Obama says, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” Oh, really, President Obama? Please allow me to introduce you to my Northwoods Pinecone Store, a small business that I built myself, the American way.
I started out alone on a hill, naked and adult. I was raised to adulthood by my parents, yes, but I’m going to ask you not to hold that against me because I was a mere child and had no say in the matter. As soon as I possibly could, I ran away from home and supported myself by singing “Yankee Doodle” on Georgetown street corners. I had absolutely no help from anyone. Finally I saved enough money to buy this 10×10 foot patch of land in northern Minnesota, and I set out to build my own small business.
I didn’t use any tools, because tools are produced by corporations that have lazily taken governmental subsidies and benefited from federal regulations and inspections—not to mention using banks that have been bailed out by the federal government. I didn’t want to sully my business with any of those social supports, so I assembled a small sales counter out of twigs and stones.
I sheltered myself with thatch, and subsisted on squirrels I caught with my teeth. I know what you’re thinking and, no, these are not squirrels that have been fed by tourists! They were lean and gamey, like squirrels that have had to subsist for themselves. Pure, independent squirrels, as I am a pure, independent human.
My stock in trade is pinecones: pinecones dropped from my trees growing on my land. No one helps me to gather the pinecones. I employ no union labor, nor any other form of labor. I pay no taxes, for I trade in no money. All my pinecones are exchanged for barter…but not just any barter. I don’t want to sully my gullet with FDA-regulated food or tarnish my birchbark pockets with government-printed currency, so I accept only the unprocessed natural products of my fellow Americans’ independent labor. So far, that’s meant trading for pinecones, a welcome diversification of my stock.
When the squirrels came for my pinecones as I slept, did I rely on privately provided insurance or, God forbid, FEMA relief? No, I did not! I gathered pinecones anew, like the resourceful American I am. I had to climb into a tree to procure certain choice cones; I accidentally fell out of the tree and broke my ankle, but since I’ve pledged not to accept the assistance of any doctors demanding government currency, I had to rely on the attentions of a local man who’s watched every episode of E.R. For an easily provided sexual favor, he bound my ankle.
The ankle healed improperly and I’m now forced to crawl or hop about my business, but as I shout my daily special from the hillside—I’ll trade two little pinecones for one big one, or all my pinecones for a game animal you’ve caught with your bare hands—I can take pride in knowing that I can look down on my little pinecone store and say yes, I built that.