18 Oct 2012

Obama: On Whether Free Enterprise Works or Not

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(image via Vanderleun)

A lot of reactionaries like myself have described Barack Obama as “a socialist,” “a Marxist,” and “a Communist.” How could we possibly have thought that about someone who, in his closing statement at the Second 2012 Presidential Debate, delivered this encomium to Capitalism and Free Enterprize:

At 1:34:17:

I think a lot of this campaign, maybe over the last four years, has been devoted to this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer.

That’s not what I believe. I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world’s ever known.
I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded. But I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot and everybody should do their fair share and everybody should play by the same rules, because that’s how our economy’s grown. That’s how we built the world’s greatest middle class. . . .


This sounds enough like Barry Goldwater to make poor Bill Ayers go out and commit seppuku in Grant Park. But that would assume that Barack Obama was expressing himself with sincerity. In reality, Barack Obama, in his closing statement at that Second Debate, was fraudulently trying to position himself as a mainstream centrist believer in the American system, which he really is not. In the statement above, he is not expressing his real position. He is blowing smoke in an effort to conceal it.

The real Barack Obama is the Barack Obama who tried to revive turn-of-the-last-century Progressivism in a speech delivered lat December in Osawatomie, Kansas:


[T]here’s been a certain crowd in Washington for the last few decades who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.

Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory. . . .

John Lott noticed the contradiction between exactly the same two Obama statements.


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