@timpClimber: I was in Melo Smith's ward in St. Louis, too. I deeply
respect him and his family.The principles of combining opportunity
with self-reliance work everytime.
This is great and everything and the idea of accountability especially makes
good sense, but let's not get confused. Outright giving is not necessarily
the soul-destroying, spoiling thing for the recipient that some think it is.
Certainly the Book of Mormon and Jeffrey Holland don't think so. So then let's consider the statement for its face value: "...when you
economically empower someone they solve all those issues on their own."
Most people really do want to succeed. In most cases, just a smidgen of
confidence and encouragement and maybe a little mentoring, plus a little
financial empowerment, which could take the form of a loan but not necessarily
the form of a loan, often is all that is needed.
Thank you for this article. Loved it.
I found this article very inspiring. I have lived in areas of extreme poverty-
China (yes, there is extreme wealth there but also extreme poverty)-Rwanda and
now Zimbabwe. Zim now has around 90% unemployment in the formal sector. Meaning
that most just do what they can, day to day and meal to meal with no job that
they know they will have tomorrow. Catch as catch can. And maybe eat but never
save or ever get ahead. Poverty means never attaining most dream. In fact it
often means not having dreams.I don't want to detract from the
article, but I live in a socialist country and lived thru the last time that
people thought socialism was a good idea. It never worked in as grand a scale as
it had in the 20th cent. I am amused and afraid that so many people think it is
now viable. Like something has changed in human nature. Increase without
incentive is a dead end. I think Menlo Smith would agree with me.
I understand the point of the article to be Smith's honest desire to return
something significant to the world where he been so fortunate. Among people who
have amassed real wealth this seems quite a rare and laudable personal quality.
He certainly has nothing that forces him to be so benevolent, and as far as I
know, he has never sought for public recognition. When I met Menlo Smith in
1974, I thought he was a generous and unpretentious man who made benevolent use
of his extensive wealth to help better the lives of many. We sat together with
him to share at his dinner table. I was not impressed from this article that
the focus was to promote any political or socio-econmic agenda, or anything
other than to give due credit to a very good man who has accomplished great
"Why, oh why, can't those who trumpet the cause of mega social
give-away programs see this?!"First, most of us who are
socialists do not "trumpet give-away programs." We understand that
everybody, except those who are disabled, must work. People need work for their
own self-respect.Now to the article. I understand that the Deseret
News desperately desires to offer "free market" solutions to poverty and
the rapidly eroding middle class. I have no objections to micro-credit.
Anything which allows a self-directed enterprise to make it is all to the
good.But I wonder how these micro-enterprises make it against
competition from the big guys. How many of them survive any length of time?The hard fact is that most people must be employees under the current
capitalist system. It would be great if we could all be solitary proprietors
but that won't happen.The socialist alternative includes both
state owned enterprises and worker self-directed enterprises where several
workers get together to form an enterprise and manage it collectively.It is good we are thinking of alternatives because capitalism is running out
This quote in the article sums up most of our problems and solutions in the
US:“He looked at all the aid that is typically handed out, in
housing, water, medical care, transportation, or whatever, and what he figured
out is that when you economically empower someone they solve all those issues on
their own. When you provide people the mechanism to stand on their own feet they
take care of themselves.”Why, oh why, can't those who
trumpet the cause of mega social give-away programs see this?!
Mister,Who said Yunus pails in comparison? Certainly not this
article. Drop the victim attitude, its not pretty.
So? Yunus, Grameen Bank, & his Nobel Prize pail in comparison because one
there is a latter day saint who has done it?Its this kind of
self-absorbed insecurity that true believers exhibit that make the rest of us
scratch our heads.
We lived in the same ward with Menlo in St. Louis and soon came to love and
respect him and his family. They are genuine and loving to all. His quiet
example of how wealth can be used to lift up the poor teaches us about true