The irony of a lifetime is that it takes you most of the time allotted to figure out how things really work.
There are shortcuts, of course. You could learn from your parents – but it’s rare they would know (at least during the time they were raising you). You could learn from a gifted mentor who decided to “show you the ropes.” In rare cases you could actually figure it out yourself.
Some places you won’t find out how things work: Forget school. While schools have some useful skills to teach you, the people there have no clue about how the world really works.
Forget higher education. They produce the people who teach at school. Neither of them has any clue. The difference is, the people in higher education think they know. As history has shown time and time again – they don’t have a clue.
Forget the workplace. The people who depend on jobs for their income have no clue how things work. That doesn’t stop them from explaining it to others gathered around the water cooler, however.
Politicians – oh, please! Don’t get me started! If politicians had any clue about how the world really worked, they would adjourn and go home!
The media, then? Oh – that’s a good one! Just a moment, I have to recover. OK. The media actually think the politicians and those in “higher education” know how things work – and that they should be in charge of running the world! That’s how far the media are from figuring out how things really work!
OK, then. How do things really work?
Well, because you asked, I’ll tell you.
Since most people have no clue, they find their lives work better when they are organized around a structure. As it relates to income, we call that structure work. (People who just want a paycheck call that structure a job. They don’t want to work.)
Many of the people who need structure for life to function (that would be most of us for most of our lives) have great ideas, even ideas that could change the world for the better. But we don’t know how to implement those ideas. So we don’t implement them. And the ideas never happen.
A very few people have great ideas – and they actually know (or figure out) how to implement those ideas. We call those people entrepreneurs. And the people who agree that the entrepreneur has a great, world-changing idea – we call those people customers. They voluntarily hand over their money for the new product or service.
The people who work within the structure the entrepreneur has created to give life and breath to his or her idea? That would be you, me and most of the rest of the world.
The entrepreneur draws from both the top and bottom of the economic heap. People with money recognize that the entrepreneur will take their money and return even more. Why? Because the entrepreneur will create something new and desirable to … customers!
People who want to work will try to get in on the ground floor of the new idea, even before it opens its eyes and draws its first breath. They realize the entrepreneur’s vision will give them a new structure for their own hopes and dreams.
That’s how the world really works.
Here is how communists, socialists, despots, dictitarians and crony capitalists think the world works:
Government responds to its various pressure groups and patrons by holding meetings and creating a five-year plan. Laws are passed that mandate the success of the five-year plan. Taxes are raised to pay for implementation of the five-year plan. Children are “educated” about the virtues of the five-year plan and go home to tell their parents. Dissenters are threatened with punitive laws and “re-education camps” (think sensitivity training in its early stages).
The five-year plan fails miserably because no one cares about it, beyond the few splinter groups that pressured the politicians into creating it. And even they’re not happy, because the plan involved – gasp – compromise!
The politicians have already moved on to “the next big thing.” The taxes raised to “implement” the previous five-year plan remain forever, though. The next five-year plan requires taxes to be raised again. And the next, the next, and again after that. Soon the government controls everything, but nothing works well. People know this, and they spend their time and energy evading the government mandates. And the entrepreneurs? They are long gone.
The entrepreneurial model has one failing, however. Well, actually two: Greed and pride. A culture that recognizes its responsibility to God, however, is able to keep human greed and pride in check. In today’s parlance, they’re just not cool.
Without God, greed and pride run rampant. In fact, they are exalted! The culture loses the barrier to the smart, strong and well-connected taking advantage of the rest of us.
“Yes, there is a question there in the back?”
“But we could pass laws …”
Welcome to America. We are the most lawyered-up society in the history of the world. You obviously haven’t been listening. You are hereby re-enrolled in the freshman class at the one school that does teach how things really work: The School of Hard Knocks. Repeat as needed. And may you graduate before you die.