posted by jmog
Here is the whole paragraph where that came from in that speech...
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.
Now, is the general gist of the speech about how the government built the infrastructure (roads, education, etc) that allowed someone to build a business? yes, absolutely.
Did Obama terribly mash up that one sentence and actually say "If you have a business, you didn't build that." yes, absolutely.
He also got the intent of the internet wrong. The internet, while yes originally invented by the government, it was for national defense in a time of nuclear war. If nuclear war broke off normal communications (phones back then) how would the government stay in contact? They invented the internet.
It was invented to allow electronic communications for the government/department of defense in a time of nuclear war. It wasn't built so "all companies could make money off it" as Obama stated.
So yeah, the quote is correct when used by the right as that is actually what Obama said, but also yes, in context to the rest of the paragraph Obama meant the infrastructure around businesses.
I would also counter that roads existed before the federal government started building them. Schools existed before the federal government started regulating them. Utilities (water, electricity, etc) were run as private industries before the government took them over.
So I also disagree with his whole sentiment as well, that you wouldn't have/couldn't have succeeded if the federal government hadn't built this stuff.
I call malarky as they all (save the internet) existed before the federal government took them over. Also, the internet could have/would have been invented by private companies as well.
Your point is what I was trying to say. His context was not suggesting that someone else built your business, but that someone else put in place the infrastructure that allowed you to suceed. And as I said, you can agree and disagree with that for sure. I'm not saying he is correct in making that point, only that his quote is constantly taken out of context as though he was saying something completely different.