“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” Obama said. “Somebody else made that happen.”
As you know I’m not misquoting our President and you may be surprised to hear that I’m glad he said it. How could I be glad he said something like this? Simple – it offers you and I an open window into his mind on the topic of business creation and entrepreneurship in his Kingdom.
My favorite life truth is “your perception is your reality – if you perceive a thing to be true for you it is.” My perception is that President Obama never did anything in his life that wasn’t supported by government or politics. He honestly, really and truly perceives that nothing is created without government so more government – read more regulation and taxes – is a good thing because it can lead to the creation of more things – some of them even being new businesses that create jobs and wealth.
In 1980 three other sharp young men and this redneck wanted to start a new business – buying and selling Municipal Bonds to Secondary Institutions. It took what I thought was a lot of money to capitalize the business – more that I had for my fourth. Marty and I put in all of our long-term savings and took out a second mortgage on our home to come up with our share of the necessary capital in GKST.
If you remember 1980 short-term interest rates were nearly 20%, longer term US Treasuries were near 10% and mortgages were 14%. Those were perilous times in the Bond Business and if we had of made a slip in our inventory or fallen behind in sales we would have been gone in a puff of smoke – leaving Marty and I with no long-term savings and a second mortgage on our home.
I resent President Obama thinking and saying we didn’t build that! In fact most of the role the government played made it harder for us to start GKST. The money we paid for lawyers to deal with governmental regulation was by far our largest expense.
When you vote are you looking for a President who has started a business and who appreciates what it means to take the kind of risk my Partners and I did? Or are you looking for someone to take from you and some one else so that they can decide who to give it to?