A 12-Step Economic Recovery Program for Impoverished African-Americans
by Gary North [abridged]
These begin with a presupposition: class position isn't primarily about one's level of income, but rather, his worldview: specifically his theory of cause and effect.
1. Join a church. I don't mean some shrinking, liberal, mainline denomination, especially one whose name begins with the word "United." I mean a Bible-preaching, hell-fire-and-damnation church, which warns people weekly that sins produce negative results. Avoid the never-ending liberal blame-shifting. The woman whom You gave me, she handed me the fruit!
2. Donate 10% of your income to your church. This is called tithing. It says to yourself and your church's deacons, "Every good and perfect gift comes down from my unchanging Father and I rely on Him for my money. This 10% off the top is a token of my faith that there's more where that came from."
3. Finish school. Graduating from high school or college doesn't make you smart. It makes you reliable. It sends a message to future employers: "I finish what I start, even something as inherently boring as school." No man who looks back, once he’s put his hand to the plough, is fit for the kingdom of God.
4. Get married and stay married to the same person. This takes advantage of the productivity offered by the division of labor. It's also a huge motivation for #5…
5. Get a job and keep it. There are no dead-end jobs. All jobs are stepping-stone jobs for people willing to pay the price to move up. When a job turns into a dead end, start working harder, longer, and smarter to persuade your boss to give you a promotion. He'll notice. There aren't that many good workers around. You'll get a promotion – or a job offer from your boss's competitor. Look at Joseph (Genesis 35- 49).
6. Work cheaper initially. Want to overcome resistance to hiring you? Lower your price. It's amazing what business owners' greed and their desire to exploit an opportunity - i.e., you - can do for your job prospects.
7. Master something. It doesn't matter what. Find out how to do something really well. Read everything you can about it. Practice what you're read. Take a night school class. Which means. . . .
8. Stop watching so much television. TV may be free; your time isn't. Those shows aren't funny. It doesn't matter how a series turns out. Abandon the concept of spare time. Your motto is now: TANSTASP: There ain't no such thing as spare time. “I must do the work of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night is coming, when no man can work".
9. Volunteer to help others. It doesn't matter what. There is plenty of work to be done, and plenty of people needing help. You will also come in contact with successful people – other volunteers – as well as people who need help.
10. Set some goals. You need lifetime goals (age 70), mid-term goals (a decade from now), and short-term goals (every quarter).
11. Save 10% of your after-tax, after-tithe income. It's good discipline, and the money adds up over time.
12. Start a business. Begin working for yourself on Saturdays. This means that you must go out and persuade customers to hire you. Spread your employment risk, in case one of your employers "fires" you.
These 12 steps work equally well for Americans of any race.
January 21, 2003