"If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that."

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by classicaliberal, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #1
    A few days ago, President Obama spoke a few phrases which I think help distill down many of the differences between major ideologies America and worldwide. The comments have largely been absent from the non-conservative news media, but I think they're important to at least discuss as they lie at the very foundation of many of our differences. Here are the presidents comments from the original transcript:

    There are a few components I want to address:

    A) Some of these comments, on their face, are not disputable or offensive in the least. To say someone didn't achieve everything in their life 'on their own' is an obvious truth. Anyone with a parent, a teacher, a safe and secure place to live, etc. has much thanks to give for their success. This however is a fact that most successful people are well aware of, and many of them give charitably for exactly this reason. Furthermore, if I help someone with their business idea, give them advice, etc. and they later have success I don't feel like I subsequently own part of their business. I have no claim to their property. I gave them assistance of my own volition.

    B) Chicken vs. Egg: Government builds roads, schools, etc. but government is funded by taxpayers. The taxpayers who give the most are business owners and wealthy individuals, and rest of society earns their living working for these entrepreneurs. It's the very businesses Mr. Obama points to that have made our government and government-spending possible. Trade/commerce/business obviously existed long before the American government, so who should be thanking who?

    C) To say that "If you've got a business - you didn't build that." is a fairly frightening comment, especially if taken to its logical conclusion. The implication is that government and society has some sort of ownership over our independent private property. Did Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak build Apple, or does the government lay claim to their company? If I helped pay for a road that Apple hauls it's computers on, do I not then own part of their company?

    D) Growing up in a small town, it was the small businesses, the entrepreneurs, and the large tax payers who kept our town alive. Government served as a middle man directing their tax dollars towards schools, roads, etc. but it was the value they created which made it all possible. It wasn't government that built our small town... it was individuals, people, businessmen.

    E) The implication here seems to be that everything we do, everything we build, is somehow laid claim to by government. We dont' really own that business, government made it possible so they own a part of it too. I'm not the only hard working person, there are lots of them... I'm just lucky, and therefore I should be required by law or other force to give my money back to those I stole it from. Others worked just as hard and didn't get as much money, so spread the wealth.


    I'm sure many of you see it differently. Anxious to hear your thoughts. What was first, the chicken or the egg? Does hard work or intelligence morally allow you to lay claim to the fruits of someone else's labor? What's the big-picture here, the long-term ramification if the president's worldview is taken to it's logical conclusion?
     
  2. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #2
    Yeah this was a pretty big goof statement. I mean, yeah you didn't get there on your own in the sense that you actually have to interact and make deals with people and what not, but the idea that somebody else just made your business happen is just silly. Who made the business that made it possible for you to have a business? At some point somebody had to do something.
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Obama didn't say they didn't build the business.

    He said they didn't build the roads, bridges and internet upon which many business rely.
     
  4. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #4
    Well in a sense they did, since we all pay taxes we all built them. :)
     
  5. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I guess I'm part business owner too then.

    Sounds socialistic.

    No wonder I like the idea.
     
  6. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    This thread will go well. The reality is, Obama is doing more class baiting. He was telling his audience yet again that success is evil and that they are entitled to the fruits of another persons labor.
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    And if that is what you think he's saying, then there is truly no hope for us to ever get along.

    :(
     
  8. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #8
    Here is the full text of the quote, according to the Washington Post:

    This is really nothing new. People on the far left tend to be of the opinion that the government is the center of the country, with everything emanating from there. Generally politicians that feel that way choose their words a bit more carefully when trying to make their point. In this instance, the President made a pretty big blunder by saying exactly what he was thinking.
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #9

    Kudos at least for posting the original transcript, although you conveniently left out his summary which was:

    Clearly, the 'that' that he was referring to was the infrastructure. If Republicans want to cherry-pick statements to build a flimsy case upon, then surely that cuts both ways.

    In terms of the large argument, I agree with the president. I wouldn't be typing this without public education... and Mitt Romney himself agrees:

    This entire argument about a cherry-picked phrase is utterly bogus and those who fall for it are fools.
     
  10. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #10
    What is the "center of the country"?
     
  11. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #11
    It was explained in the part of the sentence that you omitted from the quote
     
  12. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #12
    My question was, if government is not the center, then what is?

    Here's the quote. Find it ...

     
  13. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #13
    Oh...gotcha.

    You and me. The people that make up the country.
     
  14. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #14
    Yeah, I remember the heady early startup days of my youth, laying sewer pipe and asphalt, installing water mains, building out electrical and telephone grids, making up contract law and hiring all those judges to enforce it, inventing the dollar so people would have something to give me... It was damned hard work inventing civilization from scratch so I'd have an environment in which something like a business can exist, and I resent like hell Obama telling me I didn't do it all by hand or that anybody else's effort has the slightest bearing on my present success, or that I should pay one red cent in taxes, ever. The nerve of some people.
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Class, as always. One of the very few reasons I still read here.
     
  16. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #16
    Having run two small businesses previously in my life I can let Obama know that it would have been much easier to fall in line and get a corporate job. There's too many long unpaid hours that go into creating a small business and just getting it off the ground (literally months and years lost in doing this) and the government sure as **** wasn't there with me while I was doing it.

    The government doesn't pay for my public education, the home owners and taxpayers around me do. I repay them by creating a small business and serving the community. See how that works?
     
  17. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #17
    The difference is one venture is started and ran through the government, the other is started and ran privately.
     
  18. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #18
    Agreed. It is all part of Obama's plan to demonize success.
     
  19. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #19
    Where did he say that success is evil?

    This is just a ****ing stupid thing to say. All Obama is saying is that no one achieves success alone and we all rely on each other in some way. Why is that notion so scary to you?
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #20
    I see it as more Obama pointing out that the rich need to pay back what they got off tax payer funded stuff. That means raising the taxes and closing the loop holes that they abuse. Hell what about having the GOP finally live up the promises of the Regan Tax cuts. It was lower taxes and close the loop holes. They lowered the taxes but blocked closing the loop holes. I mean it only over 20 years late.
     
  21. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #21
    Bingo. Why this so upsets conservatives is beyond me.
     
  22. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #22
    Nice little reality check from the boss. Sad that it's even news.
     
  23. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #23
    What's really sad is that conservatives don't get it.

    But you know what? They always insist that they do everything by themselves and therefore should not pay taxes. It never ceases to amaze me.
     
  24. gibbz macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Exactly. President Obama is merely stating how insincere it is to promote austerity when the Government played a part in making their success possible. After obtaining that success, to not only refuse to pay back into that system, but to advocate for the system's weakening is akin to telling others "I got mine and now I want you to have fewer opportunities than me".
     
  25. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #25
    Oh come on, you can't be surprised. These are the same people who brag about being "job creators" as they increase their salaries, bonuses, and stock options all while doing everything they can to reduce wages, cut benefits, demand more productivity, and eliminate job security.

    A tire manufacturer was struggling, so it went to the union that represented its employees. They wanted to help, so they agreed to concessions to wages, benefits, time worked, etc... so that the company could survive the lean times. Today, the company is now making record profits, but has blocked any increases in wages or benefits, or changes to work hours. I'm not talking about raising things above where they were, but just to the way things were before the cuts. Meanwhile, the CEO and others are taking more and more in salary and bonuses because the business is now profitable due to their hard work.

    There are countless examples of these same "job creators" doing everything in their power to be profitable at the expense of their employees. Frankly, it's disturbing to me that two people can work together, but one is worth so much less. If it were two corporations, they would negotiate in good faith, but because they are just workers, they are treated with the same respect you give your second cousin's bratty kid.
     

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