Gratitude for our business success

I am a small business owner or job creator as we are now called. There has been much talk lately about how enterprises like mine are a vital cog in the economic engine of America.

Pundits on the right suggest that small business owners should be furiously angry about President Obama's recent remarks during a campaign speech. He said business in America depended on the infrastructure that has been created, in large part, by the federal government. He said if you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. I am not angry at what President Obama said. I agree with him.

My company has gotten plenty of help. To begin with, my partner and I and our employees were educated in public schools and universities. Our transportation infrastructure gets people to work, delivers our products all over the world and allows us to fly to sales calls and conferences. We have applied for and been granted patents and trademarks. We have fought infringement of this intellectual property in the legal system. We have received police and fire protection. We don't fear that our business will be nationalized or taken over in a coup d'état. We breathe clean air, drink clean water from our tap and eat safe food.

Politicians on the right also tell us that if taxes go up for successful small business owners, they will stop creating jobs. I am not an economist, but I do know that our hiring is based on meeting demand for our products. If we sell more, we add people. In 18 years of business we have never said to ourselves "let's turn down orders and shrink our company so we will owe less in taxes." On the other hand, we have sometimes strategized to reduce our tax burden by putting more of our earnings back into our operations. Part of that investment in growth has gone to new hiring. Thus, higher tax rates have occasionally been a motivation for job creation at my company.

We are told that business owners should be proud of their success. My partner and I are humbled by the success of our company. We have worked hard, overcome many obstacles and spent countless sleepless nights filled with worry. For that, we have earned a good living and enjoyed a wonderful lifestyle. We have been lucky. Lots of people start businesses. Many of them are smart and hard working. According to the Small Business Administration, 56 percent of new businesses fail in the first 5 years.

Our pride is tempered by gratefulness. We are grateful to have a business in the United States of America. Our society has created an unrivaled environment for entrepreneurship. There is no place else in the world that provides small business with as much for as little.

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