I am somewhat surprised by the reaction to the view expressed by Barack Obama, that successful people don’t deserve (all or much of the) credit for their success. Critics acted as if these views had been uttered for the first time ever, as if Obama had introduced a new, revolutionary thought in our public discourse. On the contrary, the view has a robust tradition in political thought. It owes to Karl Marx’s dictum that all resources are socially produced. It is likewise a centerpiece of John Rawls’s political theory, which starts from the premise that no one deserves what they’ve got, not even their natural talents. The position is, morover, shared by the great majority of contemporary political philosophers. In a well-known book, Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel say that no one owns anything, and that therefore the state can allocate resources in accordance to justice. For these thinkers, capitalism might still be desirable, because a wise government will consider incentives to create wealth when allocating resources. But, to them, people do not own really anything: everything belongs to society. This is (to me at least) a terrible view. But its problem is not that it is too revolutionary. The problem is that it is too common.