Obama to Business Owners: You Can’t Take Credit for Your Success

As if business owners in the United States weren’t discouraged enough already with high taxes, red tape, and an uncertain market, President Obama had some choice words for them in a speech he delivered Friday to supporters in Roanoke, Virginia:

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.

Apparently, hard work, self-discipline, sacrifice, vision, and tenacity just don’t matter. A lazy parasite could just as easily start a successful business if only the right person gave him a leg up. So if business owners aren’t responsible for their success, who is? Well maybe another line in his speech provides a clue:

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.

Well, that clears things up a bit. I thought Al Gore invented the internet. Turns out even he couldn’t pull it off on his own. The government invented the internet. So other people could make money. Right. And the implication is that the answer to our current financial predicament is the same: government.

Marxists have been redefining economic terms to suit their totalitarian ends for some time. Consider that you are not rich or poor. You are “privileged” or “under-privileged.” Because it’s not about how hard you work or how smart you are or how much you can produce at what cost (as Obama makes clear elsewhere). It’s about whether or not fate dealt you a good hand. And since we can’t rely on fate to give the right people the right amount of money, it’s a good thing the government’s there to help everyone share their toys.

This theory is obviously unjust to those people who have taken extraordinary risks and invested considerable effort and resources into making this country worth living in. But, ironically, Marxist rhetoric is also destructive to the very class of people it pretends to champion: the poor. If it really doesn’t matter what you do; if you inherit your poverty or your riches and there isn’t anything you can do to change that; if a successful business could be created by just anyone with the right opportunity; then why try? If you are poor, it’s not because you aren’t working hard. It’s because the circumstances you inherited make poverty inevitable for you. Forget the fact that history says otherwise. If you buy Obama’s Marxist lies, your drive to better yourself will completely evaporate in a wave of resignation. The hard truth is that government largesse hurts in the long run any who receive its short-term benefits… and believe its short-term philosophy of living.

But don’t get me wrong. Obama is all about individual accomplishment. Well, as long as you’re talking about his individual accomplishments. He killed Osama, remember? Did you know he wrote himself into the official White House biographies of every president since Calvin Coolidge? Maybe Obama should take his own advice. It is true that he has done little to build the position he fills and the status he enjoys among the nations. Men before him have made the United States great. He operates on borrowed capital. You’ve got a presidency? You didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen. In fact, they made it happen so well, that even your bungling mismanagement hasn’t been able to destroy the presidency completely. Yet. But don’t worry. There’s still time to add one more line item to your already prodigious list of achievements.