We subscribe to the theory that the better off you are, the better off we will be. More broadly, we believe the greater the wellbeing of our community and society, the greater our own wellbeing.
Our experience suggests we are on the right track.
And it stands to reason. Every retiree needs healthy, productive workers to pay Social Security taxes on good earnings. Every business endeavor needs customers with money. Every level of government from the village to the nation requires taxes from productive workers and businesses to offer its basic functions.
America has perhaps been the place where the highest fraction of the people could unlock the greatest part of their own potential. We think this explains our prosperity relative to nearly all other countries.
Here’s a thought experiment. How would things be different if left-handed people were no longer permitted to engage in any occupation which required tools, even a computer?
If you are left-handed, this would clearly be a bad thing. A household with two different adults—a left-hander and right-hander—would have a tougher time financially than they would otherwise. (Right-handed people would have “less competition” for better jobs, but would they be any better off overall?)
When you think about it, a system that discouraged or limited a tenth of the population would hurt us all. To carry on with our example, consider how our world has been enriched in many ways by unique talents of left-handers: Leonardo, Einstein, Helen Keller, Marie Curie, Jimi Hendrix… even Oprah and Lady Gaga!
And all those less-famous lefties going about their lives, doing ordinary things to make their own lives more extraordinary, have been responsible for untold wealth and progress.
Certainly, our nation and our world would be poorer, with lower total income distributed more unevenly.
This is why our surest path to the brightest future includes working to expand opportunity to the whole of our people—letting everyone on the ladder, with a fair shot at the next rung.
Discrimination in access or pay or opportunity makes us all poorer. Inclusion makes us richer, and yes, even when left-handers have a fair shake. And women. And people of color. And anyone else you can think of.
America’s historic source of strength and prosperity—being the place where people can unlock their own potential—can be made more true for more of us. And it will be to the benefit of all of us.
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