Dan Holler

That is not an argument against employers, but rather an argument against individualism. It is an argument in favor of collectivism. The union leader seems to believe that his colleagues – most of which are hardworking Americans trying to live the American Dream – did not earn anything on their own merit. According to the union boss, union workers receive whatever their benevolent union hands down to them. He seems to believe, probably to the ire of his members, that they are dependent upon him.

In many respects, this attitude is no different from that of the government. Their message is simple: you, as an individual, are nothing without me. And do not be surprised if you see this in President Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow night. It will be riddled with populism, government programs and rants against the 1%. But it will fall woefully short on how to empower the 21%.

In fact, that could very well be the dominant theme in the 2012 presidential contest: empowerment and individualism versus dependency and collectivism. Just look at the rhetoric from the men who finished at the top in South Carolina this week.

Governor Mitt Romney warned that President Obama “wants us to become an entitlement society where people in this country feel they’re entitled to something from government and where government takes from some to give to others.”

Speaker Newt Gingrich outlined a goal of empowering individuals by “find[ing] ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.”

It is clear that both men have a very different vision from President Barack Obama, not only on how the economy should function but also on the worth and value of an individual. So as you watch the President deliver his State of the Union address tomorrow, ask yourself one question: is he planning to increase the state of dependency? Sadly, the answer is likely to be yes.

Dan Holler

Dan Holler is the Communications Director for Heritage Action for America. Previously, he held numerous positions at The Heritage Foundation, most recently he was the Senate Relations Deputy. A Maryland native, he is a graduate of Washington College.