"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money." — Alexis de Tocqueville
Dear Mr. President:
Last week you made a speech to your supporters in Roanoke, Virginia stating that I did not create my own business and that the community and government helped me. Well, Mr. President you are dead wrong and you really ticked me off with your uneducated remarks. As you stated in a recent interview how you believe your only mistake in your first term was that you did not tell enough stories to the American people let me tell you my story and see how it stacks up with your view of business and your own personal history.
The first job I ever had was in 1949 at the age of 13 when I obtained a paper route in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I got up every morning at 6:00 am and rode my bicycle about a half mile from our house to the corner of our street where I picked up 70+ dailies of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and delivered them to my customs. I did this six days a week, rain, shine, and snow. On Sundays I had over 200 papers to deliver and I had to use my wagon and walk the route. On Saturdays I had to make the rounds to collect the money for the papers from my customers and pay the newspaper company for the papers with me keeping the portion allocated for profit. I made about seven or ten dollars a week. This was my introduction to capitalism and the free enterprise system. If I worked hard, treated my customers well and made my collections on time I had a steady stream of income and some customers even gave me tips for my prompt mooring deliveries. Tips were very good a Christmas when I could clear as much as $50.00
My next job was in 1952 at the age 16 with a typewriter repair shop in downtown Cleveland. I would deliver my papers and then take the bus to the typewriter shop where I would do odd jobs such as going for parts and cleaning typewriters. I kept the paper route as I knew this was a summer job and I would need to continue my income stream during the school year. I was paid $75 cents per hour at the typewriter shop so for a 40 hour week I made $30.00 gross. I also began paying into Social Security, some I did for the next 54 years. My bus fare to and from the typewriter shop was 50 cents per day. I was learning about gross income, net income and taxes. I was doing this at the same age as you were when you were smoking dope and getting drunk on a beach in Hawaii.
I did not care for the job at the typewriter repair shop and knew I was not mechanically inclines enough to repair those complex machines. My Dad, who was a skilled typewriter repairman, had a customer who worked at a civil engineering and land surveying firm in downtown Cleveland. He asked them if they ever hired summer help and they told him they did and if I was interested to drop in for an interview.
I did just that as working on a survey crew sounded intriguing to me. I looked like clean outdoor work and I would not have to deal with those smelly cleaning chemicals. On one of my school holidays I put on my pressed dressed pants and my sport jacket and took the bus downtown for an interview. During the interview I was polite and when asked why I wanted to work for the firm I told them I though surveying sounded very exciting as surveyors built things and were considered part of the engineering profession. Evidently they like me and told me to report promptly at 7:30 am on the first day of my summer vacation. This was 1953 and my pay was once again 75 cents per hour. The only downside was hat I had to give up the paper route.
I worked the entire summer six days per week assisting a crew chief doing mortgage identification surveys all over Cuyahoga County. I worked hard, was always on time and when school started up again they told me I could continue to work Saturdays and on school holidays which I gladly did. The pay was not great but I was learning and investing in my future.
The day after I graduated high school in 1954 I began full time employment for the surveying firm at a whopping one dollar per hour for 48 hours per week. I was earning, saving, and paying taxes, something you were not doing at my age while you lounged on the beach and listened to your communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis and tried to get a scholarship to Occidental College.
I did well at the survey firm for about 18 months working hard, learning and going to night school for advanced mathematics and physics. In the fall of 1954 I purchased a new car, a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air> I was now living a middle-class life at the age of 18. No, I did not take government money to go to college. I learned on the job and went to night school something many people still do.
In 1956 another civil engineering and land surveying firm much closer to my home offered me a job. Due to my reputation and acquired skills the offer was for $2.50 cents per hour. Naturally I accepted their offer and moved on. I worked for a young crew chief who had recently completed his military service with the U.S. Army as a surveyor for the artillery. He was sharp and willing to teach me not only about surveying, but about life. I still consider him a mentor. You see Mr. President there were no government grants or job programs. People helped people who wanted to be helped.
I did well at the new firm and by 1958 I had my own survey crew and the raises continued to come. It was also in 1958 that I met my future wife and in 1960 we were married. You see in those days people got married befire having children and did not look to government for support.
In 1962 my wife and I decide to move to California. I was tired of working outdoors in cold weather. We came to California with all of our worldly belongings in a 4x6 U-Haul trailer. It took me about a month to find a job with the California Division of Highways where I would spend the next ten years of my life. I worked hard and did well with the highway department continuing with my night school education and a correspondence course in surveying and highway engineering. No doubt had there been an Internet in those days it would have been an on-line course.
In 1965 after years of study I completed the state board exams for my Land Surveyor’s License and I could now begin working on my dream of owning my own surveying business. I continued with the highway department moving up the ladder and doing interesting work building the Interstate Highway System. But, I always had the thought of my own business in he back of my mind. I could have stayed in the civil service and worked for government as you did as a community organizer, but I wanted more for my family.
In 1972 I met two civil engineers who wanted to start their own business. We got along well and decided to share the risk and go out on our own so we started our own civil engineering and land surveying business with five employees — my two partners, me, and two employees who believed in us.
We worked hard and served our clients well and began to grow. By 1978 we had three offices and 100 employees. This meant that every night I went to bed concerned as to how I could keep the clients coming in so we could support these employees with incomes and health care so they could support their families. There were times when my partners and I went without paychecks so we could pay our employees.
In 1978 this country elected one of the worst presidents in our history and a member of your party – Jimmy Carter. Carter’s economic policies were a disaster for our firm. As most of our clients were in the land development and housing industry and interest was at an all-time high of 22% our business took a big hit. By summer of 1980 we were down to one office and 10 employees all due to government mismanagement of the economy. Who do I thank for that Mr. President?
In 1980 we decided to merge with another civil engineering and land surveying firm in similar straits. After the merger we had 65 employees and I was one of six owners and an officer of the firm.
For the next 26 years due to hard work, good client service, and the use of advanced technology my partners and I were able to grow the fir to 850 employees with 7 offices throughout California, Arizona, and Colorado. We had expanded our services to include water services, environmental services, land planning, and geographic information services. We also did work in Turkey, Germany and Central and South America.
When I finally retired, in 2007, we 850 families to support with their health care, food and clothing, car payments, dental care, school tuitions, and vacations.
Mr. President you can see from my story that I did not have wealthy sugar daddies to pay my way to Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard as you did. I did not hang out with left-wing and Marxist Chicago millionaires and take government money to be a community organizer. I worked and studied hard, served my clients well providing services they needed, and provided very good paying jobs.
So Mr. President when I hear you and your zombies make comments like you did last week in Roanoke it really pisses me off. Please keep you Marxist ideology to yourself and your Chicago cronies. You haven’t the slightest idea of what it takes to start and run a business so butt out and leave the economy to the people who know what they are doing and are willing to take risks to grow it. We will all be better off and live without the tyranny of your socialist masterminds.
A pissed off retired businessman and citizen.