2012-07-18

"You Didn't Build That"

I have been going back-and-forth about whether I should comment on this galactically stupid Obama gaffe. It is such an easy target, that I am reluctant to say much about it, for risk of turning myself into a pundit.

Unlike pundits, I will take Obama at what he meant, rather than what he actually said. This is fairly important, because I believe the real problem with what Obama said really is what he meant.

The notion indicates a belief held among the likes of Obama and Elizabeth Warren that the state can perform actions which - regardless of whether I endorse them - leave me permanently indebted to the state in a way that I cannot back out of.

For example, if I were given the choice between socialized health care and private health care, I would choose private health care. If, on the other hand, I lived in Canada, where private health care is against the law, then I am prevented from choosing. Is it then fair to suggest that I owe my health to the government?

Take a less esoteric example. Consuming heroin is against the law. Is the fact that I have not died of a heroin overdose due to the law against its consumption? Or, has my decision to avoid all drugs played a role here? If the latter, was my having not overdosed a combined effort of both good laws and good decisions?

When the law prevents me from making one choice or forces me to make another, that is not really something I "owe" the government.

Finally, even assuming the government played some role in my success... for example, I couldn't have driven to work today except on government-built roads... Does that really mean that the government has a claim of ownership on the work I perform when I'm at the office?

The state is inescapable and all-encompassing. We are all forced to interact with it. Some of us are not grateful for the "opportunity." We would have been better off without it. But to the socialists, everything you have was the product of the state. The state is bigger than you and me. The state is the fountainhead of human produce.

Forget what Obama said, and focus on what he meant. That is the real problem. It's scary to think that the political class believe that they own you simply because you drive on "their" roads.