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The answer is deceptively simple: all those people pursuing self interest are pursuing the same end. That end is a better standard of living. If you work hard and bargain for the lowest price, you will enjoy a better standard of living. If everyone around you does it, they will too. If, however, you have a massive government standing over you, telling you who should win and who should lose, the system of incentives stops working. You no longer have to work hard to make a living if the government provides you one by taking from a third party and giving you a handout; you no longer have to bargain for lower prices if the government sets a ceiling or a floor on prices. Now, instead of everyone working for the same personal goal, everyone relies on the government to tell them what is fair. And when government decides what is fair, nothing ever is.
Now, this isn’t to say that Obama will recognize the folly of his Marxist philosophy. He won’t. He’ll ignore the internal contradiction here. He’ll maintain that while nobody can decide the fair price of gas at the pump, he can certainly decide the fair profit margin for gas companies. He’ll determine that certain executives take less pay for the good of the whole, while determining that certain teachers, police officers, firefighters, and union members make more money and are therefore able to buy more gasoline at whatever the pump price.
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