...look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else... If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen - Barack Obama, July 13th, 2012
"The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendor that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach. But America's skyscrapers were not built by public funds nor for a public purpose: they were built by the energy, initiative and wealth of private individuals for personal profit. And, instead of impoverishing the people, these skyscrapers, as they rose higher and higher, kept raising the people's standard of living ..." -Ayn Rand
The age of the skyscraper is gone. This is the age of the housing project. Which is always a prelude to the age of the cave. -Gail Wynand to Howard Roark, in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead
Relevant commentary, from the Chicago Tribune, of all places:
When President Barack Obama hauled off and slapped American small-business owners in the mouth the other day, I wanted to dream of my father.
There was no federal bailout money for us...
Just two immigrant brothers and their families risking everything, balancing on the economic high wire, building a business in America. They sacrificed, paid their bills, counted pennies to pay rent and purchase health care and food and not much else. And for their troubles they were muscled by the politicos, by the city inspectors and the chiselers and the weasels, all those smiling extortionists who held the government hammer over all of our heads.
[Obama]offers an American dream much different from my father's. Open your eyes and you can see it too. He stands there at the front of the mob, in his shirt sleeves, swinging that government hammer, exhorting the crowd to use its votes and take what it wants. -John Kass (via Ricochet)
Rand understood this all too well:
Socialism is not a movement of the people. It is a movement of the intellectuals, originated, led and controlled by the intellectuals, carried by them out of their stuffy ivory towers into those bloody fields of practice where they unite with their allies and executors: the thugs.
"When a politician or a movie star retires, we read front page stories about it. But when a philosopher retires, people do not even notice it.”
“They do, eventually.”
~A young lady conversing with Francisco d'Anconia in Atlas Shrugged...