Video: The freedom to succeed

posted at 1:01 pm on October 13, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

We’ve all been lectured ad nauseum about the evils of money in politics and how it “distorts” our elections. Leaving aside direct contributions to campaigns (which are still closely tracked, limited, and available to the public) one of the big targets is the unlimited money which gets funneled into Super PACs, in some cases with less clear connections as to who is donating to which campaign. But what about when wealthier individuals decide to take to their airwaves with their opinions, completely open about who they are and paying for it on their own dime? That’s a bit more unusual, but it’s exactly what I saw when a commercial came up on CNN this weekend.

The ad began like so many others, with one individual facing the camera and talking about a campaign issue. I kept waiting for the inevitable picture of either Romney or Obama saying they approved the message, but it never came. What I saw instead was one man, Thomas Peterffy, talking about his experience as an immigrant to this nation and how he achieved the American dream. He also spoke about his fears for what might happen to that dream if the government discourages stories like his. Take a look for yourself.

I grew up in a socialist country. And I have seen what that does to people. There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement. The nation became poorer and poorer. And that’s what I see happening here.

As a young boy I was fantasizing about one day going to America… Making a success of myself.. The American Dream.

America’s wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success. Take away their incentive with badmouthing success and you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy. Yes, in socialism the rich will be poorer. But the poor will also be poorer. People will lose interest in really working hard and creating jobs. I think this is a very slippery slope. It seems like people don’t learn from the past. That’s why I’m voting Republican and putting this ad on television.

I am Thomas Peterffy and I am responsible for the content of this advertising.

That’s some pretty powerful stuff… particularly the final line which carries a much bigger message than the pro forma, requisite canned message from candidates on paid campaign ads. It’s his name. His face. And he takes responsibility.

For the record, Mr. Peterffy is no longer a poor immigrant. He’s listed at number 77 on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth in excess of $4.8B. But he was born in socialist run Budapest. He didn’t even speak English when he came to America, but rose up to a position of great advantage and influence. So… should he be barred from spending his own money to produce and air his own message simply because it relates to the election? And couldn’t any group of like minded people do the same thing to counter him if they were truly motivated to do so?

I don’t know about you, but by the time these campaigns reach the final weeks I’m pretty sick of being blasted with political ads on TV all day and all night. I can only imagine how bad it is for the residents of Ohio, Florida and Virginia. But when I saw this one, I paused and paid attention. There’s more here than some sort of partisan party loyalty and big bucks trying to “buy an election.” Maybe more people on both sides should take the risk and put themselves out there like this. Perhaps more people would listen. I know I would.


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Loved this video. Please everyone watch and see what a real American sounds like.

hawkdriver on October 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

*knock,knock,knock* “Mr. Peterffy? This is the IRS and we would like to speak with you.”

ThePrez on October 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

God Bless this fine man. “Patriot” only begins to describe him. I wish more of the self-made billionaires and multi-millionaires would follow suit.

TXUS on October 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Yes, in socialism the rich will be poorer. But the poor will also be poorer.

It’s really that simple. The policies being advanced by the current President attack the so-called rich and attempt to make them poorer. That’s the engine of trickle-down government. Trouble is, it can’t make it up the hill. Any hill.

EconomicNeocon on October 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Thank you Mr. Peterffy for doing this ad. American’s need to hear from people who came to America for their dream, to be free and successful.

Under bho/team that dream is dangerously close to not being a dream any longer.

I, for one, don’t want to end up like the country Mr. Peterffy, or others like him, came from.
L

letget on October 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Anti-Soros

I love that the Producers are revolting.

If Obama wins they should buy a country, a la Gulch in Atlas Shrugged, but in a bigger way.

Always, always starve the looters.

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 1:16 PM

If capitalism is the inequitable distribution of wealth, socialism is the equitable distribution of poverty.

JohnGalt23 on October 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM

In the meanwhile Obama and his idiots are trying to save very rich Big Bird.

“We are truly plucked” — Mark Levin

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I am Thomas Peterffy and I am responsible for the content of this advertising.

God Bless you Mr Peterffy, god bless you indeed…

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Yes, in socialism the rich will be poorer. But the poor will also be poorer. People will lose interest in really working hard and creating jobs.

Incredibly powerful ad. What a true American hero.

And he is 100%, absolutely correct.

I know from personal experience from my time in Europe, I’ve seen for myself how ugly living in socialist “Utopias” really is. My heart goes out to those people too stupid to understand this mans point. To those who do understand, but just don’t care because they are willing to live a substandard existence, and want to force the rest of society to do the same (Occupy Dung Street idiots, I’m talking directly to you) – it would be my preference to ship you off to an uninhabitable planet, or a Muslim country. Your choice.

Thank you Mr. Peterffy. You are a true American.

KMC1 on October 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I was in SF a year ago almost to the day and on a cab drive back to the hotel after dinner, the driver told my wife and I how much he loved America, how much hope the country offered for his young wife and newborn son.

The next day my wife and I were on a bus ride back to the hotel that was filled with OWS protesters, loudly discussing the evils of America, what they were owed- etc.

The cab driver was an African immigrant from Eritrea, the OWS’s crowd were slovenly dressed white trash types.

I admire the one for his hope and the others, well unprintable

The Amercian dream is there for anyone, you just have to want it.

theblacksheepwasright on October 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM

That’s what I believe in. Maybe we should have a debate between this guy and George Soros and then decide what sort of system we want to live under. At least this guy believes in the system that got him where he is, George Soros, on the other had, believes in circumventing the system that got him where he is so he can control events, or at least he believes he can. \

Just think about the liberal causes Soros could have advanced, had he used the money he wastes on Media Matters and all these other liberal propaganda organizations, for more noble ventures?

bflat879 on October 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Thanks for putting this up! My Dad came from Eastern Europe and pretty much described what Mr. Peterffy described so well. The work ethic and love of America followed me throughout my life.

We need more people doing what Mr. Peterffy did!

Well done

CoffeeLover on October 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

It always amazes me when immigrants display more love for this country and its founding principles than many of our own home grown citizens.

Cleombrotus on October 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

i have many friends from former eastern bloc countries and from the former soviet union. every single one of them without exception recognizes obama for what he is and has always been- someone who wants autocratic, tyrannical ‘socialism’ not a democracy. without exception they recognize government intrusion in our personal lives as something extremely dangerous to liberty and the common good- the wealth, safety and privacy of every one.

anyone who had to live under a socialist dictatorship- who had to escape from one-knows it when they see it creeping into their lives.

putting a black face on ‘red fascism’ is all it took for guilty white americans in particular to lap up tyranny as if it was some impossibly irresistible exquisite delicacy. being swept up first time around is one thing. you’re still an ignorant slut but its more understandable. he’s siccing police drones on you- and nary a peep? stepford voters-are you drugged or just brainwashed?

i can no longer make excuses for anyone who admits they’re voting for barry again. you’re ignorant fing freedom hating morons. you deserve the gulag for voting for him and potentially voiding for the rest of us who believe in the constitution and bill of rights our representative free republic.( and trust me the likes of barry would have no problem putting you on ice in an arctic work camp if it suits his purposes.)

mittens on October 13, 2012 at 1:36 PM

For the record, Mr. Peterffy is no longer a poor immigrant. He’s listed at number 77 on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth in excess of $4.8B.

Libfreefordeath and Gumball are probably salivating like Pavlov’s dogs over the thought of getting their share of that $4.8B.

How dare Mr. Peterffy become wealthy? Just who does he think he is?
- Leftie Thinking

I don’t know about you, but by the time these campaigns reach the final weeks I’m pretty sick of being blasted with political ads on TV all day and all night. I can only imagine how bad it is for the residents of Ohio, Florida and Virginia.

Day and night, we’re being bombarded with O-Pravda’s socialist propaganda. Fortunately, we don’t have cable or satellite, just local broadcasting. If it weren’t for my husband, I wouldn’t have the TV set turned on at all.

GrannyDee on October 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Americans need to see this to understand what awaits if we keep going down the path we are on.

I was fortunate to visit East Berlin in the 70′s as a young teen.

Going through Checkpoint Charlie was like the reverse of the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy comes out of her drab, black and white world into the colorful Land of Oz.

Jvette on October 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

OT: Oklahoma is just destoying Texas right now, 36-2, still in first half

ConservativePartyNow on October 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

There is a gentleman in Vegas who owns a hearing aid company who has been running radio ads for several years now that blast Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the dems in general.

Kent Davenport of Quality Hearing Aids, does them himself and at the end says, “I’m Kent Davenport and I approve this message.”

They really are entertaining and informative.

Jvette on October 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

The headline

The freedom to succeed

could be called wrong. In America the real freedom is the freedom to Fail and fail again until you do it right. It is a wonderful opportunity and has built this country.

BullShooterAsInElk on October 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Interesting how immigrants from socialist/communist countries like Thomas Peterffy and Ayn Rand come to America and see it’s greatness and opportunities.

On the other hand, pampered and coddled natives like Al Gore and Barack Obama become sniveling whiners about the system.

Lends creedence to the adage that adversity builds character.

MichaelGabriel on October 13, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I have been circulating the You Tube version of this for a few weeks now on a pass-a-long basis. Very effective.

pat on October 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

The Amercian dream is there for anyone, you just have to want it.

theblacksheepwasright on October 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I think perhaps you mean “The American dream is there for anyone, you just have to work for it.”

The cab driver from Eritrea understands that – the OWS on the bus – they’re the ones that want everything handed to them.

Hill60 on October 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

mind blowing, the antithesis of Soros, and they are both from Hungary. Maybe that old, disgusting puppet-master and manipulator should learn a lesson of basic honesty and humanity from this man. though I doubt it. when you live your life like a crook of planetary notoriety, you will always be that.

jimver on October 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

This is a great video. Thank you Mr. Peterffly for spending your hard earned money to make it.

TeleL on October 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

This ad was a brilliant teaching tool for my young children who were assigned to ask their parents who we are voting for and why.

We watched the video and I was able to explain Socialism versus Capitalism using his simple terms and the images in the commercial.

Then I used the analogy of “‘A’ students forced to give away their points to lazy students so everyone gets a ‘C’” and they were indignant at the concept.

We watched the ad a couple more times and my kids asked who the Republican was in the 2012 race and scurried off exclaiming “I hope Mitt Romney wins!”

BOOM

nitzsche on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Libfreefordeath and Gumball are probably salivating like Pavlov’s dogs over the thought of getting their share of that $4.8B.

Yes, that’s right, all those wealthy liberals in large cities are focused on increasing their government benifts.

On the other hand, pampered and coddled natives like Al Gore and Barack Obama become sniveling whiners about the system.

You buffoons are hilarious. The great entrepreneurs – capitalists in this country are moderate or left leaning. It’s only conservatives who are constantly whining about how the gov’ment is the excuse for their lack of success. Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Powerful

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

If capitalism is the inequitable distribution of wealth, socialism is the equitable distribution of poverty.

JohnGalt23 on October 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM

.
Now that makes a person “think”.

If people who believe in socialized government were confronted with that statement on a regular basis, it would start some of them thinking hard.

listens2glenn on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Can’t say for Google but the way Microsoft was found should be studied in Criminology class, not Economics. It’s a poster child for crony capitalism, intellectual theft, and legal thuggery.

Archivarix on October 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

you sound like a broken record.

jimver on October 13, 2012 at 2:37 PM

You buffoons are hilarious. The great entrepreneurs – capitalists in this country are moderate or left leaning. It’s only conservatives who are constantly whining about how the gov’ment is the excuse for their lack of success. Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

.
The only entrepreneurs who are on the left, are those trying to stomp the “up-and-comers” back down the ladder.

listens2glenn on October 13, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

But I don’t see the founders of those companies bad-mouthing capitalism. They worked hard for and earned what they achieved.

Barack Obama and Al Gore didn’t.

You can’t see the difference.

buffoon: a gross and usually ill-educated or stupid person

U.C. Berkeley grad here.
Try not to be so diminutive.

MichaelGabriel on October 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Yes, that’s right, all those wealthy liberals in large cities are focused on increasing their government benifts.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

wealthy liberals in big cities lol :-), I live in the burbs of a large Cali city, most of the lib erals here are the moochers, living on govt benefits. the tiny proportion of ‘wealthy liberals’ are just corrupt city or state or fed workers. so give me a break with the wealth of the liberals, it’s ridiculous, they made it on the back of government. and btw, they are not even that wealthy, there’s a limit to how much you can steal from the govt.

as for Space X, that’s hysterical, they can’t even put a satellite into its correct orbit. I’m sure even you heard about the Orbcomm satellite that fell back into the atmosphere and burned up, and that was declared a total loss. yet NASA continues to give contracts to these losers…way to go.

jimver on October 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

The revolt of the producers – Ayn Rand is proud.

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

as for Space X, that’s hysterical, they can’t even put a satellite into its correct orbit. I’m sure even you heard about the Orbcomm satellite

Yes, their second commercial launch and the second delivery vehicle fails to reach the target altitude- huge surprise. Rocket science is easy.

“Orbcomm understood from the beginning that the orbit-raising maneuver was tentative,” Nelson wrote. “They accepted that there was a high risk of their satellite remaining at the Dragon insertion orbit. SpaceX would not have agreed to fly their satellite otherwise, since this was not part of the core mission and there was a known, material risk of no altitude raise.”

However, SpaceX generally guarantees no cost overruns on its government contracts and it has won no shortage of enemies as a result.

NASA continues to give contracts to these losers

SpaceX will soon have more satellite launch contracts, primarily from foreign companies and governments, than any other space company in the world. It has applied the best of Japanese lean manufacturing processes with American agile R&D practices, enabling it to even beat the Chinese on price. The US is in dire need of more said ‘losers’ in other industries.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Excellent!

In one minute a man who lived in Obama’s father’s dream of Socialism/Marxism tells the hard truth about its failures and the greatness of America and it’s free market for the people.

RJL on October 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

operating within the environment of a Capitalist system that rewards such enterprises. But when the economic system is replaced by one entirely dependent on government restrictions and control. only those businesses that are subsidized by that government have a chance of succeeding.

We’ve seen what such economic systems produce for their citizenry and their economies.

No thanks.

Cleombrotus on October 13, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Great ad.

forest on October 13, 2012 at 3:24 PM

What we need is some freedom to FAIL.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 3:42 PM

I remember growing up being told by my family relatives “Democrats are for the poor, Republicans are for the rich”. My father was the only republican in the family, and he would tell me stories of how he grew up dirt poor, going to school with no socks or shoes to wear,he never complained the way he lived, and how he came to America to live the American Dream, and to not depend on gov. to give you things because its a setup to take your freedom away.

jaboba on October 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

If we don’t manage to pull our country back from the edge of the precipice people like this man will have nowhere to go to have the opportunity to work hard and make their dreams come true. God bless Mr. Peterffy for doing what he can to help.

cheetah2 on October 13, 2012 at 3:56 PM

…more and more of my American heroes seem to have accents…many of the generational Americans have no clue what has been incrementally disappearing for them in this country.

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Equality of destitution. Except for the Party.

AshleyTKing on October 13, 2012 at 4:23 PM

…more and more of my American heroes seem to have accents…many of the generational Americans have no clue what has been incrementally disappearing for them in this country.

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 4:10 PM

oh, you should hear my accent :-)

jimver on October 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Life, liberty and the PURSUIT of Happiness.

That phrase, especially the last part is something progressives don’t grasp… at all.

Yakko77 on October 13, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Rush played this on his show yesterday, and it was powerful in that venue, but with the visual…Cool Beans…

Chewy the Lab on October 13, 2012 at 4:58 PM

I’ve been debating opening up an Interactive Brokers account, debate over. I feel I can trust them more than ever.

xdwall on October 13, 2012 at 5:18 PM

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

You’re so full of your fallacious arguments…YOU HAVE NOTHING ELSE.

You must love the Chinese though.

Yes, that’s right, all those wealthy liberals in large cities are focused on increasing their government benifts.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

You and your love of corporate welfare…Hilarious.

CW on October 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Chief Justice Alex Kozinski told a very similar story at our school. It was extremely moving, even to the super-cool 17-18 year olds.

LASue on October 13, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Saw this on a local channel a couple of days ago hear in Ohio. Very powerful.

deptofredundancydept on October 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

This video makes me want to say God bless America, and God bless Mr. Peterffy. I mean both from the bottom of my heart.

Grace_is_sufficient on October 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

My grandparents were German Russian, so I grew up lisening to many stories of socialism in the Soviet Union. If young people ask me about it, I will tell them the stories I heard from my grandparents. If they don’t want to hear the stories, I simply say “You won’t like it.” For some reason, that usually gets their attention.

lea on October 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

This should be the subject of an HA thread:

More than 500 economists, 5 Nobel laureates back Romney’s economic strategy

The 526 economists — including Nobel laureates Gary Becker, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Myron Scholes — point to six facets of Romney’s economic approach that they see as beneficial to future economic success:

Reduce marginal tax rates on business and wage incomes and broaden the tax base to increase investment, jobs, and living standards;
End the exploding federal debt by controlling the growth of spending so federal spending does not exceed 20 percent of the economy;
Restructure regulation to end “too big to fail,” improve credit availability to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and increase regulatory accountability, and ensure that all regulations pass rigorous benefit-cost tests.
Improve our Social Security and Medicare programs by reducing their growth to sustainable levels, ensuring their viability over the long term, and protecting those in or near retirement;
Reform our healthcare system to harness market forces and thereby reduce costs and increase quality, empowering patients and doctors, rather than the federal bureaucracy;
Promote energy policies that increase domestic production, enlarge the use of all western hemisphere resources, encourage the use of new technologies, end wasteful subsidies, and rely more on market forces and less on government planners.

jimver on October 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM

You buffoons are hilarious. The great entrepreneurs – capitalists in this country are moderate or left leaning. It’s only conservatives who are constantly whining about how the gov’ment is the excuse for their lack of success. Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Full of shite.

hawkdriver on October 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM

suddenly companies lean directions according to the cannibal looter…

how bout that citizens united ruling, you Stalinist reprobate?

tom daschle concerned on October 13, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Life, liberty and the PURSUIT of Happiness.

That phrase, especially the last part is something progressives don’t grasp… at all.

Yakko77 on October 13, 2012 at 4:36 PM

No they don’t. They want to do what they think is best for all of us. But we want to do what we think is best for ourselves. Freedom.

magicbeans on October 13, 2012 at 9:32 PM

You buffoons are hilarious. The great entrepreneurs – capitalists in this country are moderate or left leaning. It’s only conservatives who are constantly whining about how the gov’ment is the excuse for their lack of success. Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Apple, and other great companies of the new economy were founded by left-leaning capitalists.

bayam on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Um…. You realize they did this inside a CAPITALIST country, right??

Care to point out some comparable examples of new economy stars started in SOCIALIST (or worse) countries, oh Legend In Your Own Mind??

Or does the very POINT Mr. Peterffy makes escape you completely???

KMC1 on October 13, 2012 at 9:38 PM

This ad was a brilliant teaching tool for my young children who were assigned to ask their parents who we are voting for and why.

nitzsche on October 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Teachers have no right to ask their students that question. None, under any circumstances, for any reason whatsoever. In a free country, which candidate you plan to vote for is nobody else’s business, period. That’s why free countries have secret – and secure – ballots.

Blacksmith on October 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Hardly a better example of truth in politics can be found than this man’s simple message.

And if the next Republican administration turns out to be sliding towards socialism as well, even if at a slower pace, I should expect Mr. Peterffy to make another ad putting them down as strongly.

Bayam,

It’s so sad, your attempts to seem able to grasp at concepts which are beyond crayon. Jobs, Gates, et. al. are indeed left-leaning individuals, and it’s too bad that their politics were informed by socialist instruction during their formative years. But their successes could not be had if they started tomorrow, under the current business environment. Their successes are 100% independent of government assistance or intrusion, as are all great business successes, and dependent purely upon the timing of their product/service and the demands of the market. In other words, only captialism can permit the creation of Microsoft or Google.

Find an example of a grand and globally successful business venture birthed under socialism. Take all the time you need. And oh, by the way, the charitable donations provided privately by individuals employed by those successful ventures outstrips all forms of government welfare combined. Capitalism is the most caring, charitable form of economy known to man.

But you just keep trying.

Freelancer on October 14, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Thank you, Mr. Peterfee for reminding us of how lucky we have been to be born Americans. Thank you, again, for reminding us how “American Exceptionalism” sets America apart from the rest of the world.

Lastly, Sir, THANK YOU for becoming an American! May YOUR example inspire more talented and creative individuals to come.

To ALL of them I say, WELCOME!

FloridaBill on October 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM

“Peterffy” – I apologize for the misspelling!

FloridaBill on October 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM