OpinionTrending Commentary

Obama’s Myth of ‘The Plan’

The great virtue of a free-market system is that it does not care what colour people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another. 

Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize Winning Economist, 1999 essay, “Why Government is the Problem”

If governments would only understand that if people are left alone they’ll work out their own salvation.

M.D. Sharma, “Top Inspiring Thoughts of Henry Ford”

Obama just stated that people can be “rightly skeptical” when a Republican “who may even be sincere in saying, ‘I want us all to live together,’ doesn’t have a plan for crippling generational poverty that is a consequence of hundreds of years of racism in the society.”   Didn’t Obama promise to take care of all that when he began his presidency?

This was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick, and the jobs to the jobless, this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal, this was the moment when we ended a war, secured our nation and restored our image as the last best hope on earth, this was the moment when we began to remake this nation to reflect our highest ideals.

Since we still have the same problems Obama mentioned during his famous exercise in self-glorification, it would appear that there is a rather large difference between a great orator with a silver tongue and the actual ability to solve problems. 

Of course, Obama does not state any reason whatsoever why he thinks Republicans need a “plan” to correct past racism in America.  For, in fact, Obama is presupposing a specific theory of how economies work, namely, that optimal results can be achieved by a centrally planned economy (often associated with socialist and communist governments). There is an alternative to centrally planned economies, namely these things called “free market” (capitalist) economies as described by the man who created the modern science of economics, Adam Smith, as well as Milton Friedman, F.A. von Hayek and others.

The reason such thinkers believe in free markets is that they believe that only in free markets can creative motivated individuals identify a social need and innovate a solution for it.  By contrast, in a centrally planned economy, the central committee, far removed from real people is constrained by the plan.  Individual initiative is, by definition, suppressed.  In addition, a centrally planned economy is necessarily less nimble in responding to problems.  If, for example, the central plan is to produce 100 million 2A pencils, which use a certain specific kind of graphite, and unexpected political problems in the countries that produce that kind of graphite disrupt its production, a centrally planned economy just pushes ahead, according to plan, trying to produce those kinds of pencils when market conditions make this impossible.  By contrast, in a free market, individuals close to the source of the problem swiftly change strategy and move to produce 2B pencils instead for which the requisite kind of graphite is still available. 

Although an enormous amount of propaganda has been generated, mostly by Marxists, to besmirch capitalism as evil and greedy (Gordon Gekko’s [Michael Douglas’s] “Greed … is good.” in the 1987 film Wall Street), the fundamental essence of capitalism is individual freedom, that is, liberating motivated creative individuals from government shackles to find the means to solve social problems, thereby improving the world. 

What government plan made Thomas Edison’s 1,093 patents including the electric light bulb, the telephone speaker, motion picture apparatus, etc.  None!  In fact, Edison was a learning-disabled child home-schooled by his mother.  His scientific education  consisted largely in reading R. G. Parker’s School of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, “which explained how to perform chemistry experiments at home.” It is amazing what children can achieve when there are no government schools to destroy their curiosity, creativity and love of country. 

What government plan made Andrew Carnegie’s business empire in iron works, steamers on the great lakes, oil wells, and eventually steel production, creating a plethora of jobs for poor Americans, and his later philanthropy that built nearly 3,000 libraries, funding for many research universities and charitable organizations in the US and other countries?  Once again, None!  Carnegie’s massive gifts to humanity was all the doing of one inspired individual.  Indeed, Carnegie is famous for the quote: “I spent the first half of my life making money and the second half giving it away to do the most good and the least harm.”  Not exactly the evil greedy capitalist of Marxist fairy tales.  It is truly fortunate that no big government plan existed at that time to frustrate Carnegie’s vision. 

            Since leftists speak in code it is necessary to decode Obama’s claim that we need a plan to solve the problem of generational poverty.  When Obama speaks of a “plan” to solve the problems of generational poverty what he actually means is that lots of taxpayer dollars will be collected and redistributed to his political cronies, as in his failed Solyndra operation, so that they can impose their leftist programs on people that never voted for them.  Government bureaucrats are generally not very careful with spending because it is not their money.  They, who generally produce nothing themselves, live off the taxpayers. 

            It is, finally, worth pointing out that Obama could not resist smearing Republicans with his casual statement that they “may even be sincere”.  Imagine that!  Some of his political opponents may even be sincere sometimes, unlike Himself in his ocean front 6,892 seven bedroom carbon footprint mansion in his mostly white definitely Venezuelan-free Martha’s Vineyard ocean-front community!  Of course, there is no reason to think that Republicans are any less sincere than Democrats.  Politicians generally do not fare very well on the sincerity index

            The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that they have different economic “paradigms” in Kuhn’s sense of that word (conceptual world-views, methods, language and models that enable research to take place).  Aristotle had one earth-centred paradigm of the cosmos, Copernicus a sun-centred one.  One of Kuhn’s key points is that since a paradigm is fundamental to a world view, the holders of one paradigm often literally cannot understand those who have a different paradigm. 

            Obama, with socialists and communists, believe in big-government programs like Lyndon Johnson’s failed “Great Society” program.  Of course, the Great Society program did funnel lots of money to Democrat pockets but it did not solve the problems it was designed to solve, the same ones Obama wants to solve with a new “Great Society” program today.  Republicans by contrast (at least some of them) believe in the creative power of free individuals like Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Elon Musk and others. 

Whereas the Left believes in government control of people the better angels on the Right believes in individual freedom.  If Obama wants to dismantle hundreds of years of systematic racism, he can sincerely start with his own Democrat Party.

Agree/Disagree with the author(s)? Let them know in the comments below and be heard by 10’s of thousands of CDN readers each day!

Support Conservative Daily News with a small donation via Paypal or credit card that will go towards supporting the news and commentary you've come to appreciate.

Richard McDonough

Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi.

Related Articles

Back to top button