What is Fair? Obama and Marx

In his State of the Union address, President Obama focused on the idea of  fairness, using the term fair or some derivative seven times. Yesterday in his 2013 Budget speech, Obama continued his fairness theme with a so-called “fair shot” budget.

Apparently, Obama is convinced that a larger, more centralized government in Washington, D.C. can give everybody a “fair shot” and make everybody pay a “fair share”.

Obama’s “fair” is a very vague and ambiguous term. Perhaps collecting a “fair share” from each person will be determined by his ability and providing a “fair shot” to each person will be  according to his needs. After all, only half of Americans actually pay federal taxes, which means half the country enjoy the benefits of roads, schools, protection of police and military, etc. without paying a dime!

So, “fair” does not necessarily mean “equal” to Obama. Rather, “fair” is distributed according to one’s ability and one’s needs. This, of course, is an offshoot of Karl Marx’s popular slogan: From each according to one’s ability, to each according to one’s need(s). And, it will be Obama’s government that determines these needs and abilities.

President Obama wholeheartedly believes that through the government’s redistribution of wealth, the “war of poverty” will be won.

However in 1942, William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister, more accurately and eloquently wrote about the issue of fairness, class warfare, and helping the poor. This quote is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, as well:

“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

Let’s vote the Marxist out in November!


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