Calling it “foolish and insulting”, Romney took a golden opportunity offered up by President Obama – almost on a silver platter – to bash the current president over his remarks that entrepreneurs who run successful businesses do not deserve the credit because they received help along the way.
To a cheering crowd, Romney pounced. “To say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John’s Pizza…” he said, “is insulting to every entrepreneur in America”. This extends to “everyone in America, to those who want more skills and a higher income…people who try to lift themselves up…Obama would say ‘well, you couldn’t have gotten to those schools without the roads that government built for you’”.
“We have less success [under President Obama], and I will change that,” he finished.
I am certainly no particular fan of Romney, but his comments here are accurate. It’s insulting that the president of a so-called free country would stand in front of a crowd of people and diminish the hard work and determination that successful business owners put into their organizations. To say that government-furnished roads helped those business owners in their success and, therefore, limits the effect that the owner had over his business’ success is naive and fundamentally embarrassing to a country who’s private sector is second to none.
Governments do not build societies, Mr. Obama. Governments provide essential services and protect the people against national security threats. Businesses provide jobs. Businesses innovate. From the cars you drive to the cereal you eat, private business is the root of any 1st world society.
President Obama apparently finds himself with the requisite business credibility to lecture successful business owners on how much of their success is owed to others rather than their own hard work and determination.
“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.”
Well yes, President Obama. While certainly there is some degree of help provided by others that cannot be denied, successful businesses are rarely spawned by the brains of dumb people. Why is our president, who has nothing in his past that could even be remotely tied to business experience, lecturing the American business community about success?
“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.”
Clever. Linking the services that our tax money goes to fund for the protection of all people and owning a private business designed to make money and hire portions of the population. The point is, Mr. President, that businesses succeed because of sheer will and determination of the business owner. It is easy to give up, but it is not so easy to remain steadfast in pursuit of bigger and better things. Help is wonderful, no doubt, but help cannot make up for laziness, and it is definitely no substitute for mediocrity.