Last week, President "out-of-touch" Obama made a campaign stop in Roanoke, VA, and promptly smacked down over 230 years of America's entrepreneurial spirit. He told the crowd that anyone that had a business hadn’t built it, that someone else had.
No really. He said that.
Here’s an excerpt from his speech:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. 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.
I think I understand what he’s trying to get at -- that without infrastructure or a marketplace, business doesn’t happen. At the same time, CalTrans didn’t build any stores in California where products are shipped using public roadways. I sure as heck didn’t build Apple by buying an iPhone. These analogies don’t make any sense.
Yuval Levin at National Review Online points out, “The president clearly thinks that some people do disagree with his more general point that everyone depends on society.”
Business, like anything else, can’t exist in a vacuum. Of course it depends on society, because society is people, and corporations are made up of people, to serve people. Business brings people together that might not have anything to do with each other otherwise.
Stores sell products that they purchase from suppliers. The suppliers didn’t build the store, the storeowner did. Perhaps investors backed him -- they didn’t build the store either. They saw a man with an idea and a plan and decided to take a chance on him. The store would fail without customers to purchase the wares, but the customers didn’t build the store.
A person that took a risk, worked his hiney off, made difficult decisions every day, and hopefully started to turn a profit after pouring his life savings into a dream built the store. Not somebody else. Not the government.
Barack Obama seems to not only have no clue how business works, but no clue what his opponents even believe. His lack of perception to how Republicans view society, government, and the free market is astounding and not a little bit scary. No wonder the economy still sucks -- our chief executive is clueless.
Image via Muhammad/Flickr