The Corner

‘Terrible Economics’ and ‘a Confused Morality’

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.

Daniel FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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