America is the land of liberty. Our freedom allows us the opportunity to choose elected officials and our system of government. How do we decide? What questions should we consider as we choose? Why are our freedoms being limited with each passing day?...
America is the land of liberty. Our freedom allows us the opportunity to choose elected officials and our system of government. How do we decide? What questions should we consider as we choose? Why are our freedoms being limited with each passing day? How can we protect our freedoms? There are many voices promoting various “isms” and fear of harm often lures citizens into trading liberty for what they believe will be safety and security. How would this affect your business and the jobs you provide? Employers are key to preserving America, and when armed with non-partisan civics and economics resources to communicate effectively, they can help educate a new generation of leaders who understand the benefits and responsibilities of living in a free society. In this episode, Linda shares a lesson from her Breakroom Economics® online course entitled, “So Many Isms, Which One is Best for Me?” When faced with the choice, which “ism” is best for you?
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Linda: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the author of Prosperity 101 – Job Security Through Business Prosperity – The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck and the creator of the Breakroom Economics Online Course. The book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on prosperity101.com. I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention, and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit prosperity101.com. So Many Isms - Which One is Best for Me? Thank you for tuning in today. It is no secret that our freedoms are being limited with each passing day. This is true here in the United States of America and it's true around the world. The lure of power drives leaders to tyrannical measures and the fear of harm often lures citizens into trading liberty for what they believe will be safety. If they choose safety over liberty, they will eventually be swallowing the bitter pill of tyranny. History and current events show us that the old saying, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is true more often than not. In the midst of societal unrest, you may be trying to run a business. Running a successful business is always challenging, but to do so in times of historic change is daunting to say the least. If you are an employer, you bear so many responsibilities and often your employees do not understand all the pressures you face to create and sustain jobs. Whether in a season of tumult like now or in calmer years, business leaders are often frustrated by the overreach of government and the lack of understanding among employees as to how big government limits free enterprise and prosperity. That is why I created Prosperity 101 to help bridge the gap. I believe employers are key to preserving America and when armed with resources to communicate effectively, they can help to educate a new generation of leaders who understand how to protect freedom and prosperity. Today I'm sharing some of the content from my online course Breakroom Economics. The course is available for personal study or for use with your employees as part of general training programs. Each lesson consists of a short video, a short essay and suggested resources. I invite you to share it with your employees. It's available on my website, prosperity101.com. And if you use the code PODCAST, you can save 10% on the purchase of the course and all other resources. We live in the land of the free in the home of the brave. With that freedom comes opportunity, opportunity for all. We have opportunity to choose who we want to represent us in the halls of government and we can choose what system of government we support. Recent surveys have indicated a rising support for socialism among many of our young people. If you are a business owner, you know the detrimental effects that would have on your company and the livelihoods of your employees. Yet how can you explain that to the people who work for you without having them claim that you are pushing your views on them? One of the lessons in my Breakroom Economics Online Course is titled So Many Isms - Which One is Best for Me? My goal in that lesson is simply to raise awareness and generate individual thought. Sometimes people have taken freedom for granted and even simple questions can bring more insight without causing them to feel pressured. The benefit of the online course is that they can work the lessons at their own pace without influence from others in the workplace. Independent study may bring about some great workplace conversations, which can lead to increased employee engagement. Let me know if this sparks an interest for you or if you'd like to learn ways to implement the Breakroom Economics Online Course in your business. And now I'll share the lesson, So Many Isms - Which One is Best for Me? One can hardly turn on a newscast or scroll through a social media feed without being bombarded by the many isms that vie for attention in our culture. I am sure you have heard all the terms; communism, socialism, capitalism, and more. Advocates for each type of system claim theirs is the best, but which one is best for you and your family? This brief essay will in no way be an exhaustive look into the details of each system, but will provide thought provoking questions that will hopefully inspire you to learn more and to make educated decisions for your future. How will you decide which ism you can support? You can start by focusing attention on what you want for your life. Tune out the noise of social media or self-acclaimed pundits and start by asking yourself simple questions about your own aspirations for the future. Take time to seriously consider what makes you happy. What types of things do you want to do? What type of work do you enjoy? What are your short and long term goals? What are your hopes for your children? If you have them. Who do you want to make decisions for your future or for your children's future? You, your parents, your employer, your government? Do you like being told what to do or would you rather decide things for yourself? Is it important for you to have the freedom to do what you desire and to create a life of your own choosing? How much of the money you earn are you willing to send to the government to support others who may not be working? In general, most people are willing to help others who truly cannot help themselves for one reason or another. For example, we have social programs to help the mentally ill, orphaned children, victims of natural disasters or wounded veterans. Very few people oppose helping those in true need of assistance. But most do not like the concept of paying the bills for those who refuse to work. We must remember the government has nothing until we as taxpayers give it to the government first. In order for government to provide any sort of benefit, it must first tax the population to pay for the benefit. However, tax rates can increase disproportionately if government decides to increase taxes on those who earn more to guarantee income for those who do not work. How do you feel about that? Do you want to work more to pay for others who work less? These are all questions to consider when deciding what types of economic systems you'd like to support. In America, we have operated under a free enterprise capitalist economy which supports the idea of unlimited opportunity for everyone. This is what has been known as the American dream. That dream of freedom and opportunity is what draws millions of people from around the world to risk their lives to reach our shores. They get to our country with the hopes of make a better life for themselves and their families. It is a system in which everyone, regardless of background can rise if they're willing to work hard. There are no guarantees of income, but there are guarantees of freedom. Who provides the funding in a society in which government guarantees income or other government funded benefits, for example, healthcare, housing, education? If government is guaranteeing income, who is providing the money to the government so they can make that promise? Are there any freedoms lost with guaranteed income? If fewer people are working, what happens when the government spends more than they take in and it runs out of money? When people become dependent on government for their needs and government can no longer provide for those needs, unrest and revolt often follow. History provides examples of countries with economic systems that promised prosperity, but eventually delivered poverty and devastation. When that happens, the people often desire to flee to a place where they sense opportunity and freedom. The United States draws the highest number of immigrants from around the world. Why? What is it about America that people are willing to risk their lives or maybe even their children's lives to attain? What are the economic or cultural conditions in the countries from which they flee that propel them to reach out in hope and desperation for a better life? There is no perfect economic system or perfect form of government. However, we can educate ourselves to see what policies actually encourage individual freedom, prosperity, and opportunity. We can study the history of countries that have chosen various forms of government and discern which countries have been the most prosperous over the longest periods of time. Many policies and ideas become popular because charismatic leaders espouse them and they seem fresh and promising. But do they stand up under the test of time and truly create an environment where people can thrive and prosper? New ideas are not bad in and of themselves and old ideas are not bad in and of themselves. When making decisions about which ism is best for you and your family, take time to look at all sides and study the historical results of various economic systems. Make your decisions after looking at facts, not responding with emotion. When you do that, you will help yourself to make a wise decision for your future. As you dig deeper into this topic, let's consider a few definitions to help you decide which ism is best for you. Let's first look at communism. Communism is a system in which goods are owned in common and are supposedly available to all as needed and it is a theory advocating elimination of private property. It is a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian-socialism and Marxism–Leninism that was the official ideology of the USSR and it is a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state owned means of production. How about socialism? Socialism can be any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. There is no private property. The means of production are owned and controlled by the state. It is a stage of society in Marx's theory transitional between capitalism and communism, and is distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to the work done. So what is the definition of capitalism? Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods by investments that are determined by private decision and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. Capitalism is the only system that allows for the free exchange of goods and services. It also allows for individual wealth creation. In closing, ask yourself which ism is best for you. Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity – The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics Online Course. You can also receive the free ebook 10 Tips For Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Their Paychecks. Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. I give special thanks to our sponsors, Matthews Archery Incorporated and Wisconsin Stamping & Manufacturing. Please contact us today at prosperity101.com to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.