Ok, it is the holidays in America, so we shop. And shop. This has been so for the longest time, and will not change. We live in a free society with lots of wealth and gadgets and WE LOVE IT. We also know the world, and the US, is filled with need. So Americans give a lot too, especially during the holidays. But I have a suggestion on how we can bridge the gap better for those who are really in need.
But WAIT!! This is not another column bemoaning how our capitalist system screws the poor, and this is not a column about how we need to be more socialist and do with so much less so others can live. Stay with me on this.
I’m going to come right out and say that it is capitalism and freedom itself that holds the power to bring prosperity and dignity to all people. Hey, can you hear the brains of academics and Hollywood leftists melting? Yeah, me too. It’s awesome. Now I’ll get back to being serious.
The only economic system capable of generating enough goods, services and wealth is a capitalist one. Free enterprise with the opportunity of growing one’s investment is the only way to get the best efforts and the best ideas to come forth. This has been the story of the modern (last several thousand years) human family, and remains so. An important result of such efforts is employment for those who are not investors/risk takers. This is how it works. And what is the key to all of this? Rich capitalists. (Take a breath and sit down if you need to)
When was the last time you worked for someone with less money than you? When was the last time a homeless man signed your paycheck? Did you get your car loan from a bank with no money? Get the picture? Having an understanding of how a growth economy actually works is key. If you do not get it after a basic and pretty decent explanation, there may not be hope for you. Go to the library and read a copy of The Nation that you did not pay for.
How does any of this deal with those in need Jason? Simple. We need a free and growing economy to reach maximum employment. This allows the maximum number of people to provide for themselves, thereby keeping “need” at a minimum. To achieve this, we need serious reform in how our government regulates and taxes the citizens and business as well. Also, we need to break the vast and growing dependence on the welfare state. This will lead to unrivaled prosperity and growth. And when America and her people are prosperous, they open their hearts and wallets more than ever.
But even at that point we need to step up our game. Charitable work and giving cannot be ad hoc. It cannot be just when the ‘holiday spirit’ hits us. It must be a part of our daily living, part of our value system. It must take many forms. Money. Time. Love. Effort. Donate to the shelter and volunteer there. You have a skill? Donate it to those in need. You are smart (I know this because you are reading this). You can see the limitless potential this has!
True, we need our entire society to get on board with this change of mindset if we are to be fully successful. But it will happen one person at a time, one family at a time. How about making 2012 the year that you recommit to getting your personal finances in order, saving a bit for a rainy day, and making a regular contribution of time, talent and treasure to a cause that helps real people, right in your community. This is where it will have the most impact, and will bring the greatest joy and blessing to your life.