In a speech given 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.