You are the President
You are the President of the United States. Your job is to lead us into a future of prosperity, security, and national unity. (1) You have at your disposal the vast wealth of our great land. These include bountiful natural resources; a gigantic economy; and a huge labor force with waves of people from other lands aching to join us.
Key among these assets is the “1%” of the population who have achieved great success. They have made the best of what America has to offer, and have built financial and corporate empires. Collectively, they employ millions of people, give billions to charities, and pay most of our taxes. (2)
What would your attitude be towards these people? Your answer to this question would depend much on the way you think life works – or should work.
Here is an example. Let’s suppose you felt that all people are entitled to the same good things in life. For example, if one family has a fine house, then all families are entitled to a fine house. And on and on with all the other things that people want, and to which they feel “entitled”. (3) As President, you think it is your responsibility to make sure every person gets the same stuff.
Since the wealthiest 1% of the population has a lot of that stuff, and the means to acquire more, they are your prime targets for forced redistribution.
Alternatively, let’s suppose you felt that all people must earn the same good things in life. For example, if one family has a fine house, then all families should have the opportunity to earn the money needed to buy a fine house. And on and on with all the other things that people want, and which must be earned. As President, you think it is your responsibility to make sure every person gets the same opportunity to do so.
Since the wealthiest 1% create such opportunities – by building companies, doing business, advising others, etc. – you encourage them to lead the way for others. (4)
This is not to say that government would not be needed as a safety net for people who fall through the cracks. A minimum “tithing” or tax level could even be assessed. But whether the 1% are treated as the worst enemy or the best friend of the state, says a lot about the agenda of the people in power. It also reveals whether prosperity, security, and national unity are realistic goals, or simply hype. (5)
What is the essential difference between these two approaches to wealth? The entitlement mindset takes it for granted. Having wealth isn’t as important as benefiting from it. As long as the government has the money, and as long as the government will take care of me from cradle to grave, then I don’t have to do a thing for myself.
On the other hand, the opportunity mindset takes nothing for granted, for wealth is derived though assiduous effort. Having the wealth isn’t as important as the process of getting it. As long as there is money to be made, then I can take care of myself, my family, and my country. (6)
You are the President of the United States. Your job is to lead us into a future of prosperity, security, and national unity. Which way would you lead us? Will the most successful people in our country be your best friends, or worst enemies?
(1)Here is a complete job description of the President of the United States:
(2)To get an idea of just how much charity is donated by wealthy people, read here:
The top 10 percent of taxpayers paid over 70% of the total amount collected in federal income taxes in 2010. Read here for more information:
Here are the ten largest employers in the US:
(3) Dennis Prager portrays this attitude as being rooted in “Feeling Good vs. Doing Good”:
(4) The virtues of personal empowerment have been clearly articulated by many motivational speakers and success coaches. Here is the wisdom of Dr. Moses Simuyemba, “Africa’s Success Coach”:
(5) Stan Druckenmiller, one of the most successful money managers of all time, explains how the future prosperity of Generations X, Y, and Z is being drained by today’s entitlement programs: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303680404579141790296396688
(6) I am so grateful to be in the life insurance business. No work = no sales = no pay. That is a formula that will keep you very motivated to produce!