I am not surprised in the least that a video has surfaced indicating that our president believes in income redistribution. But a lot of people missed one of the most revealing statements Barack Obama made in that video.
Tim Sandefur, however, is not one of those people:
. . . to me, the interesting part of the recording is this:
[T]his is one of the few areas where I think there are technical issues that have to be dealt with as opposed to just political issues....
As I wrote some years ago, his mantra of “hope” indicates a mentality in which questions about incentives—the major “technical issue” of public policy—matter less than questions of will. In Obama’s world, subjects such as how is wealth created? or how does technological innovation and progress occur? are basically irrelevant, because the point of public policy is todivide up the “social wealth” and allocate the resources that “society” has created to those who are most deserving. And who is most deserving? Those who exercise the political will to claim their share of the pie. In Obama’s mind, there are no such thingsas invariable economic laws—these are products, not of the nature of people and resources, but of human will and determination. If human beings choose to believe otherwise, or to change how they approach the world, then these economic laws will change, too. Technical problems like incentives matter less than the exercise of sheer determination.
Remember, a president's misunderstandings of economics are not consequence free. Those misunderstandings still serve to shape the formulation and implementation of policy. We have what happens when Barack Obama applies his "knowledge" of economics to the making of economic policy. Do we really want to sign up for another four years of the resulting trainwreck?