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Thread: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    I'm talking about federal highways.
    Then that is a surprising statistic. Is that a long term stat or is the cost inflated due to stimulus spending the last couple of years.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville View Post
    Hilarity should ensue

    Star of Romney ‘My Hands Didn’t Build This’ Ad Received Millions in Government Loans and Contracts

    This next bit is truly 'special'

    How can you say you're "getting some of my tax money back" when some of the government funding helped you start the business - that is before you were paying much in taxes?

    The question is being raised everyday; if Mitt Romney is running on his "executive experience" why are so many of the people he has employed to run his campaign completely incompetent? From Etch-a-Sketch guy to the clowns who created this ad without bothering to investigate the man's past, Mitt's campaign workers show their lack of skills and knowledge every day. The American electorate is supposed to think hiring dimwits and incompetents is a positive?
    The man getting government business related assistance is not in any way at odds with the ad, nor with Romney's message. Romney's message was not "everyone does things entirely as an individual with no help from anyone in any way". On the contrary, he specifically suggested there are things that contribute. However, the difference was that he was suggesting that the praise for actions such as starting a business should be primarily placed on the individual whose individual drive, risk taking, and efforts were the largest contributing factor (in Romney's opinion) to that's success and as such they should be held up and praised for their success, not devalued in light of raising up all within the community who impacted it in some way shape or form.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Romulus View Post
    Most road wear and tear is associated with weathering and large trucks not tourist traffic. To your larger point yes, sometimes government has to step and protect individuals from business--those instances are rare--and the onus of proof is on those calling for government intervention. Because the vast majority of our current regulatory environment--albeit well intentioned by some consumer activists--simply act as protection for large corporations from smaller competitors.
    I agree with you that there are too many protectionist measures put in place to protect the interests of large corporations over those of smaller players.
    I think we agree in principle on many things, but we do not see eye-to-eye on the degree of some problems. I am not comfortable saying that the "cases are rare", that government should intervene to regulate business. And perhaps we just aren't even quite using "regulate" in the same way. To clarify my position: History clearly shows us that if a business can make a profit by shirking its moral responsibility to its workers, the nation's citizens, or the environment with respect, it will do so-unless it is regulated by the government. That's just the sad truth about a Laisse-faire market approach. As soon as government steps out of the way it becomes a race to the bottom in terms of responsibility in order to race to the top in terms of profits. This is an EXTREMELY strong impulse in a free-market approach and it occurs at all levels, both large and small. For that reason, I believe there is actually of ton of business practices, both micro and macro, that the government absolutely must regulate.
    Too much regulation can and does occur in some cases and we need to combat this when it arises. However, I contend that many of the problems we are currently facing in this nation(and indeed the world) have resulted not from too much regulation, but TOO LITTLE




    Quote Originally Posted by Romulus View Post
    Ya, I looked into this, Mexico just doesn't have much money to build roads:

    Mexico still banks on privately run toll roads

    From the article...



    Take away private toll roads, and you'd be riding a donkey at 4mph to your destination. We here in the U.S. are doing fine with publicly financing our roads through users fees, just understand we can afford those user fees because we are rich (relative to Mexicans), because we have relatively more economic freedom than Mexicans. Remember though, at the federal level we have a useless multi-billion dollar bureaucratic middle man that should be cut from our budget. This is not what Obama wants to do.
    I still do not concede that Mexico can't afford to build roads. Such things are merely a matter of priority, and I certainly don't agree that privatizing them will result in anything but disaster in Mexico. Also, don't forget, that most of the user fees collected in the US actually go to our government, not a private company. The monies may later be used to contract private individuals to construct the roads, but this is way different from turning the whole process over to a private organization.
    Secondly, you are way too disparaging of donkeys. I know some that can move at at least 6mph.
    Thirdly, Why are you saying that we have a "useless multi-billion dollar middle man"? "Useless" is a very strong word. So which organization, specifically, are you talking about, and where can I more information on its corruption?
    Fourthly, even if I were to come around to your viewpoint about the "useless middle-man" that you speak of, I'd like to be sure that if we replaced it, it would not in whole by a private firm because I strongly believe that would only result in disaster and less service for greater cost. I think roads/bridges are so critical to the well-being of everyone in our society that I become very worried and very suspicious whenever someone suggests that their administering should be turned over, whether in whole or in part, to private interests. That, to me, is a slippery slope and it was I would not embrace without significant insurances.
    In the meantime, we should fight to demand that we reform and fix anything that may be broken("useless") in the way that the government administers our highways.
    Last edited by zeusomally; 07-24-12 at 01:30 AM.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    The man getting government business related assistance is not in any way at odds with the ad, nor with Romney's message. Romney's message was not "everyone does things entirely as an individual with no help from anyone in any way". On the contrary, he specifically suggested there are things that contribute. However, the difference was that he was suggesting that the praise for actions such as starting a business should be primarily placed on the individual whose individual drive, risk taking, and efforts were the largest contributing factor (in Romney's opinion) to that's success and as such they should be held up and praised for their success, not devalued in light of raising up all within the community who impacted it in some way shape or form.
    And I don't believe that Obama is claiming that the government should take the majority of the credit. The problem, and I think this is what Obama was originally lashing out about, is that there is a growing chorus of conservatives in this country screaming that government is junk and only impedes businesses. I think it is high time for some strongly worded pushback against this attitude and I, for one, was glad that Obama used some strong words to address this "I built this business with no help from anyone" argument that people are using in order to belittle the importance of a government and its citizens acting together for the collective good. Our economy is so interconnected and many of the government programs have set in place a foundation upon which businesses can succeed, so I don't understand why so many business owners continue to insist that they are islands unto themselves and they did everything on their own. It's truly represents a fundamental misunderstanding of economics and the importance of government.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusomally View Post
    Fourthly, even if I were to come around to your viewpoint about the "useless middle-man" that you speak of, I'd like to be sure that if we replaced it, it would not in whole by a private firm because I strongly believe that would only result in disaster and less service for greater cost. I think roads/bridges are so critical to the well-being of everyone in our society that I become very worried and very suspicious whenever someone suggests that their administering should be turned over, whether in whole or in part, to private interests. That, to me, is a slippery slope and it was I would not embrace without significant insurances.
    In the meantime, we should fight to demand that we reform and fix anything that may be broken("useless") in the way that the government administers our highways.
    I want to eliminate the Department of Transportation and save taxpayers $91 Billion a year. Do away with all federal funding and intervention into how states plan or fund their highways, cooperation for interstate highways as you know is planned through AASHTO. Many new projects can be privately funded and investors can recoup their capital with electronic tolling. Where there is no market for private funding states should decide how to finance the project. DOT's FHA should be gone today.

    FTA? Gone! Transit subsidizes a malinvestment of state resources, by favoring rail over more flexible buses. Amtrak? Gone! Don't get me started on that boondoggle.

    Federal ATC? Gone! Since the mid-1990s Canada has had a private non-profit air traffic control system and it works fine.

    Your concern seems to be the profit motive's supposed race to the bottom. Although I don't agree with that assertion lets--for arguments sake--assume your assertion is true. Much of what I argue is to let nonprofits do what they already do. Where I want to see privatization with profit, you know private highways have to be insured. Guess who has higher engineering standards...federal interstates or private expressways whose safety design is based on insurance actuaries?

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusomally View Post
    And I don't believe that Obama is claiming that the government should take the majority of the credit.
    And I agree with you, and didn't suggest otherwise.

    I believe Obama was claiming that the community...and by that I mean all those that contributed, from the teacher you had in high school to the guy who made the road you drive on, and including the individual as well...is the entity that deserves to be highlighted the most for an accomplishment rather than the individual.

    While I do believe Obama believes that the government is a major and integral part of the community and the portion of the community he is interested in expanding, I don't buy that he's simply saying "government" in his statement.

    The problem, and I think this is what Obama was originally lashing out about, is that there is a growing chorus of conservatives in this country screaming that government is junk and only impedes businesses. I think it is high time for some strongly worded pushback against this attitude and I, for one, was glad that Obama used some strong words to address this "I built this business with no help from anyone" argument that people are using in order to belittle the importance of a government and its citizens acting together for the collective good.
    And I'm sure that may've been why he lashed out. And I expect many liberals to be happy that he went after that and made the argument he did. However, your want about people feeling they "did it on their own" is no more of selective recognition of hyperbole then many are doing in regards to Obama in this. You operate under this false notion that conservatism = anarchy and people don't want any government institutions or functions what so ever. You view things that Obama says, give him the benefit of the doubt, seek to find nuanced ways to explain it or describe it...but then you give no such benefit of the doubt to conservatives, seeking to look at context and recognition of common phrases and common sense regarding intent and message behind them. They notion that one "does it on their own" is not suggesting a literalistic interpritation where they had succeeded entirely without any possible interactoin with anyone else in any way shape or form that resulted in a positive thing, but rather a statement of the belief that their successes came about primarily due to their own efforts and work. You could say "Well, that success wouldn't happen without the community that contributed". True. And I could say that the success wouldn't have happened just with the community if there wasn't an individual to do the hard work, make the sacrifices, and take the risks. The difference is you think it's perfectly acceptable to promote one aspect of that as far more important and needing to be focused on, but have some issue inherently with someone doing the opposite.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Obama wasn't saying "business owners didn't build their businesses".

    he was saying that we ALL, together, pitched in to build roads & bridges.

    we ALL pitched in with either tax dollars, management & design of the project, or the actual labor.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    While I do believe Obama believes that the government is a major and integral part of the community and the portion of the community he is interested in expanding, I don't buy that he's simply saying "government" in his statement.
    So, what is the point of having said it then? Why even bring it up? It's a given that the ability to succeed is an integral part of the American "dream". If Obama was not intending to downplay the efforts of businessmen (or more probably, a certain businessman) why even say it?
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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    So, what is the point of having said it then? Why even bring it up? It's a given that the ability to succeed is an integral part of the American "dream". If Obama was not intending to downplay the efforts of businessmen (or more probably, a certain businessman) why even say it?

    Because far too many on the right are less rational and thoughtful than conservatives like Zyphlin. I think where Zyphlin gets it a bit wrong is in arguing that many progressives "operate under this false notion that conservatism = anarchy and people don't want any government institutions or functions what so ever." in a thread where the post just above his is calling for the total abolition of government agencies. There are unfortunately far too many who call themselves libertarian or conservative who are advocating the destruction of the present American/developed world society due to a delusional belief in some kind of Galtian fantasy world.

    My experience is that a much larger percentage of those who name themselves "Progressive" have a wider comprehension of the world as it is and the history that has created our present society than those who call themselves "Conservative" or "Libertarian". Not true in all cases but one could say "the exceptions prove the rule" for there are those, wherever they lie on the political spectrum, who don't fit in well those around them. Zyphlin as an example at one place on the line with his frequent disagreements with his less rational brethren.
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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    So, what is the point of having said it then? Why even bring it up? It's a given that the ability to succeed is an integral part of the American "dream". If Obama was not intending to downplay the efforts of businessmen (or more probably, a certain businessman) why even say it?

    I don't think the President was "downplaying" the success of individual businessmen as he was attempting to pry some bit of acknowledgement from his political opponents that their "our way or the hiway" plaints are simply untrue. Without the entire structure created by both individuals and government, neither would exist yet there are those who argue "government can't do anything". Which is simply untrue.
    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
    ~ James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

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