One of President Obama’s pet projects is promoting “fairness” in America. By “fair” he means taking resources from people who have earned them and giving them to others who have not. The President’s fairness agenda is nothing more than the tired-old redistribution-of-wealth philosophy that socialists have pushed since the time of Lenin. The only difference is that President Obama has given it a more palatable name in the same way that liberals try to make abortion more palatable by referring to it as “choice.” What the left refuses to acknowledge is that real fairness is found in economic freedom, not in redistributing wealth by government coercion.
America’s War for Independence was fought in large part to protect the property rights of Americans against repeated violations by the King of England and Parliament. The first and last of the Federalist Papers—the authoritative commentary on the intentions of the framers of the Constitution—show that the intention of the framers was to protect republican government, liberty, and property. Federalist Number 10, the most important of the essays concerning ratification of the Constitution, reveals that the government of the United States was designed to protect justice and liberty by protecting private property against the unwise and unjust actions of a ruling majority or a vocal minority. Private property rights are an essential component of economic freedom. Wealth, regardless of its make-up, is private property.
One thing that becomes immediately clear from even a cursory reading of the Federalist Papers is that those who framed the Constitution rejected the perversions of justice that President Obama and liberals in Congress advocate in the name of “fairness.” President Obama and his fellow travelers on the left believe the federal government has the right and the authority to take property (money) from selected Americans and “redistribute” it “equally” among other Americans of their choice. But Federalist Number 10 makes it abundantly clear that justice consists not of artificially redistributing private property but protecting it and its unequal distribution.
In a free market economy, property is acquired in an unequal manner because the amount of talent, effort, and ingenuity put into its acquisition is inherently unequal. In other words, some people are willing to work harder, longer, and smarter than others and the fruit of their labor must be protected. This is justice as envisioned by the framers and by any standard that is not tainted by political bias. Economic freedom is essential to entrepreneurship, business innovation, commerce, and economic development. Without economic freedom these things are not possible. And, as the framers knew, without economic freedom, liberty and justice are not possible.
The beltway around Washington D.C. separates Congress from main street America as effectively as the Atlantic Ocean separated Parliament from the American colonies. During the Obama presidency Americans have come to feel the same way their colonial predecessors felt when they were being taxed by Parliament without having a voice in the matter. As president, Obama is obligated by his oath of office to not just obey but protect and defend the Constitution. This means, among other things, that he is sworn to protect private property, not redistribute it. Fortunately, America’s next revolution will take place at the ballot box rather than on battlefields, but many Americans feel just as disappointed in President Obama and Congress as the colonists did in King George III and Parliament.