Sign in to follow this  
Ed Hudgins

Obama's Subtle "You Didn’t Build That" Rhetoric

Recommended Posts

January 31, 2014 -- If you missed President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address or forgot about it as soon as he uttered the obligatory “God bless the United States of America,” you have at least this in common with your fellow Americans.

But in an election year it is useful to reflect on what Obama did in his address so you can anticipate how he might be selling his statism in the months to come.

Peppered propaganda

Obama did not do what his PR folks had telegraphed to us, that is, hammer “inequality”—i.e., the need to steal from the makers to give to the takers—or, in leftist-speak, to make things “fair.” Oh, that goal was there in his policy prescriptions, but he wrapped redistribution in a rhetoric that would appeal to middle-of-the-spectrum Americans rather than hard-core expropriators.

He peppered his propaganda with words like “responsibility.” He used the word “work” 67 times, often in variations like “hard-working.” And to appeal to all the out-of-work and out-of-the-workforce Americans, he used the word “job” 38 times.

He highlighted and praised some entrepreneurs. Maybe this was his way of making the entrepreneurs sitting right there in the House chamber in front of him as well as those watching on TV forget that in 2012 he told them, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Collective credit

Of course, he gave the government credit for the achievements of others or argued, by implication, that private parties could achieve little without the state. Thus, he said, “My administration has launched two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in Raleigh and Youngstown, where we’ve connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.”

Gee, how would such a thing ever happen without billions of dollars in federal deficit spending? And speaking of “jobs,” how did the one named “Steve” manage to bring his business from an operation in his parents’ garage to the star of Silicon Valley without heavy government handouts?

It is with the sort of rhetoric he used in the State of the Union speech that Obama and his ilk subtly imprint collectivism in the hearts and minds of Americans. They fuzzy up the picture. They speak of the activities of entrepreneurs and the help from or “partnership” with government in the same breath. Then who achieved what will blend together in people's minds. So, business folks, Obama’s sticking with “You didn’t build that.”

Phony CEO

Obama was posing as the benevolent CEO of America, directing us all and bestowing on us benefits—health care, pay raises, whatever we want.

But, of course, the country is in such precarious economic shape because of his policies. He’s not the CEO. The country is not his “company” to manage.

He’s the doctor who breaks our legs and then offers quack remedies that in the long run only exacerbate our pain. And he charges an outrageous price, which includes the loss of our liberty and the destruction of the Constitutional system of checks and balances established by our Founders.

In his State of the Union address, Obama simply repackaged his collectivist and authoritarian ideology. So, if you missed it, you didn’t miss anything new. But you should be aware that he’s pushing the same old poison that continues to kill the country.
------
Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

For further information:

Edward Hudgins, “Obama’s Grab-Bag Socialism.” April 4, 2009.

Edward Hudgins, “Obama’s Poison For Entrepreneurs.” July 24, 2012.

Edward Hudgins, “Fighting For Freedom Against Reelected Obama.” November 7, 2012.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That son of a bitch threatened to rule by decree. He really believes he is our Elected King.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That son of a bitch threatened to rule by decree. He really believes he is our Elected King.

Yes, but what he actually did was ... unilaterally raise MW for 16,000 fed contractors. (Maybe...as if any federal contractor is working anywhere near MW!)

He is talking tough for his base...and doing little. Dedicated poser. Obama fatigue has set in, even with his supporters. He needs mostly to be laughed at, at this point.

As does Chris Christie. They can both take a hike. As in, should both be impeached. One for abusing the NJ governor's office. And the other for something important.

Who do I thank for taking Christie out of the picture? I feel like I should be writing a check to someone. I thought for sure 2016 was going to be Christie vs Clinton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Obama did learn one thing from Atlas Shrugged (p. 246, pb).

James Taggart: "He didn't invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?
Cheryl Brooks: "Who?"
James Taggart: "Rearden. He didn't invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn't have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousand of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it is his? Why does he think it's his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Obama did learn one thing from Atlas Shrugged (p. 246, pb).

James Taggart: "He didn't invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?

Cheryl Brooks: "Who?"

James Taggart: "Rearden. He didn't invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn't have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousand of other people. His Metal! Why does he the ink it is his? Why does he think it's his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. ever invents anything."

It is true that all of us use the ideas of other people. It is false that new stuff is not invented. Very few inventions are totally de novo. Most inventions are extensions to or derivations from ideas which already are in use. Some inventions are big jumps but they are big jumps from something already there. So very few of us invent or create anything that is totally de novo with no connection teo that which already is. In fact a totally de novo invention could not be comprehended by the people who behold it. Something totally new would not resemble anything anyone has seen or used or done. Something new has to be related to or connected to something known already.

So if John Galt has invented a machine that is able to discharge electricity stored in the clouds in a slow enough manner to produce current, then he is using something that already exists and in known about. People know what electricity is and does. Getting it from a new place in a new manner is an invention for sure but it is based on something that has become known by the work of others, say Ben Franklin.

e

So if John Galt has invented a machine that is able to discharge electricity stored in the clouds in a slow enough manner to produce current, then he is using something that already exists and in known about. People know what electricity is and does. Getting it from a new place in a new manner is an invention for sure but it is based on something that has become known by the work of others, say Ben Franklin.

So if John Galt can bring down electricity from the clouds it has to transformed sufficiently into a form of current that already existing devices are designed to use. John Galt has invented a device that can get electrical energy from a place previously unusable. That is the new part. But electricity has been around since the formation of the Solar System and even earlier. We have knowledge of how electricity works from others he discovered it long before John Galt. Strictly speaking inventors produce increments and modifications. Some of them require a new theory or hypothesis, but the underlying physical reality and the laws of that reality have been around long before any of us were born.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That son of a bitch threatened to rule by decree. He really believes he is our Elected King.

It started with George Washing-on-the-throne.

--Brant

a long time ago in a country not so far away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this