When President Obama told American business owners that they didn’t build their own success, he shifted the credit to government for providing things like infrastructure and public schools. Now, he’s attributing success to another factor – dumb luck. From the New York Times:
Speaking to a gathering of faith leaders at Georgetown University, Obama said …his unsuccessful effort to raise taxes on hedge fund managers is an example of the refusal by conservatives to compromise for the benefit of the poor…
“If we can’t ask from society lottery winners to just make that modest investment, then really this conversation is for show,” Obama said. He added later, “If we can’t bridge that gap, I suspect we are not going to make as much progress as we need to.”
That single comment defines the president’s economic worldview. Success doesn’t come to those who act rationally in pursuit of their values. It doesn’t come from hard work performed intelligently. No, it comes from the roll of a die.
There’s a lot more code language in the clip from the Georgetown “poverty summit” embedded above. Obama lamented successful Americans “divesting” from “the commons” by sending their children to private school or working out in private clubs. He claims these acts of free association and pursuit of happiness foster an “an anti-government ideology” which endangers “those things which draw us together.”
It all adds up to a vision of America as a place where success is unearned and exploitative. The president thus prescribes punishing the successful and discouraging individual achievement.