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10/10/2011 | US: The Death Of Entrepreneurship

Steve Jobs: The college dropout who started a company called Apple changed the world and our lives for the better, creating jobs, wealth and opportunity. He didnít need an industrial policy picking winners and losers.


It is fitting that many people learned of the passing of Steve Jobs on devices of his making. The iPods and iPads that sprang from his creative imagination and bold leadership have changed society in ways that can’t be counted, starting with the way we obtain and disseminate news and entertainment.

He joins the pantheon of American genius that includes Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford and many others before and after who demonstrated what free minds in a free country that relied on free markets were capable of.

Once, we were a country that created and made things that changed lives and society for the better.

We built what President Obama called the “intercontinental railroad.” Our greatest generation saved the planet from incomprehensible tyranny and a new dark age. We went to the moon.

Now we are largely a service economy, one that consumes rather than creates. We are in debt up to our proverbial eyeballs to those who once lined up to buy what we made. We shuffle forms and papers, largely to and from a government that regulates, taxes and stifles the current generation of entrepreneurs.

Steve Jobs, the visionary who dropped out of Oregon’s Reed College after one semester, went on to co-found a startup company called Apple in his parents’ Silicon Valley garage. He and Steve Wozniak built their first commercial product, the Apple I, in 1976.

From that beginning would spring the Apple II and Macintosh computers, the iPod, iPhone and iPad, and stores both brick-and-mortar and online. Jobs hit speed bumps along the way but kept his dreams alive in a country that used to let dreamers thrive and prosper.

That his death came on the same day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proposed a 5% tax on millionaires and billionaires like Steve Jobs is both ironic and fitting. The tax is to be included in what is laughingly called a jobs bill, another redistribution of wealth from those who know how to create it to those who know how to take it from others.

It would be impossible to calculate the number of jobs and economic wealth Steve Jobs created both directly and indirectly. He was a winner, and he worked his wonders before government, this government, took upon itself the job of picking winners and losers. He didn’t need a bailout or a $535 million stimulus loan guarantee. Steve Jobs created Apple; President Obama picked Solyndra.

Ironically, Jobs used part of his wealth to support President Obama, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats who advance policies and programs that now make such entrepreneurship and creativity well nigh impossible. He was not a political visionary who could appreciate how President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts would unleash the dot-com boom and a period of unparalleled technological creativity and development in which he was a major player

President Obama said in a statement that Jobs “exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity,” certainly more than the executives of Solyndra and the other “green jobs” and “green energy” scam artists who are rewarded on the basis of ideology and influence, not innovation or ingenuity.

“Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it,” Obama said even as he schemes to punish and steal the success of others like Jobs.

Bernie Marcus, who started retailing giant Home Depot in 1978, says his home-improvement chain “would never have succeeded” if it launched today due to onerous regulation and high taxes.

We mourn the passing of Steve Jobs and the era of entrepreneurship and exceptionalism he represents.

If you want more people like Steve Jobs, Mr. President, don’t overtax or overregulate them. Just run an administration that does its best to stay out of their way. (Estados Unidos)


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