By > blaming the > economic collapse on supposedly "free markets" and greedy investors with a culture of narrow self-interest and short-term gain at the expense of everything else," the White House created more regulation, putting even more of the financial sector in government hands.
An official policy of redistribution to autoworkers, bankers and struggling homeowners reinforces the administration's faulty fixed-pie belief that there s a limited amount of wealth for the government to allocate in the right way.
Self-sacrifice has been a central theme for the president since the 2008 campaign, when he called for a new politics of common sense, of common purpose, of shared sacrifice and shared prosperity."
Following your own selfish aims, he suggests, leads nowhere. It s only when people set aside their differences to work in common effort toward a common good; when they struggle together, and sacrifice together, and learn from one another - all things are possible. It s a flourish of rhetoric woven into nearly every speech he makes.
Forget that Steve Jobs became a billionaire by pursuing his own interest in creating innovative technology at Apple (AAPL)
The self-sacrificial theme was consummated in an utterly creepy 2009 propaganda video starring Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, who, staring stone-faced at the camera promise in a monotone drone I pledge to be a servant to our president and all mankind because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek.
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Other presidents have also promoted sacrifice. In his 2002 State of the Union address, Republican George W. Bush said, We want to be a nation that serves goals greater than self. President Clinton pushed volunteerism and citizen service.
John McCain (R-Ariz.) used the dreadfully subservient Country First motto in his failed bid for the presidency.
But no president or candidate in recent history has embraced the common good like Obama, who has furthered a program to forgive federal student loans in exchange for public service and recently signed $6 billion worth of national service legislation designed as a call to service for everything from clean energy to health care. The not-so-subtlety titled government web site Serve.gov steers visitors towards a myriad of projects that serve the public good .
From Zimbabwe to Venezuela, we ve often noted how a philosophy makes or breaks an economy, not its natural resources. The most prosperous countries have always been those in which each individual is left free to pursue their own self interest, not be compelled to serve the so-called public good . Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness refers to your life, your liberty and your happiness. Is self-sacrifice and an unwavering pledge to serve the common good really as central to the American ethos as the president always suggests?
There s no question that the relentless call to put the common good ahead of greedy self-interest runs directly contrary to the to the rugged individualism and rational self-interest on which the country was founded. The pursuit of happiness protects the right of every man to live for his own happiness, not be made a means to an end for the common good.
Because the public is only a collection of individuals, the only beneficiaries from a society geared to serve the public good are the politicians who are afforded even more control over each person s freedom to live their own life.