Are you an entrepreneur? You didn’t build that on your own!
As with academic papers written by scholars and examined by students, it is assumed that the subject matter is accurate and generally follows the nomenclature of purpose, hypotheses and findings. I will use this template to critique a discourse of diatribe by Elizabeth Warren that is known as the “You didn’t build that on your own” speech.
(Editor’s note: You may be thinking that this is a quote from President Obama, and he did indeed say this, and meant it. But Elizabeth Warren’s quote was much earlier.)
The quote of analysis is as follows:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on 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 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.”
I am proposing that the speech is one of malicious contempt for all entrepreneurs and will support this with my own upset response in a line by line manner.
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody.”
To set the scene for this first phrase, one must examine the context in which it is written. Warren is performing the function here of the “useful idiot,” by which she is extending the rhetoric of the progressive left. In particular, her speech follows a thematic narrative put forth by activist and Berkeley liberal George Lakoff. The Marxian thesis developed by Lakoff and so proudly espoused by Warren shows the contempt for the general middle class, (American businessmen) and their call to arms by the proletariat, whose backs, they say, you the small businessman, built his success off of.
The totalitarian theory implied in this line wants one to believe that it is the government’s role that enables individual success, hence the need for more and bigger government. The second use of the word “nobody” is an effort to make the masses one, so that income equality can allegedly be gained by all through the strength of the state. One might put an exclamation mark after the second use of “nobody” as Warren re-emphasizes your individual uselessness and your need for the collective to achieve success.
You built a factory out there – good for you.
This smug, patronizing comment is at the heart of how the progressive liberal despises your success and longs to free it from you. The use of the term “factory” is a turn of the 19thcentury phrase that implies the malevolence of capitalism and the need for unionization to organize the masses in protest. Every revolution must have dissent and protest. This line sickens me as much as any in this narrative.
But I want to be clear.
This attempts to be an authoritarian statement providing the basis for the class warfare that is needed to accomplish the end game. In the lines that follow, we will see more of the propaganda that would make Joseph Goebbels proud to be an American today.
What do you think of this speech? Are you an entrepreneur? Part II to follow…
Editor’s note: This is how far the socialist movement has come. People believe Warren is an intelligent college professor who speaks well and makes sense. But in business sense, she comes out just as incompetent as many politicians with no business experience, with no concept of how the real world works.
As an entrepreneur and business owner, when Obama expressed this sentiment, I became flustered as to how someone with no business experience, never made a payroll was telling me that I didn’t build my own company. Unless you have had to pay taxes, chase the money and still make some little money as profit after all your investments going into the same business or more, you have no clue of how the economy works. Have we learned nothing?
In my opinion, this is exceedingly offensive to small business owners who worked so hard to build a business. We pay taxes, so we have as much right to the infrastructure as anyone else. We create wealth above and beyond what others do, wealth that would not exist but for us.
Did ‘everybody’ help us? No way. In fact, there is no one lonelier than a struggling small business owner trying to make payroll…
Adapted from Business Forward