While being old news, the statement (and more so the agreement with the statement) of “You Didn’t Build That” sticks in my craw to this day. The statement (and don’t even start with me about the taking in or out of context sham) demonstrates a deep misunderstanding of the roles of production and consumption in our economy. As a builder, the sentiment is more aggravating than stepping on a Lego and tripping over the cat at midnight on the way to the bathroom, and not nearly as comical in hindsight.
Let’s lay out a little demonstration. A client approaches me for a project. The initial concept first must be drawn out. That in and of itself is an act of creation, billable creation, even before physical work begins money is changing hands. Materials must now be procured. The gas tank must be filled, the taxes built into the price of that fuel to get the materials from the supplier(s) and bring them back are used for the roads. The sales tax is dispersed out to “the common good” (pfft) and the cost of the materials has helped pay the employees of the supplier as well as the supplier himself and back through the supply chain to the initial harvest of the lumber or mining of the ore to make steel. Now the material is on site. There is no governmentally provided workforce to manufacture this product for me, therefore I make said product myself or hire on X number of hands to achieve the project/product. I get to pay taxes on the wages that I disperse to the employee AND the employee gets to pay taxes on the wages received, not to mention the taxes that the employee gets to pay for living their life and consuming all the things that they consume because I was oh so kind enough to provide him currency in exchange for labor. (That I hired, not the State or the Fed) I deliver the goods to the client, using more fuel, the client pays a sales tax on what I just manufactured for them and the cycle goes on and on and on. Production and consumption, BAM!
Now where exactly is the contribution of the asshole that rode his bicycle down to the coffee shop to suck on a cup of fair trade mud and bitch about Capitalism on his laptop on the free WIFI that the owner of the coffee shop is providing him?