“. . . You didn’t get there on your own. You’re not successful because you were smarter or work harder. Somebody built the roads and bridges to help your business thrive. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.” This statement was part of a stump speech he made this July 13, in Roanoke, VA.
Ray Gaster, owner of Gaster Lumber and Hardware, used his company billboard to let President Obama know what he can do to a certain part of his (Gaster) anatomy. He said he built his business without government help. However, he forgot to mention that he uses government roads, bridges and highways to transport his merchandise to his customers. Government infrastructure aided in his success.
Gaster refused to realize that he utilizes other entrepreneur's inventions and creations that have supplemented his success. Being a lumberman, he might have build his home and business, but I wager he did not build his own furniture and appliances to furnish either one. He purchased these items from other businesses that might have gotten a small business loan from SBA, a government agency.
Gaster is not the lone island he thinks he is. He did not write on his billboard if he has ever bidded on government contracts, as was the case with several of the speakers at the Republican convention. Their successes were totally owed to multi-million dollar government contracts they bidded on. Nonetheless, they boasted with pride, "I built that!" Those big government contracts were the reasons they are successful. Because he is in the lumber business, Gaster has probably bidded on, and received government contracts. No matter the kinds of businesses independent people have created, a percentage of them would be hard pressed to say that government agencies are not among their biggest customers.
President Obama did not accuse entrepreneurs of not building their own businesses. He said they were successful because they had help along the way. If truth be told, a lot of successful businesses were inherited from parents. In my eyes these inheritors cannot honestly say, "I built that!"
Gaster said when he heard President Obama’s remark, he decided to send a message to him in language "they understand in Chicago." Intent on building a coalition of businesspeople who stands on his sentiment, Gaster sent a photo of his billboard to 45 friends and business associates. He wants them to put up similar billboards and signs, sending a stronger message to President Obama. He appeared on Fox News to explain his outrage.
“We Built That” was the cornerstone of the Republican Convention held in Florida last month.