Presidential Nonsense

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People tend to work harder and produce more when they own what they produce. Property is better cared for when it is privately owned. People love to exchange, what Adam Smith called a “propensity to truck (and) barter.” To suppress these characteristics requires brute force.

President Obama also told the Washington Hilton crowd that “we are not a country that was built on the idea of survival of the fittest.” Obama is not by himself, but “survival of the fittest” is one of the greatest misunderstandings of Charles Darwin’s pathbreaking work “On the Origin of Species.” When Obama and most other people use the expression “survival of the fittest,” they suggest that a bunch of people or animals are competing with one another and the strongest, smartest or cleverest survives. That’s not what Darwin and evolutionary biologists have in mind. Instead, what they have in mind is that those who survive have characteristics that make them better-equipped to survive and hence reproduce themselves in a particular environment. They are not laying waste to their competitors.

Let’s try a few survival of the fittest questions. Which companies do you think should survive and expand, those that can meet the changing wants of their customers in a least-cost fashion or those that cannot do so? If the means of communication become cheaper through fax machines, the Internet and telephones, should subsidies be expended to help the U.S. Postal Service survive? Years ago, typing was done on a mechanical typewriter; milk was delivered to doorsteps via horse and wagon; slide rules were used to make calculations. Should any of these products and practices have survived, or was it OK for natural selection to consign them to the dustbin of history?

Try cornering the president or his supporters, and ask them whether they believe government should ensure that the unfit survive and rather than “you’re-on-your-own economics” there should be “you’re-on-somebody-else economics.”

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  • itfitzme

    Out of touch with reality. And intentionally so. Nobody is advocating eliminating individual property rights.

    • radicalconservative

      “Nobody is advocating eliminating individual property rights”.
      The fruits of my labor belong to ME. It is my property. Libtards steal those fruits (my money) to redistribute to others. So yes, lots of people do much more than advocate for eliminating property rights, they steal from me with reckless abandon. 40% of my income is stolen from me sir. You will say oh well, you still have 60% of your property. Thanks dude, but no thanks. Stealing is stealing.

    • fiddler

      Not YET! With progressives it's just a matter of time and media complicency. PC "evolves" under the banner of progressivism.

  • Kenneth Olsen

    Every move the Obama gang makes subverts individual property rights. But don't take my word for it. Ask GM's former bondholders.

  • davarino

    Excellent article. Walter has dumbed it down so anyone can get the concept, except "progressives". Even with proof that the capitalist system works best they still want the communist system because it feels good. Its all about them feeling good about themselves, like they are the saviors of the world, all the while destroying it.

  • Gamaliel

    Walter Williams it's not too late to run for office!

  • Mach1Duck

    Nice articel; but, you do not understand. Obama and the Left are trying to drive the U.S. economy into the ground with the objective that Big Government owns everybody…except of course the rich elite…But as we all know, no socialist system has succeeded and I can not for the life of me figure out why these Left Headed people still think they can make it work.

  • WSG

    Take the statements of late by a couple of Leftists Bob Beckel that" the Great Society programs were a failure ' but MORE gov't was needed to remedy those failures and another srticle about the failure of Head Start . Basically, we are supposed to judge the Progressives on their"good intentions" NOT the failures of their multi – trillion dollar utopian blunders !
    Reality – human nature, history and basic FREE MARKET economics are facts the Progressives have to ignore in order to sell the propaganda that empowers and enriches them and their allies. This is 2012 – not 1912, nor 1929, nor 1964 nor even 2008 ! Gov't s – fascists attempting to centrally command and control economics – micro(individual) or macro( national- large scale) has been and is a prescription for death, destruction and tyranny .

  • FriendofGaryCooper

    Yet, in a sense, we are "on our own" when dealing with the government. You pay your taxes, then you are forced to accept whatever the government does or fails to do, 99 percent of the time. Oftentimes, when we don't get anything; or are forced to accept some draconian decision made by an unaccountable bureaucrat; it is "on our own" and "us against them."

  • FriendofGaryCooper

    Israel was founded on the idea of the kibbutz; which is basically a socialist concept; everyone worked according to their abilities, and was given food and shelter, "according to their needs," as Dr. Williams outlines above. However, I believe today the more popular concept is the Moshav; where everyone owns their own parcel. There is a governing board of the Moshav, however, everyone has their own land. While there are some kibbutzim in Israel today, the Moshavs have, in the long run, been more productive.

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