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Have a healthy attitude on money


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There are people today who wish to push this country toward socialism and even communism.

Why do people line up at U.S. embassies rather than Cuban embassies? Why do we read of people making risky journeys to escape countries like the former Soviet Bloc and Vietnam? Why weren’t people risking their lives to go from West Germany to East Germany? Do people risk their lives to go from Taiwan to mainland China?

The book “Mig Pilot” by John Baron (Avon Books 1980) tells of a Soviet pilot who flew his jet fighter from Siberia to Japan and asked for asylum in the U.S.A. He told about having worked in a tank factory. In pages 54-55, he tells how workers would do the bare minimum, never exceeding their quota. Exceeding their quota would only get them a bigger quota. This is what happens when productivity is not rewarded.

Another book, “Fulcrum” by Alexander Zuyev (Warner Books, 1992) tells of corruption and a thriving black market in the former Soviet Union with government officials at all levels being involved. During the 1988 earthquake in Armenia (then part of the USSR), aid from around the world was diverted to the black market while Armenians died (pp 243-245).

These are problems we have when normal ambition has no legal outlet. Look at what happened to the Chinese economy when their government started allowing private enterprise.

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I saw socialism at work in Jamaica when I was there 1977-79. The country was going in a direction that many feared would make them another Cuba. People of means were leaving the island. We had a thriving black market for American dollars. Today, with that experiment in socialism over, the black market has disappeared.

Rather than cursing Bill Gates and other billionaires, we should be thankful for skilled entrepreneurs who can generate jobs.

A common attitude is that people can become rich only by taking from others. In fact, a businessman cannot make profits unless money turns over. He must produce a product people need. He must hire people to manufacture the item. He and his employees buy other people’s goods and services with the profits.

If you want to be rich, save your money and invest wisely. Learn the skills of running a business. Remember: Investment is always a risk. That is a much healthier attitude than envying and being discontented with what you have.

Russell A. Scott

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