Understanding Democracy in the context of non-profits, Kars for Kids and The Uber App
Democracy: de.moc.ra.cy – noun
– A form of government in which people choose leaders by voting.
– A country ruled by democracy.
– An organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights.
It appears that democracy is not a choice of the above three definitions rather a combination. At one point or another each of those definitions comes into play. It struck me that the definitions don’t really work well together. If we all choose the government then I assume the government has to listen to us. We get to do what we want all the time. No rules, no tickets, crimes or fines. No jail – no justice. So what then is the point of government? In fact that is the second definition which states “a country ruled by democracy; emphasis on ruled”.
The government which we chose will govern us. They will abide by certain standards as were established to qualify as a democracy. We will be treated equally and have many choices and freedoms. We have freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. We also have many, many choices. That does not limit the fact that there will be a judicial system with reinforcements in place.
When we establish a new business there are rules to follow as well. Many times we don’t like those rules. Many times we feel suffocated, taken advantage of, and wish we could just do what we want All The Time.
When Kars for Kids receives car donations, when we advertise to potential donors, or when it comes tax season, we also wish sometimes to be freer. Many car donors ask us if we can take an abandoned vehicle as a donation. Even though the kids we have programs for could really use that money, we still gotta follow the rules. We have to answer to the IRS during the year and during tax season just like anyone else. No charity, organization, non-profit or real corporate company is above the law. In a capitalist society we are free to conduct so many types of business. We’re given liberties to be creative and use multiple means to make money. This can be for a regular corporation or a non-profit charity. However to be free does not mean a complete absence of rules or guidelines at all. Democracy can mean to be free and with restrictions at the same time.
I just read an article discussing the various obstacles that the now very successful taxi company Uber is running into. Whether it be in Portland, India, The Netherlands, New York, or California they are having a difficult time adhering to different municipalities’ restrictions. I think they have really long and far reaching goals; to grow from $17 Billion to $40 Billion and upwards. They probably feel stifled and maybe they won’t reach certain goals. To be successful however, follow the rules. This is the new age. I love using Uber it’s so convenient and hip. However, there’s being free and there’s being carefree. Democracy is not carefree. Sorry folks.