Tag Archives: Private enterprise

Individual enterprise is smarter than government!

I have recieved the specimens of straw-plaiting which you were so kind as to inclose & …the possibility that you may establish the manufacture in some of the states. but the distribution of powers by our general [US] & state constitutions has placed in the general government no authority to embark in or to encourage … state governments can do it; but they generally leave them to individual enterprize, trusting that the sagacity of private interest will generally discover those pursuits which may be entered on to advantage.
To George White, August 18, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Smart leaders know who knows best.
White’s wife had perfected a process for braiding straw that in turn would be used to make straw hats. That product was imported from England, and White asked the President’s patronage for establishing an American manufacture. White thought it could pay its own way once operational.

Jefferson declined any help because the U.S. Constitution made no provision for it. Always a proponent for American made goods, he deferred to state action. Even so, states usually deferred to private individuals. Why? Because the wise businessman was far better able to determine economic feasibility than any government ever could.

“Our members were very pleased,
and we are still hearing positive comments and rave reviews.”
Associate Director, Oregon School Boards Association
Your audience will thank you for bringing Thomas Jefferson.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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What is best for private enterprise?

Agriculture, manufactures, commerce & navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprize. protection from casual embarrasments however may sometimes be seasonably interposed. if, in the course of your observations or enquiries, they should appear to need any aid, within the limits of our constitutional powers, your sense of their importance is a sufficient assurance they will occupy your attention.
First Annual (State of the Union) Address, November 27, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Smart leaders know when hands-off is best!
Farming, making things, selling things and shipping comprised the foundation of America’s prosperity. Those businesses thrived at their very best when left to “individual enterprize,” in other words, free from government interference.

Still, there may be times when limited government aid was helpful. Since this address was to the Congress, he invited their aid from time to time, as they saw fit, provided it was “within the limits of our constitutional powers.” In this instance, those powers were limited to promoting commerce and mediating interstate disputes. Beyond that, businesspeople did not need or benefit from Congressional interference.

“After seeing you perform several years ago,
I did not expect you could improve much on your character.
However, I have to say your program has gotten even better with age!
Missouri Department of Conservation
Thomas Jefferson does get better with age. See for yourself!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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A big job in government? Fugeddaboutit!

Our public oeconomy also is such as to offer drudgery and subsistence only to those entrusted with its administration, a wise & necessary precaution against the degeneracy of the public servants. In our private pursuits it is a great advantage that every honest employment is deemed honorable.
To Jean Nicholas Demeunier, April 29, 1795

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Enterprising leaders should look to the private sector.
Demeunier was a French writer and public official who emigrated to America to avoid the bloodshed sweeping France. He was living in New York and wrote to Jefferson inquiring about employment possibilities. Though Jefferson demurred, saying he was too far away and too unfamiliar to be of much help, he offered some observations about work in America.

1. Top government jobs paid a bare minimum and offered plenty of drudgery. This was both “wise & necessary.” It kept capable people from making a career of public employment, both to their detriment and the government’s.
Demeunier had been part of the King’s court in France and had a very privileged life. Jefferson discouraged him from thinking a similar position here held any value or status.

2. Just the opposite of public employment, the sky was the limit in private enterprise. All honest work in America was “deemed honorable.” This “great advantage” was as available to the immigrant Demeunier as it was to any other resident of any status.

“Best wishes for continued success with your outstanding presentations
to audiences across our great land.”

Indiana Telecommunications Association
Your audience will find Mr. Jefferson outstanding, too!
Invite him to speak. Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739
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