03/21/09 — America's roots: Some might be forgetting this country's heritage

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America's roots: Some might be forgetting this country's heritage

There are very few companies in America today that did not start with one person -- or maybe two -- who had an idea, invested blood, sweat and tears and took a chance.

The road to get there wasn't easy -- some ended up mortgaging everything they owned and endured rejection after rejection, believing that one day their idea would pay off.

And then, after lots of hard work, time spent away from their families and risking their futures, they had a hit, a chance to grow the dream they had nurtured for so long.

That is the definition of the American Dream -- the goal many of us say we are pursuing.

But now it seems that we have forgotten as a nation that there are people who have "made it" who sacrificed mightily for their dream -- and continue to work hard to not only care for their families, but to keep the doors of their businesses open.

The spoils they enjoy now are the fruit of labor and industry, not a gift or money they took from someone else -- and many of them are not rich, investing back into the businesses they have created.

Just as there are wrongdoers in life, there are some businesspeople who are crooks. Those are the ones who should be targeted -- and punished. They deserve the sanctions they will receive. But there are many others who are simply hard-working people who have fought for their American Dream.

And we need them.

Entrepreneurs create jobs. They invest their time, money and energy into ideas that later become corporations or small businesses that are the backbone of this nation. They employ millions -- and when the health of their enterprises is threatened, layoffs and lost jobs result. It really is that simple.

There are not many people who believe enough in their dreams to invest everything they have -- and to risk losing it all.

The day when there are no longer people willing to take that chance -- or if we allow policies to be put into place that make that risk too great -- there will be no more innovation, no more chances and fewer jobs.

America was built by people who believed that hard work and determination would be rewarded with security and success.

Now is not the time to forget that dream.

Published in Editorials on March 21, 2009 11:39 PM