There’s been a lot of talk about Barack Obama’s statement “You didn’t build that.” What did he mean? Those of us that have paid attention during the almost four years of the Obama Administration know that in the President’s heart he means that no capitalist is anything without government.
Now his defenders say it’s just common sense. Can’t take your goods to market without a government-built road to get you there. That’s all fine and good but the President wants us to believe that this isn’t merely a 50/50 split between government and capitalists but more like 90/10 at best with the government making everything possible; no businesses, no commerce possible without the government.
In light of the 100th birthday of the late free-market economist Milton Friedman, here is one of his most famous monologues involving a simple pencil:
No “commissar” made any of these people involved in the production of the pencil do what they did. They did it out of self-interest, and by committing such actions of self-interest they improved the lives of their fellow men, men that as Friedman said may hate each other if they knew each other personally. It’s an amazing phenomenon.
This is not how Obama and his followers see the world. They see this notion of self-interest as evil even though they practice it themselves sometimes without knowing it.
A movie from 1992 called “Orlando” had a great scene involving a nobleman and Queen Elizabeth I. The nobleman is attempting to entertain the monarch and says: “Now, what would please you? All that is mine is here for your pleasure.” The Queen responds: “All you call yours is mine already.”
This is the attitude of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, et al. Everything that you think is yours is actually theirs. They are the government; they are the philosopher kings, and without them, you are nothing.