Jun 29, 2009

America's Greed is Its Newest Worst Enemy

What do the following stats say about the way we as Americans think and behave?

Keep in mind that the U.S. represents less than 5 percent of the world population.

- The U.S. employs over 70 percent of the world's lawyers.

- 94 percent of the world's lawsuits are filed right here in America.

- More than 100 Million lawsuits will be filed this year in the U.S.

- If you own a business, there's at least a 1 in 3 chance that you'll be sued this year. Many of these entrepreneurs will loose everything as a result.

America, the land of opportunity?

Or the land of complaining, the land of the entitlement mentality, the land of what's-in-it-for-me?

I believe we as a country have grown in our expectations of what should be, rather than accepting what is and choosing to progress. We look to the government, the federal reserve, and others to solve our problems, bail us out, and assist us in our quest to live in our bubbles of comfort and pretend realities.

Is government intervention necessary at times for the sake of the whole? Sure, of course.

But when the spirit of service and genuine goodwill towards man, or in other words, the true spirit of entrepreneurism and freedom are stripped from a nation, in place of laws, lawyers, and thick bureaucratic government regulations, it is in that moment that we as a nation have failed the very spirit that bought us our freedoms in the first place.

Abe Lincoln stated, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." And yet, our bailouts paid for by American tax dollars are going to assist the very institutions that deny freedom, the free market, and the small and medium sized companies that would otherwise be capable of challenging these bloated, freedom-sucking companies.

Unfortunately, many of the would be freedom-fighters of our country are fighting for an outdated model introduced by Adam Smith in which the "greed is good" philosophy first developed. Make no mistake, Capitalism served its purpose during the industrial age. But like Communism that fell at the dawn of the information age, Capitalism is now seeing it's own greed turn upon itself, and the unravelings are apparent and inevitable as we enter the age of wisdom.

Capitalism as we now know it, has failed and is failing.

Investments for gain, and ventures pursued for profit must be guided by internal values tied to principles such as service, humility, love, and faith in others.

Thomas Jefferson once said, "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories."

Turning control over to the government in our time of fear is simply prolonging the inevitable unraveling. We keep pushing our problems and the consequences of our bad choices out into the future - enslaving our children and grandchildren with burdens and debts that don't belong to them.

We continue to fight to preserve lifestyle at the expense of human life.

In our pursuits to preserve the status quo, consume beyond our means, and borrow rather than lend, we jeopardize our freedom, our oh-so very fragile freedom.

Another quote by a great leader of our nation, Ronald Reagan: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction...It must be fought for, protected..."

When does freedom most flourish - again, I like Reagan's answer: "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

Solutions to our problems?

  • Change from within.
  • Accountability to a higher power.
  • A new commitment to serve one another, forgive one another, love one another