We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I've run a small business for 20 years. Nobody gives a sh*t about it but me and my partners. Not the town, state, or federal government. When I made next to nothing all I got was increased paperwork. When I started to make money, all the personal tax credits started to disappear because I made too much ($75000!). As I made more money the rates went up. If I hire one more employee I become too large to slip under lots of onerous rules.
Now to get this money we travel to some real garden spots to work (Mexican border, Africa, Middle East) and bring it back to the USA. Since Obama is inspiring less real respect in the world the nasties don't fear us, so my protective shield of an American Passport is not worth so much.
If I fail no level of government will share my burden. THe roads here in CT were built before the revolution and paved by my taxes today. I can't send a bill to my town or the teachers union for failing to provide an adequate math education for my kid, so I had to tutor her at home.
I guess I have to pay the graft to the pols like the unions do.
There is a theme which is running in the Obamite camp right now, which is this quote is taken out of context. In a sense, it was. There is more to this, however. Let's just address context first, then the problems of the speech second.
Obama did give credit to individual initiative.
But he also said that society gets to lay a claim to some of the achievement because "somewhere a teacher inspired". This is true. At some point, each individual is inspired by someone somewhere. Maybe it was a teacher, maybe it was another businessman.
In addition, he and Elizabeth Warren point to the fact that roads and sewers and other services help that business get moving.
These are 'truths' insofar as today the government does provide education, roads and services. These are NOT 'truths' in the traditional sense, however, because these services can, were or are provided privately in many cases. Just because, in some cases such as education, the government stepped in and took over, doesn't mean the government gets to lay claim to 'inspiration' from a teacher. Neither does society. I went to a private school, so any inspiration I got Obama has no claim on.
Roads were also originally managed privately. Through a confluence of events, the government eventually took over. However, all public/private toll partnerships which built the first modern highways were big moneymakers. Every single one which was built was told it would fail. Not one single toll road failed - all made money. As a result (much like things like the Brooklyn Bridge), the government claimed it could do a better job managing a money maker.
These are bad ideas which have yielded mediocre results. If Obama believes that this is the nature of inspiration, or the things small businessmen should be thankful for and diminish their value for taking risk because of their existence.....he is sorely and sadly mistaken.
Obama says these things because he has no idea what it means to work in the private sector. He is utterly clueless about how risk and value work. In his view, the government prints money and gives it away and magic happens to make the economy work. He is a sad, deluded man.
So Obama wants to penalize companies that outsource jobs? He can start with RIM, the maker of his treasured BlackBerry device, which, according to this Forbes article, outsources the manufacturing of the components in its devices mainly to China,
Or he could start with Apple, the company that has become the most highly capitalized behemoth on the NYSE by outsourcing the manufacture of its products to China. Go ahead Obama, make my day: slap a big tax penalty on Apple products to punish it for not making its stuff in the US. That would go over well with the young and yuppie voters you need to win re-election. Damn gasbag.