I think it's a sport for President Barack Obama to make outrageous statements like "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen," which he said in a recent campaign trip to Roanoke, Va.-- and then watch Republicans go predictably bananas.
Certainly the multimillionaire business supporters of the president on Wall Street and in Hollywood know this is absurd. Anyone with the mildest understanding of business and capitalism knows this is absurd.
Yet the president struck at the heart of what makes capitalism tick -- individual freedom and personal responsibility -- without his polling numbers in the week that followed budging and his re-election probability on Intrade.com actually ticked up two and half points.
We are reaching dangerous critical mass of those in our country who have enough stake in big government -- whether they are employed by it, collecting benefits from it or businesses getting favors from it -- that political protection is commanding a higher premium than freedom.
If Americans want prosperity, we need a grand reawakening to the incontrovertible fact that its source is entrepreneurs unfettered by meddling politicians.
Apple Inc. is now the most valuable company in the world. Its recent stock price puts its valuation at around $560 billion, more than $150 billion more than America's biggest oil company, Exxon Mobil Corp.
Fifteen years ago, in 1997, when Steve Jobs returned as CEO of Apple, the company was worth less than $3 billion, about half a percent of what it is worth today. Estimates then were that Apple was several months away from bankruptcy.
John Lilly, a former Apple employee, now a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, blogged after Jobs' death about a talk that Jobs gave to employees shortly after his return. Apple was losing money, its stock was languishing, there were rumors about the company being acquired and Jobs was asked about a suggestion that the company should just shut down.
He concluded his response with: "If you want to make Apple great again, let's get going. If not, get the hell out." The blogger continues, "I think it's not an overstatement to say that just about everyone in the room loved him at that point, would have followed him off a cliff if that's where he led."
In the following year, according to the account in "Steve Jobs," Walter Isaacson's book about the entrepreneur, 3,000 employees were laid off and Jobs reviewed Apple's entire product line, pruning it from 15 products to four.
Now Apple is the most valuable company in the world, with innovative products no one would have dreamed of in 1997.
In September 1997, Apple had 8,437 full-time employees.
Today, according to its website, Apple has 70,000 employees worldwide, of which 47,000 are in the United States. The company estimates that 514,000 jobs have been created as a result of employment at Apple, at companies supported by Apple and the economy created by Apple products.
Suppose, when Jobs revamped and shrunk Apple's product line, he needed employees to vote in order to get rid of each product? It, of course, would have been impossible.
But this is what we have when government goes where it doesn't belong, getting into businesses like providing retirement services, health care, housing and education. Even if programs work for a while, times inevitably change. Businesses can adjust. Government can't. Changing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education and government housing policy today is about politics, not good economic decisions.
So we're stuck pouring billions we don't have into programs that don't work.
Capitalism is not about being "on your own," as we hear so often from liberals. It's about entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, being free to create prosperity by serving their fellow citizens with innovative ideas and products.
And it's about government doing its proper job -- protecting life and property -- so this can happen.
Planned Parenthood, which rakes in hundreds of millions in the abortion business, actively discourages women from going to crisis pregnancy centers. (comments)
The irony does not drip but pours forth like a tsunami when liberals start talking about morality and ethics. (comments)
Black Americans are bearing the brunt of the cost of a nation that has lost its moral rudder as a result of wantonly legal and available abortion. (comments)
As our reverence for life has diminished, so has our reverence for the institutions that surround and support it. (comments)
National pro-life leaders were demonstrating outside Kermit Gosnell's abortion center as early as February 2011. (comments)
Carson, through diligence and traditional values, achieved on his own what trillions of dollars of government programs were supposed to deliver. (comments)
Employment set-asides designated for unskilled foreign workers, with wage levels determined by the government, are nothing but a stick in the eye to competing low-wage workers in the American market. (comments)
The purge of religion and traditional values from our public schools has produced a new generation of with values different from those of their parents and grandparents. (comments)
If we are going to save our cities, we need to get back to what built them in the first place: Freedom, enterprise and entrepreneurship. (comments)
I saw a once-barren land -- a land once described by Mark Twain as "a desolate country ... a silent and mournful expanse" -- now fruitful and ripe. (comments)
No gun-sale background check could have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy. (comments)
Medicaid is a pure welfare program. (comments)
Gun control initiatives mask the issues that really need attention. (comments)
At the National Prayer Breakfast, Ben Carson reminds us that religious ritual devoid of content is pointless and destructive. (comments)
No matter how hard you squint and try to discern the values of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass in those now wielding the money and power at the top of the party, they've disappeared. (comments)
Why are the president and Feinstein so ready to compromise basic American freedoms with gun control measures to solve a problem that Obama acknowledges we don't understand? (comments)
It is no accident that as the American welfare state grew, the American family collapsed. (comments)
What was once understood as religion and tradition is now called bigotry and pushed off the stage. (comments)
An ultrasound picture, showing the growing and moving fetus, has raised awareness that this unborn child is alive and that abortion is murder. (comments)
Economic growth happens when success and risk taking is rewarded and sloth and failure is not. (comments)