The Disease of Prosperity Cured by Capitalism

Alyssa Ahlgren, writing for The Foundation of Economic Education, said:

“My generation has only seen prosperity. We have no contrast. We didn’t live in the Great Depression, or live through two world wars, or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism. We don’t know what it’s like not to live without the Internet, without cars, without smart phones. We don’t have a lack of prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it’s spreading like a plague.” She says her generation is “unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.”

Alyssa is a Millennial (one who has it figured out).  I believe that the entire fault lies not in the age into which they were born, but a great deal of the blame can be put on the adults in their lives. Parents, teachers, Sunday School Teachers, grandparents, all are complicit in raising an entitled generation. Their fault? Not teaching them the core virtues of hard work, compassion, empathy, and being a good neighbor.

When I learned to drive, my father bought me a car. When he handed me the keys, he also handed me the payment book. The only thing he said he ‘might’ help with was the insurance; but payments, care, and maintenance was up to me.

I was thrilled.  No one had ever heard of “being entitled.”

I and my siblings were taught we “were worth it” as long as we earned it. Years later one of my siblings said it this way: “I’ve found the harder I work, the luckier I get.” We all knew that “luck” rarely had anything to do with it.

Our parents instilled within us a “work til you drop” work ethic; a “git ‘er done” approach to anything and everything we undertook, and afterward we could bask in the genuine sense of self-worth and accomplishment of a task well done. We learned that we didn’t really need the praise of others, though that was icing on the cake. We came away feeling pride and an awareness that hard work always paid off.

The fact is our parents loved us enough to teach us where self-worth really came from, that we were always better off than a lot of people in the rest of the world, and we would always receive the amount we gave and then some. (Those stories of “starving children in China or Africa” weren’t just stories to get us to eat our dinner.)

Along the way we learned that we are indeed our brothers’ keeper, and that’s a very hard lesson to learn and a very difficult attitude to maintain, but we saw it lived out in the lives of our parents, and soon we all would strive to live out that legacy of caring in the vocations we chose.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” –Luke 6:38

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. –II Corinthians 10:12

None of us, young or old, should ever feel in anyway entitled to the things we have. Only by the Grace of God do we live in the greatest country on earth. Why would anyone believe they are entitled to the things science and technology has afforded us without lifting a finger to make it happen?

Someone made it happen, and you can be assured for the most part they did not feel “entitled.” They knew they were improving the lives of people around them and in the future.

Put away your cell phone. Unplug the TV.  Eat bread and potatoes for a week.  Imagine having to walk a mile or more to get clean water, or bathe in the river or lake.  No air conditioning.  No car.  No radio.  No cabs, buses, subways.  No postal system.  The closest doctor is 20 or 30 or 50 miles away (if there even IS a doctor).  These are the conditions that what? 2/3s of the world live in.

Ahlgren is right; young people have nothing to compare to real hardship. Yet they are being told that capitalism is the cause of the worlds poverty. They see prosperity as a disease.  The very thing they have grown up with they are taking for granted and are believing the lies of the purveyors of Socialism who preach the cure is “equal prosperity for all.”

We must change their minds if America is to remain a Free country. American’s have a right to work, earn a living, and keep what they earn. They do NOT have a right to stand idly by and expect someone else to do it for them.

“Prosperity for all” is poverty for all. That is the end result of Socialism.

Every good thing in this country is a result of Capitalism.

Capitalism is the lifeblood of Freedom.