‘If You’ve Got a Business, You Didn’t Build That…’ or Did I?

President Obama made an ill-advised remark last week during a campaign rally in Roanoke that – depending on whom you ask – was completely benign or a glimpse into his socialist soul. A full transcript of his remarks is provided here for context, courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov. The above video snippet provides more for context than what FoxNews.com showed.

I can’t imagine Obama saying this in Middle America or the Bible Belt, so these remarks were clearly tailored for a loyal audience of a battleground state. The real Chairman Mao would wholeheartedly agree with the president (oy-y-y), but even I got riled up about the insinuation that the lion’s share of my success could be attributed to … what? Some nameless, faceless Big Brother welfare state? The remarks didn’t disturb me as much as the enthusiastic shout-outs – “Amen!” – from an audience that fervently believes that the government has not done enough to lift the standard of living for some Americans.

In a number of jobs over the course of a varied 16-year professional career, I worked alongside some lazy do-nothings who compulsively abused the system, leveraged their hard-working co-workers to cover up for themselves, and marked time while awaiting retirement and a phat¬†pension. I busted my ass believing that the cream rises to the top, success is rewarded and the world’s slackers get their just rewards (for the most part).

Bob Frank, entrepreneur, Truman lover.

A friend, an entrepreneur for 30 years, former educator and a very charitable man (I don’t know many guys who volunteered to mentor youngsters in prisons), is not a big Obama fan. Bob said:

I took high school students from Harlem, gave them jobs, paid for their college and watched them marry and have children – all because of my idea for a business and my commitment to making it successful. Obama’s comments turn my stomach.

In response, Bob wrote the following poem about the life of an American entrepreneur. It’s not quite a haiku, but it definitely gets to the heart of how a good segment of America feels about our current president.

It started one day with a headcount of one,
It was a new business that was more than just fun.
Scrimping and saving to do it just right,
Awake past midnight on many-a-night.
The life of an entrepreneur.

It grew and grew because the leader was good,
He knew what to do, she knew that she could.
They worked like dogs to get market share,
They demanded perfection – wouldn’t settle for fair.
The life of an entrepreneur.

After years of cheap dinners and chicken pot pies,
Profits came in–to many a surprise.
They repaid their debts and shared with co-workers,
They knew that “making it” was a team effort.
The life of an entrepreneur.

Then Obama came along who raised up the tax,
The bottom line was hit as if by an axe.
The dream started to vanish from government regs,
Soon all that was left was nothing but dregs.
The life of an entrepreneur.

Kudos to Bob for rhyming, but Grandmaster Flash doesn’t have much to worry about.

Here’s the kicker: I don’t think it’s realistic to believe we can have a rational solution to the maelstrom of national deficit, recession and unemployment without some sort of compromise. At some point, the powers that be must have the proverbial adult conversation that will involve a give-and-take (e.g., raise some taxes? entitlement reform? informed defense spending reductions?) that will not please the powerful extremist factions among America’s liberals and conservatives that have wrested control of the Democratic and Republican parties from the moderates. However, the current landscape demands some collective sacrifice, does it not? Yet at the same time, I do not feel the state is obligated to prop up a class in society that has consistently made poor choices in life – living beyond your means, investing foolishly, being wasteful, not working hard in school, not working hard at … work. If you don’t think these people exist, watch any episode of “Judge Judy.”

People often say that the greatest thing about America is if you work hard enough, anyone can succeed and anyone can fail. Many people often ignore that last part.

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About Chairman Mao

I like fomenting socialist revolutions and purging my homeland of pseudo-intellectualism and capitalist dogma. I also like sports, dogs and food (although I wouldn't consider myself a foodie).
This entry was posted in Culture, Doomsday, Life in D.C. and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to ‘If You’ve Got a Business, You Didn’t Build That…’ or Did I?

  1. Bob Frank says:

    Dear Chairman Mao:

    I have been retained by your dog, Truman, to represent him with respect to your unauthorized use of his photography on your blog. Truman finds this very offensive, especially with your showing him sitting in some gent’s lap (that happens to be my lap) which implies that he is a lap dog when, in fact, he is a fine dog known for discovering mice and other vermin that are living in your backyard. Truman has requested that you immediately cease and desist using the representation of him on your personal web site unless you are willing to compensate him for the use of his likeness. Please contact me as soon as possible so we may arrange an appropriate compensation agreement.

    Sincerely yours,

    Moe Howard

  2. Charlie says:

    I too am uncomfortable with Truman being exploited in this fashion. He clearly is a major player in this blog and should be rewarded accordingly.

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