Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Business Man Stands Up to the President

This is a great editorial, but imagine how much better it would be if Mr. Langone added the moral dimension. Instead he ends by essentially conceding the altruist premise -- a premise which ultimately underlies and explains all of the welfare state's gains over the last century.

Here's the editorial's byline which I think is perfect:
If we tried to start The Home Depot today, it's a stone cold certainty that it would never have gotten off the ground.
And here's my favorite section:
If we tried to start Home Depot today, under the kind of onerous regulatory controls that you have advocated, it's a stone cold certainty that our business would never get off the ground, much less thrive. Rules against providing stock options would have prevented us from incentivizing worthy employees in the start-up phase—never mind the incredibly high cost of regulatory compliance overall and mandatory health insurance. Still worse are the ever-rapacious trial lawyers.

Meantime, you seem obsessed with repealing tax cuts for "millionaires and billionaires." Contrary to what you might assume, I didn't start with any advantages and neither did most of the successful people I know. I am the grandson of immigrants who came to this country seeking basic economic and personal liberty. My parents worked tirelessly to build on that opportunity. My first job was as a day laborer on the construction of the Long Island Expressway more than 50 years ago. The wealth that was created by my investments wasn't put into a giant swimming pool as so many elected demagogues seem to imagine. Instead it benefitted our employees, their families and our community at large.


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