Barack Obama Vs. Bob Brunton Of Decatur, Alabama (Who Ran A Drug Store)
When I heard President Obama’s comments about people who start businesses, how they didn’t do it by themselves, how they aren’t smarter, and how they don’t work harder, I thought about Bob Brunton. When he started his drug store, Bob had to take all the financial risk of failure. He had to stay open long hours each day and worked weekends, too, for years until he had a solid client base and could afford to work fewer hours. But even when I was there, Bob was putting in a lot of time. He didn’t take off for lunch. He just heated a little container in the microwave and kept going.
Baker had taken the job to save up much needed money for graduate school. You really need the post to get a taste for what made Brunton special. He sounds like an amazing man. And because he put so much of himself into his business, he didn't live long after he retired. Baker ends:
The president talked about how we can’t take credit because somebody helped us along the way. I think he was thinking mostly about the state when he made the remark. I can tell you that Bob Brunton helped me. He made a big impression both in his work ethic and in how he treated me. On my final day, it was time to close the store. Bob and I were the only people still on the premises. He gave me my final paycheck. Then, he pulled out a second check. Before he gave it to me, he said, “This is not a gift. This is not a loan. This is an obligation. When you are successful someday and you can help a young person, I expect you to do it.” He handed me a check for an additional $500. At that time, my pay for the part-time job was $120.
The president can build up the role of government all he wants. I concede that it is important. But he really should not downplay the contribution of the small businessmen and women who do so much to make our country great. But if that is the case the president wants to make, he’s got a long way to go to convince me, because I worked for Bob Brunton of Decatur, Alabama who ran a drug store.
President Obama's remarks belittling entrepreneurship have struck a nerve with many of my small business-running friends. But I've also noticed that my friends without ties to small businesses are confused as to why the remarks have bothered others. I'd encourage them to read Hunter Baker's post about Bob Brunton.