Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

How Obama crushes the American dream

Guest Blogger

Tommy Newberry believes President Obama is a dream killer. The current administration, in Newberry’s view, is stripping away the hard-earned rewards of entrepreneurs and others by denigrating merit and focusing on a state-imposed version of fairness. Newberry, a business success coach, has poured his concerns into “The War on Success: How the Obama Agenda is Shattering the American Dream,” published by Regnery. Here he explains how Obama misuses the word fairness for freedom.

By Tommy Newberry

Why is the president so infatuated with changing the concept of fairness? Seldom does he read a speech without the use of the word “fair” weaved indulgently throughout. Whether proclaiming to never stop fighting until “every American has a fair shake,” or pledging to “make sure wealthy Americans pay their fair share,” or demanding that insurance companies “treat us fairly,” this fascination with egalitarian expressions is tough to miss.

To most Americans, the word “fair” is a pleasant and wholesome word. We learned when we were kids that authentic fairness occurs when everybody plays by the same rules. In a neighborhood game of pickup baseball, for example, teams agree ahead of time where the foul lines will be and what constitutes a homerun and hash out any other modifications of standard rules. Of course, the same rules then apply to both teams.

The opposite of fairness, though, is called “rigging” or “fixing.” This is when the rules are manipulated to favor one individual or group over the others. Mysteriously, this rigging or fixing is also labeled in many quarters as “fairness” or “equality.” But how could this be true? How can the opposite of fairness also be called “fairness”?

To the president, fairness means social justice, which means uniform results or equality of outcome (aka “equality”). However, this sameness and social leveling does not happen naturally. It must be synthetically produced with the heavy hand of coercive government.

The flaw with this fixation on “false” fairness isn’t just the reality that life is naturally unfair; it is the much bigger truth that earned inequality is a virtuous achievement to be celebrated. Liberty breeds inequality—when people are free, those who make better choices create a better life. Those who are harder working, better motivated, and more resourceful will achieve more than others. Above all, life is a game of character, but it is most certainly not fair.

Proponents of fairness and equalization believe they can reorganize society to make everything fair and equal for everyone. However, history has revealed that everywhere the effort to equalize results, or make things fair, has been attempted, the outcome has ranged from tragedy to disaster. This is because the only way to ensure fair outcomes is to smother liberty. In other words, to manufacture a more pleasing result for Paul, Peter’s rights must first be compromised.

As American citizens, we have the right to equal opportunity, not equal outcome. We have the freedom to succeed and also the freedom to fail. We have the right to make the choices in our lives we believe will make us happy. If we make wise choices, then we have the right to enjoy the fruits of those choices. If we end up making bad choices, then we must suffer the consequences.

Fortunately, we also have the right to learn from our mistakes and make better choices in the future. We can exercise our equal opportunity to become unequal—to become more successful, more wealthy, or more happy by any other measure—or we can choose to be average, or even something less.

But anyone who loves equality more than freedom is likely to wind up with neither.

By Steven E. Levingston  |  March 26, 2010; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  Guest Blogger  | Tags: obama shattering american dream; fairness vs. freedom;  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama shopping for Rove memoir?
Next: March 28, 2010

Comments

Mr. Newberry provides no evidence in support of his diatribe. Just diatribe – ascribing a position to Obama that he (Newberry) is most comfortable with, then attacking that position.

More interesting would be to assess if a desire for a minimal social safety net (a better if simplistic representation of Obama's position) merits Newberry's condemnation.

But all we get is zero content. One might even say, it's unfair.

Posted by: Mdan | March 26, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"However, history has revealed that everywhere the effort to equalize results, or make things fair, has been attempted, the outcome has ranged from tragedy to disaster."

And your history qualifications are? Just off the top of my head I would suggest that granting equal rights to minorities cannot and would not be defined as tragedy or disaster.

Furthermore, I take issue with the simplistic view of the independence of individual choice. Today, we are more interdependent than ever. My bad choices as an individual are ever more likely to affect the choices or costs others incur. I will happily grant you that individuals have the right to make their own choices. When their choices limit my own, it is there that government should step in to level the playing field. Fairness exists within an interdependent society, not within an individual.

Posted by: jlaprise | March 26, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Obooba is an acolyte of Wright and Ayers — is there any doubt, or any wonder, that he's an extremist America-hating ideologue?

Posted by: thebump | March 26, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a psychopath. Nothing else could explain why:
- unemployment has been allowed to stay at 10% official, 20% unofficial.
- so many home foreclosures are still occurring that the banks cannot process them all
- for every penny pledged to support the public, a dollar or more is being piped directly to Wall Street.
- States are being driven into bankruptcy where they will be forced to fire civil servants and teachers and auction off public assets.
Trillions in Wall Street fraud is not even being investigated, nor are the relevant agencies funded to staff such investigations.
To quote American Psycho:
“There is an idea of a Barack Obama; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there. ”
And much the same could be said for the rest of our elected officials. They just aren’t there.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | March 26, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Levingston,

Bravo!!! Well said!!!

And I noted no promotion of violence.

I believe in the voting booth.

Unless this administration is going to pass "card check" at the polls also.....

Posted by: tjmlrc | March 26, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The Gini coefficient is the most commonly used metric for measuring income equality. The chart I just Googled up showed Japan as the country with the most equality. We were just behind Iran. We were at our most equal in 1968 and have progressively gotten more unequal. I can't say that I've noticed a big difference in how free I feel.

Posted by: JaninArlington | March 26, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The Gini coefficient is the most commonly used metric for measuring income equality. The chart I just Googled up showed Japan as the country with the most equality. We were just behind Iran. We were at our most equal in 1968 and have progressively gotten more unequal. I can't say that I've noticed a big difference in how free I feel.

Posted by: JaninArlington | March 26, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't see a problem with wanting to promote equality and social justice. Americans are too greedy. I don't mind payign more taxes if it means more affordable health care, better schools, better infrastructure, etc. My family's American Dream was killed when my mom got cancer 10 years ago and all of a sudden my parents, who own their own business, had to start paying astronimical monthly health insurance premuims....and still do, although my mom has been cancer-free for 9 years. They usually pay $15000 - $18000 a year. Only in America.

Posted by: katie99 | March 26, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

this is opinion with absolutely nothing to back it up. I might as well have written that Obama wants to promote Hawaiian Shave Ice over ice cream because he's from Hawaii. I can't even argue against it, there's no evidence given to back up the author's statement.

Posted by: bbcrock | March 26, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Pure trash.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 26, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Reinhold Neihbur once said that if their is a choice between equality and peace, you should choose equality.

Posted by: Brainny | March 26, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I can't even read this article...first paragraph "Obama is a dream killer..." That's horrible for one. Two, oh hes a business man so probably rich. Of course he's not gonna like Obama the one who wants to tax the rich to help the poor. It will hurt him because now he can only buy 2 houses instead of 3. Feel bad for him, right? Oh wait, he found out how to buy that 3rd house. Make a B.S. book to make money off of.

Posted by: josephmbennett | March 26, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I work with a girl whose daughter has braces and she herself is contemplating a hip replacement proceedure on state paid insurance (welfare). She doesn't pay a dime. I have good insurance and I can't afford the deductibles on my dental insurance to get a much needed crown. Maybe it's better to be poor.

Posted by: think11 | March 26, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

All of you have been living under the impression that the world owes you everything. No, everything you should be guaranteed is that the fruit of your efforts should give you the American Dream. There is nothing that guarantees equality. for example. If I am a fauilure at school, does the studious student has the responsibility of supporting me for the rest of my life? I think not. Is the ability of going to college does not guarantee you a better standard of life from that of the person who quit high school to live the vida loca? I have a novel idea and perhaps an answer to all of you, move to a communist country. or Live in America free to enjoy the fruits of your labor...nothing else is guaranteed. I believe Obama is a dream killer.

Posted by: minuramsey | March 26, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

America is changing. Today we seem to be living in the Give-Me generation, powered by the Entitlement Party. The American Dream is dying.

Posted by: bajaMN | March 26, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company