As the end of my unemployment benefits approach and a job still eludes me in this weak economy I, like many Americans must choose a route to sustain myself and my family. The choices: dependency or innovation.
Dependency is passive, relying on government, or family to sustain us until or unless times change. This like any passive route implicitly relies on others to solve a problem.
Innovation is active, relying on oneself to act on a new idea; a business, a product, or a service. It has risks and rewards but to a large extent depends on your own actions to solve a problem.
An example of the former are the recent protests on Wall Street. People who have already exhausted the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits offered by the federal government have taken to the street asking/demanding the government extend unemployment insurance for a longer period of time. The argument is not only humanitarian but also economic claiming that an extension will be a stimulus that actually creates and sustains economic activity through an individual’s personal spending. Though a protest itself is “active”, it is action to obtain the passive result, depending on someone else (government, taxpayers and business) to supply the funds.
An active example is provided by Loren Spivack who started his site Free Market Warrior at the same time I lost my job. He travels and speaks on capitalism and free markets to interested groups explaining why it works while statism does not.
Invited by the Twin City Tea Party, over two days and seven hours Spivack explained to attendees how the free market manages an economy, painstaking giving examples as simple as buying a toaster to illustrate important points on how free markets in a free society work to provide a higher standard of living for all. He also dispelled some of the myths about state control that have appeared over the years.
He travels anywhere that people will have him to make his case. His compensation comes from products offered at the seminars and online and from voluntary donations from those who hear him. He has also written a book due out before Labor day titled The New Democrat a parody children’s book examining the administration’s handling of the economy in a style most Americans will recognize.
Two approaches to the same problem, one passive, one active, if you were me which route would you take?