Last week president Obama took some political backlash for his comment that, “you didn’t build that” in regard to business in America. The president was trying to say that to succeed many of these business need roads, taxes, and law. The comment drew this cartoon from our issue of The Week.
The president is saying you didn’t win that, and this has the same underpinnings. The country of India has four times as many people as the United State of America and so you could assume that if they had an Olympic swimming team their entire relay team would be faster than Michael Phelps. Instead he has as many medals as the entire country.
This happens because Phelps has roads to drive to practice on, a coach who can earn enough money he doesn’t need to farm his own food, a government that enforces the rule of law so that when he returns the medals won’t be snatched, and a court system that focuses on punishing offenders instead of marijuana smokers.
Phelps, and business owners all work very hard and – as the bumper sticker says – if it was easy everyone would be doing it but they are not alone. Their ‘fishbowl’ is setup for successes, and praising their achievements without considering the whole picture would be missing half of the story.