Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

17 July 2012

Somebody Else Built My Business!

Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia on Friday, Obama said:

Obama also said:
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.
My response:

Somebody else invested the start-up money to buy laboratory equipment.  Somebody else had an income of only $10,000 in all of year 1.  Somebody else paid for a high deductible health plan for myself, my wife, and my three daughters.  Somebody else worked 80-hour weeks.  Somebody else acted as an unpaid tax collector for the federal, state, and local governments.  Somebody else paid real estate taxes and personal property taxes on my laboratory facility and equipment.  Somebody else trained employee after employee.  Somebody else developed thousands of customized materials analysis plans to solve my customers materials problems.  Somebody else slept on a cot into the night to be around to start up one more analysis or two through the night.  Somebody else worked many a 36-hour stretch straight through to meet a deadline.  Somebody else wrote thousands of analytical reports.
Somebody else paid my employees and only took their own pay when income was sufficient to provide it.  Somebody else guaranteed the laboratory lease.  Somebody else took the risk of being sent to jail for the possible violation of some one of thousands of regulations that cannot all be known and understood by any small business owner.  Someone else had to fire the occasional mistaken hire who could not perform his job.  Someone else went with less than a week of vacation time year after year after year.  Someone else worked weekend and holiday after weekend and holiday.

I sure am grateful to that Somebldy Else, even if I was mistaken in thinking it was me.  Now that I know otherwise, I am asking that Somebody Else to step forward and be acknowledged.
But, one thing I am really certain about is this:  I do not owe governments a penny more than they have already received from me and my business.  The first 30% of their spending used on legitimate government functions was worth my while paying, but the remainder was a giant rip-off.  Any penny more that I give government today is money they use to make my life and my family's lives just that much harder.  Much of that money is actually spent to violate more and more of our sovereign individual rights.

It is a good thing that Obama is so blatantly stating what this upcoming election is really about.  He is right that his vision of how our society and our government should operate is very different from that of those of his opposition who believe in the American Principle of a very limited, constitutional government whose only legitimate function is the protection of individual rights.

Those of us who believe in the American Principle readily acknowledge that we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those Americans who came before us and gave us a government that was at one time limited in scope and largely protective of individual liberty.  We are also grateful for those many productive Americans who made our society wealthy, robust, innovative, founded on mutual trust, reasonably benevolent, and comparatively independent-minded.  We have long had a society that expected Americans to be self-managers of their own lives and to live their lives responsibly.  There are tremendous benefits to all of us from this.  This is a society in which people have largely been able to reap many benefits from their accomplishments and productive work, while providing rich benefits to all of the rest of us in our society.

Our society has largely been based on a robust and rich private sector in which individuals were free to choose their own values and to associate freely with others of their own choice to pursue those values.  We have been a trader society which operates on the principle of voluntary exchanges of ideas, goods, and services.  I, for instance, could not operate without the many vendors who make and supply replacement parts for my laboratory equipment.  I am very grateful to them for offering me that critical service.  But, I also pay them well for providing that equipment and the replacement parts.  My customers pay for my services because I identity the causes of their materials problems and can often suggest how they can prevent the problem.  They are able to make more money because of the service I provide them.  But, our largely private sector society of free trade and associations provides the very mechanisms that allow us to acknowledge in appropriate ways the debts we have to others who supply us with valuable ideas, goods, and services.

Obama wants to eliminate this voluntary trade and association.  He wants to kill the very mechanisms we have for acknowledging the value of the ideas, goods, and services that others in our society offer us.  He wants hordes of government central planners to choose our values for us and impose them upon us using the full force of government.  He says that because we have reaped some benefits from others and from having government, that we owe it to government to build it up even more.  This Obama prescription is the equivalent of the argument that if taking one aspirin for a headache is good, then taking 100 aspirins for that headache is better.  Or if drinking 8 ounces of water now is good, then pouring 10 gallons of water down your throat now is better.  There are many things which have an appropriate level, which when exceeded begin to cause harm and when greatly exceeded cause great harm.  Obama's argument is shear sophistry.  It is wifty logic.

I see that the spell checker does not recognize wifty.  OK, Obama has a great propensity for ditzy logic, which unfortunately works for many Americans today.  Apparently, that is the outcome of government-run schools that want to produce suitable subjects for a socialist tyrannical government.  The biggest ditz of them all, the perfect product of this educational system promoting socialism, is Obama.

Good is done when two or more people agree upon a voluntary exchange.  This may be in business or it may be in a non-commercial endeavor.  What is good for each of us is very different and we work out the complex evaluations of good in accordance with our personal values in the private sector.  While limited government is essential for the purpose of securing our individual rights, larger government can only compromise the individual values of most of us most of the time.  As government grows beyond its legitimate rights protecting function, it necessarily becomes an individual rights violator.  Government cannot do the complex calculus which 310 million Americans do in living and managing their own lives on a completely voluntary basis with others in all things with which government is not involved.  Of course, that assumes that government would even want to do good for each of us if it could.  The history of big governments in all times and places indicates that they do not want to do such good.  Good government, like good doctors, first does no harm.


Harry Dale Huffman said...

I wholeheartedly agree--this is the clearest revelation of Obama's real nature, and utter lack of character himself, since the quickly glossed-over Rev. Wright episode in 2008. (And that is saying something, as there have now been many clear indicators, like the entirely slimy way he got Obamacare passed, over the outrage of the American people themselves).

N.B.--I wonder if "whiffly" would be recognized by your spell-checker? That's from "whiffle", and it came to mind as the way I would have presented your word, when I read your aside.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

I have discovered another similar blog post by a business owner here:

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Hi Harry,

Thanks for your comment.

Whiffle is appropriate also, whether as in the whiffle ball full of holes or striking out.

Wifty is in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It means ditzy, eccentrically silly, inane. The dictionary documented its use in 1979, but there are reports the word was in use about 1970.

George V. Scheuller said...

Dr. Anderson,
As an unfortunate resident of the socialist state of Illinois, I can only add that we mustn't consider the President's statements as being from one who's "out of touch" or "ignorant" or even "incompetent." Nobody wants to think that a President could have hostile intent toward the country, but this man and his associates have always been calculating in all of their efforts, even back in their Illinois legislature days. The statements they make and the things they do are targeted with great precision.

Thank you for mentioning my blog post, and keep fighting the good fight.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

George, as a resident of the state of Maryland, I am only slightly better off than you are in Illinois. Our present Governor, Martin O'Folley, er O'Malley, wants to surpass Illinois as an example of bad government, but he has not yet had the time to do that.

I most definitely believe Obama is trying to destroy the American Principle, self-responsibility, the sense that many Americans have that they can personally solve important problems, to create as many racial and economic divisions among Americans as he can, and is fueling envy to transfer more power to the government, is seeding distrust to minimize the private sector, and is inimical to the rule of law.

He may be ignorant about some aspects of business, but he has many advisers who want business to be as subservient to the government as they want every individual to be. This is the fascist socialist model of government.