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The Left's War on Entrepreneurship

Obama actively opposes what it takes to create jobs.

By Petrarch  |  July 18, 2012

As pundits, we love gaffes, and we love the satiric definition of a gaffe: when a politician accidentally tells the truth.  Like all politicians and, indeed, all human beings, Barack Obama is no stranger to gaffes, though you don't usually hear about them because his sycophantic media supporters doesn't consider them to be news fit to print.

Mr. Obama's latest gaffe on the subject of business founders and entrepreneurship, however, is so mindblowingly plainspoken and so profound in its implications that it's hard to see how it could be hidden.  Quoth the President:

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.

On its face, this is nothing less than the truth.  The Google Guys are enormously rich, but they run a company full of people who aren't.  They couldn't have made Google into the giant business it is today without help from everybody from the janitor who sweeps their floor to the accountant who tots up their take.  It's equally true that, as the President observes, there are lots of smart and hardworking people out there who don't reach Himalayan heights of success.

But that's exactly the problem - there are lots of smart and hardworking people out there who never get much further than providing for their families.  We could fill entire stadiums, and regularly do, with just that sort of person.

Mr Obama isn't content with just pointing out that nobody gets rich without a lot of help.  No, he goes further.  He believes, deep in the bottom of his soul, that because rich people needed help to get rich, we have the right to take it away from them and give it to the average joes who never made it big.  This may get him votes because there are so many people out there who feel they don't get nearly as much as they deserve.

How many people are there who found giant successful companies?  Nothing like as many.  You could maybe fill a resort hotel with them as they do at Davos or when the Bilderbergs meet, but not much more than that.  A world without Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the Google Guys would be a totally changed and far poorer one - indeed, each and every one of our personal lives would be unimaginably different without those four people having walked this earth.  A world without paper-pushers, now...

What Barack Obama's gaffe show is how, fundamentally and deeply, he is a Marxist in his heart.

The Truth About Marx

Notice what I did not say.  I did not say that Barack Obama is a Communist - he isn't.  I certainly didn't say that Mr. Obama was a would-be mass-murdering Stalinist - he clearly is not.  He's not even an armed-revolutionary Leninist.

But then, neither was Karl Marx.  Marx never killed anybody or overthrew a government.  His ideas inspired others to, though, because they rest on one fundamental fallacy, a complete misunderstanding of the purpose and value of management and entrepreneurship.

What are the telltale slogans of Marxists the world around?  "Workers of the world, unite!"  "Workers should own the means of production!"

In the industrial era in which Karl Marx lived, there was a clear distinction between the overalled workers who punched into the factories every day and the tophatted capitalists who owned the factories, kept most of the money, and did no visible work.

Key word: visible.  Because what Marx and his followers down through the decades totally forget is that, without the capitalists, there would be no factory in the first place.  There were workers for centuries before factories were invented; why didn't they build them?  Why did they have to work themselves to death in muscle-powered farming instead of building factories to work in instead?

There have been accountants, janitors, even computer programmers for many decades, and none of them invented Google, Microsoft Windows or the iPod.  A specific person did - no, not alone, far from it, but each of us can point to the individual human beings without whom we'd not have those miracles of modern technology.

The Truth About Visionaries

Bill Gates had a vision.  His hard work and encouragement led others to make it reality.  The vision was invisible, impossible to value until it came into being.  Every single entrepreneur and business founder likewise has a vision of something that is not there, on which no value can be placed until it is there.

It's a little bit like the old joke about the fellow with a car that wouldn't start who called a mechanic to come fix it.  The mechanic came, looked under the hood, grabbed a hammer, smacked the engine - and then the car started and ran fine.  He presented a bill for $100.

The owner, frustrated, said, "$100 for just smacking my engine with a hammer?  I want an itemized bill."  A minute later, he had one: "Hitting engine with hammer, 50c.  Knowing where to hit it, $99.50."

It might look like Bill Gates doesn't work 1,000,000,000 times harder than his janitor even though is income is 1,000,000,000 times greater.  In the scientific definition of "work," it's true - there aren't that many more hours in the day.  That's not the point.

He knew, or thought he knew, something that ought to be done and that could be done which nobody had ever done before.  Then he went ahead and did it, better than anyone else, and reaped the rewards.  The example of Bill Gates no doubt inspired the Google Guys and countless others, most of whom haven't been as successful as he but, equally, most of whom were more successful than they would have been if they hadn't tried to follow his example.

Barack Obama, like any Marxist, doesn't understand this.  He thinks factories, businesses, and jobs just magically come into being by government diktat and that they then can be filled by identical interchangeable workers receiving "according to their needs."

The Truth About Work

The history of America proves that Mr. Obama could not be more wrong, but when you're just an ordinary worker struggling to get ahead, it sure sounds appealing!  Why do the rich have more than I do?  They're no better than I am, and they can't work that much harder - can they?

In hours, no, but in results, they certainly can.  How many lives have been improved or jobs created by their innovations compared to anything you've done?  How many jobs have you created?  How many new products have you launched?  It's not the hours spent on the job that matter, it's the result of those hours.

Mr. Obama explained his beliefs with perfect clarity:

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.

No, the Internet didn't get invented on its own, but it didn't become the world-girdling network it is today because of the government.  Yes, researchers at government labs invented the technologies that we know today as the Internet, but it took private entrepreneurs with individual imaginations and vision to bring the Internet out of the lab and into every home.  If it had been left up to just the government, the Internet would tie together government offices and the military, nothing more.

That, of course, is what Mr. Obama and his allies really want - everything should be left up to government.  By definition, entrepreneurs and businesses are the enemy of their goal - they never know when some new invention will come along and hurt their friends.  That's why businesses, and especially new businesses, must be cut down to size by any means necessary.

The thought of people being able to earn money without government help and declare themselves independent of government is utterly anathema to the Left.  Barack Obama has spent his entire life steeped in that belief.  Any action which hurts our economy is a step in the direction of more all-encompassing government power and less ability of individuals to get by without the help of their betters in government.

As President Reagan said, you can't be pro jobs and anti-business at the same time.  Mr. Obama talks the pro-jobs line, but his actions, and his occasional utterances, show where his heart really lies: the only "jobs" he wants to create are government ones, and if by doing so he destroys real jobs out in the real economy, so much the better.