OpinionTrending Commentary

America Does Not Build Business, Business Builds America

In a speech given Friday to supporters at a campaign stop in Roanoke, Va., the current Oval Office occupant told business owners they owe their business success to government built infrastructure saying:

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.  There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me because they want to give something back.  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.”


What about the Pilgrims who immigrated to America on the Mayflower in 1620?  Were they only successful because of government built infrastructure?

What about those who settled in Jamestown, Virginia?  Their journeys were financed by wealthy Englishmen, via such charters as the Virginia Company.  Their leader John Smith, to convince Jamestown colonists to prioritize growing food and building shelter said: “he who shall not work shall not eat.”  Where were the roads and bridges when they arrived?  Were there big government bailouts for those who decided they “shall not work”?

Early American landowners who needed laborers paid for a laborer’s passage to America provided they contracted to work for the landowner for several years upon arrival.  By exchanging their passage for work, immigrants could hope one day to start out on their own in America.  Does that not sound like a private business venture?  Had Washington DC and “progressive” government been regulating and taxing this process, North America might still be an unsettled wilderness.

What about the American Pioneers, who set forth across America via steamboat, raft, covered wagon, stagecoach, on foot, mules or horseback?  America’s Pioneers brought their own dishes, clothing, bedding, farm animals, and weapons with them because there were no stores to buy these items.  There was no American system waiting for them to arrive.  There was no government built infra-structure.  Did they log on to the Internet and use a map site to find their way to the Santa Fe Trail or the Oregon Trail?

What about Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone?  What about John Moses Browning, inventor of the semi-automatic shotgun?  What about Willis Carrier, who invented Air Conditioning?  Then there is Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt Revolver.  How about him?  What do you have to say about Henry Ford, inventor of the moving assembly line?  What about Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat?  What do you have to tell about Charles Goodyear, who invented vulcanized rubber?  What part of big government infrastructure inspired Cyrus McCormick to invent the mechanical reaper?  Did Samuel F.B. Morse invent the telegraph and Morse code, or did someone else make that happen?  Did Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine not make that discovery himself?  How did Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, come up with his invention if not for his natural ability?  What about Orville & Wilbur Wright, the inventors of the airplane?  Was their work a product of government research intended to allow passenger airlines to make money off the invention?  That is about as likely as “Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet”.

All of these people were successful and they got there on their own.

The outlandish remarks made by he who hopes for re-election display an utter disconnect from America, from who Americans are, how America was built and how America works.  This is not surprising, coming from someone whose childhood was spent outside America.  The closest he ever got to America is Hawaii, where his time was spent playing basketball, tokin’ bud and whiffin’ lines.  Thanks to his parents, his grandparent, his childhood mentors, and his radical college professors his “knowledge” of American history is rooted in the anti-American institutionalized “progressive” leftist view of America.

That view is based on the notion that American history starts when big government socialist programs were introduced during the twentieth century.  This view disavows all the values and traditions upon which America is built: an adventurous spirit, willingness to take risks, self-reliance, inventiveness, hard work, self-sacrifice and resolve.

The irony is, someone who takes such pride in his academic achievements is incapable of grasping an idea that is simply academic: America did not build business.  Business built America.  For America to recover from “the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression”, it will be business that builds America, not the other way around.


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  1. First, dipshit, the current occupant of the oval office is the President of the United States. Show some respect.

    Second, the pilgrims who immigrated to America were only successful because the people who were already living here helped them to survive a grueling winter. I seem to remember getting off work every year to celebrate that fact.

    Third,Jamestown, see above. Also, the reason the Jamestown colony existed is because private companies were given financial assistance from the monarch.

    Fourth, I love how you refer to early American landowners and their needs for labor as something other than slavery. By the way, there currently are indentured servants in the United States, but generally they are here illegally, and their indentured servitude generally takes the form of forced prostitution. If you want this to be a pro business talking point, it’s all yours.

    Fifth, preceding the settlers that went out west were the Lewis and Clark expeditions (paid for by the federal government), armies to fight the Indian Wars, and lawmen that worked to maintain order and protect the investments of businessmen.

    Alexander Graham bell- inspired to invent the phone because of his family who were all in academics

    John Moses Browning- can credit much of his success to the fact that he had so many government contracts

    Willis Carrier- a product of public education

    Samuel Colt-owed much of his success to expansion of the frontier made possible by Lewis and Clark as well as government contracts

    Henry Ford- Do you honestly think Henry Ford could have had a company without the government suppressing strikes? Get real.

    I could go on, but I’m sure you understand. I would ask you though to look at the president’s comments again without hate glasses on. Even if all of these people acted on their own, their success could not exist in a bubble. They were able to ship their goods on roads that the government paid for, staff their factories with workers who have received a public education, and had their investments protected one way or another by law enforcement. No one is saying the achievements aren’t something to be proud of, but the reason the achievements were possible was because of people paying it forward. As we speak on the Fox News website there is a story about two girls selling lemonade, and this is supposed to let us know they did it all without the government. Great. How are they getting customers? I can assure you it is either in a public park or on a street paid for by tax dollars. I’m not surprised that there are some people who miss the point when the president speaks, but I am surprised by the vigor and anger with which they miss the point.

    1. “First, dipshit, the current occupant of the oval office is the President of the United States. Show some respect.”

      => You talk about respect, and yet, you call someone else names? Consider carefully observing one’s own actions before criticizing others.

      Last I checked, one can freely express one’s criticism in America of anyone/anything else. The point of allowing freedom of speech is such that one can point out the obvious failed policies so one can improve and do better.

      But we can’t have that, can we? Especially from the Left-Progressive-Socialist groups of the country. They cannot stand to be told that they can be wrong about ANYTHING! They only allow free speech as long as it aligns to their views and ideologies. (Even when their ideologies have proven to have failed in the real world…Repeatedly.)

      Obama promised “Hope” and “Change”. He promised shutting down Guantanamo Bay. He said he was going to be more transparent and open to the people. He said he was going to talk to Iran into peace.

      What actual and tangible results has he delivered in the last 3 years of his term?

      => “Hope” and “Change” = Means nothing when the American people are looking for a genuine leader with a strategic plan for the nation’s future. (Especially in the current economic environment.)

      => Guantanamo Bay hasn’t been shut down. In fact, its being renovated by the Obama Administration!

      => He used his executive powers to cover up his Administration’s involvement with the disastrous “Fast and the Furious” gun running operation that resulted in the death of at least one American.

      => He promoted a war stance on Iran when he realised things were going too slow for his schedule. (He gave up making peace after 12 months or so.) …Now, he uses the not-so-public approach of cyber-warfare to gun after Iran’s computing infrastructure. See malware: “Stuxnet” and “Flame” that has been expressly deployed to attack Iran and surrounding region.

      => Taking the credit for the Navy SEAL mission on Bin Laden in order to portray himself as one with leadership attributes? (Only stopped because the SEALs told him to stop using them as political tokens.)

      => Openly supporting gay marriage, when in reality, he is not going to do anything. ie: Its politically safe and beneficial to talk about supporting something but not perform any action, so that one can gain the vote.

      => Promoting that women should be entirely dependent on the Govt for most of their lives? Like some sort of economic slave. (See his “Julia” animation.)

      => Attacking political opposition’s past instead of their record to do well…Despite his own past seems to be very vague and obfuscated like he has much to hide.

      => Promote the notion of the people being depended on the Govt. ie: The Govt provides all. You need the Govt. You can’t do anything without the Govt. You owe the Govt. (All this runs in direct contradiction to the fundamental core values of being American. Which is about individualism to create, innovate, and succeed.)

      => Throwing money into multiple green energy companies that have failed. (When its actually more constructive to initiate a competition among Amercian companies with a cash prize of $10 to $20 million. Only through competition, will real innovation be pushed forward…And last I checked, Americans were good at innovating.)

      For all intents and purposes, why would any American have respect for a President who is demonstrating he wants to change America into a socialist-oriented country as inspired by the mentoring and teachings while he was growing up? Because he’s black, he will miraculously deliver justice to all black people?

      Despite his color, he acts no different to his white opponents. He takes “political contributions” of $500,000 or more; and gives his contributors at least 10x back through the use of taxpayer’s money. In some cases, Obama gives his contributors advisory roles to his Administration! See Steve Westly of Westly Group Investments as an example…Obama says he supports the middle-class and the Occupy Movement. Yet he also perpetuates cronyism practices?

      1. Sorry I said dipshit. That was rude.

        And as a member of the left, I will tell you I was wrong to say that. I never have a problem being told I’m wrong, with the caveat that I actually am wrong. Here I am not, and if you look at my post the only thing you really responded to was that I said the word dipshit.

        Obama wanted to shut down Guantanamo. If you recall when he moved to do that every conservative with Netflix decided to watch the movie Con Air and take it as bible truth.

        Actually, he used Executive Powers to protect an ongoing investigation from becoming a part of an increasingly outlandish attempt to politicize the death of a border agent.

        If we were promoting a war stance with Iran, Iran would know it. The cyber war you refer to was begun under the Bush administration.

        Yeah, he took credit for killing Bin Laden. I’m happy that Bin Laden was dead, unlike when a certain president of the United States played dress up on an aircraft carrier with a big banner that read Mission Accomplished. I don’t remember any pictures of Obama in a Navy Seal outfit, so I consider it significantly less tacky.

        You don’t think that being the first president to say he supports gay marriage is in and of itself a significant act? Really?

        Women are not economic slaves, and it really says something about the way you see the world that you can see that demonstration and say “slavery.” Slavery is something completely different.

        As far as attacking Romney’s past is concerned…he’s running on his past experience in business! He’s running on his past experience as governor! What is Obama supposed to say about him? He’s got a lame haircut? But he doesn’t! That’s the best thing about Romney!

        This next part is the only thing that acknowledges the speech, and that’s a good point. He does downplay individualism since it is true that in the past couple of years it is impossible to call rich people rich people anymore. They are now ‘job creators.’ If you reject the idea that a business benefits from public institutions, okay, I completely disagree with you and think you are willfully missing the point, but okay. I think individualism is good for the American myth, but building policy on the myth of the individual is problematic.

        Green is the future. The reason Solyndra failed was the Chinese government saw them as a threat and made huge investments in Solyndra’s competitors so that Solyndra had to make their product at a loss. Instead of seeing what happened the right decided that this was a scandal, and that we should never try institutionalizing green energy. I need you to understand, this would be like me showing you my cool iphone, and you saying that no, you were putting all of your money into smoke signal technology.

        Yeah, this is something that has come up a lot in the last four years, that if something is socialized it is automatically bad, and that everything works with a business model. I’m not going to give you the whole “what about fire departments, law enforcement blah blah blah.” What I will say is that some services like education, law enforcement and medicine are collaborative enterprises and that adding competition to this would be detrimental to success. Football is a socialist oriented sport, and it is much more fun to watch than baseball, which is a capitalist oriented sport.

        Also, I don’t think anyone expected Obama to have magical powers except the right who demanded he clean up President Bush’s economic mess within the first five minutes of his presidency.

        I have never heard of the cronyism allegations from anyone credible, but considering Obama’s predecessor put an insane amount of money in the coffers of Dick Cheney’s company, claims of cronyism from the right seem a tad shallow.

  2. Let’s keep this Simple… The Government is a Servant of the People. It exists to protect and support Individuals, and the interactions of those individuals through Business. That view, incorporated into the Constitution, was the Genius of our Founding Fathers. Government was Chained and Limited.. for Awahile. As soon as the Government started MANDATING what individuals and businesses could and could not do, taxing anthing that moved, or di’t move, America started the downward spiral that is prevalent all over the world. Talk in Circles all you want, but if Government doesnt get off Our back and out of our Business, it’s going to get thrown off. It happened before, it will Definitely happen again… The Tree of Liberty has Roots Everywhere now.

    1. You understand that saying something like “if Government doesnt get off Our back and out of our Business, it’s going to get thrown off. It happened before, it will Definitely happen again… The Tree of Liberty has Roots Everywhere now” is even more tiresome than “the workers will rise and tree of commerce blah blah blah.” No one is suggesting that the government is not a servant of the people. By the way, keeping it simple in the manner you seem to be suggesting leads to cancer clusters, burning lakes, a minimum wage of nothing, and science classes that end with the Old Testament. Remember, the constitution was written when at a time when practicing medicine depended way more on leaches and way less on x-rays and there were significantly fewer factories that were spewing chemicals all over the place. Just sayin.

      1. FedEx vs. U.S. Post Office; VA Hospitals vs. just about any Private Hospitals; Medicare vs. Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Ford Mustang vs. Chevy Volt; Exxon vs. Solyndra; Amtrak vs. American Airlines; The Fine state of Almost Every Housing project in America; Our Shining public Schools… There is Example after Example after Example of Government overstepping it’s Constitutional Powers and FAILING…And, Millions of SUCCESSFUL businesses on EVERY street corner in America Succeeding. How can you NOT see that? I’m sure You’ll have some witty exchange from this, picking apart my Examples. But John, it doesn’t Work. Government is not the Solution. Free people working together toward there Own mutually beneficial goals Without interference from Government. It’s what made this country Great, no matter you, and the One’s like you, that refuse to see it and try to tear it apart. And, you may find it Tiresome, but I say Again… It was a Bloody Fight to throw off the Shackles of an Oppressive Government. Let’s Hope it doesnt Happen Again. But, it will take people like you, opening your eyes and seeing truly what’s happening to avoid it… Or, People like me Finally Winning the Majority to reverse it. The Third choice is too Terrible to Imagine … Just Saying.

        1. What is this? FedEx vs. Post Office? Post office. I put something in a box in front of my house and it ends up in front of a box at my friend’s house in 3 days. And it’s cheaper than FedEx. By the way, the Post Office is in trouble right now because of an accounting error that Republicans refuse to correct. I’m not saying they need money. I’m saying they need to correct an accounting error.

          Public schools have problems, yes, but a lot of the things said about public schools in this country are very oddly politicized. I went to both public and private schools growing up, and I readily admit that my private school education was excellent and my public school education was not. But, I think that with very little exception the teachers I had in public school were better than the teachers I had in private school. The difference was the attitude of the students that were surrounding me. I don’t know if you have seen the movie Waiting For Superman, where they essentially trash public education and say charter schools are awesome…where I live the charter school is not awesome. Also, if a parent is pushing to get into charter schools, it means that they care. The reason the U.S. scores are not higher worldwide are that we teach everyone, while other countries take students out of school that are not performing.
          I love taking the train. I love flying, but I love taking the train.
          Solyndra vs. Exxon? Solyndra’s product, which worked, was made unprofitable when the Chinese government gave their Chinese competitors enough money so they could flood the market with cheap goods. By the way, Exxon apparently needs special tax benefits in order to stay profitable. By the way, Solyndra was not run by the government, they defaulted on a loan because a foreign government saw them as a threat and manipulated the market. Instead of seeing this as a threat to future infrastructure and jobs in this country, the right used this as an excuse to say that green technology never works. Green technology is the future. Sorry. Investing in companies like Exxon is like investing in smoke signal technology. They have very powerful lobbies,and along with companies that make big cars have promoted the idea that green energy is somehow sissy and fossil fuel is junk swingin in the wind awesome. Considering Medicare is a safety net, I don’t really think it is in direct competition with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. But it also depends on what plan your workplace provides. My current job has a great plan. My last job cost me more and had a 3 thousand dollar deductible.
          You know what, I have never been to a VA hospital. I do know that during the Bush administration funding was cut to VA programs while at the same time he was involving us in a couple of wars that would swell the size of individuals who would need to make use of that service.
          You think that comparing the Mustang, a product that has been around for decades is even close to the volt which is brand new technology? Fine. Ask me that in ten years when gas costs considerably more.
          I have to take exception to this: “I’m sure You’ll have some witty exchange from this, picking apart my Examples.” Okay, so you give me examples and then say I can’t find fault with these examples? Maybe it’s my private school education that taught me critical thinking, or maybe it’s my American tendency to not want to back down from a fight when I am in the right, but what kind of sense are you making? Really. By the way, don’t put the burden of “government is the solution” on me. All I have ever said is that the right is willfully ignoring the substance of Obama’s speech and putting words in his mouth. Basically the point of Obama’s speech–as I understood it–is that self determination is kind of a myth. I don’t think anyone who thinks about this for a few minutes really disagrees. What I find really discouraging is that no one is attacking what he said, they are attacking a really nonsensical interpretation of what he said. To the right, I give your reading comprehension skills a C-. “Free people working together toward there Own mutually beneficial goals Without interference from Government.” Um, sort of. Did you miss a couple of chapters in Social Studies when the robber barons rose to prominence? Cause that’s what’s happening again. And the right seems to really look forward to that. By the way, if you don’t want the oppressive shackles of blah blah, don’t vote for Obama. That is your right. Don’t threaten armed insurrection against a democratically elected government. Just do what normal people do and threaten to move to another country. It will bring you a couple clicks closer to normal on the crazy scale. Sorry, that was mean. I’m sure you are not crazy, just hyperbolic.

          1. The Free Market Works. It works so well, that in less than 200 years, America went from a tiny 13 colonies to the Most Powerful nation in the world. This happened PRECISELY because we shackled our Government and kept it out of our daily lives, our personal decisions, our businesses. This was the first nation in the history of mankind to limit government as we did. The results are staggering. Our technological advances, our abundance, our charities, and our welcoming of untold billions of immigrants escaping tyrrany all over the world are simply amazing from a historical perspective. We are the product of Freedom, not government regulations and beauracracies. For the last 50-75 years, the government has slowly been growing, eroding our freedoms, injecting itself into Every aspect of our lives. With that erosion, our abundance, our accomplishments, and our charities are waning also. Again, the evidence is all around us. You seem to be ok with that. I’m not. “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” Ayn Rand

  3. What, exactly, are you referring to as “Navy Seal outfit”? SEALs wear the same UNIFORMS as other enlisted soldiers, as befitting their rank. Or are you referring to camo and a gun? I mean, really?

    1. Fair enough. Did President Obama play dress up wearing a flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier?
      I mean, really?

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