Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Take on Mitt Romney's Op-ed: Culture Does Matter

During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy.

But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture? In the case of the United States, it is a particular kind of culture that has made us the greatest economic power in the history of the earth. Many significant features come to mind: our work ethic, our appreciation for education, our willingness to take risks, our commitment to honor and oath, our family orientation, our devotion to a purpose greater than ourselves, our patriotism. But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom. Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality.

The Founding Fathers wrote that we are endowed by our Creator with the freedom to pursue happiness. In the America they designed, we would have economic freedom, just as we would have political and religious freedom. Here, we would not be limited by the circumstance of birth nor directed by the supposedly informed hand of government. We would be free to pursue happiness as we wish. Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in lifting people out of poverty. It is the only principle that has ever created sustained prosperity. It is why our economy rose to rival those of the world’s leading powers — and has long since surpassed them all.

The linkage between freedom and economic development has a universal applicability. One only has to look at the contrast between East and West Germany, and between North and South Korea for the starkest demonstrations of the meaning of freedom and the absence of freedom.
Read the rest HERE.

I agree with Romney. However, I believe it's much deeper.

One's culture can hold you back economically....if you let it.

If you are part of a culture and get sucked into a belief that the world owes you something and that playing the victim card is more important than working to better ones circumstances, then prosperity will always be out of reach.

In any society, including the Palestinian, there are those who prosper and those who don't.

Those who prosper aren't hanging around on streets or in gangs looking to see what kind of mayhem they can cause.

Those who prosper are taking advantage of all the resources (even limited resources) that are available to them and putting them to work in their behalf.

Those who put the well being of their families first rather than being part of a movement made up of folks who's main focus is political, will ALWAYS be better off than those who choose the political path.

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Machtyn said...

Very good post. It puts the finishing touch on what culture means to prosperity. As you say, there are those that prosper despite their bondage to government or society. And why is that? They don't play the victim and utilize their limited resources.

Anonymous said...

Amen Bosman.

Donald Taylor said...

Good. Thank you.

Terrye said...

Good post..and btw, Obama actually made the point that socioeconomic development and culture are did Hillary Clinton, the UN and countless NGOs...I can only assume that there are a lot of media people out there who are really really stupid.

After all, when you think about it, it is obvious.