Don’t Ask What Your Country Can Do For Your Company


…ask what your company can do for me.President Obama tried to channel JFK today, 2/7/11, and failed. His failure wasn’t in being eloquent or a good speaker: it was in the basic understanding of the role of business and the role of government in a free country.

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Don’t ask what your country can do for your company, ask what your company can do for your country.  Hey, I have an idea…Let’s do neither!  Seriously.

Every company’s purpose is to create a valuable product or service that they can sell to a consumer that wants that product or service, at a price that generates a profit.  The profit, the difference between what it costs to create and the value a buyer is willing to pay, is WHY COMPANIES EXIST.  Companies do not exist to:

  • hire more American workers
  • support the American economy
  • invest in this nation
  • secure the future we all share

Yes I know some of my more liberal friends are going to yell, “There you go, it’s all about the almighty dollar! You sick pig.”  Friends, if we allow business to do what it is meant to do, it will create jobs, it will benefit the overall economy, it will invest in this country and it will secure the economic future of this great people.  That’s why we are the most prosperous, powerful nation in history.  We have not only raised the standard of living in this country but the entire world. How, by allowing people to freely create and trade their creations with others.

That brings us to the second half of the clip.  What is the government’s responsibility in this.  Well there are two.  First,  protect citizens from fraud and force that may come from companies.  This is one place where regulation comes into play, legitimate regulation.  Second, protect companies from fraud and force coming from competitive companies.  Again, this may result in legitimate regulation.

Unfortunately, government regulations have ventured into business decisions that in no way involve force or fraud against consumers.  Many times these regulations are designed to get companies or even consumers to act in a certain way.  Some regulations go as far as protecting entire industries and even specific companies from fair competition.  The government’s role in business is simply to ensure a fair playing field for consumers and competition.  Not to choose economic winners and losers.

In the cases that the President mentions in the video that are under review:

  • FDA regulation of medical devices
  • EPA greenhouse gas regulations
  • vague mention of regulations on small businesses

These are all regulations created by the administration’s activities in the past two years.  What about the reams of regulations passed over the last 100 years?  What about the agency bloat created over the last century by an activist government.  If we truly want to restore a robust economy, we will insist our government get out of the way of private sector success and bar the state from protecting companies and individuals from failure.  In short, we will trust in free market principles, adding only the slightest government oversight to ensure fairness of opportunity, not regulation of results.  Alas, I don’t believe our government believes in these principles nor do our corporations truly want to compete on that level playing field.

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About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

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