Tuesday, July 17, 2012

“The errand boy’s view of what business is about”

William Tucker has a splendid piece at the American Spectator that plumbs Obama’s fathomless ignorance of entrepreneurship.
What Obama really embodies is the college professor's resentment that even though he's always been the smartest guy in the room -- valedictorian of his high school, scoring over 750 on his college boards, editor of the law review -- there are still people out there much less smart who are making more money. You can see it right there on the page. "I'm always struck by [business] people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there." Ah yes, I wonder who we're talking about here? "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." Indeed, there are millions of people who work very hard at their jobs. But to start a business you've got to do more than work hard. You've got to create something entirely new. You've got to be sensible, you've got to be ambitious. You've got to be willing to quit your day job, run up a lot of credit card debt and maybe risk everything in order to turn your dreams into reality. It's a lot different than taking college exams.
And speaking of college exams, are we really sure that Obama did so well on those? Just askin’.

Tucker continues, torpedoing the president’s conflation of public works and private industry:
Our prosperity has been built by entrepreneurs, not by government bureaucrats. The government could pave the road in front of your house twelve times over and it wouldn't help one bit in bringing a dream to fruition. Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, is filled with magnificent boulevards that would make any city in the world envious. They just don’t have any cars driving on them or shops lining them or even people walking on them. That's what government without free enterprise gives you -- public monuments without prosperity.
Obama’s not Carter 2.0; he’s the second coming of Huey Long. Sure, he’s better educated and is slathered with a couple of coats of what passes, these days, for sophistication. But his philosophy, driven by envy and ignorance, and bolstered by the gangster’s disregard for the rule of law (as well as the gangster’s willingness to make deals with compliant members of targeted groups, for a price), dovetails nicely with Old Huey’s mixture of class-warfare rhetoric and flagrant corruption.

Richard Nixon was just a wide-eyed altar boy compared to Obama, and Lyndon Johnson the merest naïve rustic. God help us if he’s reelected; it’ll take more than a modern version of the Secret Six to undo this guy’s syndicate.

Update: Rep. Paul Ryan goes pit bull on Obama’s comments in an interview with James Pethokoukis. Some highlights:
– “The idea that these entrepreneurs owe all their success to some government bureaucrat or some centralized planner just defies reality.”

– “Every now and then, President Obama pierces the veil. He’s usually pretty coy about his ideology, but he lets the veil slip from time to time.”

– “He’s deluded himself into thinking that his so-called enemies are these crazy individualists who believe in some dog-eat-dog society when what he’s really doing is basically attacking people like entrepreneurs and stacking up a list of scapegoats to blame for his failures.”


Minicapt said...

The President was a member of a championship high school basketball team, but only as a benchwarmer.


RebeccaH said...

I suspect even errand boys have a better grasp on business than the Schoolmarm-in-Chief.

Marica said...

I've been thinking more about the other part of Romney's response. To paraphrase, it's not just entrepreneurs, it's anyone who pulled himself up, etc.

My dad, who was born in 1929, was one of seven kids. I do not think life was easy growing up then. In high school, he went to work as a stock-boy in a retail chain store that *was* founded by an entrepreneur-- James Cash Penney. When Dad later returned from serving his country, he discovered the manager had held not only his job for him, but promoted him to clerk. Forty years later, Dad retired from JCPenney-- after having been manager of five increasingly large stores.

Dad wasn't an entrepreneur. But in each of the stores he managed, the sales volume & profits increased. And because of this his compensation increased. And he had to HIRE more people. He increased newspaper advertising. Raised employee salaries. He personally gave more to charity.

It ain't rocket science.

(Thanks for the venue. This has been bugging me all day.)