Thursday, January 15, 2009

The economy is our responsibility

From the 19 January 2009 Greater Niagara Newspapers

By Bob Confer

With the economy going from bad to worse and so many questions and fears looming over our heads, most Americans have been waiting with bated breath for the Obama Administration and Congress to make things – good things - happen in our economy.

It is wrong, if not un-American, for our citizens to place such quasi-religious faith in our elected officials. Those of the political class are not the saviors of our great nation. They were never intended to be. And they never will be.

They are not to have some God-like status in our eyes. No, they are intended to be at par with us. Ours is a government by the people and for the people. And, that is exactly what our economy must be, too. It is we the people who are supposed to be the determinants of what our United States and their economy are to be and what it will finally become. We were bestowed with the personal liberty to strive for - and achieve - the comforts of life as we saw fit. From that, each and every one of us has the ultimate responsibility for the preservation and betterment of ourselves and our families.

It is that duty, that desire, to better our lives and those of our heirs that truly drives the economy, for if you piece together each of those varied and completely unique American Dreams, we as a collective society have needs and wants that are nearly limitless. But, it should never be the collective as one to address those desires. It is the collective as many who, all working in their own singular ways, that makes the marketplace what it is, consistently improving the standard of living for not only our own families, but for all families here and abroad.

By law, those fashioned by both Man and Nature, it is not supposed to be the government’s intrusive and controlling hand that decides what those material and emotional possessions are and who is worthy of them. It is, instead, the obligation of all men and women to themselves and to society at large to find and earn their own Heaven on Earth, to not to have it unworthily given to them based on someone else’s perverse version of what that Heaven may be. This natural right to life’s gifts, one realized only by self-responsibility, was highlighted in the Declaration of Independence by our forefathers who forged the greatest nation in history by declaring that ”…men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Thus, if we truly want to end the economic malaise that befell us, the onus is on you, me and all those around us. It is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. It is the individual who assumes the entrepreneurial gamble of running a small business. It is the individual who builds things with his hands and improves them with his mind. It is the individual who makes choices in the marketplace, deciding what products and services fail and which of them succeed. It is the individual who makes decisions on her savings and her retirement. It is the individual who manages his home and his property and the risk associated with it. It is the individual who earns money and spends money, she making all the choices necessary to make for her the life she wants.

When you add up all of that, it is obvious it is you and me who make the economy what it is. Millions of us working together and even working against one another in a free and constructive capitalist environment are what makes the world go ‘round.

So, don’t be fooled by the rhetoric of our governing bodies when they press forward with bailouts, stimulus packages and intervention. Government doesn’t have the power or the right to do that. You must understand - and very well at that – that it will only be, and can only be, each of us who brings us out of the recession. We cannot wait for the government to “do something.” We must buy, sell, invest and hold credit under our own intent. Accept this charge and press forward, because the economy and our destiny are ours to control.

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