The "Unintended Consequences" of Obama's "You Didn't Build It" Speech

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Obama probably didn't intend to stir up such a hornet's nest with that speech.

Fortunately, he did, because the unintended consequences are good.

 Those consequences are thought and discussion.  We're thinking about and talking about what makes one person successful while another fails. We're thinking and talking about what role government services play in that success – or lack of success.

 And it's not just business owners who are thinking and talking. My neighbor, a retired history and government teacher, brought up the subject last night. He said that he did owe his success to the government. When he got out of the military, he went to school on the GI Bill. Had it not been for that, he wouldn't have been able to afford to go to college.

 But then we kept talking. Yes, his tuition and books were paid for, as was his dormitory room. He worked week-ends to meet other financial expenses. As he talked and pondered, he concluded that tuition, books, and a dormitory room didn't cause him to be successful.

 Long hours, hard work, and determination are what caused that.

 The GI Bill handed him the opportunity, but the one who got up every morning and made it to class or work was him. The one pouring over textbooks every night was him. And when he got his Master's Degree, the one sweating through the interview following his dissertation was him. 

 By the same token, thousands of other young people had the same opportunity to go to school. They either didn't take it, didn't stick with it, or didn't make much of it after finishing college. Success isn't easy and it isn't a free ride, even if someone paves the way with financial support.

 I'm also hearing outrage from people who have become successful while working for other people's private sector businesses. They know that they advanced in their employment by working a little bit harder than other employees, by being absolutely reliable, and by making themselves valuable to the company they work for. They compare themselves to others who aren't willing to make that effort and who will never "Move up" in the company.

 These are all people who have taken responsibility for themselves and their success. While they acknowledge and appreciate any and all assistance given by the government, friends, family, employees, employers, and even competitors, they know that their success or failure has come down to their own efforts.

And yes, some of them have tried and failed a few times before finding success. They just had that extra "something" that caused them to get up and start again.

If nothing else, maybe that speech will cause a few people to stop and think about the opportunities they have - and do something about it.

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Ambassador
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Marte, What a wonderful opportunity for those that qualify for the GI education benefit. If they don't use it, they are passing up something that many others would love to have and can't get.

Jul 23, 2012 12:20 AM #9
Ambassador
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Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

David, the day Obama told the Republicans to get on the back of the bus was when I decided he did not want unity but divisiveness.

Jul 23, 2012 01:37 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,531,550
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Pamela - I wonder why so many more come home "broken" in that manner. Is it because they aren't fighting for a cause that they and their fellow Americans believe in? I'm sure that's why so many Viet Nam Vets have had a hard time. Instead of coming home heros, they were spit upon.

Or perhaps because when WWII and Korean War vets came home no one had started talking about the after-effects of being in war?

David - You're right. There is NO such thing as "government's money." The government doesn't produce anything nor "earn" any income. It's all ours - and the bulk of it has been provided by the those terrible "rich people" that the OWS love to hate. (while their hands are out for more money) Of course now if there isn't enough to give away, BO just calls for more debt.

I was a little ahead of you - I thought he was evil before he was elected. Choosing someone based on the color of their skin was just as wrong as NOT choosing them. Too many voted for him to show they weren't racist - and now he's working hard to divide the country over race. I agree, however. This is worse than I could have imagined.

I also agree that what he said isn't the most important issue to discuss. My hope, however, is that by discussing it, more of those on the fringes will come to realize that he needs to GO. Those committed to a life of "gimmie" won't even understand the issue.

Wallace - Anything he says to alienate yet another group of people is fine with me.

Keller Williams - I love that quote!

Jay - I'm sure you're right about that.

Debbie - That GI Bill ended way back when - and not being acquainted with people of that age any more, I don't know if they have any similar opportunities now. If so - as Jay said - it's probably not easy to take advantage.

By the way... When talking about my neighbor, I didn't mean to disparage veterans who came home and chose to do something other than attend college. Many went back into family farms and businesses or simply went to work and did something with themselves. College is not the right choice for everyone.

I just meant that government spending gave him the boost he needed - but he was successful because of what he did with that boost.

 

 

Jul 23, 2012 01:43 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,531,550
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Mike - I think he's operating under "Divide and conquer." And divisiveness is definitely not what this country needs.

Jul 23, 2012 01:51 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Yolanda Hoversten
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties - O'Fallon, IL
Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate

FYI, the GI Bill is alive and well in the form of Montgomery GI Bill, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Jul 23, 2012 02:00 AM #13
Rainmaker
460,182
Dale Bledsoe
Crown Key Realty - Tracy, CA
Realtor in Tracy, California

Excellent post and great commentary. I would like to point out the GI Bill was not provided by the government. It is funded by hard working tax payers that appreciate the sacrifices made on our behalf. The government merely enacted the will of the people, exactly what they are mandated to do. Best post and commentary I have read in a long time.

Jul 23, 2012 03:47 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Yolanda - Thanks for that. I wondered, because I Know the program my neighbor was under ended soon after. If there is any group of people that deserve our support, it's the people who put their lives on the line for us.

Dale - Thanks. That's a good distinction.

I'm sure it's in answer to the speech -  I just got an email entitled: "Batman Shooter Government Educated"

Jul 23, 2012 06:18 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,531,550
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

From my email: According to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey...

Seventy-two percent of the 1,000 likely U.S. voters surveyed by telephone on July 21 and July 22 say that people who start small businesses are primarily responsible for their success or failure. Only 13 percent disagree.

 
Jul 23, 2012 07:17 AM #16
Rainmaker
592,740
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

I don't think 0bama is smart enough to have said that intentional to divide the country. I believe he truly BELIEVES that you can't be successful with government help.

He also believes he is KING 0bama, not President 0bama. His numerous comments and actions (move to the back of the bus, Tell Putin I will have more flexibility next year, changing laws with the stroke of his pen, shoving 0bamacare down our throats as the economy tanked, paying off every special interest group out there and on and on)

Jul 23, 2012 12:40 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,531,550
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Than - Unfortunately, I believe you're right. He believes that he is and should be the supreme being in America.

One night the neighbors were here visiting and someone called him a narcissist. We all agreed, but then all agreed that we didn't know the exact definition of that. Read the definition - it's a psychological disorder, and it describes Obama to a "T."

 

Jul 23, 2012 12:56 PM #18
Rainmaker
3,981,041
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

It was a good gaffe.  I know that it ticked a few people off that I know.  We had a nice chat about it also and it went very well!

Jul 23, 2012 01:15 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,531,550
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

William - It got people talking and thinking rather than just reacting - and I think that's a good thing.

 

Jul 23, 2012 01:34 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,020,071
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

The GI Bill is a good thing but at the end of the day it is just a government bribe (welfare) for our troops.  Not that they don't deserve some bribes because they do. 

Most others however did not accept government payments and still became successful.  The reason why most business people are successful is because they took calculated risks that paid off and that they worked their butts off to make it happen. 

Sure society provides infrastructure like roads, bridges, utilities, schools, etc.  Sure the government laid some foundations to form the internet.  But everyone in society benefits from those things not just successful people. 

Jul 24, 2012 02:34 AM #21
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Rob - Exactly. If all it took was roads, bridges, etc. then everyone would be successful. The statement was so ridiculous that it's hard to imagine how his handlers allowed him to say it.

The things the government provides are simply tools. You said it well: "The reason why most business people are successful is because they took calculated risks that paid off and that they worked their butts off to make it happen."

I have seen dozens of people go into business not willing to take the risks and work their butts off, but thinking they were going to make a lot of money by hiring people to do the work while they played "boss" - and they failed miserably.

Jul 24, 2012 02:51 AM #22
Rainmaker
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Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

"Those consequences are thought and discussion.  We're thinking about and talking about what makes one person successful while another fails. We're thinking and talking about what role government services play in that success – or lack of success."


This is what the news organizations should have been focused on rather than quoting Obama out of context.

Jul 24, 2012 01:03 PM #23
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

SAatar - True. But news organizations are focused on keeping us coming back for more - not on intelligent discussion.

Jul 24, 2012 01:10 PM #24
Rainmaker
574,221
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

At the core of this problem is that some of us believe that government (with it's power derived from the people) can provide an environment where business AND the citizen can thrive, while helping protect us from predators whether they be  international, corporate, or individual. There are others that think that government is the worst institution contrived by man and needs to be dismantled bit by bit (even though most of those people got some assistance from the government (taxpayer) along the way).  I prefer to subscribe to the former.

Jul 25, 2012 01:45 AM #25
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Karl - I believe I must be somewhere in between. I think government is trying to "protect" us from too much - and doing a very poor job of it.

Jul 25, 2012 02:02 AM #26
Rainmaker
161,892
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

Marte - I agree. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Government is a great example of that anytime it steps outside the initial intent of our fore fathers to protect individual liberty..

Karl - You have to understand that anytime government gets involved, it has to take personal liberty from the people. Anything that government gives, it can take away. Upholding contract law is one of the basic roles of government. So the protection against predators, for example, can be resolved in our courts by pursuing charges of fraud.

Jul 25, 2012 04:52 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,531,550
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Satar - Everything has consequences. Government moves ahead without thinking about the many possible consequences. Or maybe they simply can't foresee possible consequences because most of the ones now in control have no experience in the business world.

Jul 25, 2012 05:33 PM #28
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