Amidst the political bickering, between President Barack Obama and Presumed Republican Candidate Willard (his real name) “Mitt” Romney, there are a broad range of Discrepancies: Part-Truths, Stretches and, perhaps, Outright Lies–FROM BOTH CAMPS. There is one in particular, however, that I can only shake my head at, is the controversy of Who Built What?
President Obama was speaking to a Town Hall Audience, a couple of weeks back, and he mentioned the roll of Others in many Great Accomplishments. In general, he noted that, in some cases, only The Government can create the Infrastructure or the Environment for some new Concepts, Industries or Technologies. Think of: TV; Commercial Airline Travel; the National Highway System; the Internet; Railroads; etc.
Additionally, there were Other People and Things that might have helped you along the way, such as: Parents; a Teacher or other person; or Scholarships and PELL Grants that made Advanced Education available to you. If you skipped College, perhaps you a served as an Apprentice to a Small Business Owner (Electrician, Locksmith, Plumber, etc.) who gave you the tools to build a comfortable Career–and perhaps Business.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have spent a lot of time poking fun at the President’s “…You didn’t build it” comment; but, they DO fail to mention any specifics. Romney mentions Steve Jobs building Apple Computer (saying “He built it!”); however, he fails to question the impact of a pre-existing computer system and The Internet on that Accomplishment. And, more specifically, he failed to mention the impact of Steve Jobs having audited some Lithography classes, after he dropped-out of College, on his Career Accomplishments.
Along these lines, there is an excellent Op-Ed in today’s The Washington Post, What I built with government help, by James C. Roumell, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-i-built–with-government-help/2012/08/17/ecc86b24-e885-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_story.html.
Mr. Roumell grew up in a working-class Detroit neighborhood and now lives, as a Professional Businessman, in Chevy Case, Md. He admits, however, that PELL Grants and Government Loans helped him go to college. Further, he states that he DID work hard in building his business; but, he notes that The Investment Company Act helped create the Mutual Fund Industry, Tax Loopholes have helped build his personal wealth and the Intervention of the Government, over the past several years, has helped stabilize the Financial Services Environment.