Makers and Takers

Dear Next Generation,

I’ve been thinking about you again. I trust that this letter finds you in good health and spirits. I wish you well and remind you of how proud I am of you.

My thoughts drifted to a subject that I realized most of you seem to already know. Some of you do this without understanding why. For the rest, well I’m sure you won’t mind discussing it a bit further for everyone’s benefit.

You see, there are basically two types of people; a maker and a taker. I’m sure more types can be described like, indecisive, cheerleaders, followers and leaders. But what I would like to talk about are the two groups that can have the biggest impact on any generation. Those others are really on the sidelines when it comes to the success or failure of a generation.

So makers and takers can define a generation. The ratio of the two drive an outcome. Success depends on it and I’d like to explain why.

Let’s start by defining what a maker is. We’ll describe takers later.

I’m sure you can contrast the two yourself, but let’s be sure to be fair.

A maker is one that either directly or indirectly, contributes to a final outcome. That outcome is a net benefit to someone or something other than themselves. This is key to understanding the purpose of a maker. Of course, a maker gets paid for their contribution and is usually compensated proportionally. Back during times when  indentured servitude and slave labor existed, makers weren’t paid. Nonetheless, they were makers all the same. Today, everyone is paid something for being a maker.

It’s a trade off for services rendered and the final result. Of course some believe their services are worth more than they receive and in a free market, you can go to where ever the wages agree with you.

How does a maker contribute to society?

Well I have to ask. Do you like your gadgets, your ability to reside in a dry home? How about having your trash collected or a fireman saving your home? What about the ability to purchase a quick meal at an odd hour? Anything that you may not have the skill to produce for yourself, you’ll have to rely on another maker. And you’ll pay this maker something for his product.

These people are all makers and provide something of benefit in the end. Sometimes to you very directly. Other times, their benefit to you isn’t readily visible. Regardless, they provide a net positive towards an end goal. They increase something.

What about a taker? Is is meant to understand the opposite as a problem? Well yes and no.

Because your generation has such an awesome heart you will understand this.

First, a taker is someone who does not provide a net positive to someone other than themselves. They don’t increase anything that benefits a group. In fact, they diminish a makers output. The effort a maker expels, is offset by the quantity of takers. This doesn’t immediately effect the makers salary, but does effect the net result. In the long run, there is a drain on the makers salary.

Hold on before you polarize this thought. This isn’t just about hard working makers  versus takers.  Not all takers are truly takers. That’s right, it isn’t as simple as one versus another.

You could become a taker if things go awry. Your job ends through no fault of your own. There’s no longer a steady income to satisfy the bills. Your resources dry up. What are you to do? You must take assistance to help get through this. I said take.

While you are trying to get back on your feet, this taking is a life line. You hate it but realize there is no other way. You push yourself to break free from this handout as you feel it is. And because of your efforts, you become a maker again. Once again truly free.

So a taker can be someone just like you only things hadn’t gone as planned. There are those that are trying to become makers again.

So where’s the problem?

You see, not everyone fell on hard times through no fault of their own. Some believe the assistance is owed to them and take it without a concern. In fact it’s their occupation to see just how much they can get. They live comfortably on the big hearts of others. They may believe that institutions provide the free money they consume. But in fact the real source is the makers.

There is the problem.

They can’t have assistance unless there is a maker. In reality, one maker cannot take care of one taker unless there is some suffering and doing without on the makers behalf. Instead, society has created a pool from multiple makers to take care of one taker. This prevents the pain of less resources being felt by one maker.

This ratio, say four makers to one taker can work. The pain is spread out and real needy people get real help. It’s like tossing coins into a fireman’s boot. It adds up to help if enough people do so.

The underlying problem surfaces when too many takers overwhelm makers. Instead of four makers, it now takes twenty. When that’s not enough, there aren’t always more makers. Some makers would end up with so little for their efforts that being a taker becomes more profitable. The spiral has nowhere to go but down.

This situation occurs during a real down turn in our economy. It quickly is realized that this is not sustainable. There is a real need for makers to help the takers.

Today in our bustling economy, there should be a surplus of makers to takers. But some have found it a easy to be takers because being a maker is hard work. This you know all too well.

When a society gets an attitude that it really does owe one particular group or groups, this could be the end to a self maintaining, charitable workforce. Too many hands in the pot leaves it empty. There can never be enough of people like you that feel the need to be a maker.

Your generation is robustly makers. It is good that those that truly need help can depend on you until they join you. All that will be left are career takers and their numbers will dwindle. By your example of working through hard times, they will feel the need to be like you. The imbalance will swing where it’s needed.

For those of you that already understand this, I am glad that you have been taught well. And for the others, I hope to have given something that helps you continue on the path to greatness. You always amaze me.

Until next time Dear Next Generation, Do try new things safely for you and your generation. And, keep making for the sake of those that truly need help.

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