Obama’s State of the Union in an Era of Unlimited Government

by | Jan 24, 2011

Obama is about to give his “State of the Union” address. His themes will reportedly be government “investment” in the economy, advancement of the “American family,” and a restoration of “civility” to society. Obama has declared that job creation is the # 1 priority. True to form, he’s calling for government “investment” to make this […]

Obama is about to give his “State of the Union” address. His themes will reportedly be government “investment” in the economy, advancement of the “American family,” and a restoration of “civility” to society.

Obama has declared that job creation is the # 1 priority. True to form, he’s calling for government “investment” to make this happen.

The minute politicians start talking about investment, run for your lives. Why? Because politicians are “investing” with other people’s money. They are professional office-holders, which is to say professional grabbers of power who rise in their professions through a combination of blackmail, extortion and flattery of others. Politicians are, in no rational sense, liable for their actions. They spend money based on what works for them politically, in the short-term. Real investors, in a system of unhampered capitalism, operate under precisely the opposite set of conditions. It’s their money they’re spending, which means they stand to lose something by risking it. They will be as rational and profit-driven as can be. They act in their own interest and in the interest of their stockholders, if they’re a publicly traded company. When they succeed, they bring with them happy employees and satisfied customers. It’s in their interest to succeed. It’s in their interest to learn from their errors. How many politicians learn from their errors?

Obama wants to spend billions of dollars of other people’s money on things he believes will “spur” the economy and create jobs. Now think about this. All of the money Obama steals from the private sector is money that will NOT go to jobs that would have been created by the private sector. Most of the money Obama takes from the private sector is money that will not be spent on things by rich people, things that also create or sustain jobs.

“I’m focused on making sure the economy is working for everybody, for the entire American family,” says Obama. Now that’s interesting. A family is a biological and interpersonal unit. Is America one gigantic “family” bound by relationships imposed by biology? Obama and liberals like him obviously think so. They take it as undisputed fact that everyone is responsible for everybody else. If Joe has a job and Billy doesn’t, then Joe is morally bound — by Obama’s version of “family values” — to take care of Billy. What if Joe doesn’t know or care about Billy? In a family, you normally value the person because of your long-time association. How can a stranger be a family member? No answer.

Obama and socialists like him erase the distinction.

More than that, what if Joe doesn’t want to take care of Billy? What if Billy is choosing not to work, turning down jobs he considers beneath him? If Joe and Billy were brothers, Joe would have the option to conclude, “I’m not helping Billy. He’s able bodied and I’m not giving up a third of my income to pay for him to choose to stay at home and not work.” In a regular family, you have that option. In Obama’s version of “family,” you have no option at all.

Obama has reportedly discovered the value of free trade. If trade is allowed among nations, he’s thinking, then economic prosperity will grow and jobs will be created. That makes sense, and it’s good to see that Obama has apparently discovered one economic principle that’s rational.

But how about applying that principle within the United States? How about deregulating the market for health insurance instead of strangling it? How about allowing people to purchase a variety of different health plans, across state lines? How about giving people the freedom and responsibility to be consumers with their medical care and health insurance?

If freedom of trade will create jobs and prosperity when applied between countries, it stands to reason that freedom of trade within a country will generate prosperity as well. Instead, Obama is on a relentless campaign to do just the opposite within the United States, to regulate the private sector (or what’s left of it) almost out of existence. How can such a supposedly brilliant man live, unchallenged, with such a massive contradiction within his own mind?

Lastly, Obama plans to call for more “civility” among Democrats and Republicans. What does civility mean? Doesn’t civility imply a refusal to initiate force against one’s fellow citizens? Obama is proposing increases in taxes, still more expansions of wealth redistribution, government ownership of the Internet, and possible restrictions on broadcasters through the FCC. He’s also proposing massive new taxes and restrictions on the use of energy.

All of these things are radical acts of coercion, things that require laws because people would never do these things on their own. These laws are not civil, because civil laws have only one end in mind: The preservation of the right of individual persons to be left alone. Laws which expand the power of government to make people do things they don’t need or want to do is about as uncivil as it gets. How on earth can a politician worry about “national manners” when the government is at war with its most productive and self-responsible citizens?

Government must exist, but only to keep people free – not to make people do things they don’t judge in their rational interest to do. Human beings have minds, and they’re free to think with those minds.

Government should protect that right and responsibility in all human beings to think for themselves. It’s time for government to stop acting like it knows better, and that it’s entitled to decide how people should live. Without this recognition, the state of the Union will only continue to worsen.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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