Today marks the passing of David Rockefeller, the famed philanthropist and banker, who with his brothers inherited a financial empire unlike anything the world has ever known. His grandfather was Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller who amassed a fortune of $340 billion, or roughly four times the wealth of Bill Gates in today’s dollars. The Rockefeller story is one that will never be forgotten but unlike grandson David, John D. Rockefeller’s story is different. Not only was John D. Rockefeller smart, he was at the right place at the right time. He wasn’t born into wealth.
A lot can be said about David Rockefeller and much of it is not so flattering. His philanthropy work focused on the arts and environmental conservation. Many conspiracy theorists believed he was really a satanic figure who believed in eugenics and the New World Order. Others believe he was a victim of the family name who was given a very meager weekly allowance as a child, and was taught by his father that a portion of that allowance must go to charity and his savings account. He was taught very early what a great responsibility it is to manage wealth, and how to create more wealth.
Capitalism today is looked at very differently than it was 150 years ago. Many people today believe no one should have the right to accumulate that much wealth, and that it must be shared with the state instead of being controlled privately. When a baseball player signs a $200 million dollar contract most people don’t have a problem with it. When a businessman creates that kind of wealth they are considered greedy or crooked. David Rockefeller once said, “American capitalism has brought more benefits to more people than any other system in any part of the world at any time in history, the problem is to see that the system is run as efficiently and as honestly as it can be.” Our company, Midwest Bullion Exchange, Inc. was founded on the morals and principles of capitalism in its finest form.
Like the game of baseball, the business world is highly competitive. Most of the time the success or lack thereof is determined at a very young age whether you play first base for the Minnesota Twins or run a large Wall Street corporation. The old saying, the harder you work the luckier you get, must also include being smart, highly motivated and in the right place at the right time. Many of the wealthiest people the world has ever known started from nothing. After the wealth is created it is not for the government to decide where that wealth should go, but only by the person who earned it. The United States tax code makes certain that those who make large sums of money pay large sums of taxes. (Unless you’re Bernie Sanders of course!)
The avowed socialist former President Barack Obama stated, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Never before has capitalism been under attack more than when the President chose to make that statement. I heard today the Obamas are being paid $60 million for the rights to their book. Does anyone have a problem with that? The cost of the roads we drive on to get to the opportunities we choose in life should not be entirely the burden of those who choose to create great amounts of wealth for themselves. In the end the choice is yours, you can sit on the couch and play XBOX 360, or you can get off of the couch and create the NEXT XBOX 360…that is what makes our country so great because it’s your choice. We are free to make that decision and free to create wealth, or not. Long live the entrepreneur who has a dream, and the capitalist who sees an opportunity. Goodnight Mr. Rockefeller!