It’s kind of funny, as lately I’ve been trying to figure out a path for growth for my various business dabblings, when I caught this on twitter this morning, and re-tweeted it. It should serve as a clarion call for anyone who believes in the basic concept of America as a country where you can achieve nearly any goal if you work hard enough and set your mind to it.
(Please don’t include the goal of a grown man wanting to be a 6 year old girl. That’s Canada.)
— AEI (@AEI) April 29, 2016
Wow. If that statistic does not scare you, it should. And we should start to seriously question what young adults are being taught. Because if they’re not embracing the culture which drove our country to become the most powerful nation our world has ever seen, then we’re in a lot of trouble. It introduces the specter of – hopefully not within my lifetime – there will be a point down the line where the US is reduced to basically becoming yet another European-like welfare state.
When did we stop teaching that capitalism is a force for national prosperity and the common good? It’s as if there’s a movement towards abandoning common sense and moving towards arbitrary and unsustainable economics, such as “everyone should be paid $15 an hour.”
When you see a majority of young adults literally abandoning capitalism, you have to wonder how they came to such a horrendous world view; that somehow the general welfare promised in the preamble of the Constitution is not general welfare, but a common welfare, where we as a society are responsible for everyone, regardless of the personal cost, and the individual’s input.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know many of us were taught at an early age that if we wanted something, that we should work for it. Whether that meant extra chores, or going to get a part time job, depended on our age. In early years for me, that meant slogging through my downtown paper route for the Capital Journal, come rain, shine, or slush. And not that long thereafter it meant working for the local auction company on Thursday nights moving furniture, or holding up items. I got paid based on how long and how hard I worked.
But beyond my own youthful ambitions of earning spending money, I learned at the knee of my mother’s own entrepreneurial drive to participate in capitalism. She started several businesses; including an antique shop & furniture restoration business for which I was often drafted for manual labor, and later an auction company which also pressed me into service.
For her, it was a way to provide extra income into our family of eight; to supplement her income as a school nurse and my father’s as a special agent for the FBI. She worked hard, and exceptionally long hours once she was home from school for the day. It wasn’t unusual for her to finally finish working around 10 PM or later, after which she’d finally take some “me” time for herself, and watch tv for an hour or so before going to bed.
The point is she openly embraced, and taught her children that nobody is going to hand you anything. If you want to earn a higher income, you’re going to have to put effort into it. You can make a good income off of an idea if you want, but if you start a business, you must take “ownership” of it’s success or failure. You’re going to have to work at it, and put long hours into it. In other words, If you want to make more, you start by putting in more to get more out.
Two weeks before she died from cancer, she was giving her all at her auction business with back to back Saturday/Sunday sales, because she believed in our system of capitalism. She was doing it because she loved her business, and she wanted it to produce a profit.
To read that a majority of young people reject capitalism just flies in the face of that. I know it’s not personal, but it is just offensive as a concept. It means that these young people rejecting capitalism have some odd pollyanish view of the world in that they should have an income, but it’s up to someone else to figure all the details out.
If it means they should have a job, it’s someone else’s responsibility to create it, and in some cities, they have to create it, and pay them at least $15 an hour, whether that’s shuffling papers, pouring coffee, or shoveling manure, regardless of the true value of the work to the employer. Or worse, if they can’t find one, or are unwilling to find one, then it’s up to society to furnish them with food & shelter on an indefinite basis.
It’s been used so often it’s seems to be patronizing, but Margaret Thatcher was quite accurate when she noted that “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Our system of capitalism might not be perfect, but it is far more of a sustainable model for growth than relying on taking from others because there comes a point where you can’t confiscate enough from the public to sustain a workable system.
The fact that an avowed socialist such as Bernie Sanders has proceeded as far as he has in this years’ presidential elections should give us all pause, and make us reassess what we teach our children in terms of life, our system of economics, and who is ultimately responsible for their status in this world.
We need them to understand that it’s up to each of us as individuals to take responsibility for ourselves, and for our success. Not someone else. And definitely not government.
And maybe we can start to change course on what seems to be a sure path to the decline of our nation.
“Capitalism has worked very well. Anyone who wants to move to North Korea is welcome.”
– Bill Gates