I don't resent what they've built

My Thoughts

Dr. Bill AtwoodAugust 1, 2012 

Friday, July the 13 wasn't a very lucky day for the president of the United States. It wasn't a misstep and it wasn't a gaffe. The president showed his true feelings about how he sees the economic system of the United States. I really wasn't surprised at his stance but I was surprised that his handlers let him state it.

He was in campaign mode and the crowd sounded to me like they were in favor of another volley in the Obama class warfare program.

The president hadn't ever run a commercial enterprise in his life and he doesn't seem to understand that hard work, determination, sacrifice and other factors all contribute to the success of a business. To be fair, many an enterprise has begun and through bad luck or conditions beyond the control of the businessperson the venture is doomed. That is how capitalism works. Some make it and many don't.

When I was growing up and I saw rich people and how they lived I would ask why they got to have so much money and so many things. Dad explained it in a rather easy manner -- "They earned it." I learned at an early age that the harder you worked and the more you did the rewards got better.

I began a paper route with the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and grew that route from 30 papers to 95 papers. I made triple the pay. When I decided to start mowing lawns in my neighborhood I did a good job of mowing, raking, edging, weeding and cleaning up. I earned my $2 front and back. $4 for an afternoon was a great pay rate and I soon had five steady customers each week.

Mom and dad had me mow for free as they felt they had "trained me" and it was the least I could do for the home-front.

The other kids I went to school with were always amazed that I seemed to always have a couple of bucks on me and I liked having the cash in my pockets. Many times when we stopped at the local store on the way home from school some of those friends would ask me to buy their items. Not a loan but an outright gift. After doing this a few times I soon realized that I was doing the work, pleasing the customers, sweating and getting dirty, giving up play time and they wanted to reap the rewards. I believe that is when I really began to understand capitalism. The other guys believed in the share the wealth concept.

To be fair, I did walk down the streets provided by the taxpayers and I did use water systems provided by others and all the other shared expenses that taxpayers provide. I have spent the last 45 years paying taxes to various entities to provide those same services for others as a way to help keep the system growing.

But I never had a community organizer come to help mow the lawns or rake those yards. At 4:30 a.m. every Sunday morning I had to get up and fold all 95 Sunday papers and ride my bike the three miles or so to deliver them to my customers. The other six days I was delivering the 95 papers after school and then going home to do my chores, homework and participate in the family activities along with being active in Scouts, sports and Church.

I paid my way through college carrying a full load, working full time and raising a child (nephew) as a single parent/guardian. Again, I did not have any government folks helping out. Now I get to reap the benefits of my hard work in school.

The same is true of each business person you meet. They have endured countless long hours, great risk, government regulations that strangle you, high taxes, penalties and the insult that they did not "build it."

When I see Oprah with her billions and Gates with his I see people who have worked hard to get all their riches. I don't covet what they have and I don't resent that they have it because they earned it. They built their companies from nothing.

Look around our area and you will see the people who have built their enterprises into successful operations. They did it in spite of the actions of an over regulating government and not because of the government.

Sorry Mr. President, they did build that.

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