Obamateurism of the Day

By popular demand, I’m including this off-the-cuff remark in the OOTD canon, especially since a few commenters expressed disappointment that it didn’t get included in yesterday’s poll. Besides, this one’s pretty rich — and one can never be too rich, regardless of what some people say:

We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.

Last week, I focused on the off-the-cuff nature of the remark and its revelatory nature. It also demonstrates a rather constricted view of economics. It’s zero-sum thinking, where one person’s success necessarily comes at the expense of another. A free market creates wealth through innovative use of resources and the efficiency of competition. While there are winners and losers in a free market, those who fail can learn from their errors and succeed later.

In fact, in a free market, the only entity that can get too rich is the government that is supposed to regulate it as a disinterested referee — and that’s the one that Barack Obama’s agenda seems to favor the most.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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