Posted by | August 5, 2012 09:40 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

President Obama received much criticism from Governor Romney over the past two weeks for his correct comment that none of us succeed on our own.  Michael Kinsley offers an interesting piece on what this line of attack shows about how Romney sees many of those he is hoping to govern.

You might also ask yourself: If Obama is insulting successful people by suggesting that their success doesn’t necessarily result entirely from their own hard work and brainpower, doesn’t that mean that Romney is insulting the vast majority of folks who are unsuccessful (by Romney’s exalted standard) by implying that they are lazy and stupid? If your success is entirely your own achievement, then your lack of success is entirely your own fault.

Kinsley goes on to say that we owe much of our success to our forebears something which is no doubt true but is really another way of saying that we owe much of our success (or our failure) to factors beyond our control.  Not all of it, to be sure, but enough of it, that Governor Romney should be careful when he talks about who deserves what.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.