Mr. Blunt and Cranky, as many of you know, is a musician/composer of sorts, and has been educated in the history of music. He is fully aware of the essential contributions made by Pythagoras, Mozart, Leo Fender, and manymanymany others who have gone before him, creating the mathematical and sonic body of knowledge upon which he bases his work. He does not for an instant think that he invented the western scale and other music theory, devised and built the instruments he plays, or invented and constructed the equipment used to record and reproduce the music that he writes. He is equally happy to take credit for the music that he writes, because that is his original work, built on the foundation created by others over a millennium or so.

Sounds pretty reasonable, yes? It is an attitude based on historical fact, and gives credit where due, both to Mr. B & C and those who came before him. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a sane individual who would care to argue the point.

But if one changes the word “music” to “business”, oh my, what shrieks will emerge from some parts of the business community and their bought politicians. Evidently, the centuries of innovation and decades of publicly funded infrastructure, research and investment that facilitate and enable a prosperous business community don’t exist to these blinkered yahoos.

When one lets ego, talking points, or political philosophy distort their view of historical and contemporary reality, one is no longer living in the real world. For Mitt Romney to claim that he was successful in business solely because of his own brilliance and work ethic would be like this writer claiming to have invented the Fender Bass he uses: flattering to the ego, but a complete fantasy when looked at objectively.

We work best when we face cold, hard reality and deal with any resulting hits to our egos: all of us are to some degree dependent on those who came before us, and to those who share the world with us at this time. This does not in any way add to or diminish our own work ethic, intelligence, talent or other character traits. It just means that others play their part, too.

America is a great place to do business, due to our long tradition of social, regulatory and economic policies that provide infrastructure, educated workers, and tax incentives designed to encourage business success.  Anyone who favors a totally independent environment might want to consider doing business in Kenya, Ethiopia, certain Pacific Ocean islands, or other nations with less law and public investment. This writer predicts that once you see the alternative, you’ll agree with what the Prexy said last week (even though he said it poorly).

Mr. B & C