wealth you earned belongs to the collective that made your wealth possible. Égalité. “Positive liberty.”
“You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.”
Primitive communism has its place in the modern world, as we have seen. Just look at the family. But from the Paris Commune to Maoist China to Pol Pot’s Cambodia, we’ve found primitive communism doesn’t work in larger society.
Still, never mind Obama’s reference to “doing things together.” Liberals of course reject communism in favor of democratic socialism as currently practiced in Europe. It’s not a communal state, it’s big government running the system, preaching equality, but practicing—as all states do—kleptocracy.
Listen to Josef Joffe, editor and publisher of Germany’s most respected journal, Die Zeit. Joffe has his nose right up against German democratic socialism. And Joffe says:
The central problem . . . of the liberal-left intelligentsia [is] the “Doctor State Syndrome.” The individual is greedy, misguided or blind. The state is the Hegelian embodiment of the right and the good that floats above the fray. But the state does not. It is a party to the conflict over “who gets what, when and how”. . . It makes its own pitch for power; it creates privileges, franchises and clienteles. This is why it is so hard to rein in, let alone cut back. The modern welfare state creates a new vested interest with each new entitlement. It corrupts as it does good.
The wages of sin [to the social-democrats] are the loss of community, trust, equality and social justice. And the true god…is European-style social democracy à la Scandinavia. [Yet in reality,] the market is the best information system known to man: it has millions broadcasting in real time what is offered and what is wanted at what price. [emphasis added]To the other side—to conservatives—the answer is freedom (“liberty”), not equality. It’s “negative liberty,” not “positive liberty.” It’s growth, not redistribution. Liberal failure from 2007 (when Democrats gained control of Congress) to the present should have made it manifestly clear that big government liberalism no longer works. Hope and change lie with people free to follow their individual dreams, to fail, to succeed.
Yet conservatives are sobered by evidence that 45% of Americans don’t have full-time jobs, 50% don’t pay federal income tax, and 70% get more from the federal government than they put in. Too many people may now be victims feeling entitled to the wealth of others, and thus focused on recutting rather than enlarging the pie.
Here’s Tom Keane, writing in the Boston Globe:
[A] national survey. . . asked what respondents thought were the most important elements of the American Dream. Where once economic success and upward mobility would have ranked high, they ranked last in the poll. Respondents said they increasingly valued things such as good marriages (83%) and “a long and healthy retirement” (77%). . . we just want to be happy.
And what’s wrong with that, you may ask? Nothing, really. . . very European. . . out of the rat race and focus[ed] on being content. But, to be blunt, America historically never was about being happy. For us, it’s been “the pursuit of happiness,” a phrase that is all about striving, not attaining. The American Dream required ambition and taking risks; it was about fame, fortune, and making things better for the next generation.Keane has sympathy for those giving up, noting the Great Recession cost people “vast amounts of wealth . . . including homes and retirement accounts.”
Help needed, yes. But why a “handout,” not a “hand up”?
The “hope and change” answer should be “Jobs.”