Amongst the barons, billionaires and multi-millionaires that fill the pages of today’s Forbes Magazine, one highly influential captain of industry has been overlooked. Whether you know him as H.E. Pennypacker, Dr. Martin Van Nostrand or The Lord of the Manor, the man we have come to know simply as Kramer deserves a spotlight in the business world.
America was founded on the ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and we hold firm to these values today. You have the freedom to vote, to choose and to speak out. The ability to live well, prosperously and create a family, and those are all fine and well but as a business man the third pillar of patriotism trumps them all.
I’m talking, of course, about the pursuit of happiness. The only thing more American than the right to actively chase after whatever might make you giggle like a school girl, would be if a bald eagle, dressed as Uncle Sam, swooped out of the sky carrying a six pack of Budweiser and then did a power jam of Born In The USA with Bruce Springsteen (but bald eagles are endangered so that’s a big maybe.) All of that being said nobody embodies the pursuit of happiness better than Mr. Cosmo Kramer.
Kramer is more than just Jerry’s strange neighbor with an irrational fear of clowns; he’s an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a venture capitalist, an investor and at the heart of it all: a business man. Kramer isn’t afraid to chase after what he enjoys in life, his passions, his interests and his ideas. Sure, some of his pursuits are a bit litigious, and maybe feeding Beef-a-reeno to Rusty the carriage horse was a bad move, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t try.
Oddly enough, Kramer embodies all the joys of being independent. He prides himself on a set of refined skills, a keen sense of resourcefulness and a generally open and social demeanor. These are tools that yes, sometimes may result in the accidental burning down of a historic log cabin or the illegal removal of lobster traps, but mostly, they result in a sense of joy and accomplishment with each step. As the leader, president, founder and namesake of Kramerica Industries, Cosmo was able to create a huge network of connections including Frank Costanzia, J. Peterman, David Puddy and Jackie Chiles, just to name a few. Drive and ambition, skillset and work ethic, along with this ever expanding network of customers allowed ideas such as the “make your own pie pizza chain” and the coffee table book about coffee tables (that was also a coffee table) to get off the ground and come to fruition.
Cosmo Kramer's focus is on pursuing success, answering needs, and garnering a profit. He comes to symbolize the many rewards that one can reap when they decide to be their own boss. Would you rather be sitting at a desk answering phones in a climate controlled and fluorescently lit office, or out on the beach nailing Titelists into the ocean? Or maybe at the diner noshing with your friends or maybe swimming laps in the East River? Okay, probably not that last one, but the fact of the matter remains that Cosmo Kramer defines what it means to be a business man, to be your own boss and to pursue what makes you happy - be it financial success, extra leisure time or all you can drink café lattes.
Who would have thought you could learn so much from a show about nothing?