Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2006

In praise of free enterprise

January 19, 2006

The definition of free enterprise is the ability to conduct business with little or no government involvement.

Our economy is based on businesses making profit as well as improving the community, making a good living and paying a fair share to the government. In the past 100 years, many regulations had to be made to keep things on an even playing field. Starting a business is a risk-taking venture; it is easier for many people to go to work for someone else.

We really should enjoy paying taxes as long as it is fair. In return, we receive many services if we would just stop and think about them.

I still remember with excitement the green peppers that I sold to Jack Lohman at Campbell's Grocery Store when I was 12 years old. After paying Glen Linaweaver for plowing the garden, buying the small plants, planting, watering and hoeing them and watching them grow, getting paid for them was a rewarding experience. Then later I found out that he doubled the price he paid me and made the same amount of money that I was paid.

That is how the system works.

I can picture every home or person with a private enterprise, if people are encouraged at an early age.

If every student could start his or her own enterprise, by the time they get to high school, they should have a great business going. It should be something that they really enjoy doing. Earning your own money is rewarding.

Inventions should be a top priority. My fifth-grade grandson just recently had a project of inventing something, which is good training. I asked him if he got a patent on his invention and explained to him how important it is to do a patent search and learn the process.

On the Internet, I found a site about Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) that is sponsored by Wichita State University. It has a program it is trying to introduce statewide called Elementary Enterprise (E2). First-graders learn about cash and coins, second- and third-graders learn about checking and savings accounts, fourth-graders learn about marketing, fifth-graders are taught the basics of entrepreneurship. They want to try to partner with SIFE chapters at 20 universities across Kansas to introduce the program to school districts around the state.

If all the 2,100 Lansing public school students had an enterprise of their own and made a profit of $1 a day, six days a week for a year, that would total $655,200, part of which could go back into the economy.

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