Posted on: January 2, 2018 Posted by: Felicia S. C. Gooden Comments: 0

Ideologues on the left and the right are clamoring for a society that caters entirely to their ideals in one way or another. On the left, there is the air of altruism, which advocates for centralized government and consolidated political and economic power in order to ensure that everyone is cared for. On the right, there is a push for individual sovereignty and equal opportunity for everyone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and create their own lives through vision, determination, and grit. While the media sensationalizes every political tweet or social justice movement to make the masses cry out for a savior, the key question still remains: are we ready for what we are asking for?
For example, wealth inequality and widespread poverty are hot topics in society, especially when it comes to the social justice movement. The eradication of poverty on a global scale is the number one Sustainable Development Goal pushed by the United Nations. A lofty goal that everyone can benefit from, but how do we get there? How can this goal be achieved?
The left pushes for more socialist policies that provide long-term entitlement benefits to individuals and families to bring them up to the poverty line, at least. This sounds good in theory until one considers the fact that governments earn their revenue through taxation. According to an article published by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), funding mass welfare programs such as Universal Basic Income would require a significant increase in the national debt or an increase in taxes that could cripple middle class families as well as discourage upper middle class and wealth class individuals from earning or contributing more, as they would eventually take home less in their paychecks. Are citizens prepared to increase the national debt by trillions more dollars in the name of social justice? Are taxpayers ready to jeopardize their earnings and take home less in their paychecks for the illusion of altruism? I’m not too sure about that.
On the right, the solution to poverty is for everyone to become employed or, even better, start their own business. In a world where the money is out there, this seems to be the best bet. Trillions of dollars flow through myriad industries, and income can be earned by doing small jobs, freelancing, starting a brick-and-mortar business, getting a financially strategic education and starting an individual practice or getting a good job – the possibilities are endless. However, challenges to attaining the oasis of capitalistic opportunity is still very real, albeit less tangible than challenges to the socialist utopia.
On the surface, there is the illusion of greed by the rich at the expense of the poor. Corporations refuse to pay living wages to low level employees, and even encourage the vulnerable of the most vulnerable employed to seek government benefits. Those who populate success circles tend to stick together and do everything they can to alienate those who are not in their tax brackets. Humans are reduced to numbers and profit potential. Friends and family don’t support personal ventures or visions. Consumers don’t trust the new business owner for lack of reputation. In short, human vices such as envy, greed, and laziness show their ugly heads, and it’s just too hard to get ahead.
Are corporate boards ready to give up their greed to invest in employees, which, in turn, benefits the business? Are people prepared to get out there to do the hard work to build a business or get marketable knowledge and skills that can be used in a private practice or contracting business? Are people equipped to do the work to educate themselves on financial literacy? Sometimes, but not so much.
The key to eradicating poverty and creating a global utopia is a transformation of planetary consciousness. It takes an understanding of how economics works, where money comes from, where it goes, and how to earn, invest, and save. It takes a collective understanding that hard work can achieve goals, but one must be cognizant of the kind of work being done. It takes a belief in self and a drive to learn as much as possible and take risks in order to build out one’s dreams. It also takes cooperation and compassion – two things that one must cultivate as the pinnacle of personal and financial success is reached.

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