Sunday, September 2, 2012

You didn't build that

In an unfortunate moment for Barack Obama this past month, he made a statement which was part of his basic world view, but is not part of the American political philosophy. Although there are those who deny it, everything he does  and says reflects his socialist roots.  America from its earliest days has been built on capitalism.  Take the first summer after the Pilgrims survived the terrible previous winter.  They tried having a communal farm which failed miserably (socialism).  William Bradford, fearing another winter of starvation, gave each family their own plot to grow their own crops (capitalism).  Well the Pilgrims realized they could now grow their own food, and each family showed up daily, working hard to provide for themselves.  It is a basic human instinct - the opportunity to work hard, and smart, to take risks to improve your lot.  It is not an opportunity afforded everyone, and sad to say, if Obama has his way, Americans will not have the opportunity for long.  But capitalism, to a large degree, is what built this nation.   And we are a generous people, those who have been blessed materially willingly share with the less fortunate.  But we do not want to be forced to do so, or to give to those who do not deserve it.  When Obama wants to redistribute the wealth, his socialistic views come out.  And when Obama said 'you didn't build that' referring to small businesses, the American businessmen and entrepreneurs took offense. 

Now this may surprise you, but in a sense, I agree with Obama.  Not with what he meant, but in a very real way, I received a lot of help in building my business.  I couldn't have done it  by myself.  I disagree heartily with what our president meant, because he was referring to governmental assistance, of which I received very little.  Actually I have been hindered by the government much more than helped.  I am sure most people who have started a successful business will attest to that.

So when I think back to the spring of 1994 before the company was formed, I promised that if God would allow me to start a plastics distributorship, I would give it to God, and would try to operate the company as He would want me to and give Him the glory for what He would do through me.  I can't say I always kept that promise, but despite my failures, God has blessed Grace Plastics.  It is not only a plastics distributorship, but God has blessed us with two plants, where we sort and grind plastic scrap.  It is not always smooth sailing.  Running a company is a daily challenge and can be daunting.  I try to keep the Almighty at the helm.  He is the Chairman of the Board of Grace Plastics.  He and I have a board meeting every morning and every important decision is not made without seeking His approval.

When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and defeated the inhabitants of Canaan, God constantly reminded them Who it was that brought them out of Egypt, led and fed them for forty years, defeated the giants, Sihon and Og, and brought about the conquest of the Land which God had promised many years ago to the patriarch Abraham.  We would do well to remember that it is still God who allows us to build our businesses.  I share the disgust my fellow entrepreneurs have toward Obama's insinuation that they couldn't have built their businesses without the help of the government, but instead of swelling up with pride and saying, 'I built this company with my own strength, brains, and ability,' we should humbly realize that it is God Who has blessed us, and it is He who can take it all away in the blink of an eye.  If you doubt me, read the first chapter of Job.

We are approaching a very important presidential election this fall, and although neither candidate is a Christian and there are political short-comings on both sides, we have to change the resident in the White House.  There is nothing racist in my feelings toward him, but Obama's politics are leading this country to financial ruin, and he seems to relish in what is happening.  I know God is in control and I can rest in Him, but I also would encourage everyone to vote for Romney/Ryan this November.  If Obama is given another term, I don't think Americans would survive as free people.