Defining Independence

How to Truly Serve the People

It is said that he who controls history will control the future. 

Why do we celebrate Independence Day? Because we do not like “Dependence Day.”  Independence is defined as freedom from the control, influence, support, aid or the like, of others. Take a moment and read the Declaration of Independence in the sidebar.

Freedom to be independent means the ability to:

• Earn an income to support myself and my family; 

• Make decisions and suffer the consequences or reap the benefits; 

• Move freely and own land or home; and

• Protect my family or myself if harm is brought by those who do not respect freedom.

Independence means personal accountability for one’s actions and decisions, while being free from those who want to control or burden others. The entrepreneurial spirit today is limited by a multitude of issues ranging from complicated taxes, lack of funding options due to government regulations, health care requirements, employment and estate tax law.


Who Does the Government Serve?

When government oversteps its boundaries and begins to force its will on the people, instead of the people on the government, “it is their (the people’s) right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” So one has to ask – who does the government serve?

The purpose of government is to protect, inspire and stimulate our ability to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When conditions persist in society that create an unequitable status among the people, government rightly attempts to regulate it. Yet when legislation loses its balance through improper accountability or excessive bureaucracy, it moves to controlling life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We see this in the series of scandals from NSA surveillance on American civilians, to the IRS auditing the administration’s political foes, to the most recent scandal with the Veterans Administration.

We have a welfare system that was created to help those who cannot help themselves – the problem has become determining who those people really are. Today, welfare is working on three generations of families surviving on government assistance. This is not inspiration; it is bondage.

While there are valid reasons for reorganizing our health care system, where we are heading, when we mandate and control those freedoms and choices, is to create more burden on the entrepreneur to operate a business.

Attend any first grade classroom, and almost 100 percent of the children know what they want to be when they grow up: doctors, lawyers, presidents, firemen, policemen, etc. But by the time they reach their senior year, less than 3 percent have any idea what they want to do. Is our system inspiring our youth or creating limitations, doubts and fear?


A Different Dynamic

On the other hand, over the years we have seen programs where cooperation inspires positive results. Harvey Massey, the inspirational and entrepreneurial leader of Massey Services, calls it the “trifecta,” when government, academia and private business work together to create programs and services for the betterment of everyone. Then, we have a different dynamic.

The Tennessee Valley Authority built dams in the 1930s through 1950s, putting people back to work while creating economical and seemingly endless hydroelectricity. It also created some additional benefits in the form of tourism destinations and recreational venues.

The space program was a brilliant investment into the prosperity of the people. Many of the advancements we enjoy today were developed by the space program.  Not to mention, the ability to invest and cooperate toward a goal inspired the nation and entrepreneurs all over the world in a positive manner.

Positive economic development is the ultimate trifecta where government, academia and private business collaborate toward the fruitful development of economic prosperity for all citizens.

In order to protect the balance of independence and dependence, we must first address the responsible institution. We have allowed government to become a career path instead of a service opportunity of the elected individual to the nation. Consequently, decisions are made to protect a career, instead of voting what is right.

Government was never intended to be a career; it is a service to one’s nation and an honor that should have a fixed and temporary stage of time.

Our forefathers fought for the freedom from an overbearing government that no longer served the people – freedom from a government that sought to control the people. We should all reflect on the true meaning of the Fourth of July lest we wake up one day only to discover it’s become “Dependence Day.” Or are we there already?


Jeff_PiersallJeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines.  Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or jeff@scbmarketing.com




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About the author

Jeff Piersall

Jeff Piersall is a proven leader in all endeavors of his life having positively affected thousands of people throughout his career. As founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, Jeff inspires, motivates and connects entrepreneurs, business leaders and communities through his four business journals, numerous specialty publications, marketing services and speaking engagements. Jeff is co-author of Dogs Don't Bark at Parked Cars. www.dogsdontbark.com

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