Terry Paulson

America used to celebrate the success of entrepreneurs and business leaders who contributed to this country's mighty free enterprise track record. Now, we're more likely to demonize them as greedy for earning the rewards they worked for. Hollywood is more likely to depict them as a politically correct enemy than a hero. When successful business leaders run for office, many criticize them for making wise business decisions that cost American jobs but ensured their companies' survival.

But the fact remains that America has many proven business leaders actually running for Congress and positions of power in this November election. They've had enough of an inexperienced president who has surrounded himself with advisors who are deep in theory but lacking in actual business experience. It's time we elect these business leaders to help right our ship during these turbulent economic times. But to do so, it's clear that many Americans need a basic primer on how free-enterprise business works.

There's no clearer statement than was provided by this week's Connecticut Senate race debate between Dick Blumenthal and Linda McMahon. After listening to Dick Blumenthal's rambling response on how government must stimulate the economy to create jobs, Linda McMahon provided a simple, informed reply: "Government, government, government. Government does not create jobs. It's very simple how you create jobs. An entrepreneur takes risk. He or she believes that they create a good or service that is sold for more than it costs to create it. If an entrepreneur thinks he can do that he creates a job."

When government makes regulations and passes programs that increase the costs entrepreneurs face while keeping taxes high on the rewards that they earn, the chances of success are decreased and the risks of loss are increased. As a result, jobs are not created and more tax revenue is lost. How do entrepreneurs respond? They wait for better conditions or take their ideas and their capital to countries where their business is encouraged and their rewards are greater.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini made the same point at the August Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum, "I can tell you definitively that it costs $1 billion more per factory for me to build, equip, and operate a semiconductor manufacturing facility in the United States." If politicians continue to make decisions "the wrong way, people will not invest in the United States. They'll invest elsewhere."

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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