Obama's Worst Fault: His 'Zero-Sum' Mentality

PJ O'Rourke: There is not a 'fixed amount of good things'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 28, 2012 1:37 PM CST

(Newser) – PJ O'Rourke thinks President Obama is spreading a misguided message to the nation and the world—"that we live in a zero-sum universe." On a national level, it can be seen in his push to make well-off Americans give up more of their money so it can be redistributed down the chain. In Obama's thinking, "there is a fixed amount of good things," O'Rourke writes in the Wall Street Journal. If life is a pizza, then there are only so many slices that can go around, and the answer is to redistribute the ones we've got. "You had no answers for Mitt Romney's argument for more pizza parlors baking more pizzas."

O'Rourke says the same principle applies to foreign policy, and he's worried that Obama wants to "convince the international community that zero-sum is the American premise and redistribution is the logical conclusion." Western Europe has tried redistributing its assets, and look how well things have turned out there. O'Rourke says the principle applies not just to economics but to political ideologies, even faith itself. "Zero-sum assumptions mean that a country that doesn't pursue a policy of taking things from other countries is letting its citizens down," he writes. "That's pretty much the story of all recorded history, none of which needs to be repeated." Read the full column here.

President Obama talks about the fiscal cliff negotiations during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House on Dec. 19.
President Obama talks about the fiscal cliff negotiations during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House on Dec. 19.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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