Root: “Why is America Broke?”

A Small Businessman Answers: “Why is America Broke?”
By Wayne Allyn Root, Former Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee

Any small businessman with street smarts and common sense can tell you why America is broke, and why there are no new jobs. He’ll tell you that unlike government that spends money it doesn’t have, a small business can only spend what it has. He’ll tell you small business hires only those it needs and pays them only what they are worth, while government hires far more employees than it needs and pays them far more than they are worth. And, get ready for the grand finale- no small business would ever pay workers for 30 years of not working.

This is why the U.S. economy is in crisis. This is why Apple Computer has more money in the bank than the United States government. This is why there are no jobs. This is why we are suffering the Obama Great Depression.

It’s simple. When you own a small business you pay your employees only what they are worth, you pay them only if they show up for work, and you don’t pay a pension and free healthcare for life. Pensions, free healthcare, and “fair wages” are wonderful ideas in the fantasy world of naïve liberal do-gooders who have never run a business, made a payroll, or paid anyone else’s health insurance. In the real world it just doesn’t work. Forget “fair wage.” Salaries, pensions and benefits paid by government are an “Insane Wage.” They are unsustainable. And they are destroying our economy.

Firemen in Las Vegas average just under $200,000 per year. Lifeguards in Southern California make $100,000. Port Authority policemen in New York, employees of the BART train system in San Francisco, and the average federal employee earns about $100,000. Many California education administrators are earning $200,000 salaries.

Then, to make it much worse, taxpayers owe these amounts for life, as pensions, for not working. It’s obscene and suicidal. Think about it- there are 21 million U.S. government employees.

Just like Greece, which is hopelessly bankrupt and threatening to bring down the entire European Union, our own U.S. government employees want to retire at age 45 and start collecting $100,000+ a year for not working…for life. They also expect free healthcare…for life. All of this for secure jobs with easy hours, weekends off, lots of sick and vacation time, automatic pay increases, all with no financial risk or investment required, and no measurement of performance.

No small businessperson could even imagine paying $50,000 per year for 10 employees, while also paying $50,000 per year for 20 retired employees at the same time. They couldn’t survive. And, if the government required every business do it, no consumer could afford the cost of a restaurant meal, dry cleaning, gas, or a slice of pizza.

GM and Chrysler went bankrupt because of this exact model. It’s no problem for the first 20 years. Then your employees start to retire and the bill comes due. Now you have to pay for both the new employee’s salary, and the old employee’s pension, plus free healthcare. This is what is at the root of the bankruptcy and insolvency of the PIIGS- Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain…and soon the rest of Europe. This pension nightmare is on the verge of toppling governments across the globe, just as it eventually toppled GM and Chrysler.

It’s time public employees pay for their own retirement – just like everyone in the private sector. I have no pension. I have no free healthcare for life. My responsibility is to save enough from my income to fund my own retirement. Public employees should also be responsible for their own retirements. It’s as simple as changing from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan – just like corporate America.

What keeps this government employee union racket afloat? Of course it’s the taxes paid by small business owners and private sector taxpayers who have no pensions of their own. They work for us, yet they receive benefits we can only dream of. They retire on $100,000 per year pensions, while we slave away until the day we die, to pay all the taxes required to cover their obscene pensions.

That brings us to the question on everyone’s minds- “Why are there are no new jobs?” While Obama believes that government spending and government jobs are the answer, in reality, every new government job is a burden on taxpayers. A government job isn’t an addition to the economy…it’s a subtraction. It’s a new expense. When Obama creates new government jobs, he’s just created a massive new obligation for taxpayers. Not just an expense for this year, but an expense for 50 or more years (until the day each government employee dies). In some cases, it’s even worse. When a government employee dies, their bloated pension is paid to the surviving spouse until they die.

So Obama isn’t helping us by creating government jobs. He’s killing us. For every new government job he’s putting taxpayers on the hook for $100,000 a year for the next 20 to 30 years, plus $100,000 a year for 30 or more years after they retire, plus free healthcare for life. Every new government employee is a negative drain upon the American economy. For every government job created, the taxes necessary to pay for it kill multiple private sector jobs.

Why is America broke? It’s the bloated number of government employees. It’s their obscene wages (salaries 40% to 70% above the private sector) and their insane pensions that are destroying the U.S. economy and creating a lifetime of unsustainable debt for future generations. That’s why the private sector is on life support. That’s why there are no jobs. And that’s why there aren’t going to be any, anytime soon.

Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

53 thoughts on “Root: “Why is America Broke?”

  1. rloy

    “It’s the bloated number of government employees. It’s their obscene wages (salaries 40% to 70% above the private sector) and their insane pensions that are destroying the U.S. economy and creating a lifetime of unsustainable debt for future generations. That’s why the private sector is on life support. That’s why there are no jobs. And that’s why there aren’t going to be any, anytime soon.”

    It seems odd, then, that Germany’s economy has been outperforming the US. http://tinyurl.com/35ss243

    Come to think of it, virtually every country has a more extensive public sector than the US. That’s why all of these right-wing talking points are SO incredibly stupid and detached from reality.

  2. rloy

    FTR I don’t even disagree that many public employees are overpaid (though only an idiot would put teachers at the top of the list). TSA agents, military-industrial complex robber barons, Homeland Security thugs, etc should all have their jobs eliminated. Military pay should be scaled back and their benefits should be swiftly ended.

    I eagerly await Root’s column endorsing what I’ve written above.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    1 rloy: Germany’s economy has been outperforming the US.

    me: In a small data sample, there are periods where Somalia and N Korea might outperform Hong Kong. Let’s look at Germany’s longer-haul performance, and let’s look at it in a year from now, too, after the PIIGS/Euro situation get sorted out.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Any small businessman with street smarts and common sense can tell you why America is broke, and why there are no new jobs. He’ll tell you that unlike government that spends money it doesn’t have, a small business can only spend what it has.”

    Very, very true. Although in Wayne’s case it seems to be more a matter of experience than “street smarts and common sense”:

    “In September of 2006 the Company entered into a $655,000 short term loan with a private investor. … As of July 31, 2009 the outstanding balance on the note was $538,520. This note is in default. … On September 26, 2007 the Company amended the existing Laurus Master Fund, Ltd note …. As of July 31, 2009 the outstanding balance on the note was $146,728, and is in default. … During the year ended July 31, 2007 the Company received two loans from J. Wright totalling $60,000 …. As of July 31, 2009 the outstanding balance on the note was $55,000 and is in default.”

  5. George Phillies

    America is not broke.

    Claims to the contrary are right wing delusionary nonsense.

    General Motors went broke because of 50 years of incompetent management, claiming that they did not have to sell cars of Japanese quality as their market share collapsed, piling layer after layer of totally unproductive management on top of things, and insisting that the company be run by practical men — read Correlli Barnett’s Audit of War and the remainder of that 4-book series for an explanation — rather than its engineering staff. I could go on. Michael Moore has an amusing movie on this some parts of which are overstated perhaps.

  6. ATBAFT

    Wayne overstates as usual. There are plenty of small businesses that are happy to let employees defer some part of their compensation (including so called matching contributions) into a defined contribution pension plan. Nor is there any inherent problem with defined benefit plans IF the company fully funds the net present value of the benefits.
    That taxpayers have allowed their representatives to provide platinum wages and pensions to public “servants” is very sad but most would rather gawk at, say, the Kardashians than listen to a lesson on economics from FEE or the Mises Institute.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP@4,

    The company is W Technologies, Inc., formerly Global Sports & Entertainment Inc., formerly GWIN Inc., formerly IMSCO INC., Formerly IMSCO Technologies, Inc., formerly Winning Edge International, Inc.

    The company’s SEC termination of reporting submission listed an accumulated deficit of just under $30 million.

    The CEO of the company was Wayne Allyn Root.

  8. Wayne Root

    Thomas,

    There you go distorting the truth again. You’ve done this for 3 years now. Please stop.

    I am a serial entrepreneur. I am involved in about one dozen businesses and careers. All entrepreneurs fail. I’ve failed in many businesses. But I’ve succeeded in many more. It’s misleading, distorting and actually morally corrupt to report on one small business that did not work…among dozens that have.

    Failure is part and parcel of entrepreneurship and small business.

    Only those who run and invest in businesses understand this. You obviously don’t. When I meet millionaire or billionaire entrepreneurs, they’ve all failed MANY times.

    When I meet people with no money and no success, they’ve never failed in business once.

    You know why? They’ve never risked.

    If you don’t risk, and accept a safe paycheck, it’seasy to call others a “failure.”

    But until you’ve raised $20,000,000 and started a startup…and taken a company public…and made payrolls for 100 employees…you know ZERO about business…and have no right to criticize anyone else who has undertaken such a major business startup.

    Period end of story.

    Stop distorting the picture.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    “Failure” is a state of mind. Still, for those interested in the subject, I encourage you to read up on Steve Jobs and his view of “failure.”

    No risk, no reward, no “failure.”

  10. Wayne Root

    Thomas,

    Perhaps you forgot to mention to everyone here at IPR that the same guy who is such a “failure”…

    Is now the most successful of his career.

    Is now owning more businesses and involved in more careers than at any time in my life.

    Perhaps you didn’t realize I’m paid to lecture on success in business all over the world…and I’m paid $15K to $25K per speech. And I’ve never been busier.

    Or that I’m an author 7 times over. And working on book #8.

    Or that my web site WinningEDGE.com is one of the most successful in the country in my industry.

    Or that my name is licensed for $200,000 per year.

    Or that I’m spokesman for companies in the financial services, legal, and precious metals fields. And about to add the title of spokesman for a publicly traded global nutritional company.

    Or that I’m one of the most successful political pundits in the country on TV and radio.

    You seem obsessed like a mentally ill stalker on an old company that was sold to a $50 MM publicly traded UK company on AIM stock exchange…and they went broke, taking me out of business.

    And I’ve written about it publicly dozens of times.

    And I’ve said publicly that this story proves how valuable entrepreneuship is to our econmy. A company now defunct pumped about $60,000,000 into U.S. economy for the decade it was in business, created hundreds of jobs, paid people’s salaries, enabled them to live the American Dream, paid for their mortgages and families and eating out and educations.

    I’d call that a success. Millions of businesses just like that one are what create a majority of U.S. jobs, pay most of our taxes and built U.S. economy into #1 in world.

    When the day comes where you denigrate an entrepeneur for one business that closed…while he has a dozen doing well…that’s the end of capitalism.

    You my friend understand nothing about success.

    I’ve failed many times before the one company you keep bringing up…I’ll fail many times again.

    Because I’m one of the heroes of the business world…a brave soul willing to turn his back on safe paychecks and tenured jobs and government pensions…to risk my own money…and work 16 hour days…and build businesses that employ people.

    It’s time for anyone willing to criticize that…to slink away in the dark and go back to your afe paycheck.

    Oh by the way…what’s your track record Thomas?

    Funny, I’ve heard some interesting things about you.

    And you’re the kettle calling the pot black?

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    I’m a patriot and a role model who is a good husband and father- who sacrifices for my family. Who lives the American Dream.

    I wear my one failure you quoted above with PRIDE. I’d proudly use it as a campaign center-piece. I took a chance. It failed. It employed hundreds and helped infuse economy with $60 MM for a decade. I’m glad I took the risk. So are hundreds of my employees.

    Now I’m doing it all over again with several more businesses.

  11. Michael H. Wilson

    Wayne you could have mentioned that America “is going broke” because it continues to subsidize the defense of its economic competition, or that it pays for farmers who are very wealthy to begin with, or it subsidizes medical research that is of little or no value (note: U.S. dollars account for about 50% of the world’s medical research but as much as 85% of all research is of questionable quality).

    The nation also causes poverty because it has closed the market in many areas such as in this story. “About 1 in 4 needy U.S. families do not have a car, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. That’s a serious handicap for the millions of Americans who don’t have access to robust mass transit.”
    http://www.latimes.com/business/buy-here-pay-here/la-fi-buyhere-payhere-20111103,0,6688116.story

    Inadequate urban transit exists because local governments as well as state governments have closed the market. Of course they then expect the Federal boys to pick up the slack and provide relief.

  12. Wayne Root

    Oh and trying to pin “failure” on me is going to be a tough sell Thomas…or any of my critics.

    My first major book was entitled “The Joy of Failure.”

    I embrace failure.

    I publicly talked about all of my failures in “The Joy of Failure” and explained my philosophy on life…the underpinning of capitalism…

    It’s simple…

    “What do you call a businessman who has 7 restaurants and 6 of them have failed?

    MILLIONAIRE. All you need is one!”

    All entrepreneurs live by that philosophy. They are heroes. They risk millions to go after the American Dream.

    God Bless them.

    The key to success is failure- you must be willing to fail…and learn from failure to become a success.

    You must have guts…and balls…and courage.

    You must be a riverboat gambler.

    You must be willing to lose everything.

    And then start over…get back on the horse.

    Thomas you must think you’re telling secrets?

    You must think you’re giving new info to people, huh?

    Meanwhile I’m paid as much as $25K a speech to TEACH my philosophy to business audiences across the globe.

    I get standing ovations for telling stories about all my failures.

    Only by failing can you learn how to do it perfect the next time.

    I get standing ovations for teaching people to be relentless.

    For teaching them how to fail like Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln and yes even Wayne Root.

    All the greatest Americans have failed far more than they succeeded.

    A hero gets back on the horse.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Wayne,

    The only thing in what I posted that wasn’t direct quote from statements submitted and signed by you, or neutral factual information pertaining to same was a positive comment — that you speak not just from street smarts and common sense, but from experience.

    You’re welcome.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    @10,

    “Failure is part and parcel of entrepreneurship and small business. Only those who run and invest in businesses understand this. You obviously don’t.”

    Actually, I do understand it.

    I’ve been starting and running small businesses for probably 35 years now.

    When I was a kid, I was the kid that sold greeting card packages door to door on commission (it had a higher profit margin, and was more likely to be something they hadn’t already seen three times, than Grit subscriptions).

    When I was in sixth grade, I re-bottled white glue into smaller containers and sold them for a buck a pop as “Tom’s Glue” to kids who came up short when it was time for art class.

    At 12, I walked around my neighborhood and lined up lawn-mowing accounts — then flipped those customers over to snow-shoveling service when winter came.

    Even during the years when I worked a “straight day job,” I almost always had some kind of side project going.

    When I got laid off at the boat factory, I went to work in construction. I started as a laborer, worked my way up to framer on a crew that roughed-in house after house in developments around Branson … then took a job at a lumber yard and used my discount there to go into my own side business building decks and other small projects.

    I’ve failed at any number of entrepreneurial projects, too, and found a lot of worthwhile affirmation in your book The Joy of Failure, which I have both read and recommended.

    At present, both myself and the businesses I operate are debt-free and in profit.

    Not big profit, mind you, but I don’t eat much and my newsletter has always paid for itself and then some — and as of next month will have employed four people part-time and myself part- to full-time, for nine years.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    15 tk, yes, technically, WR’s statement “a small business can only spend what it has” is incorrect. Small (most) businesses carry some debt, generally because the cost of capital is lower than equity.

    Sometimes, that doesn’t work out for the business, including some enterprises that WR was associated with.

    Governments are not businesses, but to the extent the analogy has some validity, the leverage the USG currently has is much more than most businesses as a percentage of current revenues or operating cash flow.

  16. Deran

    Mr. Root, as usual, is talking rubbish.

    He is an apologist for the predatory system that has wrecked global economics, especially in the United States.

    All the last 30 years of deregulation has done is rob working people and created an unstable system that ressembles the robber baron epoch that brought us the “Long Depression” and the “Great Depression”.

    And I’ll let the scientists and accountants clarify

    Article in the New Scientist clarifies that deregulation and globalism leads to concentrated wealth and power and instability:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

    Congressional Budget Office clarifies how the last 30 years of deregulation has led to immiseration of the working and middle classes and grandiose wealth for the 1%:

    http://www.suntimes.com/business/8429006-420/govt-report-shows-rich-get-richer-middle-class-and-poor-lag.html

    Mr. Root is a clever LV card shark. A skilled three card monte dealer. Lots of yelling at the poor and working and middle classes and lots of huffing and puffing abt the natural right to maximize profits at the expense of society.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    Interestingly, we live in bizarre times, when companies like Microsoft and Apple have large cash positions. Microsoft has held cash mostly as for anti-anti-trust positioning. Other major corporations are hording cash in large part because economic uncertainty is pronounced. The ROI’s are just not obvious on any expansion in a sclerotic economy.

    Generally, holding cash is considered sub-optimal for a corporation, although few securities analysts that I’m aware of are critical of current horders. It fiduciary in uncertain times.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    18 d: …the last 30 years of deregulation…

    me: I didn’t see anything about that in your link, probably because there has been no “deregulation.” Regulation has grown for 30 years +. Some regulation has CHANGED, that’s true.

    Big difference, yes?

  19. rloy

    Another thought:

    Why do so many right-wingers think their opinions are worth more just because they’ve worked (and/or run businesses) in the private sector?

    I work in the private sector myself and have been promoted twice in the last 11 months, my sales commission raised each time (currently easing into my new role as a manager). I’ve never once claimed that my opinions are “superior” as a result. What makes Root/Romney/Cain’s opinion more lofty than mine?

    I admit that I prefer working in the private sector to government–simply as my own personal preference. But working in the private sector is not that amazing and does not necessarily makes one’s opinions more or less enlightened. Entrepreneurs often flourish in the OPPOSITE environments of what the right would have us believe: http://philebersole.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/entrepreneurs-under-socialism/

  20. rloy

    It’s interesting that Mises/Ron Paul libertarians view fractional reserve banking as fraud, but see NO problem whatsoever with how the modern financial industry of derivatives, CDOs, etc works. Is that bizarre or what?

  21. Robert Capozzi

    21 rloy: What makes Root/Romney/Cain’s opinion more lofty than mine?

    me: Nothing whatsoever. Nor is Warren Buffet’s. Or the Koch Brothers. We all share our ideas for improving the social order, and let others decide whose ideas make the most sense. That’s the marketplace for ideas. Do you have a better idea for how things should be conducted in the public square?

    22 rloy: It’s interesting that Mises/Ron Paul libertarians view fractional reserve banking as fraud, but see NO problem whatsoever with how the modern financial industry of derivatives, CDOs, etc works. Is that bizarre or what?

    me: If those private instruments are in fact fraudulent then I’m pretty sure most Ls would agree. For the most part, Ls who view fractional reserve banking as a fraud do so because the Constitution does not authorize the government to engage in that practice. The legal tender rules seem pretty darned specific to me…how about you? Beyond the Constitution, the practice could be viewed as fraudulent because it is imposed — opaquely so — on the citizenry.

  22. Kevin Knedler

    @ # 3. Bob, let’s see what happens to Germany, when the USA pulls out of all those bases and quits defending them! They take dollars that would have been spent on their own defense and put it into social programs. All because the USA is still on those bases! We only whipped them about 66 years ago. Same for Japan, time to get OUT.

  23. JT

    rloy: “Why do so many right-wingers think their opinions are worth more just because they’ve worked (and/or run businesses) in the private sector?”

    What opinions? About how saving and investing and private regulation is good for economic growth while taxing and spending and government regulation isn’t? That’s not an opinion.

  24. George Phillies

    @24
    Defending Germany from *what*? Mars?

    The only people who think Germany needs defending at the present time are far right wing morons.

    The only European nation of any consequence with a serious border issue is Russia, its border with China, an issue which is occasionally temporarily settled until it comes back again, and, curiously, we do not have mutual defense agreements with Russia.

    There are several countries part of the former USSR that worry that the USSR like the Vampire Nostradamnus might rise from the dead, but other people see this as closer to fiction.

    If we withdraw our bases from Europe, the Europeans will cut their defense spending. In particular, the Russians will cut, because they will be less worried about American plans to interfere with their nuclear deterrent.

  25. NewFederalist

    This entire thread is so screwed up it is pathetic. We have libertarians and conservatives and progressives and socialists and liberals and complete assholes all talking shit. Bring Milnes back! At least his nonsense was rather funny!

  26. Robert Capozzi

    kk and gp, my guess is the economic impact on Germany were the US to pull out and close the bases there would be more that those stationed there would no longer be spending there. I agree with GP that the Germans would not need to increase true defense spending much.

  27. Darryl W. Perry

    I’m not surprised there is no mention of the trillions spent maintaining the military empire or the billions upon billions spent fighting the “war on drugs”… because mentioning those wouldn’t sit well with the conservatives that Mr. Root so dearly wants to court.

  28. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 24 Kevin wrote: “@ # 3. Bob, let’s see what happens to Germany, when the USA pulls out of all those bases and quits defending them! They take dollars that would have been spent on their own defense and put it into social programs. All because the USA is still on those bases! We only whipped them about 66 years ago. Same for Japan, time to get OUT.”

    Kevin what is it going to take for the LP to get serious about this issue? I have written to the LNC or those on it individually over the last three or fours years about updating the national website relating to this issue and a few others where we are seriously out of date. So far I am still waiting for some action.

    I spent too damn long working in retail to accept the slow response I have seen. My bosses would have fired my ass a long time ago if I had not shown better work habits. And you are about to get another post from me this weekend.

    As one of my favorite bosses frequently said “just do the right thing”.

  29. Wayne Root

    @24

    I’m with you 100% Kevin.

    @31

    Isn’t it funny Michael you seem to focus on your disagreements with me…but we agree on your views on these foreign bases and paying for the defense of Germany, Japan and South Korea…and we agree that this is an important issue in times of economic crisis…

    And like you, I’m a businessman. If it’s important, make it happen N-O-W.

    And if you can’t, get out of the way and let someone else do the job. We are in agreement.

    Wayne

  30. paulie

    Wayne,

    Just read the article (although not all of the comments)

    You know we don’t always agree but on this one we do. I did not see anything that I wouldn’t have said myself.

    -paulie

  31. Michael H. Wilson

    Wayne I do not consider myself an expert in anything, but I have studied urban history and economics for some years. When I see what I think is an error by someone in the LP regarding urban issues or another issue that I follow I will point it out. If my recall is somewhat decent I did not start out to be such a critic of your work. In fact I sent Aaron Starr a couple of pieces to pass on to you at first. One I believe was a piece by Jeffrey Flier MD, the Dean of Harvard Medical College in which he criticized occupational licensing laws.

    From what I read in your commentaries I see a lot of criticism of Obama. Criticizing Obama is fair. He deserves criticism but it is always important to spell out the libertarian alternative on any and every issue. I think it is great that you get the media that you do, but please focus on what we have to sell not on the other guy’s failed products. After all the customer is coming into our place because the other guys failed her.

    All though I cannot speak for anyone else I think you’ll find that most of us here are willing to help research issues for you. You just have to ask.

    As I said Obama need to be criticized, but we have to remember that when he leaves office the system will still be there and it is a corrupt system.

    Regarding this point on the foreign deployment of U.S. troops: the area that Kevin is in once was a big steel producer, but much of our steel is now imported. While we are keeping troops in Germany, Japan and So. Korea we also have been buying steel from those nations. American workers have been paying taxes to subsidize the defense of their economic competitors and now the competition is one factor in the decline of American manufacturing. Hell would people in Cleveland feel good in the Browns had to pay for some other team’s backfield?

    As I said I and I am sure others on here are more than willing to help.

  32. Steven R Linnabary

    Wayne:

    Good article, clear and concise.

    BUT…with a quibble or two…

    1. Again, you only mention Obama and not his republican lapdogs. And I DO mean lapdogs. Just yesterday a whole flock of these cretins called for INCREASED taxes rather than to rein in the explosion in the increase of government in general.

    I am not a republican. I believe in freedom.

    2. Personally, I would refrain from referring to government “workers” as public employees. It only makes you sound like a liberal. Actually, I would prefer they be referred to as bloodsuckers or parasites, but that’s just me.

    PEACE

  33. Occupation Is Not Defense

    Kevin: let’s see what happens to Germany, when the USA pulls out of all those bases and quits defending them!

    The U.S. does not defend Germany. The U.S. occupied Germany and Japan after World War Two.

    The U.S. installed military bases there, partially to prevent them from rebuilding their own military. And partially to hem in the Soviet Union.

    That may or may not have been strategically or morally justifiable, but those U.S. bases were not for Germany or Japan’s benefit.

    Root: foreign bases and paying for the defense of Germany, Japan and South Korea

    As usual, Israel is missing from Root’s list.

    The U.S. should indeed close all its foreign military bases and end all financial/military aid — to Israel included.

    Note, however, that there are no U.S. military bases in Israel. This is because U.S. military bases are not defense, but occupation, and Israel won’t stand for U.S. occupation.

    Israel only wants U.S, money, so it can build and control its own defense. Every nation would prefer that deal, Germany and Japan included.

    However, the U.S. should not pay for any nation’s defense, nor should it occupy them.

  34. Michael H. Wilson

    re # 37 I think if you look you will find that today we have defense treaties with these nations. NATO in particular is a treaty that we have with many European nations, but I’ll bet you knew that.

    What started out as an occupation is now something else and it is worth using in that form to get the idea across that is we are paying for to defend other nations and in doing so we pump a lot of money into their economies.

    We also have troops in a lot of nations we never were at war with in WWII.

  35. Other People's Money

    Root: “Because I’m one of the heroes of the business world…a brave soul willing to turn his back on safe paychecks and tenured jobs and government pensions…to risk my own money”

    Does Root risk his own money?

    I don’t have any inside informationm but from what I’ve read on the blogosphere, Root left some investors and creditors burned when his business went bankrupt.

    A common mantra of infomercial hucksters is to use OTM — Other People’s Money (i.e., investors or lenders).

    Don’t many (most?) so-called “entreperneurs” use OTM?

    Much of the Right has this romanticized vision of the heroic entreperneur, risking his own money.

    A more common reality is the Slick Talker who takes money from investors and creditors, hires minimum wage workers, and sells a crappy product (gambling advice?) before going bust. The investors lose their money, but even if there were no profits, the Slick Talker has paid himself well from the investment capital.

    Lots of “entreperneur”/CEOs made bundle on the 1990s Dot Com Bubble, paying themselves out of investment capital while leaving the investors burned when their worthless product/companies went bust.

    Ditto all those infomercial hucksters in the 2000s selling worthless books, tapes, and seminars teaching “house-flipping secrets” to rubes.

    Ditto all those scam artists on Wall Street, who burned through investors’ money, but walked away with fat bonuses.

    So, to what extent does Root risk his own money as opposed to Other People’s Money?

    That’s his secret, of course, but he raised the issue. He insists loudly about how he “risks my own money,” but that would be unusual if true.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    39 OPM, yes, entrepreneurs often take on investors and creditors. They often forego salaries for a time. They often put in their own start-up capital.

    Some entrepreneurs engage is sleazy businesses. Most don’t.

    The same can be said of politicians and bureaucrats.

    Caveat emptor in all things.

  37. George Phillies

    @39

    It’s very easy to find the people who risked their own money…when they failed big time, they had burned through their mortgages, their credit cards, and they lost their homes and other assets.

  38. Other People's Money

    @40, you’re saying that some entrepreneurs invest their own money, some don’t. Fair enough.

    I wonder to what extent Root “risked” his own money as opposed to OTM.

    Root publicly paints himself as a Randian Hero because he risked his own money on his businesses. (Nobody can accuse him of modesty.)

    But I can’t see Root as a Heroic risk-taker. I just don’t get those vibes from him. He comes across to me as more of a cunning street hustler (i.e., too smart to risk his own money when OTM is available).

  39. Robert Capozzi

    42 OPM, in my case, I don’t care what WR has or has not done in his business dealings. I’m just not that interested in his personal life. I appreciate that he is generally on the same pro-liberty team as I am. I don’t do heroes, and I don’t need to figure out how others make money…it’s none of my business.

  40. Other People's Money

    @43 “I don’t need to figure out how others make money…it’s none of my business.”

    True. Unless someone makes an issue of how he makes his money.

    Root publicly brags that he risks his own money on his business ventures. Yet years ago, I read on some websites (perhaps on Knapp’s site; I don’t remember) that Root burned investors and creditors with his bankruptcy.

    In which case, Root is dishonest when he paints himself as a Hero Entrepreneur who risks his own money, as opposed to risking OPM.

    A candidate/political leader’s honesty is always a legitimate issue.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    OPM@44,

    Just to set the record straight, I am not aware that Root has ever declared bankruptcy.

    Root’s last company (which went through several name changes, and was called W Technologies, Inc. as of submission of its last SEC filing in 2009) was certainly insolvent, with a reported accumulated deficit of $29.x million and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt reported as in default, as of that last report, but so far as I know has not sought bankruptcy protection either.

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Yeah, Trump is one of the original “too big to fail” folks. By the time of his first corporate bankruptcy, he was so far in hock that the institutions backing him decided that if they let him drown he might take them with him.

  43. Darryl W. Perry

    Wayne says, “until you’ve raised $20,000,000 and started a startup…and taken a company public…and made payrolls for 100 employees…you know ZERO about business”
    I’m sure my grandfather who, never finished high school but nonetheless, ran his own masonry business for near 50 years would disagree with you on that.
    I’m sure there are thens of thousands of people that continue to run small businesses who would disagree.
    Raising $20 million in start-up is not required for every business (Ross Perot began EDS with $1,000 borrowed from a family member), nor does it automatically mean you know more about business than someone who started a business without the backing of investors… it simply means you had enough sales skills to raise $20 million in start-up.

  44. Robert Capozzi

    dwp, I don’t think WR was saying you need raise $20MM to start a start up…his intent appears to be they were separate events.

    I can’t say I agree with Root’s tests here, btw…especially “zero.” I’m not sure Jack Welch did those things, fer crissakes! 😉

  45. Darryl W. Perry

    @51I don’t think WR was saying you need raise $20MM to start a start up
    He did say that anyone who hasn’t done so knows ZERO about business. He also included taking a company public and making payroll for 100 employees.
    In other words, he is saying that every business owner that has NOT:
    1) raised $20 million in start-up
    2) taken a company public, and
    3) made payroll for 100 employees
    knows nothing about business.
    That excludes tens of thousands of small business owners that have no desire to:
    1) raise $20 million in start-up
    2) take a company public, and/or
    3) have 100 employees.
    Not everyone dreams of being a multi-millionaire, that doesn’t mean they aren’t business savvy, it simply means they have a different vision.

  46. Jill Pyeatt

    Darryl @ 52: “Not everyone dreams of being a multi-millionaire, that doesn’t mean they aren’t business savvy, it simply means they have a different vision.”

    Amen, Brother! My life’s experience has taught me that rich people just have bigger problems.

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