Rebirth of Reason

War for Men's Minds

The Statists' Continued Folly!
by Tibor R. Machan

          Krugman has a regular column in The Times, so he can discuss what he chooses to discuss so why is he fussing, as he did in a recent column, that others have other topics they wish to discuss not the ones he likes? Must we all take the lead of Krugman? What conceit!

          Krugman’s “solution” to the unemployment "crisis" is no solution but merely a shift--let's burden future generations with higher costs and taxes, right? Yet what is needed is fewer obstacles to growth, that is to say less government regulation, much lower taxation, and the encouragement of private investment and innovation--in short, Hayek instead of Keynes!  What is bizarre is that Krugman and his master, Obama, are dead set on socking it to the rich, so much so that even without any need for garnering more funds from them they insist that it be done!  In other words, this bunch is interested in punitive taxation, never mind budgetary concerns.

         Is this to show the “base” that they are tough, merciless?  Is this to very visibly implement their leftist policies just to show who is in the driver’s seat now?  Is it to demonstrate to the world that America’s tradition of substantially free enterprise will not be allowed continue since it makes it possible for economically savvy citizens to succeed while those not much interested in playing according to the rules of capitalism may experience losses from scoffing at ambition?  That famous 47 % plus or minus that expects to be taken care of by government with just a minimum of effort--effort consisting mostly of political maneuvering, not smart enterprise--must not be disappointed.  Obama must continue to be their leader, guru, guide and protector!

         Looks to me that Obama is making no secret of it now: he will cater to the dependent class and only throw a few bones to the entrepreneurs, enough so they keep producing enough for Obama’s constituency to remain satisfied parasites.  Most of them feel that those who are successful in a largely free market economy don’t deserve it; they are living off the blood and sweat of Obama’s people!

          If you don’t believe me, consider a recently deceased philosopher of the welfare state from Harvard University, the place where much of Obama’s political and moral philosophy was fashioned:  "The assertion that a man deserves the superior character that enables him to make the effort to cultivate his abilities is ... problematic; for his character depends in large part upon fortunate family and social circumstances for which he can claim no credit." John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 104.

         In other words, as Obama put it during the campaign for the presidency: You did not build it:  “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....”  No, you got there mostly by accident of birth! Like the rich of the feudal era!

         None of us is successful without having gained from certain others in our lives.  No argument about that.  But, first, this doesn’t entitle anyone else to rob one of the fruits of the success.  It doesn’t follow! Second, the entrepreneurial initiative of those who do succeed is not shared by all. They may have had some help but they needed to figure out how to put that help to good use.  That is where they earned their success, not from creating things out of nothing (a ridiculous idea that the takers wish to peddle).

        The bottom line is that Obama & Co. want to promote the idea that successful people have but a tiny bit if anything at all to do with their success and, therefore--which is a colossal non-sequitur--Obama & Co. may rip them off good and hard.

        In fact, the human element in human success is enormous. What it requires from those like Obama is for them to get out of the way, to show confidence in the makers, not the takers.

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