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Monday, July 30, 2012

Actually, We Built the Roads Too


“If you have a small business, you didn’t build that yourself,” President Obama said. There were roads, inspiring teachers, etc. Infrastructure. Other people who contributed to your business.
Yes, there were roads. And in most cases, the roads predated the business. Those roads were likely paid for by the government. But where does the government get its money? Government at any level has no money other than what it takes from citizens via income taxes. So those roads – the ones that the magnanimous government built in order to “rescue” businesses that otherwise would fail – were actually built by the businesses they benefited.
Yes, there were teachers – some inspiring, some less so. Some paid for by the government, some paid for by the parents of the school attendee. But that brings us back to the government and where the money actually comes from. So the inspiring teachers, just like the roads, were once again paid for by the businesses and individuals who used them.
And yes, there are things present in every business that were not made by the business owner. There are fixtures and machines in the family bakery that Great-Grandpa Kruta did not build with his own hands. But there is nothing in that bakery that the family did not pay for without the benefit of government assistance.
No one thinks that businesses exist in a bubble. Without infrastructure, education, other businesses, and customers, no business could survive. But the more important point, the one that the President missed, is that without small businesses government could not survive to provide infrastructure, education, and support for other businesses and potential customers.

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