Vail Daily column: The path to success

I cannot call someone a “reverend” who preaches a divisive class warfare and redistribution of wealth by government as the only solution to inequality and equates this with “freedom.”

The successful people you so vilify are not the evil of this world. Many, if not most, are successful because of some special talent we all might hope to replicate. Some have physical skills, others have brilliant minds and ideas and some have just been lucky to be in the right place at the right time (think mineral rights). Many give back to the world via their own ideas of how they can help others the most. Carnegie gave libraries, Gates spends billions on medicine and education, Buffett gives billions more for Gates to spend. None elected to give their excess wealth to Big Government. You demand that Big Government take the gains of the successful and redistribute their wealth to the less well off.

I thought Jesus said give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. He also preached kindness to the poor and sick. The proverbs also teach that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime.

My father was an penniless immigrant who constantly preached get your education, work hard, do good and go to church. He lived his life that way and his life was blessed although he was never wealthy financially (he had to work until he was 75 because of very meager pension resources). I tried to follow his advice and was also blessed with a wonderful wife, family and financial resources that allowed me to retire a few months before my 60th birthday. I am now 83 and still well off although not in the so called evil 1 percent.

All four of our children live blessed lives in the pursuit of happiness but only two will have great financial success and two others will not. One grandson will never be able to fully care for his own needs. He simply cannot learn to fish. However, I do not propose that you, through Big Government, must somehow intervene to take care of those less financially successful or unable to be successful.

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The Russian Communists tried the redistribution route for about 100 years, It did not work out well. They simply have a new set of “czars” and a whole lot of new serfs. I suspect the income inequality is worse than ever.

In all life there will be some who are losers and some who are winners in the race for financial success. Thus, some will be poorer than others. Governments job is to keep the race as fair as possible. That means facilitating access to education and opportunity for productive work. That does not include punishing the more successful to reward the less successful.

Education, opportunity, brains, effort and good choices will help anyone succeed. The degree of success is up to you.

So let’s pray and work to help people succeed to the best of their own unique ability.

Don Salanty

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