Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Make Money Not War
Yes I know the Gordon Gekko-- "Greed is Good" -- speech from the movie Wall Street but I would never advocate pure greed. However I do support people utilizing their God-given talents to make the most of themselves so they can accumulate all the resources (legally and ethically) they want. Now ideally these same people would have enough care for others to utilize some of these resources to help those less fortunate thus helping the rest of us to avoid social engineers creating government programs to equalize the world around us.
I was reminded of a potential blog posting theme while talking with my buddy Stephen at a recent think tank conference. Stephen told me that he declined to be interviewed for a Junior Achievement (www.ja.org) job because it "did not pay enough" versus keeping his current career where he could use his talents to make substantially more money which would allow him to continue his financial support of J.A.'s programs. This conversation reminded me of my immediate thoughts when I heard the announcement that former Arizona Cardinals player (American football for my foreign friends) turned US Army Ranger , Pat Tillman, was killed during his service in Afghanistan. NOTE - I have a fraternity brother who is an Army Ranger so please do not doubt my respect for these soldiers. I would be proud to be one myself but I am at least 20 years too late for pursuing that option!!
Now I salute Mr. Tillman for his sense of patriotism and by no means would taint his memory but I would have preferred a different scenario for everyone concerned. If Mr. Tillman and I were sitting around talking on the patio while grilling and he asked for my advice regarding whether or not he should leave the National Football League for service in the US Army Rangers I would have said:
1.) Pat, keep playing football in the NFL
2.) Make millions of dollars from your contract, sponsorships, and public appearances.
3.) Use some of your wealth to create a foundation to educate the children of Afghanistan
Sadly, Pat Tillman's career as a US Ranger was too short due to his untimely death. Let's say he killed 2 or 3 Taliban soldiers during his tenure and contrast this effort against a possible $5 million endowment for the "Pat Tillman Afghani Children's Fund" spending at least $250,000 annually generated by a nominal 5% return from the endowment.
Those 250,000 dollars would provide for the creation of 25 schools being built annually across Afghanistan assuming they used the Room to Read model -- www.roomtoread.org -- "Just US$8,000 to US$12,000 in investments, depending on the country, is enough for us to build a school that will support over 150 students and last for years to come."
Rest in Peace Pat Tillman,