Carson: Can-do spirit is the American identity
Warren Buffett became very rich and famous because he is a terrific investor. Not everyone agrees with his politics, but his ability to achieve great return on investment is unquestioned.
Most people are familiar with the parable in the Bible of the 10 talents. Two servants who made wise investments were praised and rewarded with even more opportunities, while the one servant who simply attempted to preserve his talent was referred to as wicked, and his one talent was taken from him.
The point is, we have these very complex brains for a reason. Our intricate frontal lobes allow us to extract information from the past and the present, process it and project it into the future as a plan.
This means we can plan, strategize and figure out ways to maximize the return on our investment.
If we are observant and analytical, we also have the ability to see what is happening in our environment and take steps to change direction if we don’t like it, or accelerate down the pathway if we do like what we are seeing.
An examination of American society today would show that we are consolidating power in the hands of relatively few politically powerful or financially powerful individuals, while the middle class, which was once the seat of power, is rapidly shrinking and the dependent class is rapidly expanding.
This was clearly not the model the founders of this nation were trying to create. In fact, our Constitution was designed to prevent this from occurring. Instead of complaining and despairing, we the people must recognize that this nation was built around us and not around the government. The government is supposed to exist for the purpose of facilitating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the citizens of this nation. It must conform to our will, rather than impose its will upon us.
When it comes to investing in the future of our country, we should remember that we had a meteoric rise among the nations of the world because we quickly developed a “can-do attitude.” Investments that return us to that kind of thinking will be extremely valuable.
Instead of fighting each other, we should use our collective intellect to fashion programs that allow us to invest in our fellow Americans, with the return on investment being deliverance from a state of dependency and realization of the tremendous potential for achievement that resides in each of us — regardless of station of birth. We can indeed become successful investors.
I’m not saying the government is wicked, but like the wicked servant, its programs confine people to a state of dependency rather than advancing them and empowering them to become independent contributors to society.
A tremendous amount of resources resides in American business, industry, Wall Street, churches, charitable community organizations and private families.
Every person we in the private sector invest in is likely to become a contributor to society, which ultimately helps to raise the tide that floats all boats.
The purveyors of hatred and division wish to create dissatisfaction with the current system in order to fertilize the ground for a fundamental change.
We don’t need a change. We need a fix.
With the can-do attitude that was once such an important part of our identity, we can achieve the greatest return on investment our nation has ever seen.
Ben Carson is professor emeritus of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.
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