I guess they didn’t teach our president much history there at Harvard

From O’Bummer’s radio address today:

This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness. We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility.  We did it by recognizing that we rise or we fall together as one nation – one people – all of us vested in one another.  That is how we have succeeded in the past. And that is how we will not only rebuild this economy, but rebuild it stronger than ever before.

Daniel Boone led settlers into hostile Indian country in Kentucky and further west – pretty reckless. The railroads were built by greedy, reckless entrepreneurs, as was, before that, the Erie Canal which opened up New York and the middle west. Remember the Alamo!

And so on. Everything this country is, or was, was built by tough, hard people who were looking out for themselves. And we all prospered as the result.


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14 responses to “I guess they didn’t teach our president much history there at Harvard

  1. kidding really?

    Exactly Chris! Obama doesn’t understand the animal instincts that drive business. It’s about risk. When people are conditioned to not have to take risks and get food, shelter, housing, education, and now healthcare for free it not America it’s some European socialistic state.

    Just his words piss me off as he doesn’t point out the millions of people that borrowed too much for houses and other stuff are not getting called out for the recklessness and greed. It’s always the banks and large financial firms as the bad guys. What about Congress and the reckless spending satisfying each politicians greed?

  2. JRH

    It looks like you’re the one who needs the history lessons in this case, CF. Your examples couldn’t be more ironic for someone trying to make the case that American prosperity came without government intervention. The railroads and Western settlement? Really?

    The railroads were all chartered by the states, and were made into the transcontinental railway with millions and millions of dollars of government bonds. You’re talking about perhaps the worst industry to use as an example for a libertarian version of American history! “The railroads were built by reckless, greedy entrepreneurs.” Sorry, Chris. They were built with taxpayer dollars.

    Then you talk about the Erie Canal. Again, really? Also built with $7 million in taxpayer funding from the State of New York. It was also built with a largely immigrant work force. Can you imagine if the governor of New York in 2010 proposed to spend $700 million on a massive infrastructure program with immigrant labor? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    As for the settlement of the West, you surely must have heard of the Homestead Act. You know, where hundreds of millions of acres of federal land were given to settlers who had to (gasp!) fill out a form for a bureaucrat first.

    Here’s the other thing history teaches us: when progressives begin programs of social reform, conservatives will always forecast the ruin and end of America. And guess what? History proves them wrong, over and over again. When Teddy Roosevelt wanted to bust the trusts (including the railroads!), it was said that it would be the end of American prosperity. When wage and hour laws were passed and child labor banned, we were told it was government encroachment in the free market and that it would diminish American prosperity. When FDR took on the banks and created the SEC and the FDIC, it was said the burden of regulation would end the American finance industry and that the spectre of deposit insurance would enduce a moral hazard ruinous to the banking system. Read what Reagan said as a paid spokesman for the AMA about Medicare in 1962: the sunset of American liberty.

    The cries of “the end of freedom!” are always there, and they are invariably wrong.

  3. Inagua


    Christopher used poor examples. Would you like to consider two other examples, both of which are favorites of the President, the Blackberry and the iPod?

    Christopher’s point is valid. This president has very little appreciation of why so many products are invented in America. What Obama calls greed and recklessness others consider economic freedom and risk taking.

    • Inagua, I do not feel I used poor examples, I just wasn’t inclined to get into a long historical argument with JRH. I know my history, and I’m fully aware of the various government entanglements with both the Erie Canal and the railroads, but greedy, corrupt politicians don’t take away from my point: the greedy, (and corrupt) risk takers who built those railroads defeated others just as greedy, took on huge risks (how many failed and went bankrupt?) and succeeded.

  4. Anonymous

    the great in his own mind, propagandizing, faux moralist JRH deigns to make an appearance.

    spew spew spew.

  5. out looking in

    Oh Canada- Iguana, Research in Motion is not a US corp (Crackberry or not)..

  6. out looking in

    and who shot JR( H) in the head- someone must have bceause your response is bird cage material…since when are government subsidies and greed diametrically opposed? hard tough people exploited their political connections, ensuring to the best of their grifting little souls that their asses were protected on the downside, and profits on the upside! Why are subsidies and tax incentives so SUCCESSFUL? they are COMPLIMENTS to the greedy big hearts of the entrepreneurial set.,,
    oh yeah- and your little soft shoe about on conservatives- of course they will forecast the end of mankind!! Because they are F’N GREEDY!!!
    You did a great job of proving Chris’s point (and like a true liberal, you were oblivious to that fact)

  7. not so anonymous

    not to mention the oil barrons….that’s a rough and tumble ugly story…and alcohol? The search for fame and fortune goes way back… and I’m with the “smaller government , bigger citizen ” pod, to a point…because wasn’t it urgent that kids be removed from the workpool, and urgent that safety regulations forbid the exit doors to sweatshops from being blocked ? Sadly, all sides are subject to greed and corruption..there is a much needed balance between free market, government interference and common sense and decency.. and I hate CFL’s.

  8. ilsa

    This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness. We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility. —– Yeah right!

    Obummer is correct in one fashion, he even uses examples in his speech to prove it.
    America ‘was’ the most prosperous, well run, country in the world…….. when it was administered by old white men.

    America used to reward hard work and responsibility.

    Now govt penalizes “those who work hard and
    are responsible ” by rewarding to the great society- American welfare state,….. “that rewards greed and recklessness” —-at the expense of those who work hard and are responsible”.

    If you cant beat em, join em.

    I’d gladly accept all of JRH’s taxes to pad my govt paid welfare life-style.

    So there. la la di la la

  9. anaon

    Check out this 31 year old clip of Milton Friedman making multi-millionaire socialist, Phil Donahue, look as stupid then as all socialists look today. “Capitalism and Freedom” by Milton Friedman (1962) is perhaps the best treatise on free market enterprise and personal freedom ever written. Well worth reading nearly 50 years after it was first published.

  10. ilsa


    Jeez….who ever you are JRH…..You dont know an f’n thing about history.

    Yes. The railroads were built by the states with taxpayer money, (after guys like Jay Gould failed)….at the behest of the great robber barons….so that they could cheaply move their products and freight from the oil, coal, and farm producing regions they controlled, to the markets in the East.
    The barons bought the State backed bonds to finance the building of the railroads. They actually earned vig from the taxpayers. And got a free railroad to boot. END OF STORY.

    You got the liberal balls to mention the Homestead Act?

    How exactly did the federal govt come to control the land in question? The govt took taxpayer dollars, to raise Armies to remove the native peoples from these lands. By what ever means necsesary. The govt plan was origionaly, was to the SELL the land. Unfortunately for the federal govt, different political reasons made this difficult. ie- abolished slavery in some of the territories made it difficult for the fed gov to sell large tracts.

    The govt then decided that because they were having a difficult time selling the land- to raise revenue, the next best way to raise revenue on it, was to tax it. But in order to tax the lands, they had to have owners. Hence the Homestead Act.

    In addition, the Homestead Act help alleviated over crowded, over population of the big east coast cities. The idea was it was better to disperse the waves of un producing, un kempt, broke, dirty, Irish and other europeans, out of the cities and into the country wher at least they would be taxed even if they didnt produce. And only about 35-40% did actually fill out the govt paperwork required.

    Now JRH, since you are such a smart mother, why dont you ‘esplain’ how much of the federal Homestead Act lands have been reclaimed by the federal/state govt by hook or crook. A percentage answer will suffice.

    If the govt you know and love so much had its way, we’d all be slaves…..or in the case as it is now…indentured servants. And if its taxed…you dont own it. You dont even own your own labor….how free is that?

  11. Inagua


    I apologize. I have a weakness for trying to engage liberals rationally, and I try to concede as much as possible to clarify the basic point. Unfortunately, it rarely works because many liberals are factually challenged, incapable of dealing with facts that contradict their positions, and are basically blowhards. JHR is a pretty good example of all of this. I promise not to respond to him again.

  12. Priapus

    “we all rise and fall together as a nation”. For Oquaeda, his grandest success to date.

  13. JRH

    “I promise not to respond to him again.”

    There you go, just like a good little acolyte. It’s a testament to the strength of your convictions that you promise to refuse to engage in debate with people who disagree with you.