My article as originally published in American Thinker:
President Obama showed his true colors while giving his lecture last week in Osawatomie, Kansas to an audience which included high school kids, at a high school. In the future, if Obama wishes to be taken seriously, he may best serve himself by limiting his speaking engagements to that of only high school age kids or younger, as even the Washington Post is calling him out on some of the un-truths in his speech. Fortunately, most of those kids will be unable to vote in the next election.
The President wasted no time launching into his class-warfare rhetoric and tossed around the word “fairness” the same way a five-year-old in a toy store would after learning from his mother that they were only there to buy a gift for some other child.
What child in his or her right mind would be against the idea of fairness for all? The problem is that Obama only appealed to their emotions and failed to define his version of “fairness” in a way that the kids in the audience would be able to clearly understand. If he had done so, I doubt he would have left the gymnasium with a passing grade from those kids.
While discussing his grandparents President Obama said:
They believed in an America where hard work paid off, and responsibility was rewarded, and anyone could make it if they tried — no matter who you were, no matter where you came from, no matter how you started out.
If he truly wanted those high school kids to understand that statement and the others in his speech, he should have used their school grades as an analogy for wealth, as grades are the main “fruits of their labor” at this point in their young lives.
America’s founding principles of limited government and free market capitalism are responsible for creating the highest standard of living on earth. Using the same formula, students all have an equal opportunity to work hard within the rules to earn their GPA and their wealth is the knowledge that they gain in the process. What the system doesn’t guarantee is that there will be an equality of outcome, as everyone has different talents, motivations and desires. That’s why you end up with a top 1% that has perfect grades, a bottom percentage that gets all “F’s” and everything else in between.
Under Obama’s definition of “fairness” it is unfair that those who have achieved the highest marks get to keep all of their GPA. Who really needs a 4.0 GPA anyway? At some point don’t you have enough “A’s”? Just as Obama thinks wealth should be “spread around” the same case could be made for taking a percentage of the over achievers’ GPA and giving it to those students that are less fortunate. Not doing so would be unfair under Obama’s definition of the word. This video does a great job in teaching this point.
In Obama’s world there are only a limited number of “A’s” (dollars) available to “spread around” and the 4.0 students (the wealthy 1%) have unfairly taken and are hoarding those “A’s” to the detriment of all of the other students out there. This flawed thinking doesn’t take into account human nature and the fact that wealth is created with a growing economy (as Steve Jobs surely could have taught these kids) just as expanded knowledge and good grades are created when more students choose to work harder for their own self interest.
Obama wrongly implies that the capitalist system doesn’t work because there are imperfections — that there is not an equality of outcome. History has proven that at an extreme, attempting to achieve “fairness” as defined by Obama has unfairly resulted in the murders of over 100 million men, women and children just in the twentieth century alone. For those that require visual aids: placed end-to-end the bodies would circle the globe more than four times. And how is Obama’s version of “fairness”, in its lesser extreme, working out for the EU right now? Our own current economic malaise is the result of the implementation of Obama’s brand of “fairness” over the last 100 years and it has been greatly accelerated over the last three years. Human nature is never inserted into the Left’s equations and as Rush has said many times: the Left only wishes to be judged on their intentions and never the results of said intentions.
Sure, it is possible to find examples of students with 4.0 GPA’s that have received their high marks due to cheating or other improprieties, but that in no way prevents other students from improving their own lot if they are free to choose to due so. Attempting to create “fairness” by taking from the over achievers and giving it to the under achievers will eventually result in low grades (standards of living) for all except those that dole out the “fairness”.
Due to that inconvenient little thing called human nature, the under achievers will just give up trying because they understand that it will be given to them anyway. The over achievers will no longer try (and gradually join ranks with the under achievers) because they know it will be taken from them anyway. And the craftiest cheaters will become the “teachers pets” (cronyism) because government control won’t change human nature.
Given the chance, even a child can understand that “fairness” does not involve taking what is not yours.