By now most Americans are aware of President Obama’s infamous “You-didn’t-build-that” gaff. I suspect the President wishes he had never made that absurd remark and could retract it—not because he doesn’t believe it but because it has been such a public-relations disaster for him. In fact, were the mainstream media not on his side and able to downplay reaction to Obama’s mindless musing, he would have been laughed out of office. This is why conservative commentator, Michelle Malkin, wrote her new book, Who Built That, a thorough and thoroughly scathing refutation of Obama’s socialist point of view. I heartily recommend the book to anyone who was surprised, frustrated, or offended by the President’s poorly-calculated comment.
Here is how Malkin summarizes her take on the President’s “You-didn’t-build-that” gaff: “His intent was to humiliate and shame those who reject collectivism. The president’s message: Innovators are nothing special. Their brains and work ethics are no different from anyone else’s. They owe their success to taxpayers and public school teachers and public roads and bridges. Pushing to raise taxes even higher on wealthy Americans, Obama brazenly stoked you-think-you’re-so-smart resentment of business owners and placed government at the center of the American success story.” Somebody should have told the president—whose personal wealth amounts to more than $10,000,000—people have no business resenting successful business men and women unless they have risked what they have risked, endured what they have endured, and done what they have done to become successful.
Malkin makes the excellent point that entrepreneurship was so important to America’s Founding Fathers that they enshrined it in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 encourages the “progress of science and useful arts”). According to Malkin, our Founders understood that harnessing the ability, ambition, and drive of talented individuals seeking private rewards for their efforts actually benefitted the public as a whole. She gives numerous examples in her new book of this phenomenon in which individuals seeking to profit from their inventions, labors, and talents benefitted the general public even more. Further, she makes the excellent point that it does not even matter if the public good was their principle motivation. By helping themselves, they helped others.
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