Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education, tells us that we are our own worst enemy when it comes to fixing the Federal deficit. I think he hits the nail on the head because I too see a disconnect between folks who say they want “freedom” but act in way that is contrary to that very freedom. Take Social Security/Medicare for instance. You can explain until you are blue-in-the-face that those programs will either go bankrupt or enslave following generations to dramatically higher taxes. Yet, among older folks, you’ll more often than not get the same response I’ve heard too many time . . . “I don’t care as long as I get mine.” That attitude puts a smile on the face of Wealth Alchemists.
Restoring true freedom and defeating the Wealth Alchemists will take hard work. It will require that we all follow Reed’s seven step plan:
- I pledge myself to a lifetime of self-improvement so I can be the model of integrity that friends, family, and acquaintances will want to emulate.
- I resolve to keep my hands in my own pockets, to leave others alone unless they threaten me harm, to take responsibility for my own actions and decisions, and to impose no burdens on others that stem from my own poor judgments.
- I resolve to show the utmost reverence and respect for the lives, property, and rights of my fellow citizens. I will remember that government money is really my neighbors’ money, so I will not vote to loot them. I will stand on my own two feet, behave like an adult in a free and civil society, and expect the same of my children.
- If I need help, I will ask my family, friends, faith network, neighbors, local charities, or even strangers first – and government last.
- If I have a “good idea,” I resolve to elicit support for it through peaceful persuasion, not the force of government. I will not ask politicians to foist it on others because I think it’s good for them.
- I resolve to help others who genuinely need it by involving myself directly or by supporting those who are providing assistance through charitable institutions. I will not complain about a problem and then insist that government tinker with it at twice the cost and half the effectiveness.
- Finally, I resolve that the highest authority in which I place my strongest faith will not be the United States Congress.
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