It’s not about you.
It doesn’t matter who “you” are. It’s no longer about your rights as an individual, or the on-going need to safeguard the rights of all individuals. No, at this stage in the American story, It is now about Barack Obama’s need to save everybody, and, thus, it is the “collective good” that matters.
It is now clear that President Obama is on a mission to convert the U.S. to “collectivism.” This, presumably, was part of what he was conveying during his campaign, when he promised “change” for America.
And rest assured that a “change” in America’s governing philosophy is well underway, because collectivism is a philosophy that emphasizes human “interdependence” over the traditionally American notion of “independence,” and the “wellbeing of everybody” over the ‘wellbeing of the individual person.”
So if the rights of a few hundred thousand individual investors get trampled on in the process of Barack Obama ushering-in the “American collectivist era,” well, that’s no big deal. Such sacrifices are worthwhile, as long as the greater good - the ‘collective good” - is enhanced.
Two weeks ago in this column I wrote about the President inserting himself in between the Chrysler Corporation, and some of Chrysler’s secured creditors. I pointed out that the status of being a “secured creditor” (as opposed to being an “unsecured creditor”) implies some specific legal rights. For example, in the event that a borrower - in this case, the Chrysler Corporation - declares bankruptcy, a “secured creditor” has the right to full payment of what the borrower owes, before the borrower goes about “negotiating” reduced ‘settlements” with the unsecured creditors. In the case of Chrysler, there are a handful of hedge funds that loaned money to the company, and, thus, these hedge funds are legally entitled to 100% repayment.
The legal rights of secured creditors are grounded in constitutional law, and the constitutional rights of individuals to make contractual commitments with each other. It’s also a very serious legal problem for an individual or group to disrupt other peoples‘ contractual relationships- in legal-speak, it’s called “tortious interference” - and until now, it has been unthinkable that the President of the United States would do such a thing, while in the process trample upon these very sacred Constitutional rights of private U.S. citizens.
But things are different now. We’re on a journey towards “collectivism,” and in “saving” Chrysler, Obama will serve the “collective good” and save us all.
So when the hedge fund managers refused Obama’s “offer” of 29 cents on the dollar as “payment” of Chrysler’s debt, and instead insisted on exercising their legal rights and demanded 100% payment from Chrysler, Obama threw a fit. Legal rights be damned, the President began accusing the hedge fund managers of being unpatriotic and selfish.
That was two weeks ago. And this past week, managers of two Indiana state pension funds, which were among the roster of Chrysler’s secured creditors, went to court to try to block Barack Obama’s forced “settlement.” The pension funds represent private retirement accounts of school teachers, and police officers, and the manager of one of the funds claimed that Obama’s plan would force the teachers and police officers invested with him to lose $4.6 million.
So let’s be very clear about what’s happening here: teachers and police officers, presumably people of modest economic means, who have assumed the personal responsibility of saving and investing for their individual futures, have invested in certain funds, with the assumption that the money they “put in” to a fund will produce a “return.”
And now, Barack Obama, in defiance of investment law, contract law, and basic accounting practices, is seeking to force these teachers and cops - along with lots of others who in good faith invested in the Chrysler Corporation - to abandon their hope of a “return on investment,” and instead, accept a 70% loss of their savings.
This is to say that, by insisting on their individual, legal right of 100% repayment from Chrysler, these teachers and cops have gotten in the way of Obama’s plans to “transform Chrysler,” and his goal of serving the ‘collective good.”
“That’s an outrageous accusation” the Obama fans will tell me. “Obama wants to help people, not hurt them.”
But individuals who plan for their own retirement and take personal responsibility for their lives can be a problem for a political leader who is intent on saving everybody. And damage wrought to even a few hundred thousand school teachers and cops is a small price to pay, if the “collective good” can be served.
Now that President Obama’s philosophical leanings have been revealed, America needs to know where the rest of the Congress stands. Do the members of Obama’s Democratic Party - the party “in charge” - share in the President’s collectivist vision? Are Pelosi, Reid, and the Democratic leadership willing to cast aside the freedom of the individual person, so one man can fulfill his hopes and aspirations for what he believes America should look like?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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