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What Follows from “You Didn’t Build That”?

July 19th, 2012 · 34 Comments

Barack Obama’s recent “Elizabeth Warren Moment” at a speech in Roanoke has been getting plenty of attention, though the focus of much of the criticism seems misplaced. Here’s the full relevant passage:

Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, ‘Well, it must be because I was just so smart.’ There are a lot of smart people out there. ‘It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.’ Let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

As others have noted, it’s not entirely clear what’s being referred to in the “you didn’t build that” line that’s gotten most of the attention: It could mean “the business”—in which case it seems obvious that what he means is “you didn’t build that alone“—or it could equally plausibly mean “this incredible American system” and “roads and bridges” and all the other things that made it possible for that business to be successful.

Either way, it seems undeniable as a self-contained descriptive point: No man is an island, and the wealth and success we enjoy are all profoundly dependent on a context of social cooperation that makes it possible. In 15,000 B.C., you’d have been dirt poor however smart and hardworking you were.

Indeed, arguably it doesn’t go far enough, as it suggests some sharp distinction between things that involve help from “somebody else,” on the one hand, and on the other traits like being “so smart” or “hardworking,” which presumably each individual really is responsible for. But as John Rawls would argue, that’s hardly true either: If you’re “so smart,” well, “you didn’t build that,” ultimately. You aren’t responsible for the genetic endowment that enables high-level cognitive processing, the nutrition that fed your developing infant brain, or for the vast store of inherited knowledge that allowed you to take calculus for granted, rather than re-deriving it from scratch (once you’d invented “writing” and “numbers”). If you’re hardworking, then it’s a good thing that your upbringing and education imbued you with a work ethic, and that your brain chemistry (with or without aid from modern pharmaceuticals) is well-calibrated for sustained focus and impulse control.

All that’s true enough, but what is the point supposed to be? That we need to “do things together” to succeed? Well, obviously. But as Aaron Powell and Jason Brennan rightly ask, why should we assume that “we” and “together” has to mean “through government”? Why can’t “we” do things “together” by… well, forming businesses? Clubs? Civic organizations? Churches? If we’re assigning credit for past achievements—and implicitly, the debt we owe for them—why the federal government and not, say, our fellow citizens directly, or state and municipal authorities, or the whole of humanity engaged in mutually enriching global trade?

Of course, there are solid arguments why certain things we build together—roads, for one—will generally not be adequately supplied unless we do them through government. But as Aaron Powell points out, if we limit ourselves to these kinds of examples, we arguably end up with a pretty libertarian conception of government. Does Obama think he has to make the argument against anarcho-capitalism? I’m all for a more philosophical approach to modern political discourse, but starting from a foundational justification of the state in terms of provision of essential public goods seems to me to be taking it a bit far: Even we minarchist libertarians are already on board with that, and I hadn’t thought the anarchists a significant enough force in the current electoral debate to require an extended refutation. If that’s the justificatory strategy he wants to embrace, of course, I’ll take it—and look forward to the radical reduction in the size and cost of government.

Maybe, however, the point is more along the lines of the Nagel/Murphy “Myth of Ownership” argument: Since you didn’t earn whatever wealth you have all by yourself, without external help, you can’t really claim to deserve or be entitled to it—it’s a matter of luck you’re not one of those smart, hardworking people who didn’t get rich, after all—and so “we” (apparently meaning “the government”) get to take back however much “we” think is appropriate.

But this one proves rather too much doesn’t it? You didn’t assemble your own DNA, or design your own reproductive system—your parents, and before them eons of evolution, built that. If you have religious or beliefs and practices, you didn’t build that—you inherited them from a whole tradition of thought, transmitted through institutions made of other people, in books written by other people, created using printing technology invented by other people. You have views on politics you want to express? You didn’t build those alone either—and you probably even want to do it over a computer network that the government subsidized a very different and primitive early form of decades ago.

As it turns out, we generally think we are entitled to control, or have rights over, a whole lot of things that are not (as Robert Nozick put it) “deserved all the way down” in the sense that we’re completely responsible for them—since, at the end of the day, nothing is “deserved all the way down” in that sense. It’s not that the “you didn’t build that” argument is wrong as a factual matter—it’s that it’s true about everything, and therefore doesn’t get you much of anything.

Tags: Libertarian Theory


       

 

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Says Same Thing Better Later « Rhymes With Cars & Girls // Jul 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    [...] Sanchez also wants to know What Follows from “You Didn’t Build That”?, making the same basic points I did here and here, but better, obviously. Rate this:Share [...]

  • 2 CPBrown // Jul 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    One could actually turn this around – that government wouldn’t have been able to provide *anything* without the tax dollars confiscated (contributed) by successful businesses. So, in a sense, government didn’t do it alone either. Chicken or egg, but I admit, I know what I think came first.

  • 3 DavidG // Jul 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    “Does Obama think he has to make the argument against anarcho-capitalism?”

    Have you listened to the GOP’s rhetoric nowadays? That’s pretty much where they’re at. Unable to recognize any role for the government whatsoever, and the US gov’t, except for defense, is already pretty lean by developed-world standards.

  • 4 Alex Theisen // Jul 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I can understand the argument that “You didn’t build that” doesn’t get you very far in terms of specifying positive policy programs, but I’m not so sure that’s what Obama or Warren were actually attempting to do. It reads to me more as an attempt to rebut a very common rhetorical strategy that is often deployed against government taxation or redistribution. Even though, as you point out, neither Nozick, nor Hayek, nor most major libertarian intellectuals ever actually utilized that argument, it is a common, intuitive argument that you hear very often used in the political arena. By defusing the common impression that claims to wealth or resources are based solely upon individual contributions, one then opens up space for a discussion of what individual claims to wealth can or should be based upon. Those claims don’t necessarily have to be based on the sort of considerations Obama cares about; they could be based on economic efficiency or (as with Nozick) fundamental entitlements to legitimately acquired properly. But Obama, by making that argument, is at least providing some strong grounding for the belief that society-at-large has at least SOME claim on our individual resources.

  • 5 Julian Sanchez // Jul 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    OK, but again, does anyone other than anarchists actually deny that? The alternative position is that all taxation, for any purpose, and therefore government itself, is entirely and inherently illegitimate. That is an interesting. And even somewhat defensible philosophical position, but how many people seriously believe anything that radical? When was the last time you heard a Republican quoting Lysander Spooner?

  • 6 What Follows from “You Didn’t Build That”? | iBC_FN | iBankCoin Financial News // Jul 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    [...] the article here. [...]

  • 7 John Burke // Jul 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    First of all, thank you very much for such a discerning critique of a fatally flawed conceit.

    Endeavoring to think further along these lines…

    Since none of us — not even President Obama — _really_ deserve anything, then…why should we regard said President…or any President…or indeed any entity (human or non-human)…as worthy of our consideration, respect or anything else? Taken “all the way down,” such thinking is psychopathic, and, ultimately, nihilistic.

    Wouldn’t it be much better to forget about highly problematic notions of deserving what we have (or — as so many leftists obsess about — _not_ deserving what we _don’t_ have, and then yearning for the government to somehow redress that grievance)? Wouldn’t it be better to focus instead upon trying to prevent identifiable, provable, and redressable transgressions against persons and their property by perpetrators of _all_ kinds (including governments)?

    This would be recognized as better _only_ if you believe yielding to envy is a personal psychological failing, and — if collectively indulged — a social calamity.

    But, since Obama and his ideological cohort confuse envy with “social justice” — and then regard it as a politically imperative question of “fairness” — they are clearly incapable of such a recognition.

    And so, here we are….

  • 8 Brian Moore // Jul 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Exactly right. “You didn’t do it all by yourself” is a great retort to the mythical someone who says “I deserve all the credit for everything I have done.” But it doesn’t answer the vastly more reasonable arguments of “in many cases I paid for those other things that helped me succeed” and “sure, you’ve proven I don’t entirely ‘deserve’ the fruits of my labor, but you haven’t proven why other people, who most likely have contributed far less to my success, do.”

  • 9 on the things you didn’t build | The Handsome Camel // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:17 am

    [...] Sanchez would like to know why we should bother to note that nothing we do in the modern world is really an individual [...]

  • 10 Julian Sanchez: What Follows from “You Didn’t Build That”? « Rational Misanthropy // Jul 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

    [...] Julian Sanchez, showing why he deserves to be <heart>’ed hard and often: Maybe, however, the point is more along the lines of the Nagel/Murphy “Myth of Ownership” argume… [...]

  • 11 The Philosophy of ‘You didn’t build that’ // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    [...] this to research about what policy regime best promotes entrepreneurship. But, as Julian Sanchez notes, Obama’s speech is murky in terms of what values it expresses. Descriptively, it’s [...]

  • 12 DvisionByZero // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Julian, you’re taking all of the fun away from the spin masters! Oh wait, no, the people that really need to read this blog post won’t and therefore spin will remain supreme. I don’t disagree with you but you’re preaching to the choir to a certain extent.

  • 13 reflectionephemeral // Jul 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Alex Theisen has it right at comment 4: “It reads to me more as an attempt to rebut a very common rhetorical strategy that is often deployed against government taxation”.

    As to where these principles lead us, well, let’s look at the current context. The president is proposing to return some income tax rates to surplus-era levels. Gov. Romney is proposing to cut taxes, mostly on the wealthy who have a proportionately greater share of the income and therefore pay more in taxes, but make it deficit-neutral with other (heretofore unspecified) changes in the law.

    Zooming out a bit more, the US has the lowest taxation in the OECD (perhaps second lowest to Australia). I don’t think things have drastically changed since 2009, when we paid less as a % of income in federal, state, and local taxes than we had since the Truman administration. Certainly, we still have lower federal income tax rates than we did for most of the Reagan administration.

    Also we have seen an explosion in inequality in the past 3 decades, out of whack with our history, and the experience of comparable countries.

    Given that context, it’s hard to be too sad and mad about the president’s comments. Sure, had someone said that in the UK in 1978, I wouldn’t be too psyched. But, here we are.

    As Edmund Burke put it, “I cannot stand forward, and give praise or blame to any thing which relates to human actions, and human concerns, on a simple view of the object, as it stands stripped of every relation, in all the nakedness and solitude of metaphysical abstraction. Circumstances (which with some gentlemen pass for nothing) give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing colour, and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind.”

  • 14 First Principles And Context: Fiscal Policy | Poison Your Mind // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    [...] Principles And Context: Fiscal Policy Posted on July 20, 2012 by reflectionephemeral Julian Sanchez frets about the implications of the out-of-context remark from Pres. Obama that has the whole GOP [...]

  • 15 IDidWriteThis // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Based on the tone of Obama’s and Warren’s speeches, and the fact that they occur in the Age of Occupy Wall Street, I think that their point is summarized as: *we* built these roads and bridges, *they* used them to become successful, now *we* should get our “fair share” of that success.

    Many have pointed out that the “we” that built the roads includes the people that became successful, and probably disproportionately so. I haven’t seen many point out the perhaps even more significant fact that the “they” who used the roads includes not only the successful but the “rest of us”, as Elizabeth Warren would say, as well. Thus, all of us (“we”) have *already* received our “fair share” of the benefits of the roads because we were as entitled as the successful to use those roads.

    All of us are entitled to use public infrastructure, hence the term “public”. That’s equal opportunity. Some, through their creativity, ingenuity, and efforts are able to achieve unequal results with that opportunity. The Obama and Warren you-didn’t-do-that argument is the latest example of failing to distinguish between equal opportunity and equal results.

  • 16 Goodies for Thinkers – Freedom Fries Edition « Thinking Things Through // Jul 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    [...] it only in America that the obvious is taken as profound? Share this:DiggFacebookStumbleUponTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  • 17 PG // Jul 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    The alternative position is that all taxation, for any purpose, and therefore government itself, is entirely and inherently illegitimate.

    (A) I’ve certainly heard people who identify as Republicans state that all taxation is a moral wrong (which is not the same as being illegitimate). They say it seems to be a necessary evil, but being an evil, it always should be constrained only to what is absolutely necessary. And these are not libertarians — they don’t consider a military draft presumptively immoral, for example. Someone who views property as that… holy? imbuing it with such moral weight … is almost certainly starting from an intuition that what he have is his in some deep way that is insulted by glibly considering an increase in the top marginal income tax rate.

    (B) Actually, government doesn’t have to exist only through taxation. It could work by requiring people to pay for services provided. All roads are toll roads, etc. The margin of profit would be used for criminal justice administration. There would no longer be a constitutional right for poor people to be able to get married and divorced without paying the attendant fees. Etc., you know all this. If you see taxation as an intrinsically wrongful thing to do that can only be excused by necessity, like stealing a loaf of bread to prevent starvation, your rhetoric will reflect that even if you never dare to say it explicitly for fear of sounding like a crazy person to the average voter. Warren and Obama are reacting to that undertone in conservative rhetoric.

    why should we assume that “we” and “together” has to mean “through government”? Why can’t “we” do things “together” by… well, forming businesses? Clubs? Civic organizations? Churches?

    Sure, that way you’ll never have to fear that your resources of either time or effort might benefit someone of whom you disapprove. Government is the only social construct that we all have in common. The more you dislike associating with people different from yourself, the more reason you have to hate government, which forces you to do so.

    *we* built these roads and bridges, *they* used them to become successful, now *we* should get our “fair share” of that success.

    Except Warren, Obama and many people who agree with their general point (the now-cliched example of this is Warren Buffett) are quite successful. I think you’re seeing a “them” that doesn’t actually exist in the minds of the people you critique, but rather exists in the minds of your allies.

    It’s Romney’s “they” who want “free stuff.” It’s in that email making the rounds that distinguishes “the folks who get free stuff” from “the folks who are paying for the free stuff.” Of course, to conservative senior citizens, Social Security and Medicare can never be free stuff so long as you’ve paid payroll taxes, no matter how long they live or how high their medical bills and expensive their prescriptions for Viagra.

    Every conservative believes himself to be wholly in the “folks who pay for the free stuff” category and his opponents to be in the “folks who get free stuff” category. Whereas the point Warren and Obama are making, repeatedly, is that we’re all in this together and it doesn’t make sense to say that anyone who is contributing to our society is a freeloader. All of us who are successful have benefited and we, not some they, ought to keep a good thing going.

  • 18 On Entrenched Privilege and "Ill-Gotten Gains" | Politics In Vivo - Political and Cultural Commentary, and Whatever Else... // Jul 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    [...] it has opened up a fascinating blogosphere debate about the nature of wealth and privilege in this country: Do the wealthy have built-in advantages which [...]

  • 19 Pithlord // Jul 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Why does the anti-anarchist argument lead only to government provision of “essential” public goods? Why not to any public goods where the cost-benefit analysis works out? Hence the references to the Arpranet, highways, etc.

  • 20 Patsy // Jul 22, 2012 at 1:14 am

    If the only anti-free market thing Obama has ever said or done is this “you didn’t build it” remark, it would have been a non-event. But his every action, word and policy point to the fact that he is a rabid, radical anti-free market ideologue. Those who say/believe otherwise are deluding themselves. His ultimate goal is a feudal system – a political aristocracy – in which he holds ALL of the power. The common man has none. He is the feudal lord and everyone but a favored few are serfs and have nothing – who owe everything they produce to him. If this debate were not critical to the survival of this country, it would be laughable the lengths some will go to to justify and/or excuse his actions. Continue with your tortured logic and convoluted arguments. Just know that if he is re-elected and achieves his goals we will all be scrambling for the same life boat when this ship of state goes under.

  • 21 J Mann // Jul 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Essentially, we’re arguing whether government should run on 20% of the total US GDP, 40%, or somewhere in between, and whether “the rich” should pay 20% of their total income to the government, 40%, or somewhere in between. The Warren argument only works if it establishes that the rich should be paying slightly more than they are paying today, which of course it doesn’t.

  • 22 mere mortal // Jul 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    The entire line of argument (“You didn’t build that) proceeds from the fact that one of this nation’s great political parties has become practically useless and functionally insane.

    I say practically useless because it has taken on core principles without regard to their consequences. A party that does so can only achieve useful results by coincidence. Thus useless in practice.

    I say functionally insane because it has the same solution for every problem. Budget surplus? Cut taxes! Booming economy? Cut taxes! Economy in recession? Cut taxes! Huge deficits? Cut taxes! A functional definition of insanity has been described as “doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results” (Albert Einstein). Thus functionally insane.

    So, to the point, the argument proceeds because the insane political party puts forth the idea of taxes as morally monstrous, an injustice imposed on the successful to the benefit of the undeserving.

    Thus the response that taxes benefit the successful quite a bit, in fact quite a bit more than the unsuccessful. A fine argument can be made that the use of infrastructure to become wealthy could reasonably be taxed at a rate commensurate with how much value was extracted from said infrastructure, if only in order to upkeep it or improve it to the state of modernity that was current when used. That’s one peg for a progressive taxation system, and not even the strongest one.

    But again, as commenter #3 indicated, this argument comes up very much because of a near anarchist descent into insanity by one of our nation’s great political parties.

    As a further aside, your post was quite thoughtful, I appreciated it, and enjoyed the read. But it serves you poorly to make a reductive argument as you chose to do. Just about every point can be reductively argued to absurdity, and so it was absurd of you to do so.

  • 23 mere mortal // Jul 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    And for the sake of absurdity, a small bit of absurdist humor I wrote the first time I was squarely confronted by this particular vein of conservative thought regarding infrastructure and the attempt at abnegation of the social contract:

    A man walks into a restaurant, is seated, and orders a meal.

    After he has finished, the waitress asks if everything was satisfactory, to which the man replies yes, assuring the waitress that the meal was delicious. Upon seeing the bill, the man becomes quite agitated, and demands to see the manager.

    This is outrageous, he exclaims, all I had was a salad, steak, potatoes, asparagus, and two glasses of wine. I know for a fact that all this food costs less than $20 at the grocery store. I shouldn’t have to pay a dime more than that, less probably, since I didn’t finish the potatoes and never even asked for the asparagus. Why do you expect me to pay this $40 bill?

    Well, the manager explains, all of the things in this restaurant cost money, we have to pay for the chairs, the tables, tablecloths, silverware, napkins, even rent and utilities on the building.

    What does that have to do with me, interrupts the man, all those things were here before I arrived, they have already been paid for, and you would still have to pay for rent and utilities if I had never bothered to come here.

    The manager patiently continues, you also were served by a hostess, waitress, a cook, and me as well. All of us have to be paid.

    Preposterous, says the man, all you people would have been here anyway, I could have seated myself, and I wouldn’t need you at all if the bill had been properly calculated.

    In addition, the manager concludes, a busboy will have to clear your table, a dishwasher must clean your dishes, and a cleaning crew will tidy the restaurant overnight.

    The man at this point is nearly in a rage. I never asked for my table to be cleared, the dishes washed, or the establishment cleaned. None of that has anything to do with me, I won’t even be here.

    The manager, having tried to explain all of that, firmly insists that the man pay his bill. The man does, muttering under his breath about thieves and injustice as he leaves.

    After he has gone, the waitress turns to the manager. Who was that guy, she asks.

    The manager turns, slightly surprised by the question. Oh, him? He’s a libertarian.

  • 24 Mike // Jul 23, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @mere mortal – the only problem is, the $40 restaurant is the only one in town, and we’d be perfectly happy with McDonald’s.

  • 25 “You Didn’t Build That” Remarks Spark Policy Debate // Jul 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

    [...] Julian Sanchez: “Either way, it seems undeniable as a self-contained descriptive point: No man is an island, and the wealth and success we enjoy are all profoundly dependent on a context of social cooperation that makes it possible… but what is the point supposed to be? That we need to “do things together” to succeed? Well, obviously… why should we assume that “we” and “together” has to mean “through government”? Why can’t “we” do things “together” by… well, forming businesses? Clubs? Civic organizations? Churches? If we’re assigning credit for past achievements—and implicitly, the debt we owe for them—why the federal government and not, say, our fellow citizens directly, or state and municipal authorities, or the whole of humanity engaged in mutually enriching global trade?” [...]

  • 26 Everything You Need To Know About Last Week’s News « Uncategorized « PostLibertarian // Jul 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    [...] Obama also said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” igniting a firestorm of debate about whether the president was denying individual achievement or merely highlighting the benefits of public goods. I’m willing to believe the pronoun that was referring to the “roads and bridges” of the previous sentence, but that still has absolutely no implications for current policy debates, as Julian Sanchez eruditely explains here. [...]

  • 27 mere mortal // Jul 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    @Mike

    “we’d be perfectly happy with McDonald’s.”

    That is nearly as brutal an indictment of libertarianism as I could possibly imagine.

    “Shabby low quality beef-like sandwich product in a tacky environment for everyone, because high quality more healthy food, decent service at fair wages, and a decent dining room is something at least one of us will simply not tolerate!”

    Nicely done.

  • 28 mp // Jul 24, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Nobody accepts this claim: “[s]ince you didn’t earn whatever wealth you have all by yourself without external help, you can’t really claim to deserve or be entitled to it.” The claim that people accept is, instead, that “since you didn’t earn whatever wealth you have all by yourself without external help, you can’t really claim to deserve or be entitled to it by virtue of having earned it. ” This claim leaves open the possibility that you deserve or are entitled to something for some reason other than that you earned it, e.g. you deserve or are entitled to your own body and beliefs because of a core of moral dignity or autonomy you enjoy by virtue of being a person.

    Note: I am not embracing or repudiating any of these moral propositions; I am just making the conceptual point that you have misstated what’s at issue.

  • 29 Everyone wants to be God | Catholic and hanging by a threadCatholic and hanging by a thread // Jul 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    [...] to research about what policy regime best promotes entrepreneurship. But, as Julian Sanchez notes, Obama’s speech is murky in terms of what values it expresses. Descriptively, it’s clear what [...]

  • 30 Robert Klein // Jul 25, 2012 at 1:04 am

    This brouhaha over three words that probably weren’t the precise ones the president would have used in the first place if he had taken a moment to think, is the kind of reaction that passes for informed discussion of the nation’s challenges in the next presidential term. I guess it sells someplace, thus attracting sponsorship from advertisers.

  • 31 Mike // Jul 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    @mere mortal – More that the second is something we can’t afford. Cost matters when you aren’t spending other people’s money.

  • 32 Vern // Aug 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Funny reading through these comments. Are we a nation of near surfs working for a leviathan state (@Patsy), or a nation of near anarchists refusing to acknowledge the need for at least some basic services (@DavidG, @mere mortal, etc.)

    Mr. Sanchez nailed the real debate – not whether we’re individuals or a community, but whether “community” is best realized through government: “why should we assume that “we” and “together” has to mean “through government”? Why can’t “we” do things “together” by… well, forming businesses? Clubs? Civic organizations? Churches?”

    The whole diatribe about McDonalds leaves the core point unaddressed – why was there only one restaurant in town? Huge difference in analysis if it is the only one left by choice of the patrons never going to the others, vs. the only one because some coercion of law or otherwise made it so.

  • 33 CN // Aug 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Some things are best left to government, defense comes to mind. Some things were best left to government but the times are a’changing, the post office and some aspects of NASA come to mind.

    But until the Rotary Club starts building an Interstate highway system or its equivalent, I don’t see that there is a reason to cart blanche complain about what the government does do, defined by our elected representatives, and popularly accepted by the public when no one else is meeting that need.

    After all, the government here is us, not them.

  • 34 George // Feb 8, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I did it entirely on my own. Nobody gave me a fucking thing. I’m proud of my achievements. Can the good citizens of Detroit or Compton lay claim to the same thing? Hell no

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