How Obama crushes the American dream
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.
Steven E. Levingston
March 26, 2010; 5:30 AM ET
Categories: Guest Blogger | Tags: obama shattering american dream; fairness vs. freedom;
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