Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs & The American Spirit, RIP

by L. J. Martin


I think it particularly poignant that we pause and celebrate the life and accomplishments of Steve Jobs, who was given up for adoption by his parents, who rose from humble beginnings to leave his company with five times the cash reserves of the U.S.A.

Now we have protestors all over America, and particularly on Wall Street complaining, whining, crying about the disparity between the rich and the poor.  America is, now more than ever, the land of opportunity.  During my lifetime I always found I did better in downturns, due to the fact others were busy crying in their beer, and I was working. Were those sticking their heads and signs up out of the George Soros sponsored crowd, sticking their head down and tail up, getting to work, they, too, might enjoy the kind of success and accomplishment that Jobs achieved.

However, you can’t join a union and expect great economic gain, you can’t become a teacher and expect to get rich, you can’t go to work for the government and expect to win big.  You can do those things and hope for some security, some retirement, a check at the end of every month…but you shouldn’t do that and decry the rich who’ve not done so, who’ve risk all many times, who have probably filed bankruptcy twice in their lives and lost everything, as I have.  That’s the average multi-millionaire in the U.S., in case you haven’t looked at the statistics.  Rather than picketing, those folks should be working, and spending their off hours working some more if they want to join those financially independent.

And in case you’ve wondered, risk and hard work are what made this country great.

A bit of history:

Collis Huntington, one of the big four who built the Central Pacific half of the Transcontinental Railroad, left NY to travel to the gold rush, landing in Panama and making the crossing on foot.  He had just over a hundred dollars left of his savings.  He found the steamer he was to take to California from Panama City to be a month late.  He could have lounged in the cantinas, played cards and bided his time, but no, he was Collis Huntington.  He packed a huge backpack with goods and made the crossing back and forth across Panama a half dozen times, selling supplies.  He left Panama city a month later with two thousand dollars.  That’s the American spirit, that’s what made America great.  Huntington and his partner Hopkins started a hardware store in Sacramento City, selling to hopeful gold miners, and when the time came, joined with Stanford (yes, the founder of the University), and Charles Crocker, and all risk all they had many times during the tenuous and at times terrible construction of the railway across the snow laden Sierra.  By the way, all four of the so-called “big four” started with little or nothing.

Later in the century, Leland Stanford, now incredibly successful, and his wife travelled to Harvard University, dressed modestly, and without disclosing the reason for their visit, made an appointment to see the president of America’s most prestigious university.  They were left waiting over an hour in his waiting room.  Unknown to the president this modest couple had come to bequeath a million dollars to Harvard.  They rightfully decided that Harvard wasn’t appreciative of their efforts, left, returned to California, and Stanford University was born.  The rich, particularly those who feel blessed by becoming so in this country of opportunity, often pay back, as did Leland Stanford.  Stanford University would not have been born had Stanford not risk all, had Stanford not become wealthy in America, had Stanford spent his time bemoaning his fate and picketing on Wall Street.

Huntington, Stanford, and yes, Steve Jobs exemplify the American spirit; that’s what made America the go to country in the world.  And that’s why I mourn the passing of an icon of the American spirit, Steve Jobs.

RIP Steve Jobs, and let’s pray that it’s not soon to be RIP the spirit that made America great.

L. J. Martin is the author of the conservative blog  He’s also the author of 27 published books and dozens of articles published in national periodicals.  He and his wife, an NYT bestselling author, are Montana residents. His many books can be found on Amazon in print and eBook, and on other internet sites.

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