Take a Free Trial
Try Charles' premium stock selection services free for 7 days.
Check it out in real time!
You will get actionable advice, trading ideas and email alerts.
8/1/2012 7:33 AM
Maybe It's Human Nature
By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
Question of the Day
President Obama says rugged individualism is a myth—it never happens just like no successful business person did it without the masses that paid for the sidewalk in front of the shop or factory.
• I agree with President Obama nobody made it on their own, so they should pay more taxes.
I disagree with President Obama; people that make it do so with amazing sacrifice, smarts, guts, innovation and pay more than their so-called "fair share."
Post your answer below.
You have to be very special to have a day named after you, so imagine what you had to do to have an entire month.
Augustus Caesar got revenge for the murder of his maternal uncle and adoptive father, ruled over a period of peace in Rome known as Pax Romana, and was an absolute ruler in a society that called itself a republic. I wonder if anyone in power today dreams of such a situation (wink). Certainly our republic is under fire as the Constitution is being mauled, Congressional authority usurped and rights of individual states clubbed into submission.
Roman Emperors gained success with wars and conquest, these days the fight isn't over glory but over gold that fellow citizens have earned.
Putting business owners and successful people into the arena may sate one of the seven deadly sins but when the cheering ends where will the people go to work the next day?
There are less than 100 days left for America to decide if it wants an emperor that can only be benevolent until the last ounce of blood is spilled from large businesses to small, or a return to what made this nation great in the first place. It would seem like a no-brainer but sadly it's a nail-biter. There is a massive campaign afoot to dislodge several aspects of America's greatness:
* Rugged Individualism and the idea that "you didn't build this" coming toward you from people that never built anything but distrust, fear and anger.
* Belief in God is under full frontal attack. People ridiculed and punished for their interpretation of what marriage is based on how they understand the Bible is amazing in the land of freedom of religion. Atheists control the message and, in fact, have more power than environmentalists.
* Free Markets and the concept of consumers making decisions are being attacked and most often with taxpayer money. $10,000 to buy a Volt is maddening and still I smell another bailout for GM.
* The cream rising to the top is no longer acceptable in this new push to turn the nation upside down. I never thought a President of the United States would say hard working people that have achieved success have fewer values than less hard working people that get to go home every day at 5:00 and catch the primetime line-up.
Having written these things, I don't think we will have a new month on the calendar. I think Americans, even those most frustrated with the system, will understand it's designed for them to overcome and certainly for their children to overcome starting points and finish the day with the gold, earned through hard work. I think the market is beginning to reflect this sentiment as well. It's early and Mitt has a game plan that seems loosely based on someone expecting to get rich winning the lottery. America is already built to last and it's a coiled spring ready to re-conquer the world instead of punishing productive citizens.
Why Are People Saving More?
Ben Bernanke must have been upset to see personal savings rate leap to 4.4% from 4.0% in a single month. The rate is at its highest level since June of last year and this is the most eye-popping month to month increase since Dec 2009 to Jan 2010 (4.0% to 4.7%).
Even though consumer confidence came in better than expected and higher for the first time in months, people seem to have a gut feeling about the Washington DC gang. Or should I say, the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight. It bears watching as the trend has steadily increased off the 3.2% reading from last November.
The fact is we are all hunkered down from businesses, to banks, to individual households. There is a storm brewing in the form of new taxes, an avalanche in regulations designed to deter exceptionalism and embarrass successful Americans. This storm can be averted.
Once again the story beyond the next round of money-printing has been corporate earnings that underscore the nation's greatness and great potential. Just announced Cinnabon announced a franchise in Libya- a first for an American country. I can only hope they don't attract the scorn of the White House for sending American jobs aboard. Without tongue planted in cheek it's a good sign for both Libya and America this is happening.
We can celebrate this morning, we are leading in the medal count in London (China still raking in more gold) and our manufacturing was better than Europe's in July.
The backdrop is perfect for the ECB to step in but still questionable for the Federal Reserve which is desperate but understands another ineffective round of quantitative easing would erase the little credibility they have left.
This morning's report from ADP shows 163,000 jobs created last month. That would be better than expected, and if it were true (their number was more than 100,000 job higher than that of the BLS last time) it would be a step in the right direction like 1% GDP growth. But, it's woefully low and does nothing to erase massive job losses. It does make the guessing game more intense, however, and might add a glimmer of hope.
|I disagree w/ President Obama. He has no idea what it takes to build and operate a business, because he has never had to. It's one more nail in a socialistic coffin.|
Kevin Ten Haken on 8/1/2012 10:03:55 AM
|Then if I am not successful it is the fault of road construction workers and school teachers? Can I sue them? Sad!|
Dr. WAS on 8/1/2012 10:10:24 AM
|If the American people cared enough to do the research they would discover this President's ideology is Marxism. He's not a Muslim, not a Christian but is an Atheist. Hence he doesn't go to any church and his administration's policy initiatives are anti-religion domestically. In addition the foreign policy mantras do not include religious freedom as an objective. As a Marxist he is both anti-capitalism and does not agree with the tenets put forth in the Constitution by our Founders.|
Bill Norrett on 8/1/2012 10:10:54 AM
|I disagree with Obama. I think infrastructure is very important, however I think he is linking the value of good infrastructure to raising taxes for impact not for logic. The government should provide good infrastructure and could easily do so if they pulled back on other non-necessary expenditures.|
Patricia L Knapp on 8/1/2012 10:11:49 AM
|The President is seriously lacking in so much. EVERYONE essentially becomes what they aspire to be with the assist they need when they need it, i.e.coaches, cheering sections, any and all resources that are called upon when needed, including a great deal of Faith, BUT the will to succeed comes from the very depths of one's being, and the willingness to sacrifice just about all to achieve their goal. Witness the commitment,work,sweat & tears along with the background stories of the wonderful Olympians; Phelps, the Fab Five. Yes, they had help, but surely NOT from the GOVT. They can't manage a department. Most, if not all their programs are an unmitigated disaster, full of corrupt practices, and RARELY in the interest of those who need help. More the way to relegate these poor believers to perpetual dependency. ALL potential candidates for office should have some background in real business, not just community organizing. Thanks, Charles, for allowing us to rant!|
Marie C on 8/1/2012 10:22:05 AM
|Re: Personal Savings Rate: This no doubt does give the Fed a headache only because Mr. Bernanke et al, along with most if not all business show talking heads, are under the Keynesian mis-perception that consumer spending and/or government spending creates jobs. The truth is that savings is the only true (read free market) method of creating capital which can then be borrowed or invested in new plant and equipment, thus expanding the production of goods and services. Expanded production, primarily of goods to be either exported or domestically consumed, is the only true means of economic growth and therefore the creation of new jobs. Too long has the U.S. been borrowing money to buy (consume) Chinese TVs. Artifically depressed interest rates discourage savings and encourage debt, both individual and sovereign. No wonder the U.S. has "shipped" manufacturing jobs overseas. Mr. Bernanke has almost single-handedly, following in the foot-steps of Mr. Greenspan, created this situation. An irresponsible Congress (both parties) is also to blame.|
Spence Arnold on 8/1/2012 10:32:54 AM
|Most of us are successful DESPITE what the government and others do to us. Not because of them.|
z on 8/1/2012 10:42:57 AM
|Of course, the second answer is right because the first one is ridiculous. Government does not arise out of the losers and followers. It arises as a tool for accomplishing common good after the real success is accomplished by the individuals who built the society. Without the second choice being true, there would be no government to collect the taxes.|
I attend a church where almost every activity has organization problems and poor communications. This is because the leadership of the church is very focused on using their gifts and talents for preaching and teaching the truths of scripture (which they do quite well). They are so focused on their talents that they have no understanding whatsoever that there are talents and God-given gifts for administration (organization and communication). Such is the case with Mr. Obama. He has great talents for speechifying and persuading, but has never in his life actually made or done anything. And so, he should be pitied because he is incapable of conceiving that others are talented with creating things, companies which create things, and the goverent which he has usurped to utilize his talents. His life has been a stream of others giving to him, so he feels that everyone is supposed to live that same way. As such, he has never been taxed with thinking through that if EVERYONE is getting, then who will be giving?
Bob G on 8/1/2012 10:48:05 AM
Strong piece. Well written.
I remain stunned that this man got elected, and that people are STILL willing to give up their freedom for a handout. I am a student of history, and the parallels with 1930s Germany are stunning. I am appalled that the supposed conservative Congress hasn't screamed "bloody murder" about his relentless abuse of the constitution.
Instead we are playing golf? REALLY?!
We are the proverbial frog being boiled to death slowly.
Re-elected or not, the army of unelected Marxist Czars and business illiterate cabinet members will write Executive Orders which will pour out of the WH between Nov and Jan 20.
This is ugly.
Thanks for your work,
Tampa FL (former Supercuts franchisee)
As you say, should be a no brainer - but it is a nail biter.
Doug Bell on 8/1/2012 10:56:40 AM
|His claim that his comments were taken out of context rings hollow. If the entire context of what he said is considered, his comments sound even worse. He is clearly claiming that more and bigger government is the answer to all problems. Also he is failing to consider that without the taxes paid by those successful business people and wage earners, there would be no government money to spend on infrastructure..or handouts. The only money the government has is what it takes from someone in taxes (or prints), and those living off the government are certainly not paying the taxes the government needs.|
Marvin Foster on 8/1/2012 11:01:07 AM
|Those individuals that succeed and prosper are a credit to our society. They also pay just as much, if not more, for the streets,bridges,police and fireman as well as the representatives in Congress that make these absurd comments!|
Steve Schueler on 8/1/2012 11:03:25 AM
|During a long career I was involved in launching dozens of businesses and thousands of new products, and not once was the government there to help innovate or launch anything at the start. However, they were first in line to collect a share of the profits often even before there were any. And, thanks to inept policies, they often played a destructive role -- in one case wiping out a whole new industry (residential smoke detectors) within five years after it started. Giving politicians with no business savvy the power to write the rules is like giving a chimp an AK-47 to play with. Bad things are going to happen.|
Dennis Howard on 8/1/2012 11:03:45 AM
|I DISAGREE with President Obama. His accusation really, I mean REALLY makes me angry.|
Jim Anderson on 8/1/2012 11:05:06 AM
Let me see. Which came first? The sidewalk or the business? I am thinking the business which paid taxes to fund the sidewalk. In my world I like to think that my effort and the support of my family, my customers and my friends is what made me the small success that I am today. And I thank the Lord everyday that I was fortunate to be born and raised in America. Let's un-elect the fraud who thinks it is anything other than individuals who TOGETHER flourishing under the same freedoms and constraints from the tyranny of arbitrary government, that makes the world go round.
Kevin Kehoe on 8/1/2012 11:11:01 AM
|Who gets to keep the Olympic medals? The state? No, they are testaments to the dedication of individual athletse and in some cases to small teams of athletes. Let's not "socialize" these achievements any more than than healthcare. Everyone should pay a share of taxes. No more giant welfare hammock.|
Bob on 8/1/2012 11:13:49 AM
|While I disagree with President Obama and believe in individual effort, I can understand his perspective. He may find it hard to believe in individuals, when he himself has been "helped" by others to complete his education and achieve his position of authority. He may have no concept about what personal effort means- at all.|
Sandra Avila on 8/1/2012 11:25:12 AM
|Your question is a complete misinterpretation of what he said. There are plenty of things Obama has done wrong. Can't you and the rest of the Republicans focus on those instead of grasping at straws by spreading this lie? It just makes you look bad, not him.|
Art Fox on 8/1/2012 11:47:55 AM
|I completely disagree with Obama. This country was built from the private sector working their tails off to achieve success. I believe that small businesses are the backbone of our economy.|
Paul on 8/1/2012 12:02:42 PM
|I disagree with the President.|
Grace on 8/1/2012 12:18:37 PM
|When I think back on my father's success. He worked 7 days a week, long hours, and risk everything he owned to do it. He put 3 sons through college and 2 through medical school. With tax rates much higher than now and rough economic times because of government policies, especially during the Carter era. NO he succeeded IN SPITE of government not because of it. Just another slap in the face from Obama.|
Richard Porter on 8/1/2012 12:29:57 PM
|Obama is wrong! Watching the USA woman gymnastics win gold last night I just thought about wealth redistribution- what would Obama do? Surely they have not earned their victory- government should strip them of their gold and give them bronze- while the gold is given to those teams that were less fortunate or lucky who could not make it to the podium because the system was unfair...|
Eric Fremd on 8/1/2012 12:33:47 PM
|Disagree 1000% w/ Pres. Obama. Hopefully he won't suck the spirit from the entrepreneurs that made this country great, and are the only future. Enjoy your column- everyday.|
Tara Bach on 8/1/2012 12:41:01 PM
|pres. Obama is a socialistic smart person, with no background abt. private business & industry models that are the backbone of usa 's republic !It's damn Scary ,indeed !|
don mc nair on 8/1/2012 12:53:36 PM
|It is absolutely amazing how easily the American public can be brainwashed into accepting President Obama's socialistic philosophy. All of President Obama's actions indicate that he is a follower of Karl Marx (the father of communism).Marxism is the class struggle and conflict between the ownership class (business) and the lower class (workers).Marx preached that socio-ecconomic change is achieved by topling capitalism and that socialism (spreading the wealth) would in time be replaced by communism, a stateless and classless society.|
society. The Obama fanatics need to ask themselves if that what we really want. I don't think so.
John M on 8/1/2012 12:56:18 PM
|It is exactly this mind set that has created the lack of confidence among Americans which in turn is causing people to stop buying because no one know what else is coming out of the White House.|
We should not even be asking this question.
tom wayne on 8/1/2012 1:16:49 PM
|I strongly disagree -|
I have been in business for successfully for over 25 years. When I started I worked 7 days a week 14 to 20 hours a day. Never got home before midnight except for 4PM on Sundays.
I built both my business and all of the rest Obama said I didn't build by working really hard, paying tons of taxes at a far far disproportionate amount to the non business builder.
How unappreciatave can he be!
Rob on 8/1/2012 1:40:41 PM
|It's class war on the "prosperous," even those small businesses that maybe competed for a government contract (obviously indicating they didn't make it on their own). And Obama says that it's "costing" the middle income taxpayers money to let the rich pay the current tax rate, as if it's the govt's money. This guy and everyone like him are going to turn this country into a France, Spain or Italy. What big job producing corporation/manufacturer wants to move or expand there?|
NIck on 8/1/2012 2:15:42 PM
|I forgot one thing - my parents owned a business and worked probably 60 hrs per week. I remember taking two vacations while growing up. Absolutely no one helped them. And the street in front of their store was used by thousands of people, not just them.|
NIck on 8/1/2012 2:18:36 PM
|Obama gets his ideology so mixed up, it's just distressing. He forgot to invite the Charlotte Bobcats to the White House in recognition of their establishment of the base upon which other NBA teams could excel; he says successful people don't deserve any credit, but then dismisses the working masses of being clingy, hyper-religious and fearful. I give up. He's impossible to understand.|
Patricia Flynn on 8/1/2012 3:13:57 PM
|I strongly disagree with the president. He has to be the most stupid person ever elected to any office.|
jim flickinger on 8/1/2012 3:35:07 PM
|Certainly I disagree vehemently. The government has been the largest obstacle to my success through out my 40 plus years in the fishing business. That being said, I have to wonder if some of the remarks he makes are intended to fan the flames of class warfare.|
William Diller on 8/1/2012 5:29:37 PM
|Bama's an idiot. You sure didn't here him saying anything like that when they gave him the Nobel. In fact, maybe that's what he was talking about.|
nathan hunter on 8/1/2012 6:39:07 PM
|Totally disagree. AND, I am pretty sure that I have contributed a few pence to the sidewalk in front of my "shop" by way of my hard earned taxed dollars.|
Connie Helgason on 8/2/2012 11:04:09 AM
Would Obama dare to say the following
to all the American Olympic medal winners; "you didn't win that" because the government built the roads and the bridges that got you to the gyms, swimming pools and courts. You had a teacher (public) that taught you. "Somebody else made that happen".
Also, Obama has a core belief that "profit" is a business expense and if he could only eliminate profit, then that would be a better system and of course---more fair.
Rich on 8/2/2012 1:40:30 PM
|There is no question that the concept of Individual effort and achievment is fast dissapearing from our cultural landscape. The erosion began 20 plus years ago when sports stopeed recognizing individual achievment and has continue to the point where elementary students aren't tasked with punctuation and sentence structure for fear they will lose confidence in their ability. |
Introduction to the world of initiative and achievment exposes the weakness of the system under which today's 20-20 year olds were raised. AS a young adult today, it must be overwhelming to realize that your awarded successes earlier in life have no value in the job market.
The only way to sustain that false level of self-esteem is to change the real world. If you create an environment where people can feel good about themselves without having to excel, work or create anything, they can criticize, denigrate and minimize what others do achieve. Afterall, the U.S. Government and the President of the U.S. is telling them that not only is it ok to not function but it is ok to be critical of those that do.
The changes need to occur before this generation raises their children under the same dome of ignorance.
Dale Silver on 8/2/2012 1:53:25 PM
|Wow! What a statement. It is so absurd that I don’t believe it dignifies a response. The problem is that so many who are envious of others like hearing that even though deep inside they know that it is not true. I wonder if those who rally around this kind of rhetoric where to someday be one they now envy would be of the same mindset then?|
Patrick Miltimore on 8/2/2012 2:23:02 PM
|Obama doesn't understand the importance of individual initiative. As Rush Limbaugh asked, "which came 1st, cars or paved roads?" Individuals invented cars, Henry ford made them affordable, and others saw an opportunity to expand the market by paving roads.|
Jim Mulcahy on 8/3/2012 11:14:43 AM
|Obama is a total disaster...Mentored by Franklin Davis ( the head of the communist party in the US) during his formative years accounts for his marxist philosophy which is most evident in all his proclamations.|
Andrew Davis on 8/3/2012 10:59:57 PM
|Of course I disagree with the president who has never even held a real job in this world! He hadn't the slightest idea what it takes to grow a business - let alone start one!|
P on 8/4/2012 7:56:55 AM
|We did make our own roads, sidewalk's and carved land to make the homes you live in. I was in business as an excavator. We did build it, but first we had to build our business to pay for the machinery,...one piece at a time, with absolutely no help from the government, starting out paying someone else rent on the first piece of equipment that we used. Our work involved private contracts, that once they were completed, were then turned over to the village town or city for public use and control. Private citizens built this country, from the very begining, from the ground up.|
Steve Weber on 8/6/2012 4:19:39 PM
Add a Comment!