“A date which will live in infamy.” That’s what President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 as he addressed Congress asking for a Declaration of War against the imperial nation of Japan. He made this call for war following the “surprise” attack on the
U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that left over 2300 dead; nearly half of which were entombed on the battleship U.S.S. Arizona.
It’s worth noting that today’s 70th Anniversary of that infamous day follows by one day President Barrack Obama‘s biggest, latest speech in Osawatomie (pronounced oh-suh-WAHT-ah-mee) Kansas. The symbolism of Obama’s speech is supposed to be found in the location in which he chose to make it and how it was nearly 100 years from when former
President Theodore Roosevelt made his famous “New Nationalism” speech. The speech was in August 1910, more than 101 years ago; and it was nearly 50 miles away in Kansas City, Kansas. Nonetheless the current day White House nearly pulled a hamstring stretching to connect the two speeches.
In his speech Obama again made the call for more government and more regulation of business. He referred to the need to level the playing field for the great middle class of Americans. And he tried to make the connection with TR and the turn of the 20th century when he said: “At the turn of the last century, when a nation of farmers was transitioning to become the world’s industrial giant, we had to decide: Would we settle for a country where most of the new railroads and factories were being controlled by a few giant monopolies that kept prices high and wages low?” The statement is patently false. The tycoon industrialists of the late 1800s and early 1900s made their money by providing products at low prices, thus serving the masses instead of catering to the rich. Same as today.
became at one time the richest man on earth by building Standard oil into not only an oil production business, but into an oil refining and distribution business. As written in the Wikipedia biography of Rockefeller Standard Oil replaced the old distribution system with its own vertical system. It supplied kerosene by tank cars that brought the fuel to local markets and tank wagons then delivered to retail customers, thus bypassing the existing network of wholesale jobbers. He made the price of gasoline low so that more people could buy it. And in so doing he saved the whales. Prior to Rockefeller’s success whale oil was the primary means by which people burned oil. The whaling industry couldn’t compete and very quickly died.
didn’t become fabulously wealthy by making the most expensive car on the market. Just the opposite. He created the assembly line; a much faster and more financially efficient way to build an automobile. Thus we had the Model T a car that was affordable to the average worker. And Ford famously said his success was predicated on building a product that his employees could afford to buy.
Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and others all had riches and power. But those riches and power were bestowed upon them by the American people buying their products because they made there products affordably.
How is that different from today’s tycoons? Bill Gates built computer software that was easy and compatible with multiple hardware manufacturers thus bringing the personal computer to a size and affordability of most Americans and business. Steve Jobs also built computers; but his greatest success began with his company’s invention of the Ipod; an easier and more affordable way to buy and listen to music. In doing so he turned the music industry upside down and changed it forever.
Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook. Did he achieve his billionaire status by “keeping prices high”? Absolutely not. He took the idea of a social “facebook” (small f), distributed it more widely and made it FREE to everyone.
Obama said yesterday about Republicans: “And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.” If only it were true. The fact is GOP politicians are nearly as guilty as Democrats in forcing government intrusion onto the lives of increasingly more Americans. The President went on to say we’re all better off when “we’re together than when we’re on our own”. On this we agree. But who made him Community Organizer in chief for my life? Who says government needs to force us together in order to benefit the most people. Rockefeller, Ford, Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg and countless others have repeatedly demonstrated that the philosophy of 18th economist Adam Smith was right.
Smith is the author of the seminal economic book “The Wealth of Nations” which correctly pointed out that the less government interferes with a free-market system the more people will prosper. Smith pointed out that when left on their own people had a selfish interest in serving people, community, the masses. Failing to do so meant a failure of a business. Doesn’t that make sense?
Obama’s repeated stated resistance to leave us to our own devices demonstrates a clear lack of faith in the Capitalist system and in the moral fiber of Americans. As we remember the brave souls who lost their lives 70 years ago today its incumbent upon us to ask ourselves why they died and why so many other Americans have fought and died in the name of our country through the past 2 1/4 centuries. Did they die in defense of a bigger Government controlling more and more of our lives; helping us along as Obama would want me to say. Or…did they die for our own individual liberty? Isn’t it obvious? And to properly honor their memory don’t we owe it to them and our own ancestors to struggle and succeed. For one always precedes the other.
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- Obama on ‘Trickle Down’ Economics: ‘It Doesn’t Work, It Has Never Worked’ (thinkprogress.org)
- The Last Incarnation of Barack Obama – Heritage.com (gds44.wordpress.com)
- In the News | Obama Speech in Kansas and analysis (skillsinfo.wordpress.com)
- Applause for John D. Rockefeller (cafehayek.com)
- Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (davidcummings.org)
- Pearl Harbor: In Memory of Those Who Sacrificed All On December 7, 1941 (jroycroft.wordpress.com)
- Pearl Harbor Attack: A “Day That Will Live in Infamy” (offthebase.wordpress.com)
- Survivors Of Pearl Harbor Mark 70th Anniversary Of Attack In Ceremonies Across The Tri-State (newyork.cbslocal.com)
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