Obama discredits American entrepreneurs
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, get ready for your blood pressure to rise. You probably have already read President Barack Obama's recent comments discrediting all those who have worked hard to achieve the American dream of owning a business. He actually said, “If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
I swear, that's what he said. Now that was clearly the view of someone who has never started or owned a business. Clueless. Let me explain how his speech must have sounded to entrepreneurs, like the founders of the Top 100 private companies in this issue.
In his speech, he said, “I'm not going to see us gut the investments [meaning taxes and 'stimulus' funding] that grow our economy [yeah, that really worked] to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don't need them [small business owners].”
He doesn't want to let you keep more of your capital so you could do your own investing and expansion to add more jobs. He wants to take your capital away and let him decide where to invest it in order to help you. But, by the time it runs through government, there's a lot less left, with some of it going to those who don't work at all. Absurd. This is the business mind of a “community organizer.”
The president said, “We've already made a trillion dollars' worth of cuts. We can make some more cuts in programs that don't work, and make government work more efficiently.”
Gee, cut programs that don't work and become more efficient. Obama sounds like he is doing us a favor here. In the real world of business you have to cut what doesn't work and be efficient or the market can put you out of business. Government can waste all it wants for years, and we pay for it. They just print more money and raise our taxes.
Obama continued, “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back. They know they didn't—look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. 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.”
True. Do they put it to work and take a risk? Every one has potential, Mr. President. That's not what is the key to success. But what do you do with what God has given you? Ever read the story of the “Five talents”? A good lesson for all who live in America and have the opportunity to learn and succeed—and be rewarded.
The president said, “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.”
I agree there are millions of hardworking Americans who get up every day and team with entrepreneurs to build companies and create jobs. I admire and applaud them all. All work is honorable. But, Mr. President, there are many who don't work at all and count on you to be their Robin Hood. It's just easier to ride in the wagon—but it's not fair to those who do the pulling. Since when do you get to “reap” if you don't “sow”? If you are able-bodied, you should contribute and be one of the hardworking. No excuses.
Obama goes on, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.”
No question about it. We all get help in our life along the way. No man is an island. But that is available for every American in some fashion—a school, a nonprofit, a church, and so on.
“Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.”
No, the American system creates opportunity to thrive or fail. The rest is up to you. I didn't hear the president giving away all the credit for failure to others. (Maybe he deserves that.)
“Somebody invested in roads and bridges.”
Would that be us? The taxpayers that are spending our own taxes?
“If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Stop right there, President Obama. You are “disrespectin'” the people who helped build this great nation—the entrepreneur who came up with an idea and risked it all, working seven days a week, sacrificing with his family to succeed—and now you are giving credit to “somebody else.” You are insulting and not fit to lead this great county.
If Americans, who are suffering in this economy, turn their heads and re-elect you, and our country suffers, I am sure you will also conclude that the credit for failure should go to “somebody else.”
Americans believe in hard work
So, do Americans agree with the president's view of whether it takes hard work or luck to be successful? No.
Reason magazine reported on several surveys, one global and the others national. The World Values Survey in 2006 found that 63% of Americans believed that hard work usually brings a better life compared to 37% of the French (think socialism). Only 14% of Americans primarily believe that success is more a matter of luck and connections, compared to 35% of the French.
The General Social Survey, which has tracked views since 1972, asks if people get ahead by “hard work” or “luck and help from others.” For decades now it has been clear that “hard work” matters most, with support ranging from 61% to 70%. “Luck/help from others” fell between 8% and 15% over the years.
One other relevant survey from 2011 was a Reason-Rupe poll that asked which is more important in people getting ahead: “their own hard work” or “lucky breaks and help from others.” For 81%, it was hard work, while 15% said luck/help from others and 5% said they don't know. President Obama doesn't know either, but should probably count himself in the “lucky” category.
Congratulations to Top 100
Once again we salute the Top 100 private companies in the Capital Region for “making it happen.” These companies, CEOs and employees should be proud of their success. We are proud they choose to call Baton Rouge and Louisiana “home.” And we appreciate the jobs they create, taxes they pay and contributions they make to our community and state. We thank them—and all those in our business community—for their “hard work.”
Baton Rouge proud ... again
Business Report was proud to again represent Baton Rouge at the national convention for the Alliance of Area Business Publications in June. I am proud of our Business Report team, led by Executive Vice President JR Ball, which picked up four awards this year, including the gold for general excellence in our division. We received two more golds and a bronze for design, writing and commentary.
The national competition is judged by faculty at the Missouri School of Journalism, often referred to as the best in the country.
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