Obamarx to Business Owners: "You Didn't Build That"

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Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2012-07-16 10:39

The Anti-American President has surpassed himself:


RIP America—serves you right, as someone said.

I was glad that Isambard

Tom Burroughes's picture

I was glad that Isambard Kingdom Brunel was featured.


Richard Goode's picture


So what's Usain Bolt...

Marcus's picture

...in the unholy dribble?

I decide, you report.

John 15:5

Richard Goode's picture

"You Didn't Build That."

Whatever next?

"Apart from me you can do nothing."

Is Barack Obama the Antichrist? I report. You decide.

That's brilliant ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... by Harry. At last "official" Objectivism speaks out against comments by Obamarx that I said when he made them were unprecedentedly outrageous and despicable, even by his standards. I still don't understand why "official" Objectivism has been so slow on the uptake. Harry is quite right: this was a defining moment.

Still, the conclusion is lame:

President Obama seems to know his enemy: individualism. It is time for those who did “build that” to recognize the battle lines he has drawn and to stand up for individual achievement and the moral principle that protects achievement: individual rights.

Of course it's effing time! Has been for *some* time. It's time for the 1776 solution.

KASS Harry Binswanger, at Forbes

gregster's picture

Revenge Of The Zeros

"It’s bad enough to be a parasite, but it really turns ugly when the parasites deny the existence of those whose blood they are feeding off, when they take over what others built while snarling that the others didn’t build it. It makes one embarrassed to be in the same species with creatures having this psychology."


Marcus's picture

...it reminds of one of my favourite quotes.

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.”

― P.J. O'Rourke

fair enough

Damien Grant's picture

I still would have preferred to see Darwin and the East India Company as showcases of British achievements!

Not true Damien...

Marcus's picture

...most countries in the EU have a social health insurance scheme, not a nationalized health service.

This is pretty much what Obama is introducing into the US too.

The only ones to replicate the NHS have been the commonwealth countries.

Tragically supporters of the NHS in the UK consider a "social health insurance" scheme amounting to the privitisation of health.

Incredible, but true!


Damien Grant's picture

you are wrong Marcus, the world thinks that the NHS is a model to copy and they have done so in, now, every OECD nation.

I cannot believe that London would champion such a thing, Britain offered so much to the world, there are hundreds of achievements that are completely non-political, that could be championed, not the least is Charles Darwin, you would think it would not be necessary to resort to that crap.

What world really thinks...

Marcus's picture

Unusual take...

Marcus's picture

...from the director of Liberty.

Danny Boyle's story of Britain was a celebration of freedom

"Yet if, like me, you believe internationalism can be for people and values, not just corporations and military alliances, how can you resist sharing the optimism of Boyle's ambition? When the emails and texts came in from friends across the political spectrum over the weekend, one in particular noticed the poignant contrast between the Beijing and London approach. In China, human rights campaigners get locked up; in Britain, even the most irritating gets to carry the Olympic flag.

My own gentle scepticism began to evaporate from the moment the children performed traditional songs from the home nations. My 10-year-old's favourite parts were the Industrial Revolution and Mr Bean closely followed by the comedy genius of the royal Bond sequence which demonstrated that even the pinnacle of the British establishment can laugh at itself. This was a UK narrative capable of acknowledging pop culture, the internet and Windrush alongside Shakespeare, Elgar and the green and pleasant land.

Of course you can't please everyone, but I was a little surprised to see the tribute to the NHS and Great Ormond Street hospital criticised as a partisan stunt. A bit like their rights and freedoms, people in this country fiercely debate its delivery and application but generally cherish the principle of universal healthcare itself.

This didn't feel like a leftwing or rightwing rally. There was far too much variety, self-deprecation and wit – qualities that made the ceremony all the more British. From innovation in industry and technology to diversity in the arts and literature; from suffragettes and hunger marchers to punks and rappers – the pageant was a celebration of our freedom. As with all great theatre, it became progressively easy to suspend disbelief. Boyle's story of Britain was inclusive and truthful, co-ordinated and individual, spectacular and human, and it set a positive challenge for the Olympics, our country and the world."


Jmaurone's picture

"...they haven't thought this through, have they?"

Or, have they? Considering that George Lakoff is a "Chomsky-ite" progressive linguist who took a page from the Republican playbook and used metaphor to "reshape" language to get the public to mind to accept "progressive" ideology:

From a 2003 interview with Goerge Lakoff: Framing the issues: UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics

Language always comes with what is called "framing." Every word is defined relative to a conceptual framework. If you have something like "revolt," that implies a population that is being ruled unfairly, or assumes it is being ruled unfairly, and that they are throwing off their rulers, which would be considered a good thing. That's a frame.

'Conservatives understand what unites them, and they understand how to talk about it, and they are constantly updating their research on how best to express their ideas.'

If you then add the word "voter" in front of "revolt," you get a metaphorical meaning saying that the voters are the oppressed people, the governor is the oppressive ruler, that they have ousted him and this is a good thing and all things are good now. All of that comes up when you see a headline like "voter revolt" - something that most people read and never notice. But these things can be affected by reporters and very often, by the campaign people themselves.


Lakoff uses those methods to argue for progressive ideas. From his Wiki page:

"Lakoff further argues that one of the reasons liberals have had difficulty since the 1980s is that they have not been as aware of their own guiding metaphors, and have too often accepted conservative terminology framed in a way to promote the strict father metaphor. Lakoff insists that liberals must cease using terms like partial birth abortion and tax relief because they are manufactured specifically to allow the possibilities of only certain types of opinions. Tax relief for example, implies explicitly that taxes are an affliction, something someone would want "relief" from. To use the terms of another metaphoric worldview, Lakoff insists, is to unconsciously support it. Liberals must support linguistic think tanks in the same way that conservatives do if they are going to succeed in appealing to those in the country who share their metaphors.[8]"


"Between 2003 and 2008, Lakoff was involved with a progressive think tank, the Rockridge Institute, an involvement that follows in part from his recommendations in Moral Politics. Among his activities with the Institute, which concentrates in part on helping liberal candidates and politicians with re-framing political metaphors, Lakoff has given numerous public lectures and written accounts of his message from Moral Politics. In 2008, Lakoff joined Fenton Communications, the nation's largest public interest communications firm, as a Senior Consultant."

Joe, they haven't thought...

Marcus's picture

...this through have they?

They are forcing people to consider a) whether they are getting value for money and b) if the government is doing a good job. The answer won't be "hell, yes" that's for sure. Notice too how they try to Trojan horse the word "free" with the principle of paying your taxes.

That's why socialists usually avoid these arguments because they shine a light too much on their own activities.

"You Didn't Build That" and the OWS Connection

Jmaurone's picture

Obama and Warren cribbed “build it” narrative from progressive Berkeley Professor

Posted by William A. Jacobson Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 5:40pm

By now you have heard the Obama and Liz Warren speeches about how no one got rich on his or her own. Listen to them again, it’s important to hear how they frame the issue almost identically [see video in previous post-JM.]

This narrative is cribbed almost verbatim from the narrative of George Lakoff, a progressive linguistics activist and Professor at Berkeley. Like Warren, Lakoff was one of the academics who helped frame how the Occupy Wall Street movement presented itself. Lakoff’s writings and theories seek to transform progressive politics and he is a frequent speaker on how progressives can reframe the political debate.

Lakoff developed a linguistic narrative that progressives needed to counter conservatives by focusing on the role of government in enabling individual success, a narrative in which no person became successful on his or her own:

Nobody makes a dollar in this country in business without using the common wealth…. The idea that there’s a self-made man, that’s there’s a self-made millionaire is false, it is absolutely false, and that is the thing that Obama missed…. Without this you don’t have those roads, you don’t have that internet, you don’t have the banking system, etc.

Read how Lakoff framed the issue in a publication several years ago, then listen to the Obama and Warren speeches, they are not identical but very close substantively and linguistically (emphasis mine):

There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.

Last March a diarist at Daily Kos noted the similarity of Warren’s famous factory owner speech and Lakoff’s formulation:

This passage and the argument surrounding it sound extremely similar to something we’ve been hearing recently and for the first time in a long time (and this book came out in 2004)…

The “something” to which the Daily Kos diarist was referring was the very same video of Warren’s speech posted at the top of this post.

The approach of Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama is a cribbed narrative of the progressive movement which seeks to realign our individual-centered political dialogue around the individual’s indebtedness to the government.

Obama and Elizabeth Warren

Jmaurone's picture

It's already been pointed out that Obama's "You didn't build that" speech was similar to Elizabeth Warren's speech...both have that same angry delivery, as well...

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory... Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God Bless! Keep a Big Hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along." - Elizabeth Warren


"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

"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."

NHS for Dummies

Jmaurone's picture

Best summation I've seen of the NHS bit:

"Tonight's Olympics ceremony proved once and for all that nationalized healthcare is a crucial instrument in the fight against Voldemort."


Jmaurone's picture

Marcus, thanks for mentioning "Jerusalem." That was the first thing that came to my mind while watching those opening propaganda ceremonies. Of course, I wasn't shocked, it's par for the course. (I went into all this in the past, regarding "Jerusalem" and its usuge in English prog rock, and how that connected to the other propaganda piece, Avatar. ("Avatar and the Prog Rock Revival)

Now I'm thinking of the similarities between the song and how certain rock artists used recording technology and spectacle to CONDEMN technology and spectacle, just as the Olympic ceremonies did; "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose..."

"What's even more interesting is that the paradox of using technology to condemn technology in Cameron's project is a familiar one to fans (and critics) of progressive rock. "Man versus machine" is a common theme of Yes songs such as "Machine Messiah" from Drama, which makes mention of William Blake's description of the "dark satanic mills" of industrial England from the hymn "Jerusalem." And by no means was Yes the only group to address this theme; Pink Floyd had "Welcome to the Machine," Alan Parson and his Project gave us I Robot, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer took it to its apogee with the album Brain Salad Surgery. That album connects with the Yes theme via the album opener, "Jerusalem," and ends with "Karn Evil 9," a Matrix-like story of man conquered by machine. (Also notable is the H.R. Giger cover, which predated his work on Alien, and also brings us back to Cameron.) These bands employed state-of-the-art hi fi, toured with several tons of electronic equipment, and staged elaborate shows to tell tales of technology gone awry while reminiscing of a Romanticized pastoral England (the home of most prog-rock bands.) They, like Cameron, had no problem capitalizing on damning capitalism..."

Oh Gobby!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Tell him to get a backbone!!

Aidan Burley...

Marcus's picture

"In his initial post on Twitter referring to the ceremony, Mr Burley wrote: "The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen - more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?"

He followed it with: "Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!"

Before adding: "Seems my tweet has been misunderstood. I was talking about the way it was handled in the show, not multiculturalism itself."

Speaking later to BBC WM Mr Burley re-iterated that he had not been having a go at multiculturalism.

"I agree it should be celebrated," he said.

"I wasn't having a go at multiculturalism itself, I was having a go at the rather trite way, frankly, it was represented in the opening ceremony."

He added his tweets might not have been the greatest thing for his career, but if it started a debate then it can only have been a good thing.

"We all love the NHS but really for all the people watching overseas, 20 minutes of children and nurses jumping on beds, that seems quite strange.

"And then we had all these rappers - that is what got me to the point about multiculturalism."

He said rap music was enjoyed by a relatively small section of society, young people mainly.

"Is that what we are most proud of culturally?" he said.

Nice Olympics ceremony – pity somebody else did it

Marcus's picture

Nice Olympics ceremony – pity somebody else did it

"The London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony saw plenty of laboured nods to progressive and collectivist thinking, from the sly CND slogan to the bizarre NHS episode– what a pity that it did not give us a montage of  lively dancing skeletons representing the 1000 people dying a month thanks to ‘preventable’ NHS errors or lapses.

Yet one is tempted to forgive them, as the whole event was cast on such a huge scale and with such energy and openly inclusive boldness (down to the nice touch of having workers who helped build the stadium applaud in the Torch).

Nonetheless, the Ceremony shows just how revolting the Obama Doctrine is. Thousands of people took part directly in this ceremony, with many more thousands indirectly contributing over many months. They all delivered it on the day, with magnificent precision. Well done them.

But at the heart of the whole startling show was the uniquely personal vision and manic imagination of one British person, Danny Boyle.

Danny, if you’ve got an Olympics Opening Ceremony - you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Is that really how we want to think about things?"

Those Dark Satanic Mills...

Marcus's picture

...you didn't build those, the government did that for you.

"The term "dark Satanic Mills", which entered the English language from this poem, is often interpreted as referring to the early Industrial Revolution and its destruction of nature and human relationships...Another interpretation, amongst Non-Conformists, is that the phrase refers to the established Church of England. As a part of the establishment, the Church preached a doctrine of conforming to the social order, in contrast to Blake. In 2007 the new Bishop of Durham, N. T. Wright, explicitly recognised this element of English subculture when he acknowledged this alternative view that the "dark satanic mills" refer to the "great churches".

"And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?"


Marcus's picture

...you didn't build that!

"Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land"

OK I take it back...

Marcus's picture

...it seems they are fans of the industrial revolution. They keep Linz in sauce Wink

An assistant to the director wrote:

"We shared the things we loved about Britain – the Industrial Revolution, the digital revolution, the NHS, pop music, children's literature, genius engineers."

The night we saw our mad, fantastical dreams come true


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I am never merely "half"-cut. Pull yourself together, Marcus!

Actually, we were all talking amongst ourselves and not paying attention. What I did see made me mad. Now it's on again, and I just saw Atkinson blowing his nose. That's supposed to be funny??!! Unbelievable that Simon Rattle would have acquiesced to this garbage.


Marcus's picture

...you must have been half-cut at the time.

They put up huge fluorescent letters on the ground that spelt out "NHS".

They were so bright you could have seen them from outer space.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I rest my case. I didn't imagine it. It was sick, sick, sick.

It was almost worth it...

Marcus's picture

...seeing an idiot at the Guardian write the following:

"Then came the entrance of more than 300 hospital beds, accompanied by 600 members of the staff of the National Health Service, who danced their way through a routine that paid tribute to the Great Ormond Street hospital for sick children...Cameron and his gang will surely not dare to continue the dismemberment of the NHS after this."

It was a bit strange...

Marcus's picture

...the British are usually proud of the industrial revolution.

But they hired this leftie director (OK he was hired under new Labour) who shows these evil looking smokestacks and exploited peasants in some utopian countryside.

I'm surprised no one fron the present governmemt didn't look at that beforehand and say: you bastard the industrial revolution was the best thing that happened to the world!

You know ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... the bits I caught of the opening ceremony had me fuming. First, it all seemed to be filmed in the dark (one of my pet hates); second, it all seemed to be utterly mawkish and infantile—do I remember correctly part of it being dedicated to the NHS?; third, the trivialising of Chariots of Fire with that seemingly inescapable Atkinson moron; fourth, the English PA announcer's being a quacker ... I just kept thinking "Even the Olympics are now sabotaged by pomofilth." My rellies with whom I was watching were highly amused by my voluble rage. Wink

Did anyone notice Tim Berners-Lee..,

Marcus's picture

...at the Olympics opening typing on a computer a message saying: "this is for everyone."

Michele Obama was in the audience. I wonder if she wasn't quietly fuming and thinking: "fuck you Berners-Lee you didn't invent the world wide web. The government did that!"

This was a highlight in an otherwise dismal affair.

Aidan Burley, a British Conservative M.P., denounced the content of the ceremony on Twitter as "leftie multicultural crap".

That's about right. There are some straight talking British politicians too!

Thank you, Damien, but...

Craig Ceely's picture

...luck will not help us either. That ship has also sailed.


Damien Grant's picture

Yeah, I do not mind Obama taking a campaign hit, after all Romney is getting a fair bit of unfair criticism as well over Bain, Olympics etc and that is the nature of politics, especially US politics. The US electorate must expect a little nonsense in this area and I assume tune it out to an extent.

Still, I'd prefer if, in this quiet little cul-de-sac, we could ignore such hyperbole. After all, we are the all in the choir here, even if some of sing a little off key from time to time.

Jon Stewart did a funny piss-take showing Romney making many similar remarks. Why is there not a right-wing version of the Daily Show? It is very entertaining and I am sure an equally entertaining right-wing version could be put together. Stewart must be an incredibly powerful tool for the left over there.

Never mind. I have put $200 on Obama to win on ipredict (even though he is paying 64c here but 57c on intrade.com!), I think this election is over unless Obama is caught shagging a smoking hot white intern of either gender and even then I reckon he'd walk back into a second term so long as the said intern was alive at the time the shagging took place.

I want to see Johnston on the debates and i think the Republicans should focus on Congress. Look what happened when Clinton and Gingrich teamed up! It happened before, it can happen again, and last time I looked it was Congress that passed laws and the President who starts wars.

To hell with replacing Obama, that ship has sailed and I do not think Romney is much of an improvement anyway. I'd focus on replacing Nancy if I was an Americian. I'm not, though, and I do not understand why we care so much about what you folks do. I'm more worried about what happens down here, but good luck CC. You will need it I think.

Unfortunately for the Romney-oids...

Craig Ceely's picture

...it's pretty clear that what Obama meant was that the business owners in question didn't build the roads and bridges. We can tell that from the way he back-tracked almost immediately during the speech itself.

Unfortunately for Obama and his crowd, however, is that this plays into his opponents' hands because Obama has already made it pretty clear that he is anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-free enterprise. Oh, not 100%, mind you: he's no Marxist, as has been alleged here and elsewhere. Why, he's perfectly happy to accept royalties on the two (factually-challenged, to be kind) autobiographies he wrote before his fiftieth birthday; he's perfectly happy to have a personal chef for his household (even before being elected President, all the while his harridan complained of the family's relative poverty); he's perfectly happy to accept huge campaign donations from wealthy cronies and chums; and he's perfectly happy to play golf and vacation in areas where, shall we say, folk more important than you and I gather and relax, and where, by the way, your Second Amendment rights are not respected. Nor mine.

So fuck him. So he's taking an unfair hit here. Am I sorry about that? Hell, no. In fact, I'm enjoying it. Romney will screw it up, but for now I say let it ride!

Two further points, which I fear will not be played up elsewhere:

1. Obama is obviously not the master speaker he was touted as in 2008, is he? Obama minus TelePrompTer equals zero. Obama is one of those guys who puts the "duh" in duh-bate. Some of us saw this years ago. Not Peggy Noonan, not David Brooks, not Christopher Buckley, but quite a few of us who aren't considered respectable or influential Republicans. Fuck them, too.

2. Obamafolk and Romneyfolk are both missing the essential Bastiat/Hazlitt point: yes, in fact those business owners did indeed build those roads and bridges. Just as they've built all roads and bridges. Money came from them, the work was done by them: they did it. Period. Without them, no roads, no bridges. They did build it. They not only built their businesses, they built the roads and bridges as well.

But it wasn't Al Gore

gregster's picture

Damien, surprisingly President B.O. is not altogether wrong about the internet originating through government projects.

So, who really did invent the Internet? That article is fairly accurate but the last two paragraphs are despicable.


Damien Grant's picture

Thanks for the transcript Joe.

Well he is right of course, no one gets anywhere on their own, but he is wrong to credit the state.

Yes, the state built the roads but only because it prevents the private sector from doing so, but also I think Fox et al are wrong to misquote him here, his meaning is quite clear, at least to me, and there is enough actual left-wing content to legitimately challenge him on.

I mean, seriously, the internet? My knowledge of its history is limited but I understand it was a university driven creature initially but I am pretty sure the government did not invent the Ethernet cable etc, the commercialisation and success of the internet has been driven by private enterprise and because we all have PC’s on our desk thanks to IBM and Microsoft.


Jmaurone's picture

“But you know what, I’m not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don’t need them. So I’m going to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more. (Applause.) And, by the way, we’ve tried that before — a guy named Bill Clinton did it. We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine. We created a lot of millionaires.

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

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.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”


Damien Grant's picture

Did he really mean that, or did he mean that business owners did not build the roads and bridges?

There is a vast difference between the two interpretations.

"We Built This City"

Jmaurone's picture

One of the "You Didn't Build That" memes utilizes Starship's "We Built This City (On Rock and Roll)". The joke writes itself. And Grace Slick fires back. (Ironic, given that she was initially a supporter of his, even did his portrait. Anyway, she fired back, even proclaiming the virtue of (gasp!) selfishness:

Mr. Obama, you really stepped in it this time.

You might not know it, but us Americans are proud of our unique culture. We value freedom, and the daily bustle. Every day, there are millions of 'selfish' people with somewhere to go and something to do. You would know this if you were really an American. It's too bad you never learned that.

While you were eating dog meat and cloistered away in your leftist schools learning to hate America, Americans were busy building, and we really don't need you telling us 'We didn't build THAT'.

A lot of voters were Knee Deep In The Obama Hoopla in 2008, but you keep insulting us with your snide, anti-American insinuations. You're even losing liberals. There are lots of entrepreneurial, proud Democrats who also hate to be denigrated.

Government has it's place, but government isn't everything.

In 1985, my band Starship had a major pop hit with 'We Built This City'. It has become a staple on oldies pop radio, and it was also named 'the WORST pop song of all time'.

The song has it's detractors (me included), but I would rather be forced to listen to a continuous loop of this song, played non-stop than listen to you badmouth my country.

If you dislike private enterprise so much, then go back to Kenya or Indonesia or go the third-world dictatorship of your choice.

Grace Slick

(Edited by Joe Maurone on 7/28, 9:42am)

Poll shows Romney edging past Obama nationally

Marcus's picture

Poll shows Romney edging past Obama nationally

"Despite the glut of tough ads against him, Mitt Romney has edged past President Obama in a new national poll that reflects dimming views about the state of the economy.

The New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday shows Romney with a 45-43 percent lead. That's within the poll's margin of error but marks the first time Romney has held any lead in the survey since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.

The results suggest economic attitudes might have a lot to do with the changing dynamic. The poll showed 55 percent disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, while 39 percent approve.

In a separate Quinnipiac University poll out Thursday looking at just the battleground state of Virginia, the two candidates were dead even -- with 44 percent each. That, too, marks an improvement for Romney who trailed Obama in the state by 8 points in a March Quinnipiac poll.

The Virginia poll of 1,673 registered voters was taken July 10-16 and had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points. The Times/CBS poll of 982 registered voters was taken July 11-16.

Both polls were taken amid attacks from Democrats about Romney's refusal to release more than two years' worth of tax returns, but also attacks from Republicans about Obama's gaffe last week in which he told business owners, "you didn't build that."

Obama's Socialist Mantra: Risk Takers Are Free Riders

gregster's picture

From Investors.com

In his war on American exceptionalism, President Obama has turned the sights on exceptional Americans. If you've built a successful business, it wasn't your dream or your sweat — somebody else made it happen.

The unbridled disdain President Obama has for the entrepreneurs who work hard and risk everything was made plain when he told supporters in Roanoke, Va.: "If you've got a business — you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

This was stunning news and a colossal slap in the face to the millions of small-business owners who get up every day and by the sweat of their brow and the drive of their ambition still pursue the American dream in spite of the obstacles and hurdles this administration has put in front of them.

In Obama's collectivist world view, we are all ants on a socialist ant farm. We are sheep being led by a government shepherd. Wealth, as we now know, is not to be created but to be redistributed in the manner of the Marxist slogan — to each according to his need and from each according to his ability.

Your success, Obama says, is not your own. There "was a great teacher somewhere in your life," he tells us, and that somebody "invested in roads and bridges."

Is it a coincidence that virtually the only people President Obama gives credit to for anything are teacher and construction unions?

And, with apologies to Al Gore, we are told: "Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."

So Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, the founders of Google, Facebook and Twitter, are all parasitic pretenders.

Without government, there would have been no Mac computer or iPad? Michelangelo didn't paint the Sistine Chapel, you know. Credit must be given to the folks who built the scaffolding and the inventor of paint.

Of course, this is the president who, in a speech delivered at a high school in Osawatomie, Kan., last December, argued while a limited government that preserves free markets "speaks to our rugged individualism," such a system "doesn't work" and "has never worked" and that Americans must look to a more activist government that taxes more, spends more and regulates more.

Free-market capitalism and limited government took us from a colonial backwater to an economic and military superpower that could defeat Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet Union and then put men on the moon simply because we wanted to.

Now we have an administration that says the American people are helpless without it while it outsources space travel to the Russians.

Forget Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers and the risk-taking dreamers still among us. They have a harder time these days, shouldering the highest tax and regulatory burdens in the world and beset by bureaucrats, regulators and environmentalists.

President Obama, the community organizer who never ran a business or met a payroll, wants to increase their energy and health insurance costs.

The president's plan to raise taxes on earnings above $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) would hit 1.2 million small-business employers who pay their taxes through the individual income tax.

This condemnation of rugged individualism and the entrepreneurial spirit comes from a leader who has been dubbed the "food stamp president" and who has done more to increase dependence on government than any other. Let us see your college transcripts, Mr. President. And who helped you on your way besides Saul Alinsky and Bill Ayers?

If risk-takers succeed, Mr. President, they do so in spite of government, not because of it. You want to take credit for everything and responsibility for nothing.

Look at the wreckage of your policies, sir, and take the blame instead.

Hat tip Horst Jepsen, HBL

HB commented; A terrific, clearly Objectivism-based, answer to Obama's latest outrage: “You didn't build it.”

On the subject

gregster's picture

of President BO's paperwork:

The Obama campaign and the Party of Treason continue to demand Mitt Romney release his tax records so they can pull them apart and continue to distort facts and lie about Romney.

Obama has released almost none of his records. There is one record that everyone should be demanding that Obama release. What is it and why is it so important?

There are a lot of records that Americans should want to see from Barack Obama. To start with, there are his records from Occidental College so that the allegation that Obama attended that school on a scholarship reserved for foreign students can be resolved. Another record that Americans should be demanding Obama release are his records from Columbia and Harvard.

How does someone who is a self-admitted poor student, get into two of the most prestigious schools in America? Obama was admitted to Harvard law. Generally you need to have almost a perfect 4.0 to even have a shot at Harvard. Anyone want to bet Obama’s GPA was nowhere near that?

So how did he get in?

The important records that everyone should demand Obama release are his medical records. George Bush, John McCain, even John Kerry and Bill Clinton released voluminous medical records.

What did Obama release in 2008? It was a one page statement from a doctor saying he was in good physical condition.

That was it.

Why is this so important?

Obama by his own admission was a very heavy marijuana user in his youth. He has also admitted to using cocaine, though he denies using drugs such as heroin. He also says he was a significant drinker.

Why is this important?

Because these are all symptoms of addiction.

A man named Larry Sinclair claims that in 1999 he and Barack Obama had sex and then smoked crack cocaine. This is 1999, nine years before Obama would run for President.

Crack cocaine is very addictive. It is very destructive. Addiction specialist will tell you that a crack addiction is very tough to break.

Is Obama an addict? Was he an addict in the past?

These are all legitimate questions to ask about a man who has his hands on the nuclear trigger.

Why is Obama hiding these records and why isn’t the drive by media asking these questions. Why aren’t Republicans demanding the answers to these questions, instead of telling Mitt Romney he needs to play into Obama’s hands by releasing more tax returns?

While Obama promised his administration would be the most transparent in history; that was simply another Obama lie.

Every time Obama demands that Mitt Romney release more tax returns, the Romney campaign needs to turn around and ask when Obama is going to release his medical records, his college records and his attorney discipline records.

The Romney campaign may have finally learned that they are not going to get anywhere by playing nice. They have an opponent that wants to go down into the gutter for a fight and believes in winning at all costs.

Romney may have finally learned not to play their game.

Let’s hope so.

Meanwhile, every Republican should quit telling Mitt Romney to release more records, giving Obama more ammunition to lie about him and start demanding that Obama release his records.


Another story that has done the rounds is that Soviets aided his entry to Harvard.

You didn't produce a birth certificate saying...

Marcus's picture

...you were born in the Hawaii.

Someone else did that. (And we want to know who).

"You didn't get Osama bin Laden, Obama..."

Jmaurone's picture

"Someone else made that happen..."

Not a Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

The problem with Mitt Romney is he doesn't have a libertarian bone in his body. And he's highly amoral and unprincipled. And all those years as a secretive, cut-throat, venture capitalist has made him rather sleazy. And as a retired multi-millionaire, he's pretty unenergetic, indifferent, aloof, and secretive.

But Obama has proven to be very unlike Bill Clinton, who was a "new Democrat," who promised to "end welfare as we know it," and who said "the era of Big Gov't is over." Obama over the past 3 1/2 years has been much more Big Brother-ish and authoritarian than I expected.

So if elected maybe Romney's vague, pragmatic, careless, Keynesian, Mormonic, moderate conservatism will generate a bit more freedom that Obama. But not much. And it'll be necessary to pressure the hell out of him to even accomplish that.


Marcus's picture

You didn't become President by yourself, someone else put you there.

That majority in 2008, you didn't win that.

That power you have, you didn't earn that.

Someone else did it for you.

Your cronies gave you a hand up with a special favours nod and a wink.

You're a fraud in other words.

Get out of the whitehouse!

Atlas Shrugs

Marcus's picture

“He didn’t invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?”


“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it’s his? Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.”

She said, puzzled, “But the iron ore and all those other things were there all the time. Why didn’t anybody else make that Metal, but Mr. Rearden did?”

- Atlas Shrugged, P1C9

Romney should start saying of Obama...

Marcus's picture

Remember "yes we can"?

It's now "no you can't. Not without Government."

Obama has really given Romney the best lauching pad for his campaign he could have wished for.

Romney can force...

Marcus's picture

...the MSM not to ignore it.

The left have already started a bit of a defence. One line is: that's not what Obama said. He was quoted out of context.

The second defence is that the Romney campaign is in real trouble (this is what the UK guardian reported yesterday!) because the attacks on Bain are working. Therefore Romney is trying to distract people's attention from that.

How are we going to win back a media dominated by lying left-wingers of the Alinsky school?

Yes He Did

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Issue? What Issue?

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Marcus -- I think this you-didn't-build-it idea is a seminal philosophical issue, but yes, the regular American media is ignoring it. I only heard of it here on Solo Passion three days afterwards.

I'm agreeably surprised ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... at the stink The Filth's comments have caused (have you absorbed, Bro Ceely?!). It's been a bit of a delayed reaction, but now it seems atomic, even with MSM's attempts to ignore it. Perhaps my initial surmise that "You didn't build that" would help The Filth's re-election in Airhead America was unduly pessimistic. Certainly I've never hoped more fervently to be proven wrong.

Romney, as noted by Michael, came out of robot mode and showed some fire. Impromptu even. He has to go further. It's not enough to say The Filth's comments were "insulting": they were evil. I don't know why folk find it so hard to make that call when it's so clearly justified. I fear the Blandifiers will get to Romney and send him back to robot mode. I saw this process close up with ACT. It left me truly traumatised. (What's that fashionable syndrome thing? Post-traumatic stress disorder? That's what I have. I'd go to Nathan for some expensive Californian bullshit counselling, except I think he invented the disorder. Wink )

I get a little tired....

Ross Elliot's picture

...of this mantra about "small business".

It's a sop. There is no small business without big business. There is no consumption with production. The conservatives, who are too afraid to mention big business, are always bowing to liberal thought when they champion small business.

Rand got it right in her essay, Big Business: America's Persecuted Minority. The liberals get it: chop off the head and the body is fucked.


Ross Elliot's picture

...I like the last quote.

The intellectual begets the emotional. Objectivists get this. You think, you feel. Too many cry "Passion! Passion!" while forgetting that their emotion comes from an intellectual appreciation.

The knot in the stomach. The tightening of the throat. The rage in our tone and the tears in our eyes don't come from anywhere else but the ideas that we hold in heads.

You don't just get excited. You get excited about *something*. And that something is always an idea.

"We didn't build that? Oh, yes we did!"

Jmaurone's picture

Marcus, funny you should say that...
From didntbuildthat.com:

It is particularly ironic...

Marcus's picture

...to note Obama is the President who won with his slogan, "yes, we can".

Borrowed from British TV series "Bob the Builder" about a can-do builder who works on his own with his animated tools. His famous slogan is: "can we build it, yes we can." There is never any government officials around and all the infrastructure in "Bobland bay" is built by himself.

You couldn't have made it up if you tried.

Keep it up Joe!

Marcus's picture

Don't let Obummer off the hook!

Business groups criticize Obama over remarks about government's role in success

"Prominent business groups are joining conservatives and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in calling out President Obama for his recent comments about the relationship between government and business.

The president made the comments Friday during a speech to supporters in Roanoke, Va. Arguing that successful business owners got help from others along the way and suggesting they should pay more in taxes in return, he noted how government often provides the infrastructure needed for success. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that," Obama said. "Somebody else made that happen."

David Chavern, chief operating officer of the Chamber of Commerce, accused Obama of slighting the remarkable achievements of extraordinary individuals.

"We should applaud the risk-takers and the dreamers who are willing to stand out from the crowd," Chavern said in a Chamber blog. "Rather than denigrate what these people have done, we need to encourage more people to be like them."

The National Federation of Independent Business said the president's "unfortunate remarks over the weekend show an utter lack of understanding and appreciation for the people who take a huge personal risk and work endless hours to start a business and create jobs."

"I'm sure every small-business owner who took a second mortgage on their home, maxed out their credit cards or borrowed money from their own retirement savings to start their business disagrees strongly with President Obama's claim. They know that hard work does matter," the group also said.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told FoxNews.com on Monday that the remarks "reflect just how unqualified he is to lead us to a real economic recovery."

"They are also insulting to the hardworking entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and job creators who are the backbone of our economy," she said in an e-mail.

The Obama campaign, though, accused the Romney campaign of launching a "false attack" to distract from questions over outsourcing tied to his former company Bain Capital. Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt defended the premise of Obama's comment.

"As President Obama said, those who start businesses succeed because of their individual initiative -- their drive, hard work, and creativity," LaBolt said in a statement. "But there are critical actions we must take to support businesses and encourage new ones -- that means we need the best infrastructure, a good education system, and affordable, domestic sources of clean energy. Those are investments we make not as individuals, but as Americans, and our nation as a whole benefits from them."

Obama's comment Friday came just days after he urged Congress to extend tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration only to families earning less than $250,000 annually -- part of his argument that top earners have an obligation to pay more to trim the deficit."

Pretty Much

Jmaurone's picture

But then, that's why it's important for all to speak up, loud and proud. They ignored the timid Tea Party, but OWS demanded, and received attention and adulation. That's the new reality, and that's how it's going to have to be played. Squeak those wheels...

And is true...

Marcus's picture

...that the MSM in the US, apart from Fox, are ignoring this story?

That's a question for US soloists. Tell me I'm wrong.


Jmaurone's picture

Kyrel: "The fact that human beings are naturally social life forms, who highly profit from social cooperation, doesn't render us inherent, contemptible, servile dependents, worthy only of welfare statist enslavement."

The buzzword surrounding this is "interdependent," a concept with some legitimacy. Even Ed Younkins recently used it here in one of his op-eds. But it is also a favorite of the progressives, and recently used by OWS in their Philadelphia Fourth of July protest at Independence Hall (substituting the Declaration of INDEPENDENCE with INTERDEPENDENCE.) What Rand called laissez faire, free trade, or mutual cooperation has been ignored for a return to tribalism.

Social, Not Servile

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

The fact that human beings are naturally social life forms, who highly profit from social cooperation, doesn't render us inherent, contemptible, servile dependents, worthy only of welfare statist enslavement. Angry

Roark Smash

Jmaurone's picture

Damn right they need to get angry.

Don't Tread On Us!

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

The truth is the Holy Individual builds everything in this world! The collective and the gov't builds nothing. The fact that humans are social creatures, who need parents to raise them, and want gov't to protect their rights, and have fun inter-acting with their fellow man, doesn't invalidate that. As for those who don't build but rather destroy...that would be the Welfare Statists.

Businessmen need to angrily shout back at Obama: "Yes, we did build that -- but now you brother's keeper, welfare statist bastards are destroying it! Time for us to smash you!"

A Moral Response

Jmaurone's picture


"And that's always the lesson with this sort of vicious statement. Don't just react emotionally, react intellectually. Next time you hear someone reiterate Obama's assertion, be ready with a well-reasoned rebuttal that takes him apart piece by piece."

Or, don't just react intellectually, react emotionally. Or both. Better yet, react MORALLY. Or, even better yet, don't REACT, but lead. Because there are many out there who are just TOO FUCKING IMMUNE to an intellectual analysis. And it's too late, beyond individual cases, for education to be the primary. It's too late for that. Those who get it, get it, those who don't are only enabling at this point. It's time to go on the defensive.

Make the point clear, one way or the other, that the capitalist response is not just practical, or utilitarian, but MORAL. Not for their sake; while Rand was right, she does not "occupy" the moral high ground. No, proclaim it for yourself, and for your allies, to reinforce your own strength. Not everyone is simply misguided or ignorant...some are out to burn the house down.

Ross: "I'll start you off: it was the private sector that built the bridges and the roads, and all the infrastructure. It was the private sector that built the web browser you're reading this with. It was the private sector that built the technology that put Man on the moon. Remove the private sector and you have nothing."

And I'll start off with some moral responses:

In answer to Obama, on business creation:

Ayn Rand, 1965:

"It is morally obscene to regard wealth as an anonymous, tribal product and to talk about 'redistributing' it. The view that wealth is the result of some undifferentiated, collective, process, that we all did something and it's impossible to tell who did what, therefore some sort of equalitarian 'distribution' is necessary--might have been appropriate in a primordial jungle with a savage horde moving boulders by crude physical labor (though even there someone had to initiate and organize the moving)."

"To hold that view in an industrial society--where individual achievements are a matter of public record--is so crass an evasion that even to give it the benefit of the doubt is an obscenity... Mistakes of this size are not made innocently."

"What is Capitalism?" in Capitalism the Unknown Ideal


Howard Roark laughed-at Barack Obama:

"We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking. The moving force, is the creative faculty which take this product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator. Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. " - Howard Roark's Speech in The Fountainhead

(Hat tip to Michael Marrota for the last one)

Frank Davis

gregster's picture


No relative. H/t Prodos. More on the origins of Obamarx. It's enough to make me think the conspiracy theories occasionally aired on Tea Party Nation of Obamarx being a designated Soviet plant could have some basis.


Marcus's picture


Ross Elliot's picture

"...do you think anyone who owns a business is going to vote for Obama now?"

...how many were going to anyway?

Craig is right, and so is Lindsay. But he's said it. You always knew he believed it. And it's good that he said it. It's one more veil stripped away. And sure, it'll give some talking points to the liberals: the important thing is that you can enunciate a rebuttal.

And that's always the lesson with this sort of vicious statement. Don't just react emotionally, react intellectually. Next time you hear someone reiterate Obama's assertion, be ready with a well-reasoned rebuttal that takes him apart piece by piece.

I'll start you off: it was the private sector that built the bridges and the roads, and all the infrastructure. It was the private sector that built the web browser you're reading this with. It was the private sector that built the technology that put Man on the moon. Remove the private sector and you have nothing.

He's certainly an arsehole

gregster's picture

And it takes one to vote for him.

Finally the MSM talking of the Great Obama Depression..

“When we broke the link between money and gold, this removed all constraints on credit creation. This explosion of credit created the world we live in, but it now seems that credit cannot expand any further because the private sector is incapable of repaying the debt it has already, and if credit begins to contract, there’s a very real danger that we will collapse into a new Great Depression,” he argued.

Being CNBC, it's only partially correct..

Duncan argues that governments in the developed world should borrow “massive” amounts of money at the current low interest rates to invest in new technologies like renewable energy and genetic engineering.

“Even if this is wasted, at least we could enjoy this civilization for another ten years before it collapses,” he said.

New Low

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Truly appalling. Obama's worst remarks yet.

Romney campaign calls Obama remark to business owners 'insulting

Marcus's picture

Romney campaign calls Obama remark to business owners 'insulting

"Republicans fired back Monday after President Obama suggested business owners owe their success to government investment, with Mitt Romney's campaign calling the remark "insulting."

The president made the comment Friday during a speech to supporters in Roanoke, Va. Arguing that business owners got help from others along the road to success and suggesting they should pay more in taxes in return, he said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told FoxNews.com on Monday that the remarks "reflect just how unqualified he is to lead us to a real economic recovery."

"They are also insulting to the hardworking entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and job creators who are the backbone of our economy," she said in an email.

The Obama campaign, though, accused the Romney campaign of launching a "false attack" to distract from questions over outsourcing tied to his former company Bain Capital. Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt defended the premise of Obama's comment."

Whether it's new or not...

Marcus's picture

...is not the issue.

The issue is that Obama, the President, said it.

Has any US president ever said anything close to this before? Even the democrat ones?

As to making a difference. If this kind of statement from the President makes no difference to people's voting intentions, then the US is going to become the piss pot of the world.

It's even being reported in the UK Daily Mail. Read the responses from everyone in the US. Boy, are they angry.

They could be as socialist as they like in the UK - but they are not.

Obama might as well have stuck a post-it note to his forehead saying: "I am a socialist and I hate business."

You couldn't even win leadership of a European country with a slogan like that.

Hello, and welcome to 2012

Craig Ceely's picture

Why on earth does anyone here find this significant? I suppose it depends on "significant how?" This is neither significant enough to bury Obama's chances of re-election nor to guarantee it, because this shit is not new. A comment like this will not make waves, nor even much of a difference, because the thinking behind it is already widespread. Similar language found its way into dialogue in Atlas Shrugged, and that was published 55 years ago this October.

Obama's comment? It means nothing and will change nothing. As I say, this shit is not new. Yes, it is shit. No, it's not new.

As someone else said; Jesus.

Sam Pierson's picture

As someone else said; Jesus.


Marcus's picture

...I find it hard to believe there are any Objectivists out there who are planning to vote for Obama, let alone Dems across the board.

On polls:

"Citing three recent polls — Rasmussen, Gallup, and McClatchy/Marist — that either show Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney tied or have Mr. Obama up by a two-point margin, the memo points to the Obama campaign’s spate of negative advertising and asks, “What has that bought the Democrats? A closer race – Obama has slipped and support for Gov. Romney has increased.”

There are probably still many US voters who don't have a clue who Romney is. I hope the Presidential debates are going to change that in a massive way. And Obama has just handed Romney the mallet to pound him over the head with.

Obama might backpeddle now, but that will make it worse.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

The polls. The filth is ahead. Further ahead after the Supreme Court travesty.

He's only just uttered this latest outrage, but I confidently predict he'll surge further ahead on the basis of it. And sundry nincompoops will say, "No different from previous usurpations."

Where is the voice of Objectivism? Look at the watery nothingness from ARI and TAS on SCOTUS/Obamacare. And half of them are still hankering to vote Dem-Scum across the board. Pathetic.


Marcus's picture

...do you think anyone who owns a business is going to vote for Obama now?

Can you show any evidence that Obama's message has gone down well?

I can't find any.

No, Marcus!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The filth just *guaranteed* its re-election. Pushing the "hatred of the good for being the good" button works in a way that it didn't back in the days of Reagan/Carter, or when Rand wrote "Don't Let It Go." Gramscification did its job.

Americans *did* let it go. That's why I say to them, serves you right. Just look at the piss-weak milksoppery right here, let alone from Romney. Folk who should be in rebellion, in denial.

Obama has just signed off any chances...

Marcus's picture

...of re-election.

Even liberals in the US believe in the individual entrepreneurship - like liberals Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. You see how he digs himself in deeper by saying businessmen agreed with him.

In other words reminding people that he has no experience in business and it's showing more and more every day.


Mark Hubbard's picture


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