Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#12: One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future (Ben Carson)

on July 31, 2014

Ever since reading Gifted Hands, I have been very impressed by Dr. Carson’s insight and common sense approach to all areas of life. What I found in One Nation is another example of an intelligent citizen speaking out about the things that are wrong with our country and the steps we can ALL take to correct them. I’m sure the book is not viewed favorably by many in the mainstream media, but I found Dr. Carson’s thoughts challenging, insightful, and firmly based in history as well as Scripture.

Several topics appear throughout the book. Most notably are Carson’s views on education, political bullies, and the health care abomination known as Obamacare. While expressing his opinions on the topics, Carson continually emphasizes the responsibility of the individual citizen to be well-informed about the important issues facing the nation. Part of his approach to understanding today’s world is through the examination of the past.  Carson states, “Many people find history boring and think that pop culture is much more relevant to citizens today. There certainly is nothing wrong with being up to date on the current social issues that affect our lives, but in order to have the proper perspective on current events, we need to know what happened in the past.” (Carson, 43) Success in life, according to Dr. Carson, stems from a solid education. By extension, a secure nation is maintained by an educated citizenry. It is only when we are informed that we are truly relevant. Notice this powerful passage from the chapter on “Being Informed”:

Today I frequently find myself reminding young people to expand their horizons of knowledge and not listen to those who tell them to limit their interests to things that are “culturally relevant.” I tell them that if you want to be relevant only in your household, then you only need to know the things that are important in your house, and if you want to be relevant in your neighborhood, you need to know what’s important in your neighborhood. The same thing applies to your city, state, and country. And if you want to be relevant to the entire world, program that computer known as your brain with all kinds of information from everywhere in order to prepare yourself. (Carson, 125)

Perhaps most interesting are Carson’s views on taxation and the health care system in our nation. Carson bases his approach to taxation on the Biblical principle of the tithe. (Throughout the book, Dr. Carson refers to Scripture as a foundation for many of his opinions and is especially fond of the book of Proverbs.) Just as the tithe is 10% of income with no regard for the individual’s wealth or poverty, Carson argues that an equal percentage paid in taxes ends the punishment of the wealthy while reinstating the dignity of the poor by allowing them to contribute from their means. Dr. Carson advocates the use of health savings accounts (HSA) that are created at the time of birth and receive an initial deposit from the government. Future deposits would be made by employers, charitable organizations, and the individual. As Dr. Carson explains, such a system — while not perfect — places much of the responsibility back in the hands of the patient while once again creating a free market in our nation’s health care. I have to admit that I find the concept very interesting.

Do I agree with everything Dr. Carson has presented? Certainly not. I do think that he has raised issues that are important to our national dialogue. It’s time that “we the people” once again begin discussing the issues and making sure our elected officials are aware of our wishes. After all, they are to be our representatives — not the puppet masters.  One Nation is an excellent book that will challenge you to think critically about America’s current situation and our hope for the future.

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