Print or PDFIn the Fall of 1963 I was in 7th grade at St. Cecelia elementary in Columbus Ohio. Like every year, our teachers urged us to collect coins during Halloween and fill up little milk cartons labeled with the acronym UNICEF (the United Nations International Childrens Fund). The money would then be sent to feed starving children around the world. But, something about this bothered me and I asked our teacher, Sr. Andrea, “once the money runs out, the food will run out, wouldn’t it be better for us to use this money to somehow find jobs for the parents of these starving children, so they can buy their own food?” Sister Andrea’s thought for a moment and then said to the class: “If any of you have parents who own their own business, please raise your hands. (about 8 or 9 students raised their hands). Now, if your parents have hired anyone to work for them – what we call employees – keep your hands raised (as I recall everyone kept their hands up). Well you should be very proud of your parents, because they are doing one of the greatest things anyone can do – making it possible for someone to earn a living and support themselves and their families. And, that is the answer to Marty’s question – it would be far better to find jobs for people rather than just give them money”.
From that day forward, I was a devout believer that business was a good thing because it created jobs for people. As we will discuss elsewhere on this site, we discovered that there existed an economic system and a business philosophy that allowed for more job creation. Eventually, we summarized this economic system as “Opportunity Economics” and those who practiced it most effectively to create and distribute wealth as “Free MarketEErs”.