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PRO-BUSINESS OR PRO-SOCIALIST?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 26, 2012) — On July 13, 2012, Obama gave a campaign address in Roanoke, VA, in which he said that entrepreneurs did not build their own businesses. “Somebody else made that happen,” he said. “You didn’t get there on your own.” Taken from the White House website:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — 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 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.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. 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.
Obama led into the comments about entrepreneurs by saying, “Not every government program works the way it’s supposed to.” Obama insisted that no one in America is “on your own; we’re in this together.”
In communist societies, the government owns the means of production, and small businesses are rare. Communists call each other “comrades” and see themselves as part of a whole, rather than as individuals.
During the Cold War era following World War II, there was fear of a “communist conspiracy designed to take over the world” which some claim was well-founded. Since Obama has been in office, the banking, health care, and automobile industries have been largely taken over by the federal government. Obama had promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” during the 2008 campaign.
The Washington Times described Obama’s remarks as “taking a shot at the business community.”
Following Obama’s campaign speech, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney produced an advertisement adamantly rejecting Obama’s perceived denial of their hard work.
Romney said that Obama’s approach is “very different” from the Clinton administration. “He’s trying to take work out of welfare requirement. It is changing the nature of America…” He said that our rights come from God and quoted from the Declaration of Independence.
Obama has claimed that his comments were misunderstood, stating that the Romney advertisement is “flat-out wrong.”A new campaign ad depicts Obama saying, “Of course Americans build their own businesses.” However, he states that money must be put into “education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology,” which would presumably involve the federal government.
Bill Gates, one of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and an Obama supporter, did not need education to become successful. The federal government did not assist him in building Microsoft, but rather, filed a lawsuit against it in 1998.
Does Obama “stand behind” entrepreneurs, or is he against entrepreneurship? As a former member of the New Party, which aimed to instil socialist ideology in theory and practice, did he stand for capitalism or socialism?
In 2010, Obama said that “companies like Solyndra” would be the “true engine of economic growth.” Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last fall after Obama’s stimulus bill awarded it $535,000,000 in a “loan guarantee” which now will not be repaid. More than 1,000 people were laid off as a result of the Solyndra example. Some of Solyndra’s investors had raised money to help Obama’s election in 2008.
Obama’s campaign deputy campaign manager said that “Together, Americans built the free enterprise system that we all benefit from.” Cutter claimed that Romney would “cut investment” in infrastructure and education, upon which small businesses allegedly rely. Cutter accused Romney of “flagrant hypocrisy.” At the end of the video, Cutter asks that it be shared “not just your friends who already support the president…Thank you for your help.”