“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, 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. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Or in the case of Gibson Guitar, somebody else (overzealous government bureaucrats) tried to make that business not happen.
“Making its way through the House of Representatives is a bill that could help prevent companies from experiencing what happened to mine last Aug. 24. Without warning, 30 federal agents with guns and bulletproof vests stormed our guitar factories in Tennessee. They shut down production, sent workers home, seized boxes of raw materials and nearly 100 guitars, and ultimately cost our company $2 million to $3 million worth of products and lost productivity. Why? We imported wood from India to make guitars in America.
Growing businesses face a number of hurdles in today’s economy. For Gibson Guitar—a company that has created more than 580 American jobs in the last two years—the largest hurdle is the federal government.
Policy makers must stop criminalizing capitalism. This begins by stopping the practice of creating new criminal offenses, or wielding obscure foreign laws, as a method of regulating businesses.
Especially in a bearish economy, entrepreneurs need to be able to operate without the fear that inadvertently breaking an obscure regulation or unknowingly violating a foreign statute could shut down their company and land them or their employees in jail.”