Marketplace Op/Ed: 'You didn't build that', Word's without knowledge

By Ryan Beckley, Mavericks Coffee

This column is part of our ongoing series of op-eds this election season from small business owners working with The Marketplace by TheBlaze. We often hear politicians talk about what small business owners want, and if elected, what public officials could do to help these entrepreneurs. But we haven’t heard enough from small business owners themselves. This series will feature small business owners discussing their business, ‘how they built that,’ and what it has been like trying to sustain and grow their business over the last 4 years. 

Hearing President Barrack Obama’s now infamous statement “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen,”  I was reminded of Job 38 in the Bible. “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?”

The president’s words are not only without knowledge, but they obscure to the rest of the world the genius of America’s founding by veiling its beacon of freedom, and shrouding the shinning city on the hill that America has been since its inception. But more perilous than denying America’s exceptionalism to the rest of the world–which gives hope and opportunity to many yearning for freedom–the president’s remarks conceal and deceive those within the United States of the unprecedented opportunity that is within their grasp.

The road blocks to small business in America right now are great and profound. When small business owners all across America embarked on our journey as entrepreneurs, we committed our working life and that of our family’s as a sacrifice to reach our goals. We rise early and stay late. We scrimp, save, and when we run short, we do without.  Yet we all remain focused to succeed.

Most businesses don’t start big, they start small. New small businesses enter into the marketplace daily and breathe new life into the United States economy. From new innovation and beneficial competition, to an increase in overall economic activity, our work leads to improved products, new efficiencies, and lower prices that benefit society. The general economy is stronger, and people are wealthier because the necessities of life are more abundant and require less of their wealth to purchase. At the same time, the circumstances of the business and the people it now employs are improved.

The roads, bridges, and other infrastructure that the president hypnotically charms the people with are only a means or a conduit for economic activity.  Production is wealth. It is through the efforts of production in a society free of burdensome regulation and meddling politicians, that the power of the market is released. Historically, the United States has protected the entrepreneurs and fostered production, but sadly the assault on production has been consistent and certain. This president has hastened the advance of declining American production.

Since starting my business, I have learned governmental permission is required at every step. From placing a sign on my business to erecting a Christmas tree during the holidays. Both require a permit and, of course, a fee even if the permit is not granted. Even the traditional round door knob is illegal.

In California, where additional burdens are placed on business, the local municipality requires paying local business taxes on estimated revenue before it is generated. Also paying traffic impacts fees for customers that may never patronize your business.

Governments purview extends from regulating and taxing chairs and decorations in your business, to pleasant in person meetings with health inspectors, fire inspectors, building inspectors, assessors and various other regulators. In fact, during a recommended voluntary training session that became mandatory when I said “no thank you,”  California’s Franchise Tax Board (they are California’s version of the IRS just not as polite), I learned I can charge any sales tax rate I want above the minimum sales tax rate as long I send them money. For most entrepreneurs, too much time is spent complying, documenting compliance, and wondering if someday compliance will even be possible at the expense of running their business.

I got into business to serve my customers, not the government. The government is our servant not our keeper. Sadly, the assault on business and its production is a threat to everyone that consumes or produces in the United States.

Statutes, regulations, codes, and ordinances now suffocate business at every turn. Innovation is now only seen by government as it develops new ways to disrupt, displace, and confiscate wealth and its creation. The invisible-hand that once guided the voluntary interactions between individuals in the marketplace has now been replaced with the chocking hands of government, strangling production and draining the very life breathed by the entrepreneurs into their business.

In the Bible Job was posed a series of questions that he could not answer.  “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?”

President Obama, were you there when I started my business? Where were you when my business was capitalized? Is that your name on the mortgage? Or your signature under penalty of perjury and  incarceration?

Clearly, the president does not know and he does not understand, nor does he wish to know or understand, the foundations of freedom in the United States. This willful ignorance from President Obama and others in positions of authority at all levels of government imperils the people and hinders meaningful progress for every man, women, and child in the United States.

I would remind President Obama: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” Job understood when he said “I put my hand over my mouth,” and he would not speak. The president would be prudent to do so as well.

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

Dates:
June 15-17

Location:

Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.