Who Built That

Awe-inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs

(Source: Book “Who Built That” by Michelle Malkin published in 2015)

“Our most valuable resources, creativity communication, invention and reinvention are, in fact, unlimited”.   – David Grinspoon

As part of his radical bid to “fundamentally transform” America, Barack Obama signed the America Invents Act (AIA) in 2011.  The AIA’s primary agenda was to “harmonize” our patent laws with rest of the world to reward paper pushers who are “first-to-file”.  Now the US is a “forced-to-file” regime that incentivizes a stampede to the patent office before ideas are fully formed.  In truth, the AIA is a special-interest boondoggle that enriches corporate lawyers, big business and Federal bureaucrats at the expense of small independent inventors.

Historian Arnold Toynbee is remembered for arguing that “civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.”  We face a grave threat from within our own borders from homegrown ignorance, apathy and downright hostility toward the principles that maintain a level playing field for “tinkerpreneurs” of all shapes and sizes.  Liberty, not government, is the world’s most powerful wellspring of invention.  Author Charles Murray noted that “Our Founding Fathers promoted industriousness – something more than just working hard. The bone-deep American assumption that life is to be spent getting ahead through hard work and thereby making a better life for oneself and one’s family.”  Historian Francis Grund observed firsthand America’s insatiable willingness to work.  He said that “active occupation is the principal source of their happiness and the foundation of their natural greatness.”

Entrepreneurial industriousness was in the soul of businessman Charles Hires, who turned dirt into dollars and twigs into root beer.  It was in the souls of the Scott brothers, who went from selling butcher paper on the streets to a corporate powerhouse selling toilet paper and paper towels.  It drove and bound business partners Willis Carrier and J. Irvine Lyle (HVAC), Edward Libbey and Michael Owens (glass) and George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla (electric power), whose engineering feats and business endeavors still benefit the world today.

When one tinkerpreneur’s dream is fulfilled, unimaginable new opportunities arise.  One new industry begets a myriad of others.  Through voluntary associations between and among countless producers and consumers, advancement and social progress are made.  It guides millions of individual makers and risk-takers to pursue their own profits and happiness while enhancing the public good.  No one can see it or touch it, but modern American life and all of its wondrous amenities would not exist without this freedom-powered device.

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