You Didn’t Build That

It took less than 24 hours for the Internet to come alive after Obama’s recent comment praising government and putting down accomplishments of entrepreneurs. Do a Google search using the title of this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about.  Read his speech, then come back and read this blog.

Obama’s remarks are being soft-peddled as “If you’ve been successful, it’s because somebody gave you some help.”  Of course this statement is true. However, this is NOT the offensive thing he said, and that is not the comprehensive paradigm he sells.  His message was asserted in the negative:

If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

That is openly disgusting.  He really believes the people poorer than you made your business.  He really believes that the government made your business, or at least the government was an enabler.

Therefore.. the poor(er) and the government should get their hands in your pockets to equalize things. He would design a system where we’re all mediocre without any upside potential in life. He fails to realize that having liberty to move up in life is a reasonable and motivational possibility. He cannot conceive that the government is there to serve those who prosper, and ensure a tranquil community in which poor(er) can become rich(er)to succeed.  If these phrases don’t ring a bell, please read the Constitution.

He has the chicken and the egg backwards.  I assert that Government taxes and regulation (should) come after individual success, to a minimum extent necessary.  It is silly to advocate creation of taxes and regulation for private business that don’t exist, and then claim because of the presence of taxation and regulation, the private businesses will pop up like weeds.  It’s even more wrong to believe that more taxation and more regulation builds businesses.  He has forgotten that private business and private citizens fund the government, not the other way around.

Elizabeth Warren would assert that your manufacturing success uses the roads provided by the government.  I have not disagreed with her statements.  But Obama goes farther.  He assert that your manufacturing success happens because of the roads.  And then he goes even further to assert that your manufacturing success is not because of your work.  I believe the correct view is that government roads are created in order to serve the people and the businesses created by the people.

Ashish Advani quoted from Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s new book, The Price of Inequality, and revealed the same reversed logic:

[T]he success of [Apple Inc. and Google Inc.], and indeed the viability of our entire economy, depends heavily on a well-performing public sector. There are creative entrepreneurs all over the world. What makes a difference … is the government.

What?!  Apple and Google succeeded because of our government?  Advani goes on to conclude that, “Stiglitz’s entire book is an impassioned argument for even more government control and redistribution of wealth. I am not sure if he has written his book in all earnest or as a parody of what not to do.”

Stiglitz’s book captures the attitude that Obama now expands to say what hasn’t been said before:  that Apple and Google did not succeed because of the private business individuals that grew these companies.  This is the next step, and reveals a deep-set ideological socialism and Marxism that Obama believes in.  These used to be ideologies America fought against for decades. Is it now what our nation’s populace prefers?

Obama said:

I’m always struck by people who think, well, [success] must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.

I agree that arrogant people are distasteful, and wrong.  I must assume his reference to lots of other people is to make the point that many went nowhere because they didn’t get help.  I agree there are lots of smart and hard working people that don’t go anywhere, and that help is nice.  I don’t think he understands the difference between government vice mentors, and other inspirational individuals.  How does his statement have anything to do with the offensive belief that the government rather than individuals create success?

His statement that “You didn’t build your business” is not even a logical outcome of his lead-in soft-peddle comments.  It’s a flash of ideological candor. His statement is an abrupt and unexpected revelation of his heart, not a logical outcome of his brain.

The President who says he wants to be transformational may be succeeding—and subordinating to government the individual enterprise and risk-taking that underlies prosperity. The question is whether this is the America that most Americans want to build. (WSJ, 7/17/12)


About Brian

Engineer. Aviator. Educator. Scientist.
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