Barack Southey Obama

by Don Boudreaux on January 25, 2012

in Hubris and humility, Man of System, Nanny State, Other People's Money, Politics

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Having now read Pres. Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address (I cannot tolerate watching the kitschy display that is the actual delivery of a State of the Union address), I can say only that Thomas Babington Macaulay’s long-ago description of Robert Southey applies perfectly to Barack Obama:

“He conceives that the business of the magistrate is not merely to see that the persons and property of the people are secure from attack, but that he ought to be a jack-of-all-trades, architect, engineer, schoolmaster, merchant, theologian, a Lady Bountiful in every parish, a Paul Pry in every house, spying, eavesdropping, relieving, admonishing, spending our money for us.  His principle is, if we understand it rightly, that no man can do anything so well for himself as his rulers, be they who they may, can do it for him, and that a government approaches nearer and nearer to perfection in proportion as it interferes more and more with the habits and notions of individuals.”*

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

* T.B. Macaulay, “Southey’s Colloquies on Society” (1830).

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