The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Perhaps he didn't mean it?

Some of President Barack Obama's supporters seem to be implying that when he said
If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

he didn't really mean what those words seem to imply. The “that” that Obama said “you didn’t build” means (they say) the roads and bridges that he had mentioned in an earlier sentence in that speech. Well, the Christian Science Monitor points out:

In fact, the most conservative attack on Mr. Obama’s clumsy phrasing leaves the words just as they are.

Here’s a fuller reading of Obama’s statement:

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

“The point is, when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

As Representative Labrador pointed out on Thursday, taking the president at his word — that he meant not that government built American businesses but instead that government built and/or fostered the roads, Internet, and public safety necessary for business to flourish — is still ripe for conservative attack.

“It’s not the government’s money!” Labrador said. “It was business people who gave the government money so we could have roads and buildings and infrastructure. That is what is fundamentally deficient in this administration… He completely and fundamentally misunderstands what creates business, what creates a thriving economy.”

Referring to his colleague, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) of South Carolina, who noted on the House floor that he drove some 60,000 miles building his business, Labrador noted that Representative Duncan “was paying for the roads that he was driving.”

“I want to know what government entity created a business that paid for those roads,” he said. “Not a single one!"

In other words, the money the government used to build the roads and develop the Internet came from somewhere. That somewhere was private enterprise — and some say that Obama’s inability to recognize that is his fatal flaw, economically speaking.

The socialist mindset of President Obama fails to see that the Government does not create wealth — it simply takes money from all of us and redistributes it to where it feels it can best be used.

And yet there is still another question. Suppose Pres. Obama didn't mean “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” to mean what those words manifestly mean. Isn't that a sign that Pres. Obama is not the great orator everyone says he is? He mangles his meaning so badly that you can't understand what he's trying to say. It is not the first time Obama has shown himself to have feet of clay. Earlier on, he said it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to rule that an act of Congress was unconstitutional — which it has been doing regularly since 1803. And way back in 2008, he said he had been to “fifty-seven states” — I wonder when all these new states joined the Union; I remember when Hawaii came in as the fiftieth, but I don't recall a single new state being admitted since then!

The President's knowledge of economics, of Constitutional law (a subject he [shudder!] taught), of United States geography, all have been shown to be flawed. And his conduct of the Presidency has brought the economy to a standstill. I just wonder why there are still people who support this manifestly unqualified man.

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