If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
– President Barack Obama, who has never held a private sector job, much less run a business
Save Jersey Contributor and Central Jersey Attorney Jordan Rickards
This past Saturday was the fifth or sixth in a row that I spent at my office, Save Jerseyans, putting in hours on beautiful days when I’d much rather be enjoying the languor of summer, because that’s one of the many sacrifices that I, and countless other small business owners know we must make. I spend these Saturdays alone because, unfortunately, all those “other people” who President Obama thinks built my business for me apparently have better things to do with their time than to actually contribute to my business in any identifiable way.
It’s actually kind of funny. When conservatives talk about the “invisible hand” of capitalism, we speak of free market forces that automatically coordinate economic activity and prices. Obama’s idea of an “invisible hand” is when my business is built for me by the hands of people who are literally invisible.
I run a small law practice that I started three years ago. It generates enough income to provide for myself, the salary of my staff, the fees of about a dozen or so sub-contractors, and various miscellaneous expenses concomitant with such a business. There are certainly easier ways to make a living, ways that did not require me to invest (i.e., risk) my entire life’s savings, plus four years in college, and three years in law school, five years of low-paid training after that, and incalculable hours and weekends above and beyond the typical workweek.
But starting and running a business is about risk and reward. You risk a lot and you invest a lot because even though failure stalks you at every corner, the potential return can be great. You work to make a living. You invest and risk to get ahead. And this is the essence of capitalism, the greatest engine of wealth creation the world has ever known, which by far and away has done more to lift up the lot of the common man, and even the poor, than all the central planning in the world has ever achieved.