A few weeks ago, Obama said:
If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I have worked harder than everybody else. There are a whole bunch of hard-working people out there. Somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
First, he does not make much of a point with the statement as it stands, but I must conjecture that he means that government and other people have helped create everyone’s success, and therefore we owe something back to the government or everyone else.
This statement is so un-American, so ignorant, so flat-out stupid, if there was another candidate but Romney, Obama would have lost my vote with it.
First, of course, in an interconnected world, the bread I buy at the store is baked and transported by somebody else for me. That’s civilization.
On the whole, however, American businesses are not created because government put roads, bridges or the Internet there. American businesses are created because single individuals, against all odds, work for decades, sometimes 16 hours a day, without break, without vacations for years, take on huge risks in personal liability, in personal debt, in commitment of time and life, hoping that one day, at the end, there is a payday.
And very often, after decades of work, of creating products, of supplying jobs, there is no payday. Sometimes just the expenses are covered. Sometimes worse, when knuckleheads like the Bush administration drive the economy into the ground and entire industries like real estate and construction collapse, taking with them the companies and the owners with them and everything evaporates.
If you need excellent examples of American success stories, read the biographies of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Andy Grove, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Those are some of the ones that made it. For every Edison, however, there are 10,000 entrepreneurs that either failed, or never made it big, that we never heard about, yet that created jobs, products and services along the way through their ingenuity and hard work alone.
Obama, although I know he wants to do the right thing and help the middle class, has shown with this statement that he is clueless about what makes business work, what creates jobs, and what creates value in America.
Where is Ross Perot when I need him?