The Fourteen No Longer In Business

The year 2019 marks my 30th year in business. It’s remarkable as only about 1 in 15 businesses last that long. I fail to recognize and take pride in that achievement as often, or as much, as I should.

I credit this accomplishment to my father, to personal resources I discovered, and to our capitalist system. My father taught me by example; he worked two jobs most of his life. I’ve been lucky to find books, people and ideas that helped me along the way. Without our capitalist system, I couldn’t have taken a few thousand dollars and created an enterprise that does millions of dollars of business and provides 25 families with good jobs.

That’s why it disheartens me to see polls that show many of our young adults are open to socialism and socialist central planning. No countries today are 100% socialist. A few small, homogenous countries (very unlike the US) have socialist elements, but none provide the dynamic economic vitality we have in the US.

For the most part, socialism’s record is miserable. Mark J. Perry, in his classic article, Why Socialism Failed, said: “While it falsely promises prosperity, equality, and security, it delivers the exact opposite: poverty, misery, inequality, and tyranny.” We see the worst of that today in places like Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. I recently looked at the list of the 50 or so countries practicing some form of socialism today. I see none of them having to work on policies to address an excessive influx of immigrants anxious to experience socialism. People voting with their feet, if they have a choice, only choose capitalism.

Over the past few years, manufacturing and our economy have surged. As I write this, it is announced that over 300,000 new jobs were added last month. Jobs, wages and retail spending are all growing (no, I am not wearing nor do I own a MAGA hat). I value liberty. It is liberty and capitalism that builds businesses, creates jobs, generates wealth and raises the standard of living. It’s why people around the world want to come here. It is only in a capitalist system where a Bill Gates has liberty, access to capital and, the economic infrastructure to create an entirely new industry. One that has spread a vast amount of wealth around the globe.

And many of those who’ve benefited the most give the most: Mark Cuban (MicroSolutions) $1 million to Fallen Patriots; Phil Knight (Nike) $500 million to Oregon Health & Science University; David Rubenstein (Carlyle Group) $21 million to JFK Center for Performing Arts; David Koch (Koch Industries) $1.3 billion to various charities, mostly to the Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute; Bill Gates (Microsoft) $28 billion to fight diseases in developing nations. The list is endless.

In my company’s 30th year of operation, I am proud to be an American, to be part of our capitalist system, and proud to serve you with the products and services that make your life easier and more successful.

I’m looking forward to another 30 years!