Letters to the Editor

Letter: Are you an island?

To the Editor:

Imagine that you get stranded on a deserted island. Because you are alone, it is up to you to provide all that you require to sustain life. As you explore the island, foraging for food and provisions, you make two discoveries. First, exposed on the side of the mountain there is an obvious vein of gold. Then you stumble upon a clearing in the jungle and find it covered with thousands of bundles of currency. In almost any other place in the world, both would represent great wealth, but on this desolate island they are just worthless rocks and paper.

Now imagine that another castaway finds his way to the island, and the two of you agree to share the work necessary to survive. This gives you the benefit of an economy. It is a micro-economy based on barter, which makes it possible to be more efficient and include more amenities. But just a few months later, your partner gets sick and dies, and his death is also the death of your economy.

There are many resources that can be utilized to develop, sustain and grown an economy but, (and this is the point of my little vignette), there is only one resource that an economy must have in order to exist at all, and that resource is people.

So, for an economy to exist it must have people who want goods and services. Assets can represent wealth only within the contest of an economy that values them. Why is it, then, that the wealthy people in our country resist investing in the one resource that they cannot do without - us?

Walter Enoch

McHenry

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