Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein argues that Barack Obama, like Franklin Roosevelt, supports “free enterprise, while also insisting on . . . fair opportunity and security for all.”

Leave aside for now the obvious fact that programs such as FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act—which imposed nationwide controls on wages, prices, and business practices—and, today, Obama’s bailouts and corporate welfare schemes, are the opposite of free enterprise.

Sunstein’s central contradiction is holding that government can protect people’s rights while also forcing people to surrender their wealth and to run their lives and businesses contrary to their own judgment.

Let us first nail down some of Sunstein’s slippery terms.

Obviously by “free enterprise,” Sunstein does not mean actual free enterprise; he means a mixed economy in which government confiscates wealth and regulates business.

By “fair opportunity” and “security for all,” Sunstein does not mean that government equally protects everyone’s rights to their own lives, liberty, and property; he means that government forcibly transfers wealth from some people to others. . . .

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