July 31, 2012

DON WATKINS: President Obama vs. My Grandfather.

Obama wants to wipe out the enormous difference between people like my grandfather, who succeed because they choose to think, create, work, and build—and those who don’t. In the president’s account, what makes us successful isn’t our intelligence, it isn’t our ambition, it isn’t in the end even the infrastructure: We all drive on the roads and go to school; we don’t all create a successful restaurant let alone a Fortune 500 company.

No, the real root of success is dumb luck. Some happen to get a lot from society, others happen to get a little. To borrow my colleague Harry Binswanger’s apt summary of Obama’s argument, “The only reason Joe Sixpack didn’t find the Higgs boson is that he didn’t happen to be provided with a large hadron collider.”


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