The History Channel recently aired a series called “The Men Who Built America,” which focused on the titans of American industry: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, John Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan.
These men were responsible for, among other things, much of our infrastructure, shipping and railway systems, the mass production of construction-grade steel, the oil and gas industries, mass-produced automobiles and the financing of Mr. Edison’s light bulb. The government did not accomplish these things, men in the private sector did.
The men who did these things were driven by the desire to succeed, to improve upon the status quo, and, yes, by the desire to beat one another and obtain personal wealth. Were these men ruthless and greedy, did they step on the lives of others in pursuit of their ambitions? Yes, without a doubt.
However, they also created hundreds of thousands of jobs for people, and in doing so they paid and raised millions in taxes (now called “revenue” by President Obama). They were an economy onto themselves.
As our president continues to divide our country under the guise of some imagined moral imperative to redistribute its wealth, I wonder where he learned his history.
This country was built by men who Obama would have us believe are the source of all that is wrong with our nation. He would have vilified these men and campaigned to punish them, pronouncing that they “are not paying their fair share.”
Certainly some of the “wealthy” were, and are, less than ethical, but I would gladly choose the greed and indiscretions of a few wealthy individuals who create opportunities for many over the rampant abuse and addiction to government programs (now called “investments” by Obama) that are bankrupting our country. This country was founded on hard work and self-reliance, principles that are dying under a wave of entitlement and finger-pointing.
When the book is closed on this presidency it will read that it was the most divisive, petty, counter-productive era in our history.
Michael R. Lesko