July 28, 2012
Small Business Success without Government HelpBy Jim Gammon
Our revolution was about individuals and business being forced to do business in accordance with British dictates. It was called Mercantilism. Colonists were allowed to buy only products specified by King George III from approved suppliers.
The justification was that we colonists owed our existence to the Crown that provided the environment for our success. Trade laws were enacted between 1650 and 1674 designed to give Britain a virtually complete monopoly on colonial trade, with them setting the prices. The problem wasn't just taxation and a lack of representation that caused the revolution; it was excessive government controls and restrictions on everyday business and life.
What Mr. Obama, most liberals, and too many Republicans in our government don't understand is how real business works.
America was an experiment. The concept was "What if people were allowed the freedom to live their lives under a minimum of government interference?" As it turned out, things would work out very well indeed!
I worked my way to success, and it was a long time coming. Success is not easy or fast for most of us; there are few Mark Zuckerbergs in the real world.
When I was a kid, we weren't rich; we weren't even really middle-class. We had a roof over our heads and food on the table, but I knew when times were tough because my mother would lament about "not being able to afford meat." She didn't mean steak; she meant hamburger. It made no difference to me -- rice and soup was fine with me. Pancakes for dinner was a treat to me. I was a kid; as long as I had a warm bed, a baseball glove, and a bike, I was more than fine.
My dad took a huge chance without any help, grants, assistance -- no safety net -- and started our small company in our garage. He worked hard, and he did finally achieve "solid middle-class" levels by the time I moved out on my own, but I'll tell you, things got pretty thin at times.
On my own I worked for my dad, and I worked hard. Neither of us ever asked for anything from the government. I paid my taxes. I married. My wife and I both worked for the company. We saved our money. We gambled with the future, investing our efforts into that small family business that paid us little. In fact, among the three of us, we made less than we paid our top employee.
We lived simply; we didn't eat out except sometimes a take-out pizza. We didn't have much, but we were working for the future.
Decades passed. We raised a family. By the time my kids were old enough to go to college, our business had grown. We had paid off the mortgage on our modest home, a wonderful thing to accomplish. We had achieved the American Dream, owning our own home outright.
With freedom from mortgage payments, we could afford to put our one college-bound child through college without any financial aid or assistance. We are now saving for our handicapped child's future, and no, he doesn't get any state aid. He may be eligible, but for what, to get money taken by our government from other people who earned it? It is our duty to take care of our family members. Government aid is forced charity, not something you deserve.
We kept on working hard, and our business fortunately did well. Now we are making a lot more money -- and we are paying a lot in taxes. We pay corporate federal and state income taxes, plus enormous property taxes. When we pay ourselves, the federal and state personal income taxes take even more, and when you add in our home real estate taxes and a 7% sales tax, I'm sure we wind up with only 30% of the money our company made.
We export 30% of our production and import very little -- only what we must. We could make more money by having parts made overseas, but we're Americans.
Yet according to Obama, we didn't earn our success, and although we pay over half of what our company makes to one government agency or another, we don't pay our fair share.
1. How much tax is enough? Eighty percent? Ninety?
2. What should we have to have done differently to deserve our success?
I'd like Obama to answer those two questions, but I know he won't.
We donate to a food bank, Salvation Army, and other charities that provide efficient help to those in need, and unlike with government programs, "need" doesn't include McDonalds, alcohol, and cigarettes.
We take good care of our 65 employees; over half have been with us over ten years. We have good health care and other benefits which we provide voluntarily. We're long-term thinkers in business, and it works.
Over the course of my life, the feds and my state have constantly increased taxes and spending, but government problems with money never go away. So many "revenue enhancements" and increasing spending and debt, yet our problems only get worse. Why?
I'll tell you why: it is because our "leaders" actually believe that when the government increases spending and taxation, it helps the economy. Their logic evades me.
When we go out to eat or have a new fence put in, 100% of the money goes into the local economy. That money churns around in the local economy, and both federal and state tax income goes up.
Tax money isn't spent in the same way; much of it is wasted -- not in anything productive, but in bureaucracy and graft. Waste, cheating, and political patronage are things I wish my federal and home state governments weren't famous for, but they are. If big government was good, why did Russia fail?
We pay our taxes, in full, and I'm not complaining about that -- only about the stupidity in how it is spent.
Infrastructure? We all pay for that, not the government. Government can't get money without taking it from someone. Is Mr. Obama so stupid as to not understand simple economics? Infrastructure, defense, and primary education are not gifts from the government; we pay for them, and the money is all too often spent inefficiently. We owe our government nothing but respect, and only if it earns it.
I worked hard for many years to achieve success. I wasn't successful until very recently, and only due to hard work, sacrifice, talent, and a bit of luck (the grace of God, if I can say that these days). What exactly have our "leaders" done to earn their place in government? What gives them the right to be over people who have earned their success?
In business, you succeed only if you have talent, you're smart, honest, and highly efficient, and you keep your "eye on the ball" (actually, many balls at once), plus willing to work long, hard years with no guarantees. You must worry, plan, and treat your people and customers well. To win, you must outperform your competitor. Being the boss in a small business isn't a walk in the park.
Smarts and hard work aren't enough in the real world, Mr. Obama.
In government, you have no concerns for accuracy, efficiency, or success. It must be nice. You have guaranteed success and guaranteed retirement, no matter whether your programs work or not. No matter that you lose money -- you're supposed to!
They don't teach reality in college; they teach theory and philosophy. Few professors have ever been in the real world. You learn facts in the real world -- a world of which Mr. Obama knows nothing. The man never even had a job where he had to produce goods or services -- that we know.
When you increase taxes on a company (for example, small business owned by upper-middle-class Americans), this directly increases the selling price of the goods or services it provides. So the tax gets passed on down the line, and you, the consumer, eventually pays that tax. Maybe Mr. Obama missed an economics class or two? We'll never know, will we?
I'm not stupid. I know Obama is simply singling out a part of society as a target, vilifying them and therefore justifying taking their money. It is dirty street politics at its worst (Alinsky-style). He needs money, he needs someone to blame for his failures, and he needs someone to blame for the plight of the poor. Hitler choose the Jews, Obama chose the upper-middle class. In his eyes, there is no upper-middle class anymore -- only the downtroden poor and undeserving rich.
He doesn't care about the truth; he rationalizes. He thinks like Willie Sutton, who robbed banks because that's "where the money is." His behavior is indicative not of any political philosophy, but rather of simple and dishonest rationalizing. He vilifies the successful upper-middle class simply because they have money he can take.
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