Friday, March 13, 2009


By : Mr. D. Albert Ludlow, M.B.A, M.S.; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Wellman Pharmaceutical Solutions Co., Inc., a Fortune 500 Company

Private enterprise means prosperity for all. Our free market system rewards the strong and passes their hard work on to everyone else. Although we believe in democratic ideals and equality, we do not believe that everyone should possess equal advantages in this country. There are owners and there are renters. There are debtors and there are creditors. There are payors and there are payees. The playing field is not exactly equal. And there is nothing wrong with that. After all, no one would work hard if the goal were merely to be “equal” to everyone else. In the free market, men work in order to become unequal. Why toil harder if you reap no special reward for your efforts?

For over two centuries, the United States has thrived as a free market economy. True, our economy has endured difficult times. But we have always prevailed because we retained our essential free market identity. Even after the government began regulating private markets in the 1930s, our free enterprise system has remained largely intact. Individuals and private corporations still own the essential means of production and distribution in our economy. Individuals and private corporations still provide most professional services. And individuals and private corporations still compete with one another to guarantee the best quality and lowest prices for the buying public. All the while, individuals retain their incentive to work hard and advance, because they know that our system will reward them for beneficial activity.

Things changed in 2008. During a seasonal economic downturn, Americans lost their nerve. Due to failures in the banking, securities and housing markets, Americans began clamoring for increased government regulation. In a dramatic move, they elected Barack Hussein Obama, a radical black man determined to bring “change we can believe in.” Now, he threatens to undermine our free market system with crippling government intervention. He threatens to buy out struggling banks and impose oversight on all the others. In essence, he intends to reduce our economy to State control. The American people blindly play along. Obama says he means no harm to the free market. We are not fooled; we see the danger. We will not let Obama succeed.

Our free market system follows a cyclical pattern. There are good times and bad times. Private enterprise responds to supply, demand and world market pressures. Inevitably, these variables at times combine to depress economic activity. If there is not as much oil one month, oil prices will increase. If there are too many lawyers, lawyers will have a hard time finding work. If companies do not have enough money to maintain healthy returns for their investors, they will not hire more employees. Private enterprise answers immediate needs; and needs are not always immediate. To that extent, our system necessarily ebbs and flows. We have always weathered the hard times. In 2008, we encountered another hard time. Yet unlike past recessions, this time Americans lost their nerve. Rather than trust private enterprise to bring America through the storm, they elected a President who wishes to scrap the entire system. Americans said they do not want the recession/boom cycle any longer. This was a grave error. And President Obama has no idea what he is doing—or whom he is crossing.

President Obama believes he can just waltz into Congress and pass massive initiatives that take power away from private enterprise. He thinks he can subject major companies to oversight and control their day-to-day affairs. He thinks he can cap salaries and seize our property at will. He thinks he can redistribute our products to people who cannot pay for them. He thinks he can entice us with government funds. He is wrong on all counts. President Obama will not regulate us. He will not force us to comply with horrific paperwork requirements. He will not force us to pay more taxes or cede our products without compensation. He will not force us to pay our workers more or provide them with costly health insurance. And he will never seize our facilities. We know what’s coming: Interventionist Socialism. We will never cooperate. We will never surrender.

President Obama, we are Private Enterprise United for a Military Response to Obama Era Regulations. United we stand. We say this: “You can regulate us—but you’ll have to kill us first.”

For too long, government has enjoyed a monopoly on military power. Yet private enterprise provides the wealth that sustains government. Without private enterprise, there would be no factories to build bombers, tanks or rifles. Without private enterprise, there would be no nifty body armor, helmets or even uniforms for the troops. The government buys all these things from private businesses. Every piece of every Abrams tank comes from a private contractor. Do you think private contractors are going to sit down and be regulated? Certainly not. Private enterprise will unite to stop Obama’s tyranny. We have the wealth. We have the money. To build an effective army, all you need is money. And with an effective army, no one can tell you to do anything. They can try, but they won’t get away with it without a fight.

We intend to establish private armies to resist Obama’s tyranny. For example, the pharmaceutical industry will pool its resources to purchase attack helicopters, anti-tank rockets and Bradley fighting vehicles to protect its operations. We have enough money to buy military equipment at market prices. And we have enough money to lure trained military men away from the United States Armed Forces. If a Master Sergeant earns $1,000 weekly in the Army, we will offer $4,000. If a Captain earns $1,100 weekly in the Army, we will offer $6,500. This is legitimate business competition. We are confident that Army personnel will make reasonable economic judgments and fight for us. Once we raise our private armies, we will welcome President Obama’s efforts to inspect our premises and take our land. We will welcome the President’s efforts to tax us. Go ahead and raise taxes. We will not pay. Come and collect: And you had better bring a few regiments of infantry with you, because we are not budging. This is war.

Industry should be allowed to purchase anything it wishes. If a business can afford an F-16 fighter, it should be allowed to buy it. If a business can afford a squadron, it should be allowed to buy it. We refuse to submit to governmental regulations concerning what we can and cannot buy. This is pure meddling. If a person can afford something, he should be allowed to pay market price for it. In the free market, reasonable men should be allowed to bargain for whatever they wish. Yet Obama presumes to interfere with our judgment and steal our property. He presumes to prevent willing buyers from bargaining with willing sellers. He presumes to modify our contracts and tax our sales. Worse, he spends the money he steals from us to pay for free health care and food stamps. We could have used that money for capital investment, job creation and year-end bonuses. But Obama snatched it and used it for Medicaid. That is not free market sense. That is socialist lunacy.

We have a simple message for the President: If you want to reform the free market, you will have to fight us for it. In the past, we grudgingly acceded to new government regulations in particular markets. But this is getting out of hand. Government-owned banks? Burdensome filing requirements? Oversight and accountability requirements for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, car manufacturers and utilities? Whatever happened to private autonomy? Obama seems to think that we cannot be trusted to protect the people. He can think what he wants; now let’s see him try to impose his new regulations. When the IRS man comes calling, our private army will block the doors. If the IRS man tries to arrest a company officer for tax evasion, we will order our troops to open fire. We are confident that the U.S. Army will not follow the President’s orders. After all, virtually every trained soldier will have found better employment opportunities in our private armies. Private enterprise always finds a way. And it will not accept commercial indignities any longer.

Some say that the U.S. Armed Forces will not respond to our employment offers. They say that some soldiers love their country and would prefer to fight for honor than higher pay. True, there are probably soldiers and officers in our Armed Forces who genuinely love the idea of national service. But we believe there are more soldiers and officers who love money. In that light, if the Armed Forces ever came into conflict with our private armies, we are confident that our armies would win, because people who love money outnumber those who love their country. Furthermore, arms contractors will more willingly do business with us, because we will pay more competitively than government buyers. With time, we will own all the military hardware; the government will be stuck driving yesterday’s models. To that extent, let Obama think that he can outgun us. He is wrong: We will outgun him.

This may all sound belligerent. Although we are determined to resist Obama’s regulations by military means, private enterprise does not want war. We want peace. Peace guarantees orderly commerce and healthy profits for all. Peace guarantees safe transit for goods and a safe environment for professional services. Consumers need peace in order to shop; no one can purchase beachfront property or a new television when bullets fly and bombs fall. As private businesses, we just want to do business as usual. We want a stable environment in which to develop and market our products. We want the opportunity to provide consumers with the best possible value for their money. And we want to be able to live the American dream. We want our hard work to matter again. We want to enjoy our money, go on vacation and buy condominiums for our children. We are sick and tired of government’s greedy hands rifling through our just rewards. To achieve these goals, we must resist force with force. While we shrink from military action, we believe it is the only way to stop Obama’s socialist regulations.

You should care about this issue because it affects you. You don’t want government bureaucrats telling you how much money you can earn, do you? You don’t want government bureaucrats deciding which doctor you can see, do you? You don’t want to pay higher prices for prescription medications, do you? Well, this is what will happen if you allow Obama to regulate us. The free market needs you. Think about the free market; it gives you everything you want. It lets you be the person you want to be. It treats you fair. It lets you keep your money and buy what you want. Yet if you allow the government to tie our hands and raise our costs through meddlesome oversight, taxes and regulations, you will make it impossible for us to sell you all the things you need.

Support us. Support private armies. It is the only way to equip private enterprise against marauding socialist incursions. Government will be hesitant to interfere with us if they know we can effectively resist their efforts. Government only wins when it feels confident that it can force its will upon us through arms. But we can undermine that confidence by taking up arms ourselves. This is not a revolt; this is self-defense. We are defending our way of life. In fact, we are resisting a revolution in government. We do not tolerate free lunches in this country, nor do we tolerate efforts to poison the spirit of work. It is time to end the madness. We will take up arms to protect our right to bargain without fear or paperwork requirements. We will take up arms to protect our right to sell stock without telling the government about it. We will take up arms to hire and fire as we please. And we will take up arms to save our money from Obama’s rapacious redistributionists. Believe us: You will thank us for it. After all, we have your best interests at heart.

If you are an able-bodied man or woman and you need a job, join up. We need troops in our private armies. Fight for something higher than national pride. Fight for free enterprise; and make more money in the process. Even buck privates in Wellman Pharmaceuticals’ Army make $50,000 a year with no college degree. We supply training, equipment, good clothing, outstanding benefits and a purpose. Forget about patriotism; think about yourself for once.

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