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
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)

(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.

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Dec 30, 2012 5:47 AM CST
Reading these comments, I get the impression that the USA is a land of poverty stricken millions ruled over by a few dozen wealthy types.
Dec 29, 2012 11:56 PM CST
Almost all history has been a zero sum game. Getting rich ment taking money by force. Then America was born. Americans invented the phrase "make money." Our new outlook has served the world well. America pulled millions of people out of poverty and sickness and it had nothing to do with tax rates. Hence, this is not about fairness. This is about the trajectory of America. Will we keep looking forward with great expectations or will we regress into coveting our neighbor's belongings?
Dec 29, 2012 1:17 PM CST
It is not about getting money from the rich.It is about everybody paying their fair share.It is about someone who is struggling to survive ,having to pay a thirty five percent tax rate whereas the likes of Mit Romney get to pay only fourteen percent. That profoundly unfair and stupid article underscores what is wrong with the fox news and talk radio driven republicans .They create their own fiction and actually believe it. The United States survived a civil war and WWII.Surviving Fox news and talk radio may not be so easy.