This week I experienced my own mini crisis on wealth redistribution and how adopting a welfare mentality can be dangerous if applied. I am an ardent supporter of business centric economy building. This made my thoughts, no matter how fleeting, all the more troubling. I was contemplating the purchase of a condo and thinking about furniture, speaker systems and all the other things that go with setting up a place.
As I was adding up the cost of this investment a thought popped into my head, “how this money could go to feeding a lot of people”. It is true the money could help others. I then paused and thought of all the people I would be helping employ by making this purchase. Construction workers, designers, fabricators, installers who are building the place. Assembly workers, more designers and other workers who are making the furniture, carpets, curtains and equipment. The transportion personnel hired for hauling the materials. The specialist for the security, lighting and sound systems. The list is endless.
The message for me is that we has a society can not be drawn into the argument that money being given away should overwhelm our thinking. If that is the case every purchase and our way of life would be questioned. There is a reason why we also believe full employment has roughly five percent of the eligible workforce permanently unemployed.
Money spent employing others is always a better play to lift society. Yes, we all need to do more to help those at risk but handouts rarely work. We need to educate, provide safe shelter and a way to prosper for those at risk. These should become the basic challenges of our lifetime that we focus on and solve. We have incorporated half measures since LBJ introduced the war on poverty act during his state of the union speech in 1964. We have failed to meaningful change the arc of poverty over the last half a century. It has failed and we must change our approach. We must build a better future not hand out temporary relief.
We need to be a force for good and to make a difference but to continue to go blindly down the welfare state mentality path is to bring about continued failure. We need to grow through prosperity, education and a working network in place to help those in need so they can be successful in their personal journey.