The founders were truly ahead of their time in terms of their view that states, not the federal government, should be incubators for innovation. As a result, we have dynamic metropolises of economic excellence like New York City, where most of our financial system operates, and Silicon Valley, where the nation’s largest tech companies started and still operate. We need to develop a way to help every region of this nation to develop the kind of commercial and innovative energy seen in these two regions. While the entire solution is complex, two things can be done immediately to rectify the situation.
By letting the economic system be free, we would stop undermining so many cities and areas with potential for economic growth and allow more minorities to become richer. More successful people in the minority community would breed others to succeed simply by creating new networks and standards of living. I have always said networking is an essential part of building wealth, and more wealthy minorities can only help their communities.
There is really no shortage of entrepreneurial energy in the minority community in this country. I have seen it with my own eyes in urban areas and in South Carolina, and I am a living example of it. I promise that you will continue to see a tremendous amount of growth in the amount of business owners in minority communities all across America.
There are obviously two critical dimensions to increasing numbers. One is minorities getting rigorous training and education in business and learning about the business world. Public sector workers are at an all-time high in our nation’s history at 17 percent and fewer people work in the ever-diminishing private sector. Meaning, minorities and people learning less about business diminishes their potential business and career opportunities.
Secondly, and more importantly, minorities need to understand you are who you associate yourself with, and mentors and a good network of people are essential for success. I will use myself as an example; I spent the last 20 years learning everything I could possibly learn about the business world through running my own business and through all my work beyond my core business, which is public relations and communications.
I spent the last 20 years developing TV and syndication, learning all I could about how TV works and truly preparing myself to build business-owning media assets. In addition to that, I’ve thoughtfully cultivated a number of mentors (David Smith) and good FCC lawyers (Colby May) to keep me on track and successful and help me see a different perspective when needed. Media contacts have enhanced my understanding of the industry and opened up an entirely new network of relationships, which led to my ability to acquire TV affiliates in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Flint, Mich.
As we all know, the backbone of the American economy is small businesses. These businesses are created by individuals, entrepreneurs, visionaries and risk takers. They should be encouraged and supported. We have an unemployment problem today in America, and employment has a direct correlation to small businesses, meaning when unemployment goes down, the bulk of those newly employed are employed by small business owners. In minority communities, if we want to reduce unemployment, there should be a concerted effort to expand small businesses.
In money and banking, one of the fundamental principles that are maxims that we are taught is that the Federal Reserve creates money. But that’s simply not the case. Going all the way back to elementary school for a moment, we are taught that money is a noun. WRONG. Money is a verb. The definition of a verb is to work. Money is created by commercial banks, which means lending (hopefully to business people) and not buying government bonds. America back to work means banks lending money to its business customer base, which results in greater employment and greater productivity.
Jobs are created only one way, and that is through production. We must remember that jobs are a byproduct of production. More jobs and a free market system allow more people to be competitive and more successful. More successful people create a network that breeds more success–culturally, financially and emotionally. I have created jobs for people over the years, good jobs, and I am proud of that, and buying a TV station will allow me to create even more. Minorities need this system because of all the trickle-down results. The potential for a wealthier or more successful friend or family member can only help minorities rise out of poverty, and the free market system is the foundation of that.
Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 128, 6-7 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday 10-11 a.m. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.