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. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires; we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
Obama has caught a lot of flak for saying, “You didn’t build that”. In context though, which Republicans ignore, the meaning was quite different. Without a teacher, without roads, bridges, your business would be quite somewhat impossible. Business uses the Internet. A lot of work went into its fabrication. Government research, supported by taxpayer dollars, helped to create the internet. Success derives from personal initiative, but not solely because of it.
If the infrastructure, to which all of us, all of us taxpayers, contributed our part, did not exist; then business would have no way to manufacture goods (electricity), to transport goods (roads, trains), and no plumbing (water systems).
Obama was merely saying that without the support of everyone, the individual can’t build a business. So, lay off him already.