Two thoughts crossed my mind when I first learned that drillers had succeeded in completing an escape tunnel for the 33 men who were trapped in a Chilean mine. First, I felt joy for the men and their families. And then I thought about the equipment that was used in the process. According to CNN World, Brandon Fisher and a small group from his Pennsylvania based company were responsible for drilling through more than 2,200 feet of solid rock. His small business, Center Rock, which is located in a town of 2,100 people produced the drill bit which was instrumental in breaking through to the trapped miners.
If there was ever a prototypical millionaire next door type business it would be the design and manufacturing of proprietary drill bits coupled with high priority drilling services. Up until now, most people in this country have never heard of Brandon Fisher or Center Rock. That is because they don’t read the trade journals which are designed for people in the drilling business, i.e. National Driller, Water Well Journal , etc.
Most people are consumption oriented; they read periodicals which contain advertisements for consumer products. In fact about two-thrids of our economy is based on the ultimate consumers’ market. However, those business owners in the industrial sector are three times more likely to be “the millionaire next door” types than those who are in the consumer market.
I also have to wonder about the source of Mr. Fisher’s diesel engines that were used to power his drilling rig. Could it be that he purchased them from one of the blue collar millionaires whom I included in The Millionaire Next Door (remember “big hat no cattle”, see p. 8)? He owns and operates one of the world’s largest diesel rebuilding companies in the world. I found this millionaire featured in Rock and Dirt magazine, and it was well worth my trip to Texas to interview him. I recall vividly his words,”You see those engines stacked outside? They are all prepaid for; those over there are going to Australia, those over there are going by air to a mining operation in New Zealand.”
Where would this country be without these types of blue collar business owners? They employ tens of millions of American workers. Many of these business owners are wealthy. But it is unconscionable for politicians and columnists to call these people “the evil rich.” If they are evil, then give me more. And give us all less government regulation and related impediments to free enterprise.