I thought the American Idea (see Jack Kemp and Paul Ryan) had at least something to do with the virtues of work, family and opportunity. But what I see from the Obama administration are policies that undermine these ideals.
Here's a contrasting vision: Last week I interviewed the great entrepreneur Harold Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources, who has harnessed the technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to completely revolutionize the energy sector of our economy. He has turned North Dakota into Saudi Arabia. Energy independence is in sight.
Now, the energy sector is responsible for roughly 10 percent of our growth. And tens of thousands of energy jobs are now being created at very high wages, all while our trade deficit is evaporating and our entire Middle East foreign policy may be changing.
Of course, the Obama administration is taking credit for the oil-and-gas revolution. But they initially opposed it and, in fact, had nothing to do with it. And if they opened up federal lands and offshore drilling, the energy success would be even greater. But that's not happening.
The fact is, the energy revolution is a perfect down-home example of free market economics at work, not government planning.
One of the things that caught my eye about the Harold Hamm story is that roughly 10 million oil-and-gas royalty owners now exist across the country. I am going to bet the energy revolution has created thousands of new millionaires. This reminds me of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, whose wildly successful entrepreneurial ventures also created thousands of new millionaires. Not just investors, but low-level staffers who got just a little bit of stock when Microsoft or Apple or Facebook was started. They became millionaires.
And that money didn't go under mattresses. One way or the other it circulated through our economic system, creating thousands of new companies, vastly more jobs and even more millionaires.
In other words, wealth creates businesses that create jobs that create a rising tide that lifts all boats.