Backward on business

Obama's comments show his bizarre bias against capitalism

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

Barack Obama

President Obama has finally answered the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. When it comes to who creates American prosperity, in his view it’s the Government Chicken that comes first, followed by the Business Egg.

In the process of delivering a speech last week in Virginia, the president fully revealed his pro-government/anti-business bias.

Here’s the context of what he said:

“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. ... Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. 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.”

What an insult to business people and entrepreneurs everywhere.

“You mean I could have just slept all those late nights while someone else built it?” one business owner wrote on Twitter.

“If someone else built my business, why am I the one who lays awake at night wondering how I am going to make payroll?” another wrote.

David Chavern, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote that, in Mr. Obama’s view, “success is apparently a collective effort – but where was that ‘collective’ during the periods of risk-taking and failure? The vast majority of businesses fail, period. Every day millions of people put their lives, savings, houses and families on the line and work 20 hours a day just to grab their small slice of the American dream. Where is the collective when all of this is going on? And if the collective is really responsible for success, how come everyone isn’t successful?”

A revitalized GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called Obama’s remarks “startling and revealing,” adding that “I find it extraordinary that a philosophy of that nature would be spoken by a president of the United States.”

The president also has it completely backward: He credits government for building infrastructure that makes business success possible; in truth, it’s businesses that provide the taxes that fuel government.

“We pay for these things,” Romney noted. “The taxpayers pay for government!”

And ask any business owner if government is more of a help or a hindrance.

One observer faulted Mr. Obama for a “stunning ignorance of capitalism and entrepreneurship.” Likewise, Romney and others have postulated that Obama doesn’t understand our system. More likely, he simply has disdain for the free enterprise system and its penchant for rewarding hard work and punishing laziness.

Indeed, consider what he said on the relationship between success and hard work:

“I’m always struck by people who think, well, it 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.”

So, not only did you not build that business, but your hard work and intelligence don’t mean much.

How can a president of these United States so casually dismiss, if not disparage, the work ethic and knowledge?

Oh, wait. This is the same president who recently moved unilaterally to end 1990s-era work requirements for welfare benefits – which is not only a legally dubious move but is also in direct conflict with his wife’s passionate campaign claim in 2008 that “Barack Obama will require you to work.” Then again, why work hard when the credit isn’t really yours – and when the fruits must be “spread around” to others without regard for their own effort, education and level of responsibility?

This president’s message is not only an insult to the American character, but a grave and imminent danger to it.

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specsta
6073
Points
specsta 07/20/12 - 01:32 am
4
19
Opportunity and Humility

The Chronicle wrote: "How can a president of these United States so casually dismiss, if not disparage, the work ethic and knowledge?"

And here is the disconnection between those who think they are successful because of WHAT THEY DID ON THEIR OWN, and those who understand that their success is due to having access to the tools that can build a business.

"No man is an island" is a very true saying. For someone who is successful, to have the arrogant audacity to believe they "made it by their own bootstraps" - is ridiculous.

Most likely they attended a public school or their family was wealthy enough to attend private school. Teachers poured knowledge into them - what a blessing to be able to learn, as there are many impoverished in this world that do not have an opportunity to learn.

Perhaps they ate nutritious meals on a daily basis, strengthening their minds and body - thanks to the farmers, truckers, rail cars and grocery stores that provided this food.

Perhaps they were able to see a doctor and dentist on a regular basis, keeping disease at bay. What a blessing to be able to see a doctor when sick. Many others have no such access, maybe even choosing between food or medicine.

Perhaps they grew up in a neighborhood where all was safe and sound and walked to the neighborhood school merrily on their way; while others in their city walked to school in fear of their lives due to rampant crime.

Perhaps they attended a college or university, with funds made available from parents or an inheritance or the ability to garner a loan. Knowledge and training was imparted, thanks to teachers and professors. Yet others could only dream of a higher education, as there was no money to attend.

Maybe they were able to walk into bank and get a business loan, thanks to good credit - or a phone call to the banker from Dad, who was good friends with the banker. Others could barely pay their bills and had no credit - and were rejected for a loan.

Perhaps they found a parcel of land and constructed the building for their business - thanks to the construction workers, architects, inspectors, building material suppliers and dozens of others. Yet, many others had no opportunity to buy land or hire workers.

The success businessperson is only successful because of the infrastructure that is in place. Access to that infrastructure (education, money, networks, family, healthy living) is not an open doorway to everyone. Some are born with the privilege of accessing that infrastructure with little or no effort (known as "being born with a silver spoon in their mouth"). Others must access it by rising above unimaginable odds and prejudices. Others will only encounter an immovable brick wall.

No one in this country, or anywhere else, has made it on their own. The President is absolutely right. There was some form of help somewhere for those who are successful. Someone who believes that they did it, all on their own, is just foolish. Better to be humble and recognize that if you are successful as a businessperson, it is because of opportunities and privileges extended to you, and your ability to use those privileges and opportunities - and nothing else.

Many people have neither privilege nor opportunity. Look no further than a starving infant in war-torn, Third World country. No food, no shelter, no clothing, no clean water, no education, no safety, no medicines, no money - nothing but despair...and eventual death.

"But for the grace of God, there go I"...

Anyone with the arrogance to even think they made it "on their own", is foolish, foolish, foolish.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 07/20/12 - 04:58 am
12
1
No government ever collected

No government ever collected taxes on itself and succeeded either. The taxes used to pay for the public resources that provides for the conditions that allow family owned businesses, small business and corporations to succeed in a peaceful, lawabiding, and stable nation are generated by commerce. Without the taxes and the tax base to create them, our ports, interstate highway system, the internet, and locks and damns would not exist in the curret form. While the government may have been the execution agent (rightfully so), these projects wouldn't have been funded without taxes and a need. The need in many cases was unrelated to business initially. It took creative business minds, hard work, and idividual financial risk for many too succeed.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 07/20/12 - 05:49 am
2
13
"No government ever collected

"No government ever collected taxes on itself and succeeded either." Well, that blows a hole in the unFair Tax plan.

myfather15
49167
Points
myfather15 07/20/12 - 06:33 am
14
5
Same blather from the left,

Same blather from the left, different day. Bla Bla Bla, yada, yada, yada........me must have communism to prosperous, right? I pay my taxes to pay for those roads built, teachers to teach, policemen to protect, and so forth. Who pays taxes to build someone elses personal business? So If I pay taxes to help support all those Govt specials, then its actually ME that gave ME all that. So it still boils down to I, I, I, I, I.

It is just disgusting to see the raving love affair leftists have with this marxist President. When Bush was in there I openly criticised him. There were many things he did that I didn't agree with. But you will never see a leftist ever openly disagree with this communist.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/20/12 - 06:45 am
13
2
Well said myfather
Unpublished

Well said myfather

draksig
167
Points
draksig 07/20/12 - 06:46 am
13
2
Obama's statement may have

Obama's statement may have played well to the audience he was speaking to but it flies in the face of fact and history and will not resonate with the American people but this is Obama simply letting his Socialist slip show. Most businesses get started because one man has an idea and a dream and takes a chance, risking his money, putting in 80+ hours a week to build his business. There is no reason the collective should take credit or, more to the point, reap the benefits while not taking the risk of loosing everything if the business fails.

I would have expected things like this from Venezuela as a prelude to nationalization.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/20/12 - 06:47 am
12
3
very true statement
Unpublished

'This president’s message is not only an insult to the American character, but a grave and imminent danger to it.'

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 07/20/12 - 07:18 am
3
14
“I’m always struck by people

“I’m always struck by people who think, well, it 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.”

So, not only did you not build that business, but your hard work and intelligence don’t mean much.

How can a president of these United States so casually dismiss, if not disparage, the work ethic and knowledge?"

How was that statement a dismissal of work ethic and knowledge? ACES, are you saying because you own a business you must be smarter than everyone else? Does that give you privilege to make the claim you are a harder worker than someone who doesn't own a business, yet has worked faithfully and diligently for a company? This is an elistist attutide that strike a cord within me. I must agree with Obama. When you create a business, yes you started it, you paid the taxes, you put up the capital, but if no one buys anything, is your business sucessful? You have to depend on someone else. You need for people to buy something, and to do that, they must get earnings from somewhere, so they too, had to do something to gain income. Businiess owners are NOT the only smart hard working people, and, for them to believe that they are is an insult to people to work for ANYONE else. Trust me, without the hard work of your workers, how far could your business go, so you can't keep believing you are the only hard worker around. This editorial MAKE SO SENSE! It is just antother swipe to create the ideal, that Obama is anti-business and pro-socialist. This article is just words to make a mountain out of a meanless anthill........

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 07/20/12 - 07:34 am
2
15
Marxist and socialist, same

Marxist and socialist, same blather from the right without even knowing the definitions.
How about this:
2006-Kia plant in Ga. Governor and Legislature Republican.
Land purchased at 2.5x fair market value, under threat of taking by eminent domain. (One 5 acre site sold for $160,000, while a 75 acre piece of property brought $970,000).
Over $30 million on road construction.
$131 million in local property tax abatements.
$250 million in state tax incentives.
$20 million by the state to build a training center.
Just a sampling of the costs by taxpayers.

Baxter plant in Ga. Again GOP Governor and Gop Legislature.
Estimated incentives for Baxter International
From Georgia:
$13.8 million, Infrastructure grant
$28.1 million, Quality jobs tax credit
$4.7 million, Jobs tax credit
$27.2 to $60.5 million, Sales tax exemption on machinery and equipment
$1.35 million, Energy sales tax exemption
$2.5 million Construction materials tax exemption
$14 million, New training facility built on Baxter site
$10.4 million, Quick Start state job training program
$150,000, Ga. Dept of Labor recruitment center
$1.47 million, Georgia Works Ready training

Estimated Incentives from the Walton, Newton, Jasper and Morgan counties and their joint development authority
$94.1 million, For 15 years of real and personal property tax abatements
$5.9 million, Grant for a new waste-water treatment plant
$6.5 million For 160-acre site which Baxter can purchase for $1 after 15 years
$650,000, Waived construction, inspection fees
$613,400, Waived water and sewer fees
$100,000, Road improvements
$60,000, Use of Authority offices
unknown, Freeport tax exemptions on materials and finished goods
unknown, Cost of securing industrial development bonds

Now who exactly are you calling Marxist and socialist?

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 07/20/12 - 07:45 am
12
2
Thankful to the government?

People must realize that Obama is thankful for the government. It has helped him all through his life. He has never held down a real job, knows nothing of working 12 to 18 hours a day, never worried where his next "paycheck" was coming from, never laid awake worrying about others, and never thinking about things most of us have concerning our employment. No, he has only known one way to live, and that is at the government's trough! You know that old saying, "he wouldn't work in a pie factory tasting pies", well, I don't believe Obama would Even do that!!

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/20/12 - 07:54 am
8
1
business failures

About 50% of new businesses fail in their first five years of existence. If what the president claims, supported by several on this board, is true I ask why? Why don't all business ventures succeed? Is our government picking and choosing the ones that will be anointed with success ?

Riverman1
79032
Points
Riverman1 07/20/12 - 08:10 am
13
1
Obama's Statement Thought Out

Obama's words were not a gaffe or taken out of context as Chris Matthews tried to say last night. I mean he went on for a long time presenting the same theme that government is responsible for private, individuals and businesses success with multiple examples. His attack on private enterprise would have made a great column in Pravda around 1960 without changing a word. Is there any doubt now about his goal of moving this country to socialism?

justthefacts
20230
Points
justthefacts 07/20/12 - 08:14 am
10
1
Divisive Politics

Nothing new. To RM's point, it is all calculated. We can only hope it backfires

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 07/20/12 - 08:44 am
1
15
I guess you have to grasp

I guess you have to grasp onto something, much like the left grasped onto Romney saying "I’m not concerned about the very poor".

Henry Ford was a very successful businessman. Anyone really think he would have been successful in that field if we as a society decided to not build roads? Jobs and Gates is another example always thrown out there as examples of success. Anyone really think government research and development did not aid in their success? The personal computer was developed because NASA (government) designed and engineered ways to make computers smaller. DARPA research has also created the internet- which has made the world flatter and smaller, and bringing in great profits.

There have been a lot of government research and develops that have hit the markets, which has allowed people to seek a profit out of it. NASA is my favorite and clear example of this. The reason is that NASA does not worry about ROI (return of investment) like companies do. What business cares about putting a man on the moon if there is no money to be made? And to put man on the moon and return them home safely- a lot of money was invested for R&D. And our lives are better for it. It enabled American's to dream about tomorrow, work hard, to learn and study, advanced the human race a great deal, and it brought about great profits for private businesses.

Lewis and Clark- another great example. Their objectives were both scientific and commercial – to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and to learn how the region could be exploited economically- all paid for by the government.

This is how things have been done throughout all civilizations.

So let us not pretend someone's success or failure occurred in a vacuum.

And yes, taxes from private citizens and business financed everything. However- if we did not pay taxes to the government- how much would we personally invest in things, say- the deepening of the Charleston Harbor shipping channel? U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called the announcement “very good news and a recognition the rest of the country now understands what we’ve known all along: Charleston Harbor deepening is a critical project for our state, region, and national economy.”

Private businesses are going to profit off of this project. When they do, let us remember why.

faithson
4773
Points
faithson 07/20/12 - 09:41 am
1
10
'What an insult'

No editorial board, the insult is to not put the full context of what transpired to bring about these comments. I watched a comparison last night and your siding with the 'party line' is disingenuous journalism, period. Some on these boards may like this unethical approach to feeding the masses, I find it appalling.

justthefacts
20230
Points
justthefacts 07/20/12 - 09:44 am
7
1
Quotes out of context

Quoting people out of contest probably works on the uninformed. "I'm not concerned about the very poor," the Republican presidential candidate said on CNN Wednesday morning. "There's a safety net there, and if it needs repair I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the heart of America, the 95% of Americans who are right now struggling."

eb97
835
Points
eb97 07/20/12 - 09:48 am
8
2
Just because Obama was helped

Just because Obama was helped all through his life with getting his education and getting his community organization job, he assumes the rest of us had the same help along the way. Most of us have had to us our own resources and the resources of our family and not the government to provide jobs with our small businesses and a lot of the time barely making ends meet or even giving ourselves a paycheck during these hard times.

Bizkit
29119
Points
Bizkit 07/20/12 - 09:50 am
9
1
More of the petty class

More of the petty class warfare. The President is an illogical pseudo-intellectual. You can tell his perspective is govt should rule and we should serve the govt-rather than the other way. We all take advantage of the services provided from our taxes such as an education, police, roads, etc. Now not all people pay taxes (49.5% don't) and since it is a progressive tax do those who pay more get more or do we deny those who pay nothing-NO. It is an idiotic logic. Small business owner take the risks and build the business and use the same govt aspects like everyonoe. By his logic the small businesses and 1% are the ones we owe for all our sevices because their taxes foot the bill (so they not only build businesses and commerce they fund the govt). The president acts like the money is his to serve his goals rather than serve Americans. Besides for the public schooling I received I would like a refund-most was negative knowledge in a poor education system (our public shools are some of the worst in the nation-blame govt right)?. Thank God America has the great universities and they provide excellent education opportunities-but I paid for it, I did the work, and good genes gave me the intellect to succeed. Now govt has funded some great things-like NASA. But you can't equate America's success to the govt. It is the people-which remember is what the govt is suppose to serve and we pay them to serve us. Not the other way.

faithson
4773
Points
faithson 07/20/12 - 09:50 am
1
8
on another point

my brother is a very, very wealthy man. His wealth was created over 30 years by being a very astute businessman. I remember well his early attitude about sending out those 250 men each morning to work. HE thought HE was the creator of his wealth. As time passed He became enlightened to the fact that it was those 250 men that 'made' his wealth, he was the creator and sustained the 'business', but it was what Warren Buffet recognized when he said 'without the basic infrastructure in America' our wealth creation would be much, much less available. A point the President was making with his statements at that event.

Bizkit
29119
Points
Bizkit 07/20/12 - 09:55 am
5
1
Actually we would all still

Actually we would all still be living in caves if not for a very few individuals who are the geniuses and innovators that change the world-we just all benefit from the Newtons, Einsteins, Jobs, Gates, etc. Nothing occurs in a vacuum but it is rare genius and innovation that promotes change and new ideas. All our names aren't in the text books.

faithson
4773
Points
faithson 07/20/12 - 09:56 am
1
6
Biz

' we pay them to serve us. ' there is something weird about that statement if it is meant as some kind of 'class' difference. don't think you meant it that way, just checkin'

allhans
23177
Points
allhans 07/20/12 - 01:02 pm
8
0
Two people go to the same

Two people go to the same schools, use the same roads, both start a business, one fails, the other succeeds. Now, which business will pay taxes? It sure the heck isn't the one that failed.
Yet they had the same advantages.

Bizkit
29119
Points
Bizkit 07/20/12 - 10:03 am
3
1
No the prez plays the class

No the prez plays the class thingy. My point is we all pay for the services we receive-but the services at our behest.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/20/12 - 10:08 am
8
2
Faithson

Where would those 250 people have worked if it had not been for your brother. Let me answer my own question. They would have worked for some other person who was a job creator. They would not have created a place to work because, in spite of the fact that they were hard working , talented people, they were not job creators. They fit well into the scheme of things and I salute them but without your brother or someone like him they would be on welfare. It is true that they made a large contribution to the success of your brother but without him they would have been up the creek without the paddle. (Your brother) That is the way it's works in a capitalistic society and nothing that the president or you can say will change that fact.

Riverman1
79032
Points
Riverman1 07/20/12 - 10:10 am
5
1
Okay, concerning this

Okay, concerning this nebulous idea that a successful business draws something from the government because of good roads, schools, military, etc. I submit a successful business paid far more than it's share, plus the individuals working there paid more than their share. Some say EVERYBODY pays gas taxes to drive on the highways. True, but the upper half not only pay gas taxes but income taxes, too, which go to funding highways.

Obama's speech should be the rallying cry for conservative America in a way he never intended.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 07/20/12 - 10:13 am
1
7
Allhans

I don't understand your 10:02 point. Two people with similar opportunities start a business, and one fails- so only one pays taxes? The other person can't get a job or something?

Point is- they both had the same opportunity because the previous generations worked and fought for that.

Think of it like freedom, and this country. We were born free- because others fought and died for it. Again- nothing is a vacuum.

Riverman1
79032
Points
Riverman1 07/20/12 - 10:13 am
6
1
JustheFacts Is Right. Nothing out of context.

The big difference in taking Romney's quote "I'm not concerned about the poor," out of context is when you read the whole passage it's readily seen what he meant. You can read Obama's speech from start to finish with every example he gave and there's absolutely nothing out of context with his anti-individualism, anti-business owner, anti-capitalism rant.

Riverman1
79032
Points
Riverman1 07/20/12 - 10:19 am
6
1
T-Party (Not), So the Sacrifices of Previous Generations...

How in the world do you equate the government today being responsible for the success of businesses with the sacrifices of our forefathers? It would be interesting if we oould go back and let those who sacrificed to create this constitutional government and fought to keep it free decide whether they appreciate freedom, individualism and capitalism more than government taxation, socialism and control.

nofanofobama
6726
Points
nofanofobama 07/20/12 - 10:19 am
7
1
this is who obams is--the

this is who obams is--the govt is god and hes the messiah...just follow his words over the last 4 years...sea levels to no longer rise--people will now start to care...we all cant make it without him and big govt...for you who dont see this ..how about all his statements about bin laden killing..all in the I and ME...He did it all...hes gotta be defeated if we are to survive as a country with our freedoms .

cheapster505
566
Points
cheapster505 07/20/12 - 10:19 am
1
0
hmmm

"Give unto Ceaser what is Ceasers and unto God what is GODS
"seems in this country....we want to do neither

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