Human Events Blog

Obama wants you to know you didn’t build your business

Obama wants you to know you didn’t build your business

Barack Obama completed a terrible trifecta of hopelessly out-of-touch statements over the weekend, embracing the crackpot theories of Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren in Roanoke, Virginia to declare: “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.”  This comes on the heels of Obama’s legendary “the private sector is doing fine” remark, and his recent assertion that the biggest mistake of his first term was failing “to tell a story to the American people.”

To forestall any silly attempts at weaseling out of this nightmarish quote by claiming it was taken out of context, Obama was very clear that he intended a pure expression of Warren-style collectivist theory.  He’s not talking about how all the people who work for a company contribute to its success.  He explicitly stated that government is the indispensible senior partner in every business endeavor.

Here is the full passage from Obama’s speech, emphases mine:

“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.  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.  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.  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.

“The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

Note the plain sophistry of the President’s point about fire-fighting.  He used this as an example of how “there are some things we don’t do on our own” – right after asserting there is nothing we can do on our own.  The point of his remarks was not to explain the necessity of contributing taxes for the performance of vital public services, treating the government as a necessary expense.  He’s explicitly stating that no one has ever succeeded, at anything, without the government’s indispensible assistance.  The government is, therefore, the rightful owner of all property and wealth, morally justified in taking whatever it deems necessary.

In fact, if Obama’s words are read literally – always a dicey prospect with this deeply disingenuous and thoughtless man – he’s saying the owners and founders of America’s businesses played no significant role in their success!  And he mocks them as foolish for believing otherwise!  “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart… If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made it happen.”  How nauseatingly contemptuous, and clueless, especially coming from a man who never created a job in his life, and would need a billion-dollar taxpayer bailout to run a lemonade stand.

And Obama said this as the steward of a $3.6 trillion federal government running trillion-dollar deficits!  Socialists have no business invoking fire-fighters, cops, or other vital and lawful functions of government until they’ve agreed to trim a few trillion dollars of fat from the leviathan state.  Obama is using first responders as body shields for the deputy assistant to the special assistant to the chief assistant deputy of the Bureau of Assistance.  That’s deeply insulting to both fire-fighters and taxpayers.

Furthermore, the examples of wondrous cooperation Obama cited are primarily state endeavors, not federal responsibilities.  The one federal program he cited was education, and look where that’s gotten us: fat teachers’ unions raking in millions while churning out desperately mis-educated students, who float near the bottom of international rankings in countless subjects.  Barack Obama knows this, because he thinks all those public-school graduates should be given subsidized loan rates for college, just to learn basic job skills… and even then they won’t be ready for work until they’ve enjoyed the federally subsidized job training programs Obama endlessly demands.  No sane businessman would voluntarily enter a “partnership” with Obama’s bloated and useless government.

It’s supposed to be off-limits to mention certain theories in connection with Obama’s beliefs, but his Roanoke speech would rest very easily in the ears of Karl Marx.  Obama is presenting himself as the avatar of the workers, who should exercise collective ownership of capital through him.  Those businessmen Obama was sneering at – they think they’re sooooo smart! – are allegedly exploiting both their own captive workers, and the collective resources of the public, without which they would be nothing.  Thus, the workers’ collective has limitless claim on the wealth produced with their stolen labor, needing only a strong government of wise commissars to seize and redistribute it.

No wonder business confidence continues to plummet, while employment stagnates, and the American economy slows to a halt.  Business leaders correctly view this President as a sworn enemy, whose contempt bubbles quickly to the surface when he isn’t making a concentrated effort to pose as a technocrat concerned about jobs.  Obama counts the resourcefulness of entrepreneurs, and the immense risk they shoulder when launching or expanding business ventures, for nothing.  They’re just lucky stiffs waiting for “someone else” to make their success “happen,” and should be humbly grateful for whatever portion of their ill-gotten spoils President Solyndra chooses to let them keep.

Anyone who has any illusions about where Obama’s road will lead us must be blissfully ignorant of both history and today’s headlines.

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