republicans and The Spectacular Silliness of the 'You Didn't Build That' Debate

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Free Thinker, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. The president brashly declared that entrepreneurs don't build their own roads! Or bridges! Or municipal water treatment centers! Only in July of an election year could this become a controversy.

    Somehow, the remarkably fake "you didn't build that" controversy rages on, bravely, against the forces of listening comprehension and common sense.

    Some background. In a speech last week, the president told supporters that entrepreneurs are supported by teachers, friends, and government-backed infrastructure, saying "somebody invested in roads and bridges, if you've got a business, you didn't build that." This is so obvious it hardly merits comment. The fact that, say, Google didn't build the Caltrain that connects San Francisco to the Valley wouldn't be controversial to anybody -- certainly not to Google, which knows it didn't build the train, nor to Southern Pacific and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which did.

    Except, it's July, and Mitt Romney and right-wing news outlets are equally thirsty for ginned-up controversies. So Fox News and the GOP presidential hopeful launched dual campaigns pretending that Obama said that no business has ever built itself. "To say what he said is to say that Steve Jobs didn't build Apple Computer or that Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft," Romney said in prepared remarks. That is a hilariously creative interpretation of the idea that start-ups don't build roads, but somehow it's sparked a larger debate about whether government can play a helpful role in business.

    But that debate is so over. I read Romney's comments over the Internet (which the government helped to build), on my personal computer (a technology which the government helped develop), and later on my smart phone (made affordable partly because government demand for microchips helped to pull down the cost of consumer electronics). I don't know how Mitt Romney himself arrived at the event, but odds are that he either flew on an airplane (which federal research contracts helped to establish) or rode on his bus across America's interstate highway system (which federal laws helped construct).

    I could go on, but what's the point? Romney understands the role of government as well as anybody. "Where we invest as a nation, both from a government standpoint but also from a private standpoint, those are the areas we've been most successful," Romney once said. "In technology, we as a country already invest an enormous amount -- for instance, in defense technology, space technology, health -- but we also need to invest in some of the emerging technologies that are important at a basic science level such as fuel cell technology, power generation, materials science, automotive technology."

    Yes! Totally! Well said, Mitt Romney!

    The American private sector is the most fantastically successful job and innovation engine in the history of the planet, and it doesn't need our vapid lies about the incompetence of government to feel good about itself. It needs more of what has always helped to make it strong: More government spending on technology and infrastructure, and less nonsense about lonely entrepreneurs building their own roads, bridges, trains, and municipal water sources.
  2. Brass


    Once more, for good measure:
  3. You're the one missing the point. They have bridges and roads in North Korea, too. Saudi Arabia has very nice roads and airports.

    No one is inventing anything or starting dynamic companies there though. Wonder why?

    Obama's comment struck a nerve because it was illustrative of just how clueless he is. He should be praising entrepreneurs but instead he denigrates them. He clearly views private enterprise with suspicion if not downright hostility.

    He sees private enterprise as basically a source of funds for his campaigns, unions and the government. Then he can't understand why companies refuse to hire or invest.
  4. Ricter


    The comment that "struck a nerve" is a comment he didn't make. You guys made it.
  5. Arnie


    Its been 2 weeks since Obama didn't make that comment, yet everyday the left, with help of the MSM, is desperately trying to defend Obama from remarks he did not make. Go figure.

  6. it think its more this:
    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson
  7. It's all hands on deck to save the sinking ship. Full on panic mode and PeeWee Thinker proves it.
  8. Ricter



    "Obama's comment struck a nerve because it was illustrative of just how..."

    You were saying?

  9. Brass


    Who, Arnie? Was he really? Are you sure?
  10. Can we please get the discussion back to the important stuff, like did Romney sign a form in 1999 and what about those tax returns? He might be rich or something and we don't know about it.
    #10     Jul 25, 2012