What “America” Means to Me


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Note:  This post goes well outside the normal topics of investing and personal finance, but it is my blog….

The word “America” means different things to different people.  Yes, it is a pair of continents, and it is the designation often given  when referring to the United States of America, but it is really quite a bit more.

I can say without doubt that America is the greatest place on earth.  It is not because I was born in the United States or because I am an American citizen, but because it is true.  And while America has a geographic location, and one that has many beautiful places like the Grand Canyon, the coast of Maine, the Rocky Mountains, the California beach areas, and the green and hilly New England states, America’s greatness goes far beyond topography.  American could look like the Salt Lake Valley flats or the Mohave Dessert everywhere and yet it would still be great.

America is good because it is based on good, fair, and just principles.  It is strong and wealthy because of those same principles.  Those principles are freedom of ideas and self-determination.

When I speak of America, I am not talking about a specific place but a set of ideals.  A society based on these ideals was created in  the United States because it was formed by people leaving tyranny and subjugation from around the world to find a place where they could be ruled no longer.  America could reform in the jungles of Africa or in the fjords of Iceland if those regions contained people who decided to follow the same principles.  This society elects representatives, not leaders, and administrators, not kings.  It provides those representatives and administrators with carefully prescribed powers and holds the right to remove them should they usurp more than those powers and threaten the basic principles of the society.

Americans believe in individualism and self-direction.  They disdain rulers and know that they can provide for themselves better than anyone else.  While they can be close to their families, they believe in striking out on their own and seeking their own fortunes rather than living off of the fruits of their parents and ancestors.  They know that pride comes from achievement and self-sufficiency and would not take these things from another by providing that which one could provide for oneself.

The American economy is based upon Free-Enterprise, ease of entry into the marketplace, and ample competition.  While it may seem like that system is based upon individuals only looking out for themselves, it is actually the fairest and the most benevolent of economies because it encourages all to do what they can to serve other people and rewards those who provide the most for the most people.  Unlike communism, which encourages doing as little as possible for others and trying to gather more than you produce, free-enterprise encourages thinking of how to best meet the needs of others.  It also requires that everyone does at least the bare minimum for other people to get enough for basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing.

America is also based upon equality.  There is no ruling class.  Everyone has equal opportunities for financial gain and to live a happy life.  Anyone can begin rich or poor and improve their station in life based upon their choices, abilities, work ethic, and fortune.  Everyone is equal under the law and receives the same treatment.

America is based upon freedom.  This includes freedom of speech where one can criticize government officials without fear of reprisal or imprisonment.  It includes the freedom to assemble and the freedom of the press.  This includes freedom of religion where one can worship or not worship as one pleases. This includes freedom against unreasonable search, meritless prosecution and imprisonment, and seizure or property.  To regulate the government and protect these freedoms, the people have an absolute right to bear arms that cannot be infringed.

While America provides freedom, that freedom comes with responsibility.  One can say what one wants, but then face the consequences and repercussions for one’s speech.  One can choose one’s own path, but then are responsible for the results of those choices.

There is one freedom that Americans cannot enjoy and that cannot be permitted, and that is the freedom to take away the freedoms of others.  You can believe as you choose and debate all that you wish, but you must allow others to hold their own beliefs.  You may worship as you choose, but you cannot prevent others from worshiping as they choose.  You can do as you wish, but must not interfere with the ability of others to do as they wish.  You must accept that just as you have rights and freedoms, others have the same rights and freedoms.

Sadly, even in the United States, America is disappearing.  Those who used freedom to build their wealth and their businesses are using regulation and bureaucracy to take that ability from other people who might compete with them.  The evil forces who wish for power and control of others are using envy to gain power.  Individuals are choosing rulers over self-direction because they are believing false promises of safety and security in exchange for the ceding of rights and freedoms.  Individuals have allowed socialists and authoritarians to infiltrate the media and the education system and spread the false narrative that happiness and economic security come from taking from others and putting your faith in leaders.

We still have the chance to bring America back and regain strength and prosperity.  It begins with taking back responsibility for providing for our own needs.  It then progresses to taking back responsibility for our children and for aiding our neighbors during times of misfortune.  It then proceeds to the silent, responsible majority taking back responsibility for our governance, demanding ethical performance of uniquely government functions and responsive representation and serving in turn as representatives and administrators.  It ends with individuals stepping forward to provide unbiased reporting and to ferret out and expose corruption and deceit.

Freedom.  Responsibility.  Self-direction.  Opportunity.  That is what “America” means to me.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment!

Contact me at vtsioriginal@yahoo.com

Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

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