A friend of mine asked on FB, the other day, how she could teach her kids about “giving.” They seemed to be going through an “I want everything!” phase, as she put it. So, she wondered how she might instill in them a desire and understanding of how important it is to give to others and the joy that comes from such giving. Her idea was to take them each to the store to buy gifts for each other, but wondered whether this would simply lead to more presents under the tree. This raised a very important question, which led me to conclude, after much thought, that the ways we often try to teach our children about “giving” have actually led, in part, to the current problems we, as a society, are facing.
What is “giving”? What does it truly mean to “give” to someone else?
To start…”Giving” involves sacrifice. It’s true that you can give something to someone else that doesn’t belong to you, but that doesn’t invoke the spirit of giving and, therefore, does not produce the joy that results from giving from your heart. In fact, giving something that doesn’t belong to you isn’t really “giving” at all…it’s stealing (even if it’s just the credit)! If you haven’t lost anything, what have you given?
When you sacrifice something in order to “give” to others, there is a natural, good feeling that you get from placing another person’s needs before your own desires. This is what’s meant by the phrase, “The joy of giving”…The joy that comes from being able to make someone else smile, from knowing that someone else’s day was made just a little bit brighter, because of you. Without this intrinsic reward, “giving” really just becomes a chore, something we do because we think we should. (more…)
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Throughout all of the arguments regarding the size of government, one important fact is often overlooked. It’s not about freedom and liberty or regulation and control. It’s not a matter of opinion, but a fact, which can be laid out mathematically, plain as day: Creating government jobs has a detrimental impact on the economy of the country many times as great as the benefit of creating private sector jobs. How, you ask? What’s the big difference? It’s just a difference of ideology, right? WRONG! Let’s start with an example, because who doesn’t love a good example. Let’s say you live in a country of 100,000 “working” citizens. And…of those 100,000, exactly 1,000 of them work for the government. Let’s also assume that every “working” citizen makes exactly $100,000 per year. (You can use any numbers you want. This isn’t a trick. It’s just easier to use round numbers.) So, the entire income of all citizens in the country is:
100,000 x $100,000 = $10,000,000,000 (ten billion dollars)
Keeping in mind that 1,000 of these “workers” are government employees, the entire government salaries would add up to a grand total of:
1,000 x $100,000 = $100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars)
So…in order to be able just to pay the government employees, the entire country would have to be taxed at a rate of:
$100,000,000 / $10,000,000,000 = .01 (1%)
And each employee would pay taxes of:
$100,000 x .01 (1%) = $1,000
Let’s assume the cost of all the government programs is equal to the government employee salaries, or $100,000,000 (This number will remain the same throughout). So, in the scenario described above, the entire government expenditures and tax revenue would both be $200,000,000 (two hundred million dollars) and each “worker” would pay $2,000 (2%) in taxes.
Now the fun part…JOB CREATION!!! Let’s create private sector jobs, first… (more…)
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A disturbing trend that I’ve noticed is that many people today seem completely uninterested in getting involved in politics. They certainly don’t want to run for public office. They have no interest in meeting a politician face-to-face. They don’t even want to talk (or hear) about politics and what is going on in Washington D.C. It’s as if, somehow, talking about politics, or even having an opinion about public matters, makes them part of some bigger game that they just don’t want to get involved in. They’d rather just leave it up to someone else to figure out. Believe me…I know the feeling. I’ve spent most of my life thinking that politics just wasn’t really my thing. I figured I’d let other people who were more interested in that stuff to pay attention to all of the details. You know, I’d vote in all the elections and all that, but otherwise, I’d just let them take the lead. It seemed simple enough. I could focus my efforts on what was really important to me. Of course, in retrospect, I realize just how naive that was.
I’ve always been a strong believer in personal responsibility, but somehow, politics just seemed like this silly little game that I not only didn’t want to play, I didn’t even want to know the rules. You know all the lawyer jokes. Well…politicians were the only ones worse than the lawyers. Besides, I figured, what harm could the politicians really do? Our Constitution was built with a system of checks and balances to protect us. Anyway, I believed that all Americans loved what our country stood for. So why would anyone ever try to take away our freedoms? Well, that was before politicians began speaking out against our country, our freedom, our economy, our personal choices and abilities…and before the country began to rally behind these types of candidates.
Now…I see things much differently. I realize what our founding fathers put in place for us and what they expected from us as a responsible citizenry. It wasn’t just about voting every two years and sleeping the rest of the time. It wasn’t about electing someone to office, then turning a blind eye to what they do while they’re there. It was about taking responsibility for OUR country and making sure that it remained in good hands at ALL times. As citizens of the United States of America, we have been given both an opportunity and a responsibility unlike any others before us. Sure, it’s a difficult and daunting task, but no one ever said that it would be easy, right? (more…)
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