LITTLE COMPTON, R.I. (AP) -- Gray's Store in Adamsville village brought in customers for years with its old-fashioned marble soda fountain, cigar and tobacco cases, and Rhode Island johnny cakes.
The 224-year-old business may be the oldest operating general store in America, although others have staked similar claims. The Rhode Island store near the Massachusetts line opened in 1788. Now owners say this year is its last.
This store opened its doors one year after the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified and America became one nation, and one year before thew First Congress convened. At that time, there was no real government to speak of, nor any income taxes, nor millions of government regulations etc. Yet, the business started and thrived. Thrived for 224 years!
At the time of its inception, government provided NOTHING for businesses. Roads and bridges were built by the people in each community, working together to survive. They provided for themselves. And the businesses generally financed it.
Kinda tosses Obama's assertion the "you didn't build that" right out the ol' window, eh? Yes, we now have government, and it does provide infrastructure. But that is for EVERYONE to use. But the point is that businesses don't absolutely NEED it to be provided by government. And for every thing government provides, it also regulates so heavily as to outweigh any benefit.
The very nature of an entrepreneur is what builds a business - an entrepreneur would build a successful business no matter what, with or without government, as was done by the founder of Gray's Store. And if not for the stifling effect of government regulations and excessive taxes, even more businesses would be built, and would thrive.
For example, are you aware there are over 8000 pages of regulations just to borrow money from a bank? Or that the average small business with employees, just starting out, is subject to more than 15,000 regulations from the EPA, Labor Department and a myriad of other government agencies - federal, state and local? Who in their right mind would go through all that today? It's so much easier to just collect food stamps.
Gray's Store will be dearly missed. An important piece of America has passed away. And the entrepreneurial spirit that founded it and kept it going for 224 years is also dying, stifled and battered the the very government that was foun ded to protect and preserve it.