What can you do for your country?
Countrymen and women were asked this once. Here is the question? What have you done for your country?
Americans expect the economy to be able to boomerang back towards a state of wealth. Why should it? Each new class of politicians claims to possess the answers, but sustained economic growth and financial stability remain mythical. The very terms, sustained economic growth and financial stability, may be meaningless buzzwords. The top economic minds diverge in forecasting the effectiveness of policies and argue over which policies to implement.
To think some lawmaker or President will create the right culture for widespread wealth lacks conviction. Many politicians truly work for the good of this country, but to no avail. The division of political parties strangles any substantial impact the government could create. The only way to create real wealth is for the people of this country to act – not expect. So, what did Kennedy mean? What can we do for our country?
His line worked well, but lacked direction. Is it mere rhetoric or a guiding principle people need to figure out individually? It is probably both. “Ask not what your country can do for you,” the statement begins. The line starts promisingly, as citizens eliminate the reliance on the government. “…But, what you can do for your country,” the command ends. So, what exactly is our country?
The government is not the country; people often confuse the two. In theory, government should assist and lead the country, but the country is the people and the neighborhoods. Given this interpretation of Jack’s famous line, ask what others can do for the people they know and the neighborhoods resided in. There has to be a drive to create a culture where neighborhoods will thrive, and in turn, every citizen will thrive financially as individuals.
So again, what can one do for the neighborhoods? The answer stems from the oft-repeated, nearly impossible-to-follow slogan, “Buy American.” So many of America’s products come from overseas nowadays, it practically cannot be avoided. The answer is more state-specific. Every state must begin to focus economically on itself. “Buy Ohio,” for example, should be on every billboard, television commercial, and telephone pole in Ohio. Small business is the answer. Self-sustaining individual states are the answer. If the states concentrate heavily on self-sufficiency and buying locally, they will all gain the ability for sustained economic growth and financial stability. Make each part strong, and the whole will be powerful.
Two triggers should be implemented to aid this effort. First, large discount stores that drive out local businesses, of the Wal-Mart ilk, should be made illegal. Pure economic rationality dictates capitalism should not be constrained, but, for example, the U.S. already made monopolies illegal, and companies that destroy local business ventures should be too. Second, people must stop buying products online. Sure, it is convenient, but again, local business must be fostered to thrive. So, whether you agree or not, do something for your country.
By Kevin Pitorak