Barack Obama’s ignorant “you didn’t build it” remark did two things: First, it displayed remarkable economic ignorance; and second, it asserted exactly the opposite of the truth with regard to the role of government in the economy. In today’s world American businesses that are successful in the marketplace have become so despite government intervention, not because of it.
This article by economic historian Thomas DiLorenzo is one of the best I’ve seen in refuting Obama’s claim, and brings out several other good points as well. I’ve asserted that Obama is a Marxist in philosophy and in action. DiLorenzo quotes none other than Yuri Maltsev, a former advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev (who, as you will remember, was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991, a position that he obtained by being successfully more ruthless and murderous than those in his party), who said that Obama is a “Proud Marxist.” DiLorenzo says that Obama is “belligerently ignorant of economics and consequently is in denial of much of economic reality.”
All Obama is doing, then, is reiterating a position that he believes is true, that he must believe to be true in order to justify his continuing attack on private capitalism.
As for the role of government, history proves that it has always been the mortal enemy of free voluntary exchange and the generation of prosperity through the free market. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in his 1956 book, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, “A nation is the more prosperous today the less it has tried to put obstacles in the way of the spirit of free enterprise and private initiative. The people of the United States are more prosperous than the inhabitants of all other countries [as of 1956] because their government embarked later than the governments in other parts of the world upon the policy of obstructing business.”
Government is the enemy, not the friend, of the free market, or of freedom itself. Therefore, Obama is an enemy of the free market, and of freedom itself.