By Peter Burrows firstname.lastname@example.org 3/2/14
If there’s anybody out there who doesn’t like my columns, don’t blame me. It turns out I didn’t write them, somebody else did (and the SOB can’t spell worth a hoot.) I owe this great insight to President Barrack Obama.
He famously said while campaigning, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” He was referring to the opportunities inherent in our American society: “Somebody helped create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.”
Most of us would agree that we are very lucky to live in The Land of Opportunity. Warren Buffet, when asked the secret to his success, quipped that it started by being born in America: “I won that lottery,” he said.
The undeniable truth is that America has been a land of opportunity because it has been a nation characterized by a “government of the people, by the people and for the people” as Lincoln said in the Gettysburg address. In short, a nation where the government worked for the people, not the other way around.
This was hardly the message President Obama delivered. He was implying that the government was the source of your good fortune. He has it backwards: The people created the government first. Anything that results from that is an extension of the peoples’ genius. Yes, you did build that business, thanks to first building a government that values individual freedoms above government power — or at least used to
President Obama’s subtle message is that since you didn’t build that, YOU REALLY DON’T OWN IT. You may think you do, but when push comes to shove, the government owns it. Government worshipers really believe this.
What this means is that I’ve given up plans to write my panoramic, historically based novel which would have put “Gone With the Wind” to shame. You see I went to public schools where I learned the rudiments of the three R’s taught by government paid teachers. I sit safely at my desk thanks to government paid police. The lights and heat are on thanks to government regulated utilities. I could go on and on, but you get my drift.
According to President Obama and the legions who agree with him, I owe everything to the government. As to my best selling novel, President Obama would say: “You didn’t write that. Somebody else did.” Which means, just like the owner of a business, I’m not really entitled to any of the profits from the book sales, movie rights, royalties or the cash I’ll get from winning the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes. So I just won’t write the damn thing.
Don’t be surprised if many, many others decide not to start an enterprise, or decide to abandon one they’ve already started. Obama is becoming the CEO of everybodys’ business, determining health care costs and worker pay. To that end he wants Congress to “give America a raise” by increasing the minimum wage. Not content to wait, he unilaterally raised government contractors’ minimum wage.
He has lots of support for his totalitarian mentality. Thomas Friedman, the noted New York Times writer and author, let the cat out of the bag when he once fantasized, “–what if we could be China for a day?” Then we could, according to Friedman, “authorize the right solutions.” He of course meant “dictate” solutions HE thinks are right. (Friedman wouldn’t like MY “right solutions”.)
Democratic Senators Levin and Schumer, exercising their China-for-a-day mentality, encouraged the IRS to investigate groups actively opposing the expansion of government. Most alarmingly, what was the Obama administration thinking when it floated the idea of FCC “observers” in media newsrooms, including newspapers?
Maybe President Obama did us all a favor by articulating and acting on the tacit assumption of progressives and liberals everywhere: The government owns the people. He gave us fair warning. In his world, America is a nation of, by, and for the government.
At Gettysburg, Lincoln’s immortal conclusion still enthralls: “–we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Now, just over 150 years later, are we going to renew that resolve? Did they, and so many others, die in vain?