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8 out of 10 successful businesses in America are considered “small businesses” and are successful not because of the government, but in spite of the government

“You didn’t build that?!”

By —— Bio and Archives--July 16, 2012

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Once again Barack Obama has demonstrated that he doesn’t have a clue about how America works. This time he borrowed a line from Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown in an effort to reclaim Teddy Kennedy’s seat. Obama claims that anyone in the US who runs a successful business has not achieved that success on his or her own volition, but instead has to thank the government for making that success possible.

At a recent campaign stop in Roanoke, Virginia, Obama told those in attendance, “If you’ve been successful, 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.”

So aside from being totally unoriginal, Obama also betrays a disdainful contempt for voters’ ability to separate truth from fiction. In this case fiction being the conceit that it’s government that makes success in business possible.

I suppose if you’re General Electric and you’re in a cozy crony capitalism relationship with the powers that be and happen to build wind turbines, then it’s true that your success in this endeavor is in large part due to your relationship with those in power.

But the fact is that 8 out of 10 successful businesses in America are considered “small businesses” and are successful not because of the government, but in spite of the government. When one looks at all the roadblocks that government strews like landmines across businesses in America, it’s a wonder that any business is successful. The federal bureaucracy alone accounts for some 80,000 additional pages of new regulations per year.

Recently John Stossel, Fox News’s in-house libertarian looked at just how difficult it is to establish a business in America after learning that police and government had shut down a number of lemonade stands set up by enterprising youngsters. Lemonade stands have long been a traditional entry point into entrepreneurship among young Americans. Yet the thousands of pages of rules, regulations and laws thrown up by government bureaucrats have all but made it impossible for young Americans to get a taste of how capitalism works in America. Just ask 14-year-old Kasity Dixon and her younger sister, Skylar, who had their lemonade stand shut down by police in Georgia last summer because they didn’t have the proper permits to sell lemonade. In case you’re thinking this is a one-off event, it also happened in other places across the US, including Texas, Alabama, New York and California.

Stossel wondered what it would take to set up a legal lemonade stand in New York and was shocked to find out that one had to register with the County Clerk’s Office in person, Apply for an IRS Employer Identification Number, Complete a 15-hr Food Protection Course, register and take an exam after the course on which you’ll need to score a minimum of 70% to pass, register for a sales tax Certificate and so on, ad nauseum. Stossel didn’t go through the whole process, as it would have taken upward of 65 days to open a legal lemonade stand, not to mention all of the fees that would have to be paid en route.

But back to Obama’s claim that, “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” It’s a totally disingenuous and specious claim, given that teachers and infrastructure are paid for with taxes. And 71% of income taxes collected by the government is paid by 10% of taxpayers, those very same business people that Obama loves to vilify in his quest to feed class hatred among ignorant people who believe you can get something for nothing.

The big issue in this presidential campaign is not about the economy; it’s not about Obama’s poorly thought-out healthcare program or even about government spending, as all these are symptoms of a larger malaise plaguing the nation. The big issue in this campaign is about givers and takers and how those who take will always kill the goose that lays the golden egg. In this case they’re being urged ahead by the pied piper of Chicago who is prepared to pay any price, no matter how dear to fundamentally transform America into a socialist dystopia.

Klaus Rohrich -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Klaus Rohrich is senior columnist for Canada Free Press. Klaus also writes topical articles for numerous magazines. He has a regular column on RetirementHomes and is currently working on his first book dealing with the toxicity of liberalism.  His work has been featured on the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, among others.  He lives and works in a small town outside of Toronto.

Older articles by Klaus Rohrich

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