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GREATER NEW YORK CHAPTER

George Jefferson, Barack Obama & Entrepreneurship

What do all three of these things have in common? Find out.

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom

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Sherman Helmsly, who portrayed George Jefferson in TV show The Jeffersons, died a few weeks ago.  

In a wise and wonderful tribute, Andrea Tantaros, VP of Sloane and Company in New York City, wrote an op-ed encomium to Helmsly's entrepreneurial character in the New York Daily News soon after.

Tantaros piece got my dander up about Barack Obama's litany of insulting remarks July 13 directed at small business.  I want to briefly share some of Ms. Tantaros simple, but passionately well-reasoned, thoughts.

She describes George Jefferson as an entrepreneur living the American Dream.  "For the Jeffersons the idea of a 'deluxe apartment in the sky' was the goal---not handouts, food stamps or subsidies.  Nowhere in the show was there talk of movin' on down....Wonder what President Obama thinks of George's success?  I'm fairly certain he told us with his recent (and infamous) comments on business."

To review just a bit of Obama's bon mot,  "If you've got a business---you didn't build that.  Somebody else made that happen....Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own!   You didn't get there on your own!  I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart."

Obama has accused his "enemies" of knowingly twisting his words around to suggest that he doesn't value small business.  Well, what the hell else are we to think? I am not the enemy of Obama, but he bloody-well seems to have chosen a consistent hostility to the small business community.

Ms. Tantaros bluntly states:

"His record speaks for itself.  Contrary to pledges he would unite the country, the President has  spent much of his time in the White House railing against the business community---the  George Jeffersons of the world---and turning success into something of a dirty word while accusing business owners of having little to do with their own accomplishments.

An honest look at his policies show that he is hostile to entrepreneurs, small businesses and  job creators, constantly pushing to raise their taxes and slap them with mounting regulations."

There's probably not a lot more for me to say on this subject, though I still find Obama's demonization of entrepreneurs disconcerting.  Surely there is no shame in courageous risk-taking, hard work, and success.  As Ms. Tantarous concludes,  "George Jefferson never apologized for [his success], and neither should we.  It's called movin' on up."

Thank you, Andrea.  And thank you Brother Jefferson.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2012

TIM ASKEW | CEO of Corporate Rain International

Tim Askew is the owner of sales firm Corporate Rain International and a member of the Inc. Business Owners Council. He has several advanced degrees and in his life he has been a tennis pro, actor, opera singer, Broadway producer, dish washer, bartender, minister, and college assistant dean. Tim's blog is here. Tim is a member of the Inc. Business Owners Council.




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