“Look, if you’ve gotten a doctoral degree, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own,” Obama repeated.
“I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life who taught you to read and write. There was a great professor who spurred your curiosity. Somebody helped to create this American education system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in libraries and university buildings. If you’ve got a Ph.D. or Ed.D. or the like, you didn’t make that. Somebody else made that happen.”
NB: This is NOT what Obama actually said but simply my application of his speech to an area other than business (and applicable to the President himself since he has a J.D.) Please see http://didntbuildthat.com/ for some hilarious memes with the “you didn’t build that” motif.