There has been a serious effort over the past 40 years to preserve endangered animal and plant species. The Bald Eagle, American Alligator and many others have been returned to proper numbers in their respective habitats. With only a few exceptions, this has been a worthwhile venture.
However, we are now faced with the prospect of an endangered species that could spell the end of American liberty as we know it. That endangered species is the entrepreneur. For centuries, this species has been responsible for generating employment, providing goods and services, supporting the tax base, and moving the creative spirit forward.
However, the Progressives have mounted a relentless campaign through the media, churches, and government to vilify these small engines of prosperity. They have been responsible for the greatest leaps ahead in technology and standard of living in history. They take risks, borrow money against personal assets, hire and pay individuals, supply benefits, innovate, and assist others as they move on to become business owners in their own right.
What have they gotten for this? They have been called greedy, selfish, racists, hoarders, insensitive, immoral, privileged, etc. Government has sought to over-regulate them, over-tax them, over-burden them, and paint a socialist target on their backs so those among us who make poor decisions, misbehave, or are just plain lazy know whom to wag our finger at in front of the TV cameras. This is immoral.
Never mind that Scripture says that a person who refuses to care for his own family is cursed. Never mind that Scripture states that a man who does not work should not eat. Never mind that it is written into the code of our own behavior that things are mine unless I choose to give them to you. Never mind that Jefferson articulated in the Declaration that God had granted men the right to property. (He was later overruled in favor of “pursuit of happiness”.)
Here’s the bottom line, folks. Entrepreneurs are the people who pull the wagon that many Americans ride in. For a time they have been willing to allow those with handicaps, with no caregiver, the elderly, the infirm, the sick, and the mentally challenged to ride in the wagon without complaint, actually, with a sense of pride that they were being good citizens. These are also the people who lead charitable organizations, give generously to them and support their local churches.
During the past eighty years, we have allowed more and more capable citizens to climb up in the wagon. (Currently, 47% of all Americans pay no income tax.) We have added insult to injury by looking the other way as millions of illegals broke our laws and climbed into the wagon as well.
The producers of society have reached a tipping point. They have decided that they do not intend to pull this wagon one more foot. Policy-makers may think they can force them to keep pulling at the threat of the IRS or jail or worse. They are wrong. The people who make this country work have had enough! The commandment, “You shall not steal” does not exclude government.
Policy makers can either encourage those who are able to climb out of the wagon and start pulling, or those pulling the wagon will stop pulling and leave the capable individuals in the wagon to fend for themselves and carry those really in need with them. The first option comes with a price of discipline on the part of the citizenry. The second option comes with a much heavier price that none of us wants to pay.
It is time to get entrepreneurs off the Endangered Species List and put them back at the place of honor they deserve. See the next post for steps that can be taken to reverse these trends.