Guest Post: You Didn’t Build That

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics,


If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet.

Much of the blogosphere has defended Obama’s statement, along one of two lines:

  1. That Obama didn’t mean that business-owners didn’t build their businesses — he was talking about infrastructure creation and the wider economic, legal and political system.
  2. That Obama is right — and businesses owners are really not responsible for building their businesses.

Both of these arguments are nonsensical.

Economic and business growth is a complex and multi-dimensional thing, driven by the complex relationship between both supply and demand. To claim that those who put the legwork into building a business — whether that is the owners, or workers — “didn’t build” the business is totally false and absurd.

And even if Obama was talking about infrastructure and the wider economic system (which I suspect was the case) it is taxpayers who fund infrastructure creation, and the overwhelming majority of businesses and business owners (other than the bailed-out financial institutions and similar) contribute heavily to tax revenue.

Whichever way we look at it tax-paying business owners past and present — particularly small businesses, who create far more jobs than their larger corporate counter-parts — built not only their businesses, but also contributed to and funded the wider economic system and the institutions of the state.

Obama and his speechwriters ought to look more carefully at the country they desire to be elected to lead. Obama’s comments are hostile to the moral and intellectual foundations on which America has been built — the celebrated ideals of individualism and the self-made man.

As the former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass noted:

Self-made men are the men who, under peculiar difficulties and without the ordinary helps of favouring circumstances, have attained knowledge, usefulness, power and position and have learned from themselves the best uses to which life can be put in this world, and in the exercises of these uses to build up worthy character. In fact they are the men who are not brought up but who are obliged to come up, not only without the voluntary assistance or friendly co-operation of society, but often in open and derisive defiance of all the efforts of society and the tendency of circumstances to repress, retard and keep them down.

I wish we had a Republican Presidential candidate who acted in the spirit of Douglass.

Although Romney will outwardly claim to subscribe to Douglass’ values, his record suggests otherwise. The 2012 Presidential election is between two architects of socialised healthcare, two defenders of government bailouts, two advocates of pre-emptive warfare and indefinite detention without trial.

America, I think, still has a free spirit — although less than she once did. Yet Americans have been browbeaten by two political parties who are largely hostile to the old American ideals of individual liberty, individual responsibility, nonconformism and the frontier spirit.

Yet I am an individualist. If we as individuals are willing to accept the erosion of our liberty, we have only ourselves to blame.

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Wed, 07/25/2012 - 19:03 | 2651238 Squishi
Squishi's picture

Obama Likes slavery!

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 19:16 | 2651269 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

Last I checked the govt. gets bids from the private sector to build infrastructure..


The reality is that all the slaves in China built the tools we use to build it..

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 19:19 | 2651287 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

One word: Blacklist

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 20:05 | 2651424 TruthInSunshine
Wed, 07/25/2012 - 21:00 | 2651577 Captain Kurtz
Captain Kurtz's picture

Indeed there isn't.  But what many fail to grasp is that you do not open an american small business in the D.R.C or Downtown Mogadishu.  It takes more than just bridges and laws to create a great society.  It takes enforecement.  Y'all need to chill because Obama just schooled everyone on how has the keys to the F-22's and it aint the 1%.  What government gives it can also take away- that is unless the people dont support it.  Seems like until we get to that point one could deem that as tacit approval. 

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 21:08 | 2651593 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I'm third generation family business. Employ about 180 people. Guess who the highest paid employee's Uncle Sam. When you factor in payroll taxes, income taxes and all the other taxes Uncle Sam takes the most from our business bar none. And Uncle Sam doesn't have to worry if someone doesn't show up for work or calls in sick. He gets his paycheck no matter what.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 21:44 | 2651695 grey7beard
grey7beard's picture

Idiot statistics. 

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 00:22 | 2652070 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

i went toe to toe for 20 yrs....this year i finally threw in the towel....between the quarterlys, and the constant abuse by the owe malley admin. in md......i no longer contribute...over the last 2 yrs i dismantled my ira...paid the taxes and fees for leaving the party...everyone should set up some type of business to take advantage of the system....i truly feel sorry for the forty hour paycheck collectors, who are captive in this system....on the other hand, imo most forty hour collectors look at the take home and dont even realize they are the biggest of the fools...i could be wrong

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:29 | 2652154 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

People used to respect wage earners.  It used to be honorable to work at a job and get paid for it.  Now, they're just "forty hour collectors".  They're just "collectors", implying they don't contribute anything.  There are too many people that do not respect work for wages any more.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 21:05 | 2655272 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

you wernt even close with what you thought i implied....let me a business person i have accsess to tax advantages that a typical employee i may make lets use a 100k...but when they (cpa's) get done, i made way south of 100k...thru depreciations etc., hell i could almost qualify for food stamps ..... now an engineer who works for xyz makes 100k.... mort. ded.  kids and he only pays on taxes on you can change ur assumption now....

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 21:46 | 2651707 billwilson
billwilson's picture

And probably prvides the best value of any employee. How else did your employees learn to read and write (did you teach them?), how did they get to work (did you pick them up on your horse?), who makes sure there is a legal system,a nd a court system, and .... It is not like you are paying a fortuen and getting nothing in return (just look at all that nice military equipment and foreign wars you get too - one HUGE chunck of government expenses).

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 22:40 | 2651824 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Without a State the earth would literally stop turning. Got it.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:26 | 2651964 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

So many people forget the genuine wisdom of older generations of Americans, who told the government that it worked for them, first and foremost, in good times and bad. There's no way in hell that they would tolerate the current size of federal, state and local government, with its 22 million DIRECT employees (that number doesn't include contrators who essentially do the work of government agencies, so don't let a very disingenuous Paul Krugman or Henry Blodget hoodwink you with claims of "government in shrinkage mode," which is total bullshit).

Now, we have a pussified nation where it's commonly accepted that government is to be fed and engorged off the sweat and toil of productive private sector workers, no questions asked, and with no reasonable limits imposed on the massive, ever growing, Orwellian Hand of Big Brother & Big 'Sis.

So, pussified American should ask of their government worker overlords: "Massa, what can I do for you to make your life easier?"


Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:30 | 2652157 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

Without a state, sombody would be breaking into your house and taking your stuff and killing you right now.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:48 | 2652175 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

Without alternative media the state would be breaking into your house and taking your stuff and killing you right now.


There, I fixed it for you.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 02:00 | 2652177 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

@ yrbmegr sockpuppet v.2.0:

First of all, can you cite where I stated anything about "without a state?"  Was I not speaking of the size of government and its employee base relative to that of the private economy?

Second, were the crimes you describe more or less prevalent when government was about 1/25th the size it is now, relative to the total population?

Third, you presume much about the ability of anyone or any group of people to successfully perpetuate those crimes against my person and property given that you know nothing about me, no?


Your literally insane comment reminds me of this:    

The Chancellor - YouTube



Thu, 07/26/2012 - 05:45 | 2652295 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture

that's what the governement want you to believe brainwashed guy!


if you have a gun you can fire back, and if someone is coming in your house how much time will need the police to come? too much for sure

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 19:24 | 2655031 Captain Kurtz
Captain Kurtz's picture

if your awake all night on lookut for the roving gangs of bandits your ass aint getting no sleep.  Then how are you supposed to have a job?

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:17 | 2652421 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Who exactly wants to abolish the state?  Another imaginary Obama strawman.   

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 14:44 | 2654002 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Raises hand.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 23:31 | 2651948 WatchnSee
WatchnSee's picture

Billwilson=Dipshit. Now I feel better.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 23:33 | 2651954 Inspector Bird
Inspector Bird's picture

I went to private schools.  My mom raised six kids and sent them all to private schools.  Without government assistance, too.

Did I have a teacher who inspired me?  Sure.  After I've become successful, I still won't credit them for doing anything which I did on my own.  Why should I?  Did they do it?  No.  They just inspired me.  So did my mom, but I don't see her making any claims on my success.

Did I use roads?  Yep.  Oddly enough, those roads were paid for by taxes paid by businesses and private individuals, and in most cases while the government handled the bidding process, private companies built them. Regardless, if you truly believe the government was valuable, then you also assume that roads HAVE to be built by the government.  Ahem.  The first roads in the US were private roads, and earned a profit.  Could that have continued?  Sure.  The government was asked to step in because the individual firms managing these roads found it difficult to standardize.  Today, that kind of thing happens naturally (USB ports, for example) because companies recognize the value of working together.  It's not NECESSARY for the government to provide roads, it's just how it happened. 

Bridges were originally all private too.  Brooklyn?  Private Enterprise built it.  It was essentially stolen by Tammany Hall. 


There is no RULE that says these things Obama claims for government MUST be provided by government, it's just turned out that way and nobody has questioned it.  More importantly, these businesses WERE built by hard working people with great ideas and lots of effort.  Did Obama build them?  No, actually he made building them more difficult with his tax structure and confusing approach to managing the economy.

Screw Obama. He's a liar, and he has no sense of context since all he ever was is a freeloader. 

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:37 | 2652166 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

You say it's not necessary that government build the roads, that it just happened that way.  But it wasn't just by random happenstance that it happened that way.  It happened that way for good reasons, the same reasons that it has happened that way in other countries and other times.  Who built the roads in the Roman Empire?  Not private businesses.  Who built the roads in the British Empire?  Government does it because that's how it gets done best.  All economists recognize this.  There's even a term of art for it.  And Obama never said that people who built businesses did not build them.  You're just speaking Fox News speak.  He said those business owners did not build the infrastructure from which they benefit, and which facilitated the building of their businesses.  And he's absolutely right.  If you deny it, then prove it by building a business in Somalia or Haiti.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:44 | 2652174 Colonel
Colonel's picture

There's the ridiculous "roads" theme again. Leftard idiots.

Fri, 07/27/2012 - 07:00 | 2655762 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

They left out "airports & bridges" from the Holy Infrastructure Trinity

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 05:48 | 2652299 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture

lol and tell me, who pay for roads and bridges? the governement? LOL and WHO THE HELL PAY TAXES?

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 06:28 | 2652326 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

to all those obuma is wise fools fuck off.

his statements are boiled down to this: wealth comes from government not the sucessful tax unit.

remember gov gave trillions to banksters so he is right about that sector. but about business that makes real items not paper..he is so wrong and all of us even the obuma bots know it as they spin like tops trying to make this unk ? obuma seem rational, he is the first president to have no history,no country, no father, a virgin birth perhaps?

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 06:39 | 2652335 Jacks Creation
Jacks Creation's picture


yrbmegr stated Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:37:-

"You say it's not necessary that government build the roads, that it just happened that way.  But it wasn't just by random happenstance that it happened that way.  It happened that way for good reasons, the same reasons that it has happened that way in other countries and other times.  Who built the roads in the Roman Empire?  Not private businesses.  Who built the roads in the British Empire?  Government does it because that's how it gets done best.  All economists recognize this.  There's even a term of art for it.  And Obama never said that people who built businesses did not build them.  You're just speaking Fox News speak.  He said those business owners did not build the infrastructure from which they benefit, and which facilitated the building of their businesses.  And he's absolutely right.  If you deny it, then prove it by building a business in Somalia or Haiti."


So, there are no roads or businesses in Haiti or Somalia?



Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:38 | 2652472 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Obama revealed his hostikity for private enterprise.  That's the issue.  

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 10:28 | 2653064 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture

"He said those business owners did not build the infrastructure from which they benefit, and which facilitated the building of their businesses.  And he's absolutely right.  If you deny it, then prove it by building a business in Somalia or Haiti."



The part you ignore is that EVERYONE benefits from the infrastructure, but only a FEW take the risk and labor associated with building a business off of it.


Therefore, they still built it themselves when compared to the retarded socialist idiots who sit around all day complaining that nobody is giving them anything.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 12:49 | 2653639 4exNinja
4exNinja's picture

Which means they also use those roads and systems more than the average person!!! Take Coca Cola for example...I'm pretty sure they use the road system waaaaaaaay more than I do. What about the Internet? Without government research funding it in the first place Facebook & Co. wouldn't have a platform today. 

Your argument is incredibly short sighted...

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 14:58 | 2654039 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Everything you post has a large degree of inaccuracy in it, bordering on lying.

Most early roads were trade routes used and eventually taken over by governments. Nascent city-states didn't make roads but they sure did use them for war and plunder.

And as for Solmalia, get every fucking foreign government out of it and it wll prosper. They don't want the con game being forced on them.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:26 | 2652445 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Marxist misdirection.  Obama built zero.  He was indoctinated to hate free enterpri and success. 

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 21:54 | 2651724 Michael
Michael's picture

The USA CAN'T have any more job growth period, get use to it because of NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT/WTO, and other unfair trade agreements.

No Jobs, No Jobs, No Jobs for the USA ever again! Too fucking bad.

In all the wasted breath about job creation, I hear no talk of the reasons why the US can't have job growth and why people had better just get used to it. Either that or get rid of the trade treaties to get job growth which ain't never going to happen till after the complete and total worldwide economic collapse.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 21:58 | 2651734 nick howdy
nick howdy's picture

Yea the globalization worky, but the folks who thought it up won't be convinced until there is a lot of dead people laying in the streets...But even then they may need more proof..

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:30 | 2652455 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Whining is a lot easier than working to correct these problems.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:39 | 2652168 amadeusb4
amadeusb4's picture

You talk like a fag and your shit's all retarded. Don't worry scro. There are plenty of tards out there livin' kickass lives.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 19:20 | 2655023 Captain Kurtz
Captain Kurtz's picture

You dont have to speak German though.  You can thank Uncle Sam for that shit.  Of course you'll argue that band of Americans would of swam across the ocean all by themselves and fought ze germans bare knuckled.  ZH has gone down hill.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:07 | 2652392 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Incoherent.  Try again.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:18 | 2652425 bobnoxy
bobnoxy's picture

It seems Obama's not alone in thinking this. I know, shocking, huh? Skip to the 1:45 mark and prepare to soil yourselves.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 19:27 | 2651313 booboo
booboo's picture

iDealMeat, THANK YOU for pointing that out, the DOT just sits in their trucks and looks at porn.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 19:47 | 2651375 ACP
ACP's picture

Oh no, Obama's comment was taken out of context, just like when he said:

"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 20:07 | 2651428 Muppet of the U...
Muppet of the Universe's picture

Yo Obama, I built a coffin for you!  Hand-made, self taught, perfect.  OBOBOBOBO don't get mad brah, you're taking it out of context.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 20:46 | 2651542 FlyoverCountryS...
FlyoverCountrySchmuck's picture

That truth is very inconvenient, and quite possibly a THOUGHT CRIME!

You must be a 'phobe, or a rassis!, or sumpin, for noting this!!

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 20:51 | 2651558 Kyron95131
Kyron95131's picture

yeah they bid out to poeple that are on the list, good luck getting on it if your not in the club. unless you can employe 30 lobbyists like haliburton can.

and yes your second sentence is true.

having said both those things and having a basic sense of mathematics is the reason im pretty sure this country is not only fucked but at this point beyond hope.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 22:35 | 2651811 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Indeed. Just to emphasize, private sector must first create wealth before it can be stolen by unelected tyrants.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 19:33 | 2651329 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

This "you didn't build this" horse has been dead a long time, yet it is still being beaten.  Opinions have ossified on the matter so no more lipstick on this pig is going to make it more attractive.  (Sorry for the mixed metaphor...)

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 20:11 | 2651438 XenoFrog
XenoFrog's picture

The meme will be around for a long time, as it is hilarious. Get used to it.  And Obama absolutely wasn't referencing infrastructure when he said, "You didn't build that" because he didn't pluralize it in the context of the previous statements. The only singular topic in the previous sentences was this hypothetical person's business.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 21:46 | 2651708 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

If you try to understand Obama's words in context of his liberal/hunter-gatherer morality, you will see their consistency.

The tribe was basically the reason for your survival.

When farming, herding, and towns arose, conservative morality developed from the hunter-gatherer morality. Self-sufficiency and individualism began to replace the interdependency of the tribe.

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:44 | 2652495 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

The context of Marxism.  They're missing you at the collective. 

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