You Didn’t Build That

“You didn’t build that.” (full context)

Obama is saying that if you’re successful, you’re not exceptional. You are still just like most other people, so you must owe almost all of your success to government, to your employees and customers, and to taxpayers. So, he wants you to understand that he represents all of those you owe, and thus, he is being really charitable towards you when he takes only a few more percent from you.

Obama’s thinking is pretty funny considering that got elected because the media sold him as The One – a man so exceptional that only he can save us all. Now we see that he is perhaps even less competent and more harmful than George Bush. Hmm … Maybe that has been the plan all along – to convince us that no one is exceptional – not even Obama himself.

Obama’s statement is a core progressive fallacy (and communist doctrine), but you probably haven’t heard a clear and compelling refutation yet, which is unfortunate because this is a profoundly unhealthy fallacy that has been increasingly promoted since his 2008 campaign by Obama’s core constituency – the mainstream media.

In the eternal war of Makers vs. Takers, Obama and the media are rationalizing the initiation of force against the Makers based on the following fallacies:

  • Successful people owe just about all of their success to government because:
    • Their customers, their employees, and they themselves, use government roads, government schools, etc
    • Government created growth inducing laws, regulations, etc.
    • Government creates innovation, such as the Internet and NASA.
    • Government is necessary. We couldn’t have roads or schools without government, and thus we couldn’t have businesses without government.
  • Sometimes the fallacy is this variation: Successful people owe just about all of their success to their employees, to their customers, and to taxpayers.
  • Both formulations of this fallacy are used to support the fallacy that Obama can initiate force against successful people because he represents the government, and he represents those employees, customers, and taxpayers.
  • Another supporting fallacy stated by Obama in this video evidence is his claim that Bill Clinton created a great economy, and that a tax increase on successful people is how he did it.
  • Obama also said that he only wants a little more or their profit – another fallacy.

The Takers’ progressive front men, like Bush and Obama, use these fallacies to try to portray themselves and their constituency as the Makers. In a nutshell, the Takers consist of many poor people and many rich people who use government to prey on the rest of us. Of course, none of this is Constitutional, but we let it happen because The Progressives have figured out how to divide and conquer us.

Obama’s critics in the mainstream media cannot make a complete counter argument because they are mostly Neocons (Republican progressives), and thus agree with him in principle. They are just quibbling about the degree to which they owe the government.

The most critical elements of reality that Obama and the media are suppressing, and what his Neocon critics can’t quite put their finger on, is that:

In a free market, it’s all voluntary, so after the transaction is done, no party owes anyone anything.

In a free market, great things happen, and yet, every transaction is voluntary. Anyone who has money, voluntarily decided to trade the product of his labor for that money. Anyone who trades his money for a product, voluntarily decided that he wanted that product more than he wanted his money.

Government is a monopoly – the Free Market is voluntary.

People have no real choice but to use government schools and roads.

We are not successful because of government schools – We are successful in spite of government schools.

Additional elements of reality suppressed by the Takers are:

  • It takes a village to do just about anything, but given the free market, the village can do so much more than government can, and do it better, cheaper, and faster – and it’s all voluntary.
  • Government is not necessary for roads or schools or just about anything else. Government is primarily necessary to coerce a very large number of people to pay for something they wouldn’t otherwise be willing to pay for, such as war, slavery, genocide, and pyramids.
  • In a free market, we all earn what we get, and it is all voluntary, so in a free market, everyone has higher self esteem, and there is less divisiveness, less negativity, less politics, and no collective debt. The free market is thus healthier for us all.
  • Many people may work hard, and many people may be smart, but only those who work the hardest, and who work the smartest, and who provide the most valuable products and services – are the most successful. Exceptions only exist where government interferes in the free market (e.g. crony capitalism), and government interference is accelerating.
  • Successful people already pay a majority of income taxes.
  • People who use roads pay for their use through gasoline taxes.
  • Schools are paid for by local taxes – not federal taxes, and are mostly paid by property taxes, which are mostly paid by successful people who have children, and thus bigger houses.
  • Government deserves no credit for innovation. In the long run, government spending and government regulation hold back innovation.
  • Obama does not represent us. His approval is below 50% and that is with historically unprecedented cheating on his behalf by the mainstream media and by those among the rich who are actually takers (crony capitalists). Otherwise, he would lose half of that approval – and he wouldn’t have been a serious candidate in the first place.
  • Obama doesn’t just want to take a little more. Each time he gets what he wants, he will try to take more. Progressivism will not stop taking until it collapses from within – like in the USSR after 80 years – or until it is conquered by external forces, like Nazi Germany.

On a side note, having been to several Tea Parties and several OWS protests, I can say with confidence that over 90% of occupiers would agree with every part Obama’s statement, and that over 90% of Tea Partiers would disagree with every part of Obama’s statement.


  • Anonymous says:

    If it is true that roads and bridges really build the American business, observing that the American companies are losing the market to the Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, may I conclude that the reason is that they have better roads and bridges?

  • Why are you focusing so much on Obama? He does not define our taxes. Congress does.

    Remember Bush Sr.? "Read my lips — no new taxes".

  • Jim says:

    One could cite dozens of reasons to focus on Obama, but the most relevant reason, in the context of your query, is that Obama has created such a good opportunity to educate voters who are evaluating congressional candidates. Certainly nothing I could write about George Bush Sr. would be as effective in the upcoming election.

  • Jim says:

    Yes. Progressives see the success of the Seattle area as the result of progressive action by local and state government; whereas, everyone else knows it is because Microsoft decided to locate there, which then created a reason for other companies to locate there, and that local and state government are doing their best to squander this success. For example, progressive cronyism has cost Boeing billions and caused them to move out of state.

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