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America Without the 1%

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In Obama’s perfect utopian world everyone would be equal.  No matter how much success you have achieved or how much hard work you put into that success, ultimately he wants a level playing field.  That isn’t the way it works though.  Not everyone is the same cookie-cutter person; we all have different strengths and weaknesses. 

Everyone has their own God-given talents and abilities.  I marvel at musicians who can play concertos on the piano or violin, I cheer for the athletes on the playing field doing things I could never do in my wildest dreams, and I admire the entrepreneurs who build companies that change our world for the better.

Obama wants to squash the dreams that these people have and he is doing it on a daily basis.  How does it sound to the business owner who sacrificed to make her business a success when he says that “she didn’t do that…the government did”?  How do young people feel who have stayed up long hours cramming for exams to get a degree in medicine or other areas when they are told, “it wasn’t you…you didn’t do that.”

The 1% in our country is getting stomped on and it is a crime.  All we hear about is how greedy they are and how evil they are, but what is the real truth?  Where would we be without the 1%?

Let’s go back in history and take a look.  The reason this country and the world has prospered and been given opportunities is due in large part to the 1%.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that people who are in the 99% don’t matter; I’m just giving examples of where we would be without the top dogs.

Ford, Carnegie, Mellon, Walton, Buffett, Gates, Rockefeller, Weightman, Widener, Morgan et al.  Let’s just see what these evil guys did.

Andrew Carnegie, built a steel empire and then gave his money back through philanthropy.  He is responsible for Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, The Broome Library, and Carnegie Hall; and for establishing pension funds for his former employees.  He also became a benefactor to George Hale who was trying to develop the Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson.  Oooh, what an evil, bad, greedy guy.

Let’s look at Cornelius Vanderbilt, steamboat and railroad entrepreneur, his money built universities.  We have Andrew Carnegie who built a steel empire and then gave his money to philanthropies, Henry Ford, who after trying and failing a couple of times started the Ford motor company.  Sam Walton, who started an innovative warehousing system that employs thousands and thousands of people and allows rural areas access to products that were out of their reach.  Andrew Mellon, innovations in aluminum and Gulf Oil, and William Weightman, who started a pharmaceutical company that provided much needed drugs to the world. 

Edward Harriman, who through smart management turned the Union Pacific railroad around,  J.P. Morgan, who formed General Electric and U. S. Steel.  Here is a man who actually saved the U.S. government during the gold crisis in 1895 and shored up the banking system! There was Peter Widener, who overhauled the transit system in the late 1800’s.  His innovations provided transportation to over 100 million passengers a year.

Then we have Bill Gates, who made Microsoft Corporation one of the most powerful in the world.  Not only has he improved the lives of millions, but the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the wealthiest charitable foundation in the world with an endowment of $33 billion!

If these people had never been motivated to start their businesses and reach for the gold ring, what would America look like?  It sure would be a different place if the government had dictated who were the winners and who were the losers wouldn’t it?  With incentive and freedom to pursue their dreams taken away, how many of these people would have sacrificed and struggled to build their empires?  Would they have been as eager to do what they did if they knew that they would be penalized for success?  I doubt it.

How many of these Occupy Wall Street kids took advantage of the universities, grants, scholarships, libraries and hospitals that these people provided for them?  Do they ever think of that?  Where did their computers come from?  Their cell phones, their cars, their designer jeans?  From the government?  I don’t see many of them wearing a national uniform, do you?

We are so conditioned to hearing about the greedy 1% and how they don’t pay their “fair share”.  They pay more than their “fair share” and without them, the 99% would suffer. 

Right now, the 1% is carrying the load for the rest and it is tipping further and further every day.  Instead of Obama trying to bring the successful down by demonizing and demoralizing the innovators, he needs to instill in the folks that are struggling that they can be like the 1%, they can achieve their dreams of success. The only problem is, if he can’t control the 99%, he won’t get re-elected.  He must keep these people dependent on the government at all cost.  He must keep telling them that the evil rich are responsible for their problems.

Success is not greed; success is an ability to make the world a better place and ultimately to make others lives better.  Let’s give some thanks to the 1% for keeping the American dream alive.  Let’s start looking at hard work and success as something to be proud of, not something to shun. The more success we have, the better our lives.  Remember that the next time you walk into a hospital and see the name of the benefactor who built that wing; be grateful for the 1%.


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