How many people do you know who want to become wealthy? Everyone I know, but I’m talking about the ones who want to become wealthy and actually toil everyday toward that goal. We’ve all seen these people, a little bit out in left field obsessed with some little idea, passionate to bring their ware to all the masses. Normally they’re out of touch with popular culture wearing out of style clothes uncharacteristically ignorant which Hollywood stars are redoing their stints in rehab.
These characters seem willing to tack right into the wind of conventional wisdom and believe they will succeed by the force of their own personality, regardless their detractors. They fail over and over, but undeterred the most willing persevere. Their perseverance in the face of failure educates them and endows them with wisdom. That wisdom, imparted by a free-market rejecting their earliest offerings, is used to adjust their products, their services, and their marketing strategies.
Some come from wealthy backgrounds and possess advanced degrees from Ivy League schools and some didn’t graduate from high school. Some are brilliant with high IQ’s and some quite pedestrian. What these people share is a can-do self-reliant spirit encouraged and grounded to an American culture which promises success available without prejudice and without preference to a privileged class. What they reject is the assertion that success can only come by the lucky alignment of fate, random, unpredictable, and separate from one’s own efforts.
It is a belief system that shuns government intervention and it contrasts sharply the philosophies held by most in public service. It is an ideology wedded to the proposal that All Men are Created Equal
It is the sort of thinking which celebrates independent initiative and creative idea disconnected from the traditional and specific rules that suggest working outside of the box cannot bring triumph. It is completely counter to the bureaucratic mindset which believes the free-market is inherently unfair and it is the job of those in public service to level the playing field. Unfortunately, a level playing field is not measured by equality in opportunity, it is measured by equality in outcome.
Graduating from our institutions of higher learning our average public servants are great with charts and statistics and anticipated causes and effects, however, they are rarely right. And when they are wrong they get promoted. Their rewards are not bestowed by market demands the lowly businessman must subdue himself, bureaucrats are rewarded by promoting and protecting bureaucracy.
When the independent businessman provides what is not desired, he quickly adjusts not to provide such, and searches for that which is demanded.
When government’s role is to maintain an environment where any can succeed, and success is awarded through that hard earned wisdom gained through repeated failure, society is supplied with the wares and services it has asked for. When government ventures to manufacture arbitrary outcomes and treat society as an adolescent body unable make its own decisions we are all indentured to outcomes which forgo that body of wisdom earned by the real world producers answering the people’s demands.
When bureaucrats decide how we ought to escape an economic disaster of their own creation, we add a trillion dollars of new debt for which our children and grand-children will be responsible and we trade wisdom from hardly fought battles gained in the free-market for theory expounded from a classroom.
The United States people have just guaranteed a one trillion dollar promissory note making our total debt almost twelve trillion dollars. I hope the theorists get it right this time.
No successful businessman looking out for his own best interests would ever be confronted with such a mess, but an unscrupulous one using someone else’s money just might.
Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo