You've all seen the current GOP meme where business owners tell President Obama that they built that business all by their lonesomes. Today, in NH, that meme was proven to be just as silly as we all know it is.
Today's NH Union Leader has an op-ed by former NH GOP Chair Fergus Cullen. Fergus is going with the silly "I did it MY WAY with no gummint help" that our friends in the GOP clown car seem stuck on. It's a silly meme that is going to continually bite them in the buttocks - but hey - what's wrong with that??
Fergus tells us the tale of Marion Noronha, an immigrant from India who started a business:
Today Noronha is president of Turbocam, the Barringtonbased manufacturing company that employs 550 people in 10 countries, 325 of them in Barrington and Dover. The company has 14 current job openings and plans to add 200 more at a new facility in Barrington.It's a great story. Noronha came to the US with about $6 (and training as an engineer), and parlayed that into a global business empire. His first job was a volunteer position with a company that was working at Dartmouth College. There he met his future wife, and became a Christian.
After his Dartmouth job ended, he was hired by a shoe manufacturer using CAD (computer aided design) and moved to Madbury with a group of Christian families, to start a church at UNH.
Meanwhile, Noronha kept tinkering with CAD, designing prototypes and renting machining time at plants in Massachusetts at night. Turbocam started in his basement in 1985. He bought his first milling machine in 1987 and rented workspace in Dover a year later.Then there's this:
He sold his first part to General Motors, hand polishing it in the back of the car while Suzie drove to deliver it. By 1993, Turbocam had 25 employees.
If Noronha had help building Turbocam, it came from a higher office than any found in Washington. Turbocam's mission is stated plainly: “Turbocam exists as a business for the purpose of honoring God, creating wealth for its employees, and supporting Christian service to God and people.”Fergus makes a point of telling President Obama that Noronha did this all by his lonesome, with no evil help from the gummint.
“The company is an expression of God's blessing on us,” Noronha explains. Forty percent of the firm's revenue goes to salaries, and Noronha is justifiably proud of all the families who have bread on the table because of Turbocam.
“That's a bigger contribution to the community than all the government grants and programs,” Noronha observes.
Except that Dartmouth College is in Hanover, NH - a town that has public water, sewer, plowing, roads, bridges - the infrastructure that we all enjoy, paid for by our tax dollars.
Noronha moved to Madbury to start a church. The US Constitution (the foundation of our government) guarantees Mr. Noronha the right to freedom of religion. That same government also gives churches tax exempt status, so that they can stretch their dollars into doing the work their religion calls them to do - and gives their members the option of making tax deductible contributions. In other words, the government is supporting Christian service to God and people.
Noronha sold his first part to General Motors. Luckily, he can continue to sell parts to GM - thanks to government assistance, GM is alive and well.
Mr. Noronha has 325 employees and intends to add 200 more. Unless he's built his own infrastructure, his employees drive to work on the same roads and bridges that his products travel to market on. Roads and bridges built with our tax dollars. A large number of his employees were undoubtedly educated in public schools and colleges. Some of those employees may avail themselves of our public libraries. Some of them may even engage in recreational activities in our local, state, and national parks.
Mr. Noronha didn't have to cut down trees, clear a pasture, and build his own barn. He wasn't Pa Ingalls out on the prairie. The infrastructure that is part of his success was already in place, thanks to the local, state, and federal government.
Fortunately the same government that is considered unimportant by Mr. Noronha also provides him with the First Amendment, that allows him to criticize that government, without any repercussions. He can say any fool thing he wants, and Fergus Cullen can write piously about it in the Union Leader.
Truth can also rear its ugly head.
Turbocam is one of the US Govt. Small Business Administration's SBA 100 a business that has created over 100 jobs since receiving SBA assistance.
Assistance? From a government program??? Oh, say it ain't so!
From the SBA website:
Turbocam grew from a modest beginning in Dover, NH. The company has used SBA-guaranteed loans on seven occasions to provide more than $5 million dollars to help support its growth between 1992 and 2009. During this time the number of employees grew from 18 in 1992 to over 250 in 2009.This just illustrates the point the president was making. None of us succeed in a vacuum. We aren't in this together alone. Mr. Noronha had a great idea, and he used the resources available to him to parlay that idea into a very successful business.
This story illustrates why this is a silly GOP meme that will continue to bite them in the behind. I'd suggest that Fergus and his pals stock up on Neosporin - except that it's produced by a government subsidized drug company. Better stock up on leeches, Fergus.
cross-posted at susanthebruce
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