Charles Krauthammer’s column , “Obama’s War On Jobs,” in the Washington Post really hammers what is going on with Obamacare, showing how Nancy Pelosi’s utopianism is working out in real life. It is a great piece in many ways and well worth reading.
But it also posits a view of government that I don’t think is right (even though it is far better than Obama’s view of government).
In the traditional opportunity society, government provides the tools — education, training and various incentives — to achieve the dignity of work and its promise of self-improvement and social mobility. In the new opportunity society, you are given the opportunity for idleness while living parasitically off everyone else.
I’ve included Krauthammer’s description of the culture spawned by Obamacare by including the last sentence in the quotation above. Obviously, this “new opportunity society” is far worse than the “traditional opportunity society.” But how can the government provide “tools” such as “education, training, and various incentives”? The government doesn’t have anything unless it first takes from someone who produced it. So how do we know that the government won’t deprive society of more education, training, and incentives than it provides? How do we know that opportunities are not lost as the government deprives society of resources that it claims to need to provide “tools” for others?
Self-improvement and social mobility, as well as the dignity of work, existed in North America long before the US Federal Government began asserting itself in order to provide “various incentives.” In fact, the whole reason why people trade with one another is because they can better themselves by taking advantage of the division of labor. Every time you act and then exchange the results of your action with someone else for the results of his action, you are doing so in pursuit of an “incentive.” There is no need for the government to interfere to provide more or different incentives. They are already part of human society.
I don’t know what Krauthammer thinks of Common Core, but his political philosophy certainly doesn’t rule out such a monstrosity.
The best opportunity society is the one that forms through spontaneous order. Free men and women are much more likely to offer and provide opportunities for others. Free societies are known for social mobility. They don’t need politicians to protect the dignity of work.