If you don't like politics, don't read this post!
If you get offended easily because someone
has a different opinion than you, don't read this post!!
After starting to write a status about my irritation at the ridiculous notion
that businesses owe their success to the government (and everyone else)
I decided to put it on my blog....cause it was several paragraphs long.
If you know me, then you know that I do have strong political leanings
and opinions, so you won't be shocked by this.
If you don't know me....well, you will a little better after this.
Enjoy your glance into my political ramblings!
Obama is now backtracking (which he's soooo good at) saying that he wasn't referring to businesses but roads and bridges in his now infamous "You didn't build that!" quote. But after reading the original comment I can't see how that is possible...Even so, if that was the case, it would still be the most ridiculous assertion! Shockingly, businesses pay taxes (and a LOT more than most people) and those taxes go to do just that...build roads and bridges (which, by the way, are built by private companies with materials manufactured by private companies), as well as other things. (Please try not to pass out from shock at that incredible revelation) And as they pay for more of the upkeep and maintenance of the same infrastructure than you and I do, I can't see that it has any bearing on their success. Anymore than it does on the success of any person who uses the roads to drive to work, school, the store, etc. Or who uses public utilities like waste water (I assume most people use a toilet now and then?) or water treatment facilities (Ever had a drink of water???) By this definition no one can take credit for anything they accomplish. Got an "A" on a test? You didn't do that! Your teacher taught you, you drank water from the water fountain that kept you alive and hydrated, you drove on public roads to get to your school, you used money printed by the government to purchase food that kept you healthy and alive...The list could go on and on.
The assertion that because someone helped you along the way means you can't take credit for what your intelligence, hard work and ingenuity made possible is patently absurd. If the government is going to claim credit for other's successes it better start taking responsibility for everyone's failures. The government would then be responsible for all crimes committed (the criminal drove on the roads to the crime scene), all business failures (they didn't earn enough of the money printed by the government), all deaths (they drank the water processed by the water treatment plants), etc., etc. If you think that's absurd, then you should feel the same way about the concept as it applies to a successful business.
Of course, businesses use public infrastructure, but so does every person in this country and that is precisely what taxes are for. We all pay to have the opportunity to use them, so I don't see what that has to do with a businesses success anymore than it does in anyone elses life. Success is almost entirely dependent on coming up with a product or service that others want and are willing to pay for and then selling it to them. The argument that it's the customers who make a business successful, while somewhat true, is still dependent on the business owner having something that someone is willing to pay for! That takes creativity and ingenuity; it takes being aware of a need, a want or a problem and finding a way to fill it or solve it; it takes hard work and money and often, long hours. Yes, many people are hardworking and intelligent. They may be ingenious and creative, but unless they take the risk to develop that product or service and then market it and sell it, it doesn't matter. I could do any of that...but I choose not to! I don't want to take the risk or do the work involved. I'm happy that others do and more than happy to pay them for it. So why demonize those who do and profit by it? I don't know of any worker (employee or owner) who doesn't want to make money. We all want to be able to buy the things we need and want. If the product wasn't something that someone was interested in, then the business would fail and the owner/creator wouldn't profit. And yes, I know that employees also play a role, but it's a mutually beneficial relationship. Business owner needs help, employee needs money. Voila! A wonderful relationship is born. No matter how good an employee you are, you can't get paid if there isn't a place to work and use your skills. You show your gratitude for your job by doing your best and your employer shows their gratitude for your dedication and hard work with a paycheck.
I want a business to profit (and as much as possible) because I want them to expand and create more jobs. And any smart business owner does just that because they want to increase their profit. Sure there are bad businesses out there, selfish, greedy owners who pay horribly, or don't pass on their success by creating more jobs, just as there are lazy, selfish poor people who mooch off the system and others, creating a drain on our society. But that doesn't mean we punish all people for the few who may be that way. And at least the business owner earned what he keeps, the mooch on society can't say the same.
Now before anyone points out that there are those out there who do those things or would do those things if only they "had the chance", "had the funds", "had the education", "had the luck, support, etc." that someone else did. I get that. We don't all get the same opportunities, just like we don't all get the same challenges. We are all different. The Lord gives us what we need to become who he wants us to. Sometimes, those who don't "deserve" to become rich, do. And those who do "deserve" to be rich struggle their entire life. It's simply the reality of living in a mortal and imperfect world. As I tell my kiddos on a daily basis, "LIFE IS NOT FAIR, neither was it meant to be!" We do the best we can with what we have then leave the rest to the Lord. If you believe in the atonement then you know that any "unfairness" in life is taken care of through His sacrifice. Those who received and proved unfaithful stewards to those blessings will be held accountable. Those who didn't receive and proved faithful in what they were given will be added to. But I am only responsible for what I have been given and as such, I have no right to complain, be envious or take from someone who has more, no matter how undeserving I may feel they are. Because I am not the best judge of another's heart, intentions, sacrifice or stewardship.
People should be rewarded for what they do and they shouldn't be restricted by those who are jealous of what someone else has. And even if the only assets they have is that they are a great manager and some huge company, built up by others who worked hard and innovated, wants them to be CEO, lucky them! I wish them well and hope they honor that trust. If they don't, then they are subject to laws of the land and ultimately, the laws of God. They owe me nothing outside of what is legally required of them. I will protect their right to be selfish and greedy with what is theirs, because I don't want anyone else to tell me what I should or shouldn't do with what is mine.
If you don't like a company's ethics or product, don't be their customer. Personally, I don't frequent Victoria's Secret or Hardees/Carl's Jr. I feel that VS uses advertising that is simply porn and H/CJ had a marketing campaign awhile ago that I found incredibly distasteful and inappropriate. Granted, they wouldn't notice they don't have my support but I choose not to give them my money. However, if the issue is important enough to enough people, a company will take notice and change or fail. I don't envy other's successes. I am content with what I have been blessed to have and I use it to be as giving and as charitable as I choose and I allow others the same right.
So if you're rich, no matter how you got there, I say, "Way to go! Enjoy it, spend it, save it, share it!" That is your right. If you're not rich (like most of us) the same applies to you. What's yours is yours to do what you choose with. Just don't expect to take what's mine or other's based on your or someone elses definition of what is "fair".