The other day Russian President Vladimir Putin who is the longest ruling person in Russia after Ivan the Great and Stalin called America “a parasite of world economy.” Well, all communists say so but we have to ask China if they really believe it at heart or they wouldn’t have had the rapid growth they are having for last few years.
Capitalism which is based on free enterprise system in America has been the reason behind the great success achieved by America since its birth. My personal experience with free enterprise system goes back to over 5 years ago when I got involved in a business opportunity where I could create an unlimited income with my sweat equity. Well, coming from a war-ravaged poor country like Nepal, this was a great opportunity for me. Here I was, a 20 year old kid just finishing my first year of college running my own business with a pocket calendar and a pen. While my contemporaries were busy partying, trying to memorize the conjugation of Latin verbs and wasting their time, I was busy contacting and inviting people working on Wall Street, IBM and other fortune 500 companies. To tell you the truth, the first year I failed miserably.
I looked like a high school kid and dressed like one. More importantly, I had a self-image of making $6 per hour but was trying to sell a plan to high profile professionals that they could create $250000 residual annual income in 2-5 years if they stuck to my plan. Nothing was more ridiculous to myself than that but the excitement of owning my own business helped me do all of that. It was phenomenal. In a next few years, I learned to talk like a CEO, dress like a CEO and present business plan like a CEO of my own company. I wasn’t perfect but I was learning. I was far ahead of the crowd I came from and was proud of it. I was succeeding and achieving my dreams and goals. I got a chance to meet great achievers of my own age. They were not only successful but wiser than their contemporaries in the outside world. This is what American Capitalism means to me. This is what free enterprise system of America means to me where anybody from any background can work hard, create opportunity and determine their own destiny. It means to me that I can establish my own enterprise and be rewarded as much as I want by providing the best quality and quantity of service. It is to me what American dream is all about.
I can’t imagine anybody coming to America with a dream to get a JOB often described as Just Over Broke or Jackass Of Boss. People come to America looking for an opportunity like the one I just mentioned. It’s the only nation where any ambition can be realized and person can become what they want to become. It’s a nation where we don’t have to take what “they” say as people have to do in countries like Russia, China and other countries with dictators and socialism. This reminds me of an allegory where a person on a voyage in a ship gets hungry, finds Cheesecrackers by his side and eats just that throughout his journey. At the end of the trip, he finds that if he had just inquired more or went to the next compartment, he’d have known that all the passengers were provided lavish lunch and dinner of hundreds of different items. That’s how many of us are. We are like a frog in a well which doesn’t know there’s a whole different world outside. That’s why, in America we say “No more Cheesecrackers.”
A little better than capitalism is “Compassionate Capitalism,” a phrase recently coined which is not about “money getting” but about “serving people” because law of success is service and biggest businesses are now realizing it more now than ever. They have extended this new idea to their shareholders, employees and customers. Many analysts still consider America to be in a recession period but few businesses seem to be sky rocketing even in this market. Why? These are the companies run by Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch and few other wise men who emphasize on providing the best service to their clientele, best pay to their employees and integrity in the marketplace. They seem to lower the costs of products and services while the prices are skyrocketing in the market. They seem to provide better wages to their workers while other companies are resizing and downsizing. Overall, they seem to follow the Golden Rule in conducting their business and in relationship with people.
United States is a nation established on Golden Rule philosophy of love, freedom and service. The basic motto of free enterprise system is that law of success is service and greatest server is the greatest leader. Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness in the declaration of independence, are the words that not only represent particular individuals and groups of people but entire humanity. The principle “Live and let other live” is a fundamental motto of the golden rule. Following this rule in business, family, friendship, politics has made many little men great but ignoring it has been the greatest curse to self-appointed gurus in different societies. Many individuals are willing to change the world but they are unwilling to change what lies between their ears, their old self. How wonderful the world would have been if Hitler and Bonaparte would have dedicated their tremendous genius to improve themselves? By purifying themselves, Jesus, Gandhi and Mother Teresa became savior of mankind, not by trying to change the world to their standards.