This is an American Company
I own an American company, but it didn’t have to be American. I have the means and resources to base my business anywhere. I can work entirely remotely, choose any domicile, and deliver the same value from any location. And I’d pay fewer taxes, in many cases, if I did.
I have chosen America because America honors the rule of law. By that rule:
- America protects contract relationships between relative equals — be they suppliers or clients. It demonstrates this ethos in the private sector by upholding it first and foremost in the public one, such as when it protects the contract between electors and the American people.
- America protects property and the liberty of its uses, as encoded in our intellectual property laws, and those that protect public property. Congress is the people’s house, which is not an invitation to use it as a toilet, even if that is normative behavior in the homes of those who recently appeared there. When we desecrate en masse the house of the nation, we are inviting the intimate violation of our bedrooms and nurseries.
- America protects the freedom to earn what we have, just as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have earned their positions. Neither they nor I (nor you I suspect) have demanded what we have through pouting, petulance, or deception. It is beneath the builder to shout aloud for his supper. He creates the conditions that feed himself and others. To quote Ayn Rand, he is the lever that moves the world. America protects this.
To assault this nation, as though a feeling entitles one to do violence against these three bargains… sacred to our political order and our commercial freedoms… To defy the rule of law and enforce one’s preferences by sheer force, whether in a political or commercial context…is unAmerican, anti-American, and anti-business. It is a repudiation of our core values and our mutual bonds of trust.
I built my company, of which I am immensely proud, by dealing fairly, clearly, and transparently in good faith. With my clients, my partners, my colleagues who work for me, and the vendors who help me achieve my goals. I own not only this firm, but a chunk of several others. In each case, for my part, which is all I can speak for, fair dealing, ownership, and the opportunity to earn one’s place through contribution are the sine qua non of enterprise. In other words . . .
I rely on the principles of liberty as the principles of business.
It is my experience that those who reject the former are incapable of building rationally or emotionally functional examples of the latter. I have seen those toxic environments, and they reek of the values (or lack thereof) we saw in the videos of the Capitol assault, the worst of which have emerged in just the last 24 hours.
This is not a matter over which men and women of good character disagree. If we inhabit different worlds on this, it is because those worlds are comprised of mutually hostile ethics. We don’t have a difference of opinion about an assault on the temple of our democracy. One is not entitled to an opinion but rather to an informed, considered opinion. We will look back with contempt in a few years for those businesses that were silent while enabling this. I would like to be on record as saying I, as a business leader, regard it with contempt.
It will be but moments, if it hasn’t happened already, before someone will say the event is exaggerated, the case against its perpetrators overstated. This even as domestic terrorists are plotting a second, more violent assault in many of the same venues they used to plan the first. “Bring more guns, more explosives, more restraints, more methods of execution.” they are saying. “Be prepared to be much more violent. This time, we will kill more people.” If this were a school shooting, no one would dare downplay it. But because it’s political, it is allowed.
I would argue the matter is existential. What kind of persons do we want to be? Do we want freedom? Effectively those three principles correspond to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Or is it more important to deprive one’s opponents of freedom? Do we let the loudest, most bullying voice in the room set the standards, or do we set boundaries that protect everyone and make the bully adhere?
I choose America, because America is the aspiration that freedom is freedom for all, that freedom is MORE than superstores that offer us more choices for corn snacks and conditioners. America posits a freedom to test ones ideas in an open marketplace governed by arms-length actors able to choose freely with the one requirement that we deal fairly. It is a sore tested ideal at times, but the fact that it IS an ideal makes America the superior choice to almost anyplace I could engage in a business relationship of any kind with anyone else. American ingenuity is born in the cradle of this American freedom.
We who build things in the world will continue to champion what we hold precious more than defend it, even though it MUST be defended. We will continue to define what we want to nourish and support rather than what we want to punish, though the evil we have seen assault the seat of our liberty must be punished. Whatever anyone tears down, we will work twice as hard to build back and better. If we are surrounded by smoke and fire, we will work faster and harder to support good ideas, to champion innovators, and to deliver definitive improvements to market. We will not be outdone by the mere ability to throw Molotov cocktails or yield to cretins wrapped in a flag they have dishonored.
And in the end, we will do all this so our competition will be each other and not those who are unworthy of it, because all they can do is break things and tear down. We are builders. You who burn and destroy cannot know what we are. And you cannot outpace us.