I am an attorney and professor of law and entrepreneurship, so I usually confine my commentary to matters of public policy, and leave theology to those who have chosen that field of study. But since today is Sunday, I will take the liberty of making an observation with a more Biblical bent.
As one who has taught entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking for nearly ten years, I am distressed by the apparently overwhelming sentiment sweeping Americans that they must now be taken care of. I know from years of studying the matter that a society in which most members are – or can be – entrepreneurial, is a society where upward mobility is the rule; where wealth is created – not just “spread around”; where hope is common currency; where the inevitable problems are viewed as opportunities to find sustainable solutions, and where those solutions are typically new industries, new companies, and new jobs. An entrepreneurial society is a society where most people wish to, and know they can, take care of themselves, their families, and even others in need. Where charity and philanthropy are fellow-travelers with success.
Joe the Plumber’s exposure of Obama’s “spread the wealth” philosophy exploded like a flash fire, not only because that philosophy is utterly anti-American, but because it is shortsighted, and immoral. It is short-sighted, because in an economy that is a bit battered and fragile, what we need are more businesses, more workers, and more wealth creation in the private sector, not more government programs and more people dependent upon them. It is short-sighted because it is a failed business model. And, as we saw with the collapse of major lending institutions a few weeks ago, a failed business model, made larger (or “spread around,” if you prefer) by government, is not just a failure, but a catastrophic failure. So it was with the irresponsible lending practices foisted on American banks by the government, and so it will be with the irresponsible spending and doomed reliance on government largesse that Obama and the Democrats are peddling as salvation.
Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.