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Do Ya Feel Lucky, Punk??

July 17, 2012

Well, Do ya? You should, because the way our current President sees it, the ONLY way you can be successful in life is to get lucky and to have the government help you.

Obama clearly is uncomfortable with the idea that individuals have the capacity, without the help of government, to build anything. This is why he could say with a straight face that “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Who’s the “somebody else”? For Obama, it’s government.

Now, this week, he is staking the claim to every successful business ever created. You aren’t successful because you are smart, there are a ton of really smart people. You aren’t successful because you work hard, everyone works hard. The only reason you are a success is because of the government! Booyah!!

He goes on:
“There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

There is actually a true premise to this argument, even though the conclusion (government deserves the credit) is false and evil. Actually, in the early 1900’s most fire departments were private and actually competed for business. The first one to the fire won, and could charge the owner of the thing on fire. The fee was negotiated on the spot while the thing on fire remained on fire. Only after money changed hands did the private firefighters get to work. A lot of stuff burned to the ground back then. But I digress.

Leonard Read pointed out over half a century ago in a 1958 essay titled I, Pencil that there isn’t a single person on the face of the earth who knows how to make a pencil from scratch. Building a pencil requires mining the elements,creating steel to make the saw to lumberjacking, creating the paint, building the trucks and trains to deliver pencils, repairing the pencil-making machines and so on into infinity. No one person can do it all. (You can find a cool video by Milton Friedman on the I, Pencil principle somewhere in YouTube).

However, Obama is stating that nothing happens without government intervention, nothing can happen and being successful is just a matter of getting lucky. Everyone is smart, everyone works hard. The government gets full credit for you getting from point A to point B because the government built the road.

What he is missing, as is anyone that would actually buy into this insanity, is that the difference between one smart person and the next is that one of them got off their ass and did something, the other didn’t. One of them worked 20-hour days to get a business started, funded, working and successful, the other one didn’t. Sure, they never could have done it without roads and running water, not to mention light bulbs and carpeting, but none of those things, or the people/entities that created them got off their asses to start your business.  The government’s role in all this seems to be to get in the way.

The world is full of smart hard working people that will not get off their asses and take the personal risks necessary to create a business. Fortunately there are a few of these otherwise average smart hard-working people that do get off their asses, and the world lurches forward.


Obama believes otherwise, which starts to explain a lot of his decisions over the last three years.  He has never worked for a business, started a business, owned a business or had to shut down a business and fire people. 

What mostly scares me about this is that there is a segment of our population that will believe this crap.


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