July 18, 2012

Taking Down Obama’s ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Speech

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:32 pm

Zombie’s is a good one, but everyone I’ve seen has failed to grasp a fundamental point, which I’ll get to:

… Obama … presented a thesis which, like a three-legged stool, relies on three assumptions that must all be true for the argument to remain standing:

1. That the public programs he mentioned in his speech constitute a significant portion of the federal budget;
2. That business owners don’t already pay far more than their fair share of these expenses; and
3. That these specific public benefits are a federal issue, rather than a local issue.

If any of these legs fails, then the whole argument collapses.

For good measure, we won’t just kick out one, we’ll kick out all three.

Read the whole thing.

The extra point that needs to be made concerns these Obama’s assertions:

“… look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. 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. (Applause.)”

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

Very, very few people successful people say this, or believe it. Almost invariably, sometimes to a fault, they give credit to others (spouses, employees, vendors, consultants, customers) when interviewed about how and why they succeeded. In fact, I challenge anyone to find more than a small handful of highly successful businesspersons who have actually said the equivalent of “I got there on my own” in first-person singular.

In sum, Obama made a classic straw-man argument. Obama and his “inspirer,” U.S senate candidate and fake Indian Elizabeth Warren, aren’t mad because successful people are out there saying “I did it on my own” — because they’re not. They’re mad because these successful people aren’t saying “I did it because the government helped me.” Well, in the vast majority of cases, the government either hasn’t helped or it has been a stumbling block (e.g., over-regulation, indecipherable employment law) to success which had to be overcome. All too often it’s the latter.

Obama, of course, took it a step further when he said “Someone else made that happen.” That’s simply an insult to anyone who has closed a sale, delivered a product or service on a tight deadline, or more basically pleased a customer in any way and got paid for it as an owner, employee, or contractor. It’s such a fundamental miscasting of how the world really works that it should even horrify progressives. But it won’t.

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3 Comments

  1. “In fact, I challenge anyone to find more than a small handful of highly successful businesspersons who have actually said the equivalent of “I got there on my own” in first-person singular.”

    Tom, I’ve got one: Frank Sinatra
    “Regrets, I’ve had a few…”

    And as for this bad joke,… I didn’t make it. Somebody else made that happen. 8-)

    Comment by GW — July 19, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  2. Actually, I was thinking the same thing. Uh-oh … but that’s why I said “more than a handful” — and all the Sinatra “did it my way” copycats and singer of similar songs don’t count.

    Comment by Tom — July 19, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  3. [...] Tom Blumer “I challenge anyone to find more than a small handful of highly successful businesspersons who have actually said the equivalent of ‘I got there on my own’ in first-person singular….Obama and Warren aren’t mad because successful people are out there saying ‘I did it on my own’ — because they’re not. They’re mad because these successful people aren’t saying ‘I did it because the government helped me.’” [...]

    Pingback by The Ultimate Takedown of Obama’s ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Speech [Video] – John Malcolm — July 20, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

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