‘Terrible Economics’ and ‘a Confused Morality’

by Daniel Foster

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) weighs in on “You Didn’t Build That” on Facebook:

The President recently suggested that a central government – not individuals – deserves the credit for building successful businesses. This sentiment makes for terrible economics, but also reveals a confused morality. In a free community, everyone co-operates by voluntarily offering unique gifts: some invent, some invest, others labor, or sell while customers reward the best producers and providers by buying their products and services. Government has a critical role to play in this process: establishing rules that enable open competition and securing peace and order with courts, defense forces, first responders, teachers, infrastructure, and a safety net for the most vulnerable. Government helps create the space for innovation and prosperity, but government does not fill that space – and it should not try to, as the last few years have shown us. Only free citizens create things that improve our lives. A free economy and strong communities are the best means to reward effort with justice, to promote upward mobility, and to build solidarity among citizens. The President’s vision of a government-centered society – reflected in both his troubling rhetoric and his failed policies – belittles fair rewards for labor and enterprise. To renew prosperity and rebuild our communities, we must recommit to the American Idea of freedom and justice for all.