Work for it

As our economy suffers through this difficult period, many people, in trying to explain the problems, have started their discussion with the premise that our wealth is the result of our ingenuity, hard work and economic system that allows us free rein to prosper. However, the largest single factor in our nation’s wealth has been and still is the wholesale theft of land and accumulated wealth from the Indian nations that are the rightful owners of this country.

It has been a tale about the greatest “get-rich-quick” scheme in history. We came and stole land rich in minerals, game and forests, and started stripping those assets at an incredible pace. Indian crops, gold, cotton and other developed assets changed hands in the twinkling of an eye, leaving their Indian owners impoverished and our rapacious ancestors quite well off. It would be almost impossible to not get wealthy under this circumstance. However, as time is passing, the availability of easy wealth is diminishing. Now we may have to work for it.

If we continue to believe that the original source of wealth has been the result of some magical wealth creation gene, then it may not matter how hard we work. We need to come to our senses and realize that we have sacrificed entire nations of people on the altar of “get rich quick,” leaving them with virtually nothing. Without doing this, we would never have been able to catapult the privileged into the type of wealth that we have long enjoyed here in America. Unless we recognize the truth as to the source of our riches, I do not believe that we can begin to make the adjustments we need to in order to survive decades down the road.

Our choice is clear: either we find someone else to rip off and fill our coffers, or we redefine wealth as helping each other and having enough to get by.

– C.S. Cockrum
Southwick, Mass.