“Somebody Else Made That Happen”

by Marilou Long on July 17, 2012

in Debt,Economic Indicators,Employment,Fiscal Policy,politics

As the owner of a small business, I can definitely say that somebody else didn’t make it happen.  We have been in business for twelve years and paid our employees because Laura and I showed up every day, took care of our clients, and paid our employees, taxes, and bills before we paid ourselves.

From the President’s speech at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia a few days ago:

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.

Given that we have experienced 41 months of greater than 8.0% unemployment, this kind of rhetoric is very discouraging to small business owners.  The discouragement and uncertainty of fiscal policy coming out of Washington is reflected in the low confidence reading of small business owners.  The way the speech reads makes it seem that successful businesses pay no taxes and do not contribute at all to the common good of education, infrastructure, or government research.   This straw man argument does nothing to address our critical problems of low economic growth and unsustainable government debt.

I think about the example of pioneers moving west.  Once enough people established their farms, ranches, or businesses, they would all contribute to hire a teacher for their children or a sheriff to protect their town.  The creation of wealth allows for the creation of government.  It is not the other way around.

 

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