Here in July of 2013, I read another one of your partisan divisive campaign speeches on the economy. Here now in the 54th month of your Presidency where unemployment throughout has been higher than the peak unemployment of the preceding recession, I have a little commentary on your speech about boosting the middle class.
You see I am middle class, having come from a middle class family. I have come to a time where I find myself at a unique juncture. In my late 30s, I’ve a comfortable income that, while it doesn’t put me in your damned to hell upper 2%, does get me to between the 10th and 5th percentile. My family and home are well established. My wife provides a reliable second income. Savings are beginning to accumulate. I’ve reached earlier than usual, what will probably be the salary zenith in my field. Now this would be the time, with ample security and a well-paying career field to fall back upon, years of opportunity ahead, where I would consider taking the risk, and venturing out on my own with a new business in an area where I feel passionate.
The problem is that, in the past four and half years I’ve seen too much. When the good people of this nation cemented their decision that your direction was the direction they wanted to go last November, I got the message. This is the new America: The America where regulators brag about crucifying businesses like a Roman invasion, to set an example for other businesses to fear. Regulating bodies when at their best are indifferent to a business as they lay onerous burdens upon it, and as shown now, at their worst, are deliberate engines of destruction to others’ labors of creation. I see a myriad of permits and fees that are nothing more than extortion of an aspiring business owners dreams, enslaving him to a bank for years for pieces of paper that have no real world value; In effect, skimming off the top before the cow is even milked. I see the nation’s tax collector, used as a political tool to harm those for the words that they say and what they believe. I see political campaigns headed by the administration against private Citizens when it is simply convenient and expedient to do so. And finally, if someone was to cough up the vig to sell on your street, forgoes his right to politically participate in our society, builds a successful business plan through God only knows how many hours of worry about its future and the future of his family, sacrifices income and with it many things for his family, actually becomes successful and starts reaping the reward for having risked that much of his life and given up so much, then that business owner becomes demonized as the “rich” who only became successful because of luck; Because a lot of people work hard, and a lot of people are smart.
Message received Mr. President. I at one time believed my success in a business venture, if I ever attempted one, to be of my hand with little owed to others, because others did not leave the comfort of their secure life, nor the leisure of it, to build something new. I am not risking my family’s future if success is luck or has to be in majority credited to the collective. If I am to go through the risk, sacrifice, and effort to build something I want it to be mine. This idea of collective credit for a business success is akin to a paint maker or canvas cutter taking credit for The Starry Night. I will not give up my right to politically participate as part in parcel to the privilege of doing business. I will not build something with love and passion, to see the potential destruction of it by regulatory bodies used against me as a political tool to either force my silence, or as unbridled extortion of money for your pet causes. One needs to look no further than Gibson Guitar to learn that lesson though plenty of other examples are available. Nor will I see the bully pulpit used as a public rallying point to harm my business when it becomes convenient to do so. Finally I will not sacrifice, risk, and toil to build something that brings employment, taxes, and new goods to market, only to be told in the end that I owe someone something for having created it. After everything has been invested, tears cried, hairs greyed, family ignored, sleepless nights had, nice things given up, health compromised for stress, only to be told at the dawn of success, that I’m not paying my fair share? NO THANK YOU!
You never stopped to think did you Mr. President? That someone would watch what you did, and listen to what you say, and believe your intent? It never occurred to you that the people willing to take the risk of starting a business knowing the atrocious failure rate of new business believed in themselves to be able to succeed where others had failed? You see, to start a business no one has any “leg up” on anyone else. You have to know that in 15 years three quarters of businesses will have failed. What leads someone to dive into a failure prone environment like this? Not the belief that success is luck and you have a 75% chance of wasting 15 years of your life. It is the belief that success comes from within, that the decisions you will make will bring the odds into your favor. It’s an unqualified belief in one’s self to succeed on one’s merits. That such an attitude about self-determination and self-determinism is usually accompanied a conservative ideology, did that ever occur to you Mr. President? That the very people you need to take risks and sacrifice of themselves to drive America’s flagging economy and employ the still largely unemployed American people are principally the same people you have been dumping on non-stop for four and a half years? You talked about tomorrow’s seas and tomorrow’s skies. Well looking at those seas and skies and how the winds have changed in my life I’m seeing a lot more of you and politicians like you. So I see all these things getting worse not better.
I got the message Mr. President. Instead of risking everything to create jobs, I’m going to take a job and deprive an up and comer of an opportunity. Instead of working myself to the bone to make something you’ll destroy on a whim, I’ll seek the security of modest employment. Instead of making more GDP, taxes, and products for America, I will continue to live comfortably and modestly. And while I sit plump and comfortable stuck right here in the middle class not trying to start a business, those that already own a business, or as you call them, the rich, will get richer for lack of competition. Those that are unemployed and those that would have followed me will not get the opportunities that a business venture created nor my current job, so then those people, or the poor as you call them, will get poorer. But go ahead and blame the lost income mobility on Republicans, no one will call you on it. You see that’s the final leg of income mobility that you don’t ever seem to care about or consider; that when someone reaches my level near the peak of their potential as a career employee, they take the next step and risk it all for the big success. You never stopped to consider…”What if I talk them out of even trying.” All of your top down scheming and central planning cannot overcome the fact that I am not alone in how I feel and America needs us to feel differently to succeed. But you’ll just shine on those grey clouds with a platitude like “Some say…I reject that” while America’s economy silently testifies that I’m exactly correct.
You win Mr. President. As you might be inclined to say, I’m making enough money. I don’t want to be rich anymore or try and build a business anymore. It isn’t worth the time, sacrifice, trouble or the risk. Instead, I’d rather find out who John Galt is.