Cooperation is not part of the market -- it is the market. The market is billions of individuals freely associating, trading, and contracting. In his classic essay "I, Pencil," Leonard Read argues that, "no single person on the face of this earth knows how to make [a pencil]." It is a collaborative effort of millions of people -- loggers, miners, truckers, restaurant owners, even coffee producers. "There isn't a single person in all these millions," Read explains, "including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how."
Market cooperation deserves credit even for those activities which the president believes government made happen. Government produces nothing. It is entirely dependent on the private success of its citizens. Without these successes, no taxation would be available for roads, bridges, teachers, or fire stations. Rather than citing those examples to take more from American businesses, the president should thank businesses for their success, which ultimately funds his agenda.
.. Prosperity depends not just on individual initiative, but on cooperation and exchange. Conservatives and libertarians should not concede their values to a president who has led the charge to increase government controls on private collaboration. President Obama is right. Cooperation matters -- maybe he should stop standing in the way.