Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Obama's history of disdain for the private sector

Obama might now be trying to extricate himself from the impression that his riff on business in Roanoke has left in people's minds but part of his problem is that he has a history of expressing disdain, as Vincent Carroll reminds us, that he has a history of expressing disdain for private enterprise. He thinks that those who really contribute to society are those who either work in the public sector or those who work for non-profits. Four years ago he gave a commencement address at Wesleyan University with advice for the graduates on the type of career they should seek.
"There's no community service requirement in the real world; no one forcing you to care," he said. "You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should buy. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America's. But I hope you don't."

Several times elsewhere in his speech, Obama cited public sector jobs as examples of meaningful work. The candidate basically offered graduates the following choice: meaningful work in the non-profit and public sectors, on the one hand, or money-grubbing that chases big houses and nice suits. To call this a caricature would be kind.
As a teacher in a public school, I certainly wouldn't denigrate work in the public sector. However, that is not the only way that people can contribute to our society. But it is wrong to offer the choice between public and private sector jobs as a moral choice with working in the private sector being a narrow choice of chasing "only after the big house" in a life of narrow concerns with a life story separate from America's.

A man who thinks that way is not one who, as he trying to tell us now that he's facing ridicule for his Roanoke speech, has always had great respect for small business owners. The man who told Joe the Plumber that we should "spread the wealth around" cannot suddenly take on the aura of a firm believer in entrepreneurs.

UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin notes what Obama has not done to help the small businessmen that he is now pretending to love.
So is he keeping taxes low on small business people covered under the individual rate? Well, no. He’s raising them. Is he going to hold off on Obamacare which has frozen hiring for many smaller firms? Nope. Did he side with the little guys who were run over by the EPA and denied their day in court? No the Supreme Court had to slap Obama down in a unanimous ruling to protect property rights.

Maybe Obama loves small business, but so far it has been an abusive relationship.
Harsh, but accurate.