Should everyone work? Should everyone that is able bodied and capable become part of the work force or should they be able to work the system, skirt around the issues and become part of the large group of Americans that indulge themselves in what some might dub: Government Handouts or Welfare rather than getting a job?
The author of this book brings to light what is happening and will happen to our economic structure, stability and economy if we allow more people to become economically depended and trapped in their own fiscal crisis. Enabling our young and allowing them to have everything by overindulging them creates a dependency that will filter throughout their lives and down to their offspring as well. Many feel that our government should provide programs for the poor to make them feel important, allow them to have some type of social structure and keep them economically dependent rather than self-reliant. The author gives many examples of different countries, nationalities and people throughout the world who believe in government programs such as welfare, aid and much more without giving any thought to what might or has been happening to the structure of our overall economy and where this money will come from or continue to be generated.
Can reading one book help you understand how to eliminate poverty? Self-reliance, policy reforms and more making our society accountable are just some of the interesting strategies related by author Calvin Helin in the Economic Dependency Trap. How many parents create trust funds, overindulge their children, leave them tons of money after they are gone, hoping to make them more self-sufficient and able to stand on their own two feet. But, in reality, are they standing alone or are they using what they handed to livelarge and not think about the end result: Economic Dependency or is it Parent Enabling?
You have heard of the flu now understand an equally deadly virus called “Affluenza.” Many young people prefer living under the same roof as their parents rather than being self-sufficient and making it on their own. As the author states, they have a sense or feeling of entitlement and prefer to lead lives that are not independent but rather in some sense freeloading off of the adults that are supposed to teach them some sense of responsibility or independence. This feeling of entitlement I can tell you are not just indicative of the affluent it reins in other social economic classes as well. Added to the mix is the fact that over 20 percent as the author states of our population or about 60 million Americans fall into this category of relying on federal and state aid in order to pay rent, utilities and food. What he so aptly defines as “Free Money” as we enable our young and allow them to not work and depleting their sense of freedom and self worth.
Let’s create two separate individuals. One we will call person A is self reliant, self- sufficient and would not depend on government, family or any type of free money. The other Person B is the total opposite.Depends on others to formulate opinions, decisions and definitely does not hesitate to take the easy way out by going on welfare, hoping his parents will back him financially and totally being enabled in order to exist. In my review I will describe the attributes of a person who is self-reliant and undependent and then one who is economically and emotionally dependent and you decide for yourself which defines you, which you would rather be and what attributes of both you might possess or need to possess as I write my special and unique review of Economy Dependency Trap by Celvin Helin.
I am full of hope, full of self -esteem, able to make my own decisions and I do not need the approval of others in order to survive. I prefer working, making my own money and I would never allow myself to take free money from others. Developing a healthy relationship with my family and friends I support them when needed and reach out to them when I feel necessary. I would never take government handouts, welfare nor would I think that the world orsociety owes me a living. However, my friend, Person B believes that I am wrong. He is on welfare, prefers to use his trust money and allowances to live and meet his daily expenses, he is not capable of making his own rational decisions and needs the approval of others in order to move ahead with any ideas. He is socially, emotionally and economically dependent on others andbelieves the world owes his a living and will definitely make sure he collects it.
There are four types of dependency our author describes. Government to citizen, government to government, intra country dependency and intra family dependency. Each explained in detail and how it affects not only individuals but our country as well. Each of these types of dependency is expanded on in this book. As a Native American our author learned independence, self-sufficiency and how to go out on his own to create his own life. However, many Native Americas have fallen into the trap, he states, of becoming comfortable with government support. Without this support many countries, cultures and families would survive. With a parent on Medicaid who has Alzheimer’s and having much of my savings and more on her homecare needs, I was grateful and appreciative when she was granted full Medicaid making it easier for me to handle other expenses. Coming from a family and parents that created three totally independent children who did not expect to get everything they wanted, worked from the age of 12 to make extra money and had careers of their own, I can understand why the author distinguished healthy interdependence from enabling and over-indulgence in such formative terms.
Economic dependency is indicative of not only the middle class but as the author relates the very wealthy too. Overindulging children and leaving them millions of dollars will not give them the tools to be self-sufficient or want to get up in the morning, go to work and earn it ontheir own. The author relates how many very wealthy people have decided to leave their millions to others, charities and not to their children. The author having worked his way up from being an impoverished child to an attorney and international businessman does not feel that children, adults or anyone should have things handed to them on a silver platter. While I might agree that every parent needs to teach their children self worth, relying on their own skills and not expecting everything to be spoon fed to them or on a silver platter, I do believe there are times when assistance might be needed if dire emergencies arise. There are times when children need to reach out to their parents when medical coverage does not pay for a child’s needs, or when someone loses a job and is not at fault but needs some brief assistance to feed his/her family. He discusses aboriginal reservations to the ruination of coal-mining towns, and how economic dependency knows no bounds, class or limits when allowed to erupt and spew over like the lava from an active volcano.
As the book progresses the author continues with discussions about how economic dependency has impacted families, the culture of entitlement, trust and attitudes debilitating and creating a mind set that a person’s basic needs should be provided for by either the government or family. Finally in the later chapters the discussion a different direction with allowing the reader to understand the importance of empowerment, the power of value, attitude, gratitude, humility, trust and kindness. Added to that the one word that ties it all together: Perseverance! Without perseverance, hard work and a mind set that in order to succeed you need to do a day’s work and earn it yourself, the author’s message will go unheeded and economic dependency might become your way of life. These are the building blocks or foundation to help you succeed and become undependent.
The road to becoming undependent takes work and the first step as the author relates is to create a strategic vision, which includes what the person knows and what they want in order to succeed and be independent.However, this requires work. First, you need to create your goals. After determining your major definite purpose, which is outlined and discussed indetail on page 260. The author includes on this page and the one following the components needed to create this purpose, how to identify your specific andgeneral goals, and completing and implementing your strategic plan. These points and components are explained for the reader in detail on pages 263-264.
There is much more to learn that you need to read and understand for yourself. Finally, the author completes the book in Part 6 where he explains how to modify government to citizen and economic dependency, government to government dependency and the importance of pursuing education in order to attain your goals and escape economic dependency.
There is much to be said for many of points made by the author that I can relate to. I believe that everyone should work and not expect that the government or their family or handouts should fulfill basic needs. I feel there are times when a family might need fuel assistance, Medicaid, and HUD Housing in order to survive. I really do not agree that in all cases, especially single parents that find themselves without financial support and have young children making it difficult for the person to work full time, that they feel a lack of self-worth or self-esteem because they need some aide, even for a short time meaning that the unemployable should receive welfare but thosethat can work should not reap these benefits or rewards. The conclusions and final opinions should be the readers not this reviewers. I have given you most of the facts and tried to stay neutral when expressing my opinion. But, onefact is definitely front and foremost and that this is a very interesting, thought provoking, mind stimulating book that will create much discussion in many different groups. Great book to teach economics and even greater resource for those that work in government programs and those that want to understand how to better their lives and not be economically dependent on anyone.
Are you SELF RELIANT? OR RELIANT? Read the book. Understand the meaning of self-worth, self –reliance and do not become a victim of the economy dependency trap.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
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