Americans work hard for their wealth, probably harder than any other country in the world. We do all sorts of different things with the wealth that we work for each year. We pay for our food and nourishments, taxes, pets, car and transportation needs, gas and energy bills, and a variety of other resources and materials that we get and benefit from in exchange for that wealth. Yet Americans find it in their good nature and generosity to donate their wealth, as well as their time, to others in need not just in America, but around the world. We do this because we are the most generous and charitable individuals in the world. We do this because we are appreciative of the opportunities and charity that we have been able to better our own lives with. It is not a coincidence that this is the product of a capitalistic society. In order to understand why this attitude is the epitome of American society, we must first look at the intensions and objectives of the founding fathers. George Washington had everything to lose in accepting the position as the commander of the Continental Army. Washington did contribute some of his own personal wealth to help pay soldiers pay and fund the revolutionary war. That however was not his greatest contribution to the American people. What he risked can’t be matched in any monetary value. Washington had every reason to retire to his home in Virginia, out of public life, and enjoy the prosperity he had accumulated over the years. Instead, he accepted the Continental Congress’s appointment as command of the untrained and incompetent Continental Army. He did not cower behind the front lines of his militia; rather he led them with a resolve unparalleled to anyone else at the time. In several instances, Washington’s life was in grave danger, escaping death numerous times throughout the course of the war. His crossing of the Delaware for example, was an ambitious long shot he knew could lead to his demise if everything did not fall into place at the right time. His willingness to give his life in such a cause for the rights of the colonies and of man set the precedent for American generosity. Washington’s auspicious character, the Declaration from Congress, as well as individuals such as Adam Smith and Alexander Hamilton, paved the way for capitalism as we know it today.
Let’s take a more modern and direct example of how capitalism is the true engine behind charity. There is a show on ABC on Sunday evenings called Extreme Makeover Home Edition. While some of the concepts and designs are really cool looking, that is not the reason I watch. What I love about this show is the passion that other Americans have to help their fellow Americans. Now I realize that if it wasn’t profitable, ABC would not continue to do the show. This is exactly my point. It’s the capital that allows for such magnificent homes to be built for those in need. I don’t care about the “shameless” advertising that is mixed into the show from the donors who help make it possible for ABC to help these families, and I’m sure that the families have n problems with it either. But just like George Washington, it’s not just monetary values that that are being donated. For every project undertaker, construction companies, contractors, and neighbors happily and gracefully donate their time and resources to giving back to the community. It’s also important to remember that the families that are being helped are in themselves givers to society. We are not talking about rich, well off families, but rather middle class families who struggle to keep up their homes as a result of their concern for strangers and loved ones alike. This show is a perfect example of how capitalism promotes and creates American generosity.
American’s are always getting a bad reputation around the world just because we are American’s. Our country is looked upon as evil war monger’s who want control over everyone; only they forget to mention that we are the sole promoter (along with very few allies) of freedom and democracy in the world. When there is some kind of natural disaster, the United States is the first on the scene. The United States is the number one provider of relief and aid around the world. Europe would not be as prosperous as it is today had it not been for American economic involvement in Europe after World War 2. The current mortgage and credit crisis demonstrated just how dependent the Asian and European markets were on the American markets. No socialist country has ever been as generous to the rest of the world as the United States has. Most foreign governments are not even as generous as the average American citizen! A majority of socialist run states have become 3rd world like countries, where the poor actually get poorer instead of wealthier, as a result of socialist policies.
Think of all the marathons and fundraisers Americans participate in yearly and the amount of money we are able to raise because of these events. Think about all the charities and non-profit organizations Americans donate their money to for children, cancer research, special needs, education, animal welfare, the military and a whole multitude of others that go unrecognized each year. These are the people Barack Obama intends to tax. This is the system Barack Obama intends to strain. American’s will give graciously by their own free will, not because they are mandated to do so. Of course you are going to have the greedy and selfish that does not participate in this American system, because no economic system will ever be perfect. Capitalism however is the closest thing to a perfect system, and the system that offers freedom and opportunity for all it extends its reach to.