Who should determine the course of our lives? There is no shortage of people who aim to control others, imposing their will and restricting choice through the force of government.
Self Control or State Control? You Decide by Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the Libertarian Book Club's selection for the month of May. Below is a curated selection of our thoughts and notable quotes from the book.
Join our Facebook Group as we seek to learn more about Libertarianism.
We are a monthly book club for anyone who wants to learn more about Libertarianism. We will discuss each book's chapter/section in separate posts, so everyone will be able to read along at their own pace. We typically also focus on books which are available for free so that everyone can participate.
I highlighted a good deal in this chapter and I'm sure everyone will excuse me for the heavy quote pasting.
"Free people are not subservient, but neither are they uncontrolled. They control themselves. Taking control of your life is an act of both freedom and responsibility"
"Unsurprisingly, they consider freedom frightening. As a consequence, many have believed that order and virtue must be imposed at the expense of freedom. They equate responsibility with submission to the commands of others."
"One can never legislate or choose the outcomes directly; all legislators or rulers can do is to change the incentives that participants in social interactions face. Thus, actions may be outlawed because the legislators think they're bad"
I think this chapter does a nice job of explaining a few things:
1) My life is mine. Not anyone else's. I really enjoy endurance sports (MMA, bike touring, hiking marathons, and most recently the dreaded Barkley Marathon ("the race that eats its young"). I can not rely on government to keep me safe; it is my responsibility - and mine alone - to keep myself safe. If I'm stupid, then I reap the consequences for that, if I am smart; the benefits.
2) No victim, no crime. I hate drugs. Hate them. I don't want to be around them. I don't want to watch others do them. With that said, it is immoral for me to push this belief on to others, we must look at the proof that the law hasn't prevented drug usage (arguably, it's only gotten worse and created a violent black market around it).
There are a few other highlights I liked quite a bit:
"Self-control is never perfect, but state control is no improvement"
"A harmonious society rests on respect for the freedom of each member"
"The rules of the road facilitate the transportation of millions of people to millions of different destinations, all without a central power issuing commands to them; they're not perfect, but rather simple rules of the road help many millions of people to avoid collisions and arrive where they want to be every minute of every day"
'But without police at every street corner, why would anyone follow the law?', the statist asks.
Simple: it's in everyone's best interest to follow the rues of the road.
Clearly, the nanny state and the desire to protect us all from ourselves is counter-productive. It seems that society can - and would - flourish much more in a society that allowed individuals to make their own choices.
"The Founding Fathers believed in the unalienable human right to liberty, but they knew it depended on personal responsibility. To be freed from a tyrant's rule, men had to be able to rule themselves: that truth seemed self-evident"
"In workplaces, managers scoring high in self-control were rated more favorably by their subordinates as well as by their peers. People with good self-control seemed exceptionally good at forming and maintaining secure, satisfying attachments to other people. They were shown to be better at emphasizing with others and considering thing from other people's perspectives"
"When she tested prisoners and then tracked them for years after their release, she found that the ones with low self-control were most likely to commit more crimes and return to prison"
As will be covered more in future chapters, the welfare state brings a host of problems: namely that it keeps the poor, poor.
I really don't like anti-welfare arguments centered around the belief of "they're just lazy" (this is as old as at least the Victorian period. Check out the TV mini-series "Victorian Slum House") as there is a lot more to it than that and the negatives of the welfare state expand much more than just that "some people are too lazy to work."
As an aside, has anyone read The Human Cost of Welfare: How the System Hurts the People It's Supposed to Help"?
"We are throwing these people a life preserver to keep them afloat, but not pulling them into the boat. They are effectively creating and perpetuating a dependent class".
"One of the first things our welfare system does is make people poorer so that they may qualify for benefits. Qualifying for benefits means spending down assets and savings, and that includes vehicles, which is especially problematic".
This chapter breaks down how only Property Rights can prevent overfishing. "Fisheries using Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs) in places ranging from Iceland to New Zealand have seen fish populations stabilize and even grow along with fishing incomes". But... but .... without fishing licenses controlled by the government, that's impossible!
Additionally, this chapter elaborates on some things Murray Rothbard wrote in New Liberty.
"Environmental problems are generally conflicting claims over resources and how they are used. Property rights help to resolve those conflicts by providing a legal institution that prioritizes particular uses—the uses that the owner prioritizes, in the time frame that the owner chooses. For some environmental problems, such as chemical pollution in a self-contained lake, individual ownership of the land that includes the lake is likely to give the owner incentives to maintain the lake’s quality, either for his/her own consumption value or because pollution would reduce the market value of the property."
My favorite chapter thus far! Contrary to a point I made about an earlier chapter, this one does seem to advocate for a stateless society, or at least nearly so:
"It is often assumed that the Catholic Church, because of its social teaching, is committed to high levels of state intervention and regulation. However, in its most authoritative document on such matters, it states:
"Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society.”"
One wonders why in this quote "sole" could not replace "primary?"
"The reaction to the financial crash of 2007–2008 provides an indication of how state regulatory institutions are created and operate. In the wake of the crash, tens of thousands of pages of regulations were written and promulgated. It was estimated that the Dodd–Frank Act in the United States, with its associated regulations, would come to thirty thousand pages.
In 2011, some 14,200 new financial regulations were created worldwide. That trend was underway well before the financial crash. It is often asserted that there was a period of deregulation before the financial crash and that the crash was a consequence of deregulation. That is not so, certainly not in the United Kingdom."
Not just in the US either.
The evidence is quite strong that systems of state regulation have not been successful. Not only did the comprehensive systems of financial regulation that developed in the United Kingdom from 1986 and in the United States from the 1930s not prevent the financial crash, but in many ways they were contributory causes that exacerbated and spread the crisis globally. Many forms of mistaken and reckless behavior that led to the failures of banks and other financial institutions in 2007–2008 were encouraged by regulation."
Boy, you can say that again.
The dominant historical narrative suggests that, before the twentieth century, urban development was chaotic and that each property owner and developer could do what they wished without regard to the impact of their actions on anyone else. The result, supposedly, was terrible slums, and ugly unplanned development. (A visit to such places as Bath and Bloomsbury might raise doubts about that narrative, of course.)"
I was in Bath about a year and a half ago and can confirm.
I also love the point made on pages 89-90 how urban sprawl was caused by "muh roads" being taken over by government from private turnpike trusts.
"Interestingly, the same people who advance that account also often complain about “suburban sprawl” in the United States without stopping to reflect that such “sprawl” is associated with and largely caused by governmental regulatory regimes. Complaints about the ugliness and poor quality of public and private buildings produced under the pre-1948 regime in Britain are also puzzling when one considers the poor quality of so many buildings that have been produced since that time."
"A free person makes her own choices and manages her own life; an unfree person's life is managed by someone else"
"We are free persons, rather than mere material objects, because we can be held accountable for our acts. We are distinguished as individuals by what we do - the very things for which we are responsible. Responsibility for our actions and the freedom to choose for ourselves foster social cooperation, coordination, and harmony, and when our freedom and responsibility are overridden, social order is disrupted and conflict replaces harmony."
"...welfare states tax to provide (frequently monopolistically) through political means what could be provided and chosen voluntarily - from retirement income, to medical care, to housing, to education - and in the process induce people to reduce their savings, engage in riskier behavior, abandon voluntary mutual aid organizations, and pay less attention to securing their own well-being and that of their families and communities."
"Replacing self-control with state control rarely generates any of the benefits claimed by its enthusiasts and always generates other, unintended, consequences."
Self Control or State Control introduces the reader to a number of different concepts that they may not be aware of in which the State controls us and the life we wish to live for ourselves. Most of the 11 chapters are written by a different authors, but they all compliment one another well.
This book covers a range of topics, such as the welfare state (how and why it has failed), business regulations, will power, the philosophy of individualism, and others. Overall, I found the book to be an interesting read, and I really liked that each chapter contained numerous references (I'm quite the stickler for this. Without references, a book such as this isn't worth much).
I think that this is a fantastic read for those that are new to Libertarianism, and I believe that it is especially good for those that are crossing over from a previously Left-wing ideology.
4½ stars overall, since I found some parts of the chapters discussing individualism to be somewhat dry. Still a great book and a suggested read!
Purchasing your Amazon items through this search box supports libertyLOL and doesn't cost you a penny more at checkout!
Follow libertyLOL on your favorite social media sites:Facebook
Countable: Government Made Simple
Steemit blog on a blockchain (beta)
libertyLOL's Liberty Blog RSS Feed
We also run a couple twitterbots which provide great quotes and book suggestions:
Murray Rothbard Suggests
Tom Woods Suggests
Jason Stapleton Suggests
MORE FROM LIBERTYLOL:
Screw with healthcare, states begin to set up their own systems to best fit their individual populations, or not, as is best locally.
Defund Meals on Wheels and merely threaten Planned Parenthood and PBS and watch private charities pick up the slack.
Pull out of global climate deal, individual cities make moves to align with their residents wishes on the matter.
Trump has actually made Democrats support 'states rights' and think about owning guns and push for the succession of California.
Apologies if I failed to preface this up front but by no means am I a fan of the current White House, and it's sure as hell not intentional on their part, but damn if there isn't some (present day) proof of concept going on here.
We all want to care about others. The 'Free College for All' narrative is rooted in the idea that we take care of others. But are we taking care of others by stealing from the masses to pay for College? What happens to the price of college if our subsidies for it increase? The price of college has increased DUE TO the persistent governmental interference in the market.
Politicians like Bernie Sanders can't wait to get in front of microphones and discuss how 'moral' it is for us to provide these services. Imagine that. It's moral to steal from your neighbor to provide college for free to others. But the moral argument should be made for those that are getting stolen from and for the future generations that have to pay the price of our generation's policies.
The image below is the cliffnotes version of Bernie Sanders' "College For All" Act, basically just marketing. The full version of Bernie's plan (51 pages) takes some time to figure out how his policy proposal works.
My friend loves the idea, I responded to him that if we understand economics, then we know what we can expect to follow:
Throw 'free' money at colleges and then be amazed at why college costs increase and then throw more money at college and then be amazed so we throw more money at colleges and then costs increase so we have to throw more money...
Each time we find that it is the government that is increasing the costs of college making it MORE necessary for government to get MORE involved and making it HARDER for families to afford it... Dangerous cycle. Government begets more government and creates more problems when it tries to solve problems.
I offered to read the entirety of Sanders' bill if he would read Economics in one lesson, a quick read.
I am quite familiar with the Mises Institute and Hazlitt's One Lesson. However, I'm cautious of lessons from the 1940s! You and I just don't agree on what's important or of value.
"What's important or valuable" isn't free college and free health care. It's the kind of world and indebted nation you're leaving to your children. They own this debt that we're ignoring because we aren't mature enough to live within our means. But we can't do that because politicians use 'emotions' to keep themselves in power, at our expense.
Our politicians are like children who keep passing the buck off on others because they won't be in office when it fails and promising 'free' stuff gets votes.
Economics is Timeless
If we were in the stone age, Economics in One Lesson would still apply. Hazlitt doesn't talk about the results of what happened in the 1940s, he talks about the things we are doing today.
Chapter 1: The Lesson: The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate hut
at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that
policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
Chapter 2: The Broken Window fallacy (economy runs on consumption), basically the reason The Fed is drowning us in free money and zero% interest rates.
Chapter 3:The Blessings of Destruction fallacy explains why economies boom during wartime and why the US is at perpetual war because peace isn't profitable. (Let me know if this seems relevant today)
Chapter 4 Public Works mean Taxes- talks about the ills of an economy when taxation is used for public works compared to the free markets ability to do the same without taxation. Not applicable? 40% of the US GDP today is money spent by the US Government.
Chapter 5: Taxes Discourage Production - Read this chapter with the understanding that EVERYTHING today is taxed. And before it's taxed, the money you've gotten through labor (income) is taxed. The stuff you made is taxed from many ingredients that were taxed and the people who bought it from you were taxed when buying it. Rewritten today, this chapter is it's own book.
Chapter 6: Credit Diverts Production-
"Actually, you know what," I tell my friend, "feel free not to read it because it's written in the 40's. But that's a cop-out".
He's got children, it's his and my job to make the world better for them. If we can't read one book and challenge me to read something that might challenge my worldview and then follow on with an adult conversation, then we both can't continue this virtue-signaling where we think we're being moral and 'looking out for folks'.
Government growth and deficit-spending hurts those that can't voice an opinion against it - Our Children
His response will likely be that I don't value Free Education or Free Healthcare or Free unlimited safety nets for everyone. He'd think I was immoral for not supporting it. Quite the opposite. The moral argument is to remove government obstacles to the free market and charity to support these causes.
Prices are high where government interferes and over-regulates the most. Why do our health care costs rise while Breast Implants and Lasik eye procedure costs plummet (while the quality increases)? One is highly regulated by the government, the other is not. The Free Market is competing for people's dollars so costs go down and quality goes up.
How Government Regulations Made Healthcare So Expensive
Third-Payer Problem, AKA "If I go to a restaurant and my tab is picked up by someone else (Insurance Company), then I'm ordering the steak".
PRICE CEILINGS AND PRICE FLOORS, a CENGAGE lesson in microeconomics.
Rent-seeking - Wikipedia
"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day, but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of (politicians), too plainly prove a deliberate and systematic plan of reducing us all to slavery." -Thomas Jefferson
The problem with the news today is they no longer provide an objective look at what happened. Instead, they provide a biased point of view and then tell you what to think and how to feel about it.
Instead, I'll cover two competing views on Republican Representative Justin Amash's YES vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and allow you to make up your own mind. Haven't read it yet? I'll post it at the bottom of the article in an effort to declutter.
We'll first look at his decision and validate it against our Principle of "Constitutionalism". This allows us to determine whether the new AHCA bill is even valid, legal or constitutional.
The second way to critique Representative Amash's decision and look at his reasoning. We can then determine if the new AHCA incrementally takes us 'Closer to Liberty' or 'Closer to Tyranny'.
Is AHCA even Constitutional?
There is no gray area on this question. The AHCA Bill is either constitutional or it's not. If it's not, Rep Amash took an oath to uphold the constitution and failed by voting YES. A NO vote on an unconstitutional bill is a constitutional vote. A YES vote for an unconstitutional bill is an unconstitutional vote.
The argument from those who uphold this principle of Constitutionality will claim that we even if AHCA is incrementally better than ObamaCare, his vote on a law that violates the Constitution should be an automatic NO.
They would also claim that just because this unconstitutional law is slightly better than the previous unconstitutional law, Libertarians have never been about voting for the lesser of two evils, Quite the opposite.
So is AHCA unconstitutional? Again, I won't tell you what to think but reading more on it should color your favorability (or not) or Rep Amash's vote. No one has ever been able to clearly articulate to me why the Robert's precedent made ObamaCare constitutional so I'm not the guy to give legal advice. Might I suggest a couple great articles:
Is Ryancare’s ‘Lapsed Coverage’ Surcharge Unconstitutional Under Roberts’s Obamacare Precedent?
Why I voted NO on the American Health Care Act - Representative Andy Biggs
Does AHCA Take us Closer to Liberty or Closer to Tyranny?
Those who support Rep Amash's YES vote because "AHCA is incrementally better than ObamaCare" will typically claim that they are 'realists' in the room. They understand that we won't wake up tomorrow living in a libertarian society with a perfectly Free Market Health Care system. They argue that libertarians have to do what we can, when we can, to reduce the size of government, even if incrementally.
Rep Amash knows that a NO vote doesn't repeal ObamaCare, it's the law of the land. Realistically, he notes, a YES vote can at least get us started in a new direction, one towards Liberty.
This might be true even though I believe AHCA to be a monstrosity of legal code atop another monstrosity of legal code.
The problem is that for for the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. And now, even though they claim this is it, they are only amending ObamaCare, retooling the subsidies, taking out the individual mandate, and ensuring the government is the one who maintains power of the health care market.
The AHCA is bad politics for the Republicans and bad policy for Amash's name to be tied to. Why risk putting your name on a slightly better turd sandwich than the one you inherited? The one they all got elected on promising to repeal? The one they passed very clear Repeal Legislation on more than 50 times when they knew President Obama would just veto?
It seems to me that allowing the ill-effects of government intervention into the health care market only empowers those calling for Single Payer, a death knell for individual liberty and one that ensures increased scope of government and decreased quality of product.
My principles of Limited Government and Free Markets refuses to support AHCA. Part of me cheers knowing that it's not likely to pass the Senate in it's current form.
This is a tough one. I'd love to hear your thoughts below on whether your support the AHCA because 'at least it's a slightly better turd sandwich' or if you'd prefer a NO vote on it because 'Repeal ObamaCare or NOTHING'.
Would you be happy living with ObamaCare for another few years in an attempt to try to get full repeal? I'm not optimistic that any power given to the government is one that you'll see them give back without a long fight and without multiple electoral consequences for politicians.
Rep Justin Amash's Response
This is not the bill we promised the American people. For the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. But it is increasingly clear that a bill to repeal Obamacare will not come to the floor in this Congress or in the foreseeable future.
Latest Fad: Indexing
Indexing has become the hottest trend in decades. Over the last two years, investors have purchased over 924 billion dollars in index funds. The largest index of all is the S&P 500 and is actively managed by the S&P 500 Committee at Standard and Poor’s. The S&P 500 is a market-weighted index; this means the bigger the company market capitalization, the larger percentage holding in the S&P 500 Index. The largest five stocks account for about 12% of the Index and the top ten stocks account for 20% of the index. On average, between ten and forty stocks are replaced every year.
The current concern with indexing is that everyone is doing it. For example, in 1999 the trend was to buy Cisco, Intel, Yahoo and Lucent. Today’s indexing trends are buying the same type of tech stocks such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, the top five companies in the index.
We have seen some research that indexing beats over 90% of the market over a ten to fifteen year period. How is it possible that a committee at Standard and Poor’s outwits 90% of the active fund managers? Either they are the smartest people in the world or something else is affecting the results. One answer is that they have about a small fee advantage. The more likely answer is that the S&P 500 has become the benchmark and most managers are either now indexing or shadowing the index. We are witnessing a replay of the Nifty 50 of the 1960s and the 1999 Tech Bubble, as market cap weighted indexes are all essentially utilizing the same fifty stocks.
Indexing Fails in Bear Markets
The effect to all of this is that a very substantial portion of the entire world is buying the same 500 stocks. Recent research found in contrast to the success in Bull Markets that in bear markets, index funds underperformed. Indexes were able to beat active managers between 34% - 38% of the time. In the next bear market, indexing will likely fare worse than those numbers because there is so much money concentrated in index funds. Despite the popularity of this latest fad, I believe over the next five years active managers will outperform the indexes market. Savvy investors will their funds with professional active managers, like MaxOut Savings Advisors.
Listeners of the MaxOut Savings Show know that we are very concerned about valuations in the stock market. One number that has been of particular concern is the price-to-sales ratio. As can be seen by the red line in the graph below the only time in recent history the price-to-sales number has been this high was in the 1999 Tech Bubble. The Price-to-Earnings ratio the number is not as close to the bubble peak but price-to-sales is. The likely reason for this discrepancy is that S&P 500 companies are over-earning by cutting costs and not investing in R&D or new plant and equipment. In effect, they are maximizing short-term profits at the expense of long-term growth.
The second line in the chart is the total equity market capitalization divided by the GDP. This number is also approaching the 1999 Tech Bubble high mark. The total market cap-to-GDP valuation parameter has been mentioned as a market valuation concern by the Federal Reserve recently. The bottom line the stock market is very expensive and priced for perfection. Signs point to a market correction, are your retirement assets professionally managed to help protect against losses during a market correction?
Notice we are at 1999 Tech Bubble peaks in both valuation parameters.
The Census Bureau chart below shows a huge jump in the percentage of young people living at home with their parents. In the United States today, there are more young adults living with their parents than there are young adults living with a spouse. We have had a generation trapped at home living with parents, a sad commentary on the jobless recovery we have had since 2008. The Federal Reserve and Barrack Obama were able create an asset bubble, but no jobs. Going forward, we should concentrate on job growth, not asset prices.
We should define success as providing a future for our children. As we all weather this period of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to enlist a financial advisor. Don’t leave your retirement savings at undue risk!
Tax Bill Outlook
We are starting to make real progress on the tax bill and Obama care. Expect to see some sort of deal to repeal Obamacare in the next couple of weeks in the House. It will then be sent to the senate where we could see more changes before it passes. The Trump Tax proposal is a great start. The cut in corporate taxes by 50% and programs to repatriate the almost $2 trillion in corporate cash overseas is very bullish for jobs in the economy. The middle class tax cuts will help middle class families.
The Trump proposal is somewhat different from the House proposal, put forth by Paul Ryan. Ryan would like a Boarder Adjustment Tax (BAT) and wants to eliminate the carried interest provision. Both will be very bullish for the US economy. It will take at least 5 to 6 months to pass a tax bill; in the interim, expect a stock market correction.
Both big-ticket news items out of the Trump administration today remain largely speculative in many ways, so it's too early to draw firm conclusions about them. That said, based on what I heard today, I want to offer a few points for consideration.
It is no secret that our corporate tax code is grossly uncompetitive. It is among the most expensive on the entire planet and is structured such that it discourages investing, hiring, and other key facets of a healthy economy. It discourages entrepreneurialism, encourages companies to move their headquarters to other countries, and creates an incentive for American corporations to leave large amounts of their cash overseas--cash that could be brought home and put to work in our own economy.
This is what happens when you have a very archaic and outdated corporate tax system. When I say "outdated," I mean it literally: the U.S. is one of the last remaining developed countries with a world-wide tax system (meaning that money corporations earn around the world, not just the income they derive from the U.S., can be taxed here). Most of our peers got rid of world-wide tax systems decades ago.
I agree with Trump: 15% is a reasonable corporate income tax rate. (There are strong arguments to be made for its elimination entirely, but that's for a post another day.) This is the hallmark of his plan, and I like it. I need to point out two grave concerns I have though.
(1) It isn't clear that his plan will dramatically simplify the corporate tax code. Rates do need to come down, but that's far from the only problem. The code's complexity creates an additional tax in and of itself because complying with it is such an expensive legal and accounting endeavor. Any major reform must include simplifying and streamlining the tax code.
(2) Trump said that he doesn't care about revenue, and this plan seems to bear that out. This is a plan that, when combined with Trump's high levels of proposed spending, would add mightily to our national debt. Any tax and spending plans Republicans pass through Congress MUST seek to reign in our exploding national debt. You cannot increase spending while cutting tax rates and narrowing the tax base. The base should be broadened, the rates lowered, and the spending brought to heel.
There is a myth floating around the White House that cutting the corporate tax rate to 15% will lead to enough economic growth to offset tax revenue losses at current rates. That is not true. Cutting the corporate tax rate will lead to higher growth, but it will not lead to enough growth to stem the rising tide of national debt. (Corporate tax rates are but one of many headwinds our economy faces.) Any tax plan must be, at a minimum, revenue neutral and passed in conjunction with LOWER spending plans. Otherwise, you're essentially mortgaging your future for a little short-term relief. Additional government debt can quickly crowd out additional private investment, after all.
Rumors are circulating that Trump may be planning to sign an executive order expressing our intent to leave NAFTA. This would be an error of historic proportions.
It is a good idea to occasionally revisit old agreements. Our economy and the world in general are very different places than they were when NAFTA was negotiated. We should never consider economic frameworks to be entirely permanent.
Thus, re-opening negotiations could be a very good idea. Re-negotiating and leaving are very, very different outcomes though. If we left NAFTA, three realities are absolutely certain to set in: (1) a small number of jobs would come back to the U.S.--far too few for most people even to know someone who held one of those new jobs; (2) far, far more jobs would simply be automated--no one would hold them; and (3) the prices that ALL Americans pay for many goods and some services would increase sharply.
It wouldn't end there though. This would be catastrophic for Mexico and Canada and near-catastrophic for the U.S. Stock markets would be hammered. GDP growth would slow--possibly even reverse (which means lower standards of living for many people). Anyone who has a 401(k), an IRA, or simply invests a little in the stock market to plan for retirement would find his retirement calculus suddenly looking less rosy.
The world is a different place today. Taking another look at NAFTA's terms is a good idea. As I said though, the world is a different place today, and whereas whether to join NAFTA was a good question in the 90's, two decades later, whether to leave it shouldn't even be up for discussion.
Great article from a list I subscribe to over at Norada. Biggest failure I see in my clients is that they have no desire to better themselves or build Human Capital and expand their skillset. READ! Bottom line is that in 5-10 years, you will be the same person you are today with the exception of the books you read and the new people you meet. Try to be better 5-10 years from now. Keep growing. Read.
Research shows that 88% of wealthy people devote at least 30 minutes a day to reading. If it works for them, it could work for you.
Below, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite books, from personal finance classics to new releases. Here’s to a prosperous year!
1. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
Journalist Napoleon Hill researched more than 500 self-made millionaires, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Charles M. Schwab, before releasing this 1937 best-seller.
Hill’s timeless personal fiance classic will help you understand that getting rich is more about mentality above anything else. In fact, he barely mentions the words “money,” “wealth,” or “finances.” Rather, he explains the psychological barriers that hold many people back from building fortunes — and teaches you how to start thinking your way to success.
2. “Business Adventures” by John Brooks
Rich people tend to believe starting a business is the fastest way to make money. This read, endorsed by self-made billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, will teach you just how to do that … but not the way a conventional business book does.
“Unlike a lot of today’s business writers, Brooks didn’t boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success (How many times have you read that some company is taking off because they give their employees free lunch?)” Gates explains. “You won’t find any listicles in his work. Brooks wrote long articles that frame an issue, explore it in depth, introduce a few compelling characters, and show how things went for them.”
Don’t let the 1969 publication date throw you off. While a lot has changed in the business world since the 1960’s, the fundamentals of building a strong business have not, Gates writes, adding, “Brooks’s deeper insights about business are just as relevant today as they were back then.”
3. “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by John C. Bogle
One of the most effective ways to build wealth is to invest. At least, if you do it correctly.
Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and creator of the world’s first index fund, details the simplest and most efficient investment strategy: Investing in low-cost index funds.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett also says that every investor, large and small, should pick up a copy.
4. “The Essays of Warren Buffett” by Warren Buffett
If a blurb by Buffett doesn’t entice you, get directly inside the billionaire’s head with this collection of letters and notes written by the “Oracle of Omaha.”
The 700+ page book offers a clearer picture of Buffett’s philosophies on business, investing, and life.
5. “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss What does it take to be a billionaire? Best-selling author Tim Ferriss’ latest book explores the daily routines and habits of celebrities, professional athletes, hedge fund managers and others.
Ferriss went straight to the sources and interviewed more than 200 world-class performers.
For a sneak peak, check out one, peculiar habit that the wealthiest, most successful people share.
6. “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason
Nearly a century ago, Clason revealed the “secret” to getting rich in his 1926 personal finance classic.
It turns out that the “secret” isn’t much of one. All it takes to get rich is mastering a few simple concepts, such as paying yourself first and living within your means, which Clason preaches via a collection of entertaining parables.
7. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
Kiyosaki shatters the myth that you need to earn a lot of money to get rich in this best-seller. By telling the story of two dads — his own, and the father of his best friend — he explains how to build wealth even with a small salary.
Additionally, Kiyosaki challenges the popular belief that your house is an asset, details the differences between how rich people and average people choose to get paid, and emphasizes the critical difference between an asset and a liability.
8. “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach
Self-made millionaire and financial advisor David Bach exposes a handful of money misconceptions in his easy-to-read best-seller.
You don’t need a budget, you don’t need to make a lot of money, and you don’t even need willpower to accumulate a fortune, he writes.
Research shows that 88% of wealthy people devote at least 30 minutes a day to reading. If it works for them, it could work for you.
Below, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite books, from personal finance classic to new releases, to work your way through over the next 12 months. Here’s to a prosperous 2017!
9. “How Rich People Think” by Steve Siebold
When Steve Siebold started interviewing hundreds of millionaires and billionaires, he was “completely broke and searching for answers about success I wasn’t finding in the classroom,” he writes.
“What I discovered was, to get rich, I had to learn to think like a rich person. … Once I changed my thinking, the money started to flow.”
Anyone has the opportunity to build wealth, he stresses in “How Rich People Think,” and it all starts with changing your mindset. For a sneak peak, check out the number one way rich people view the world differently than the average person.
10. “Be Obsessed or Be Average” by Grant Cardone
As Siebold says, to get rich, you have to learn from those who have already done it. Self-made millionaire Grant Cardone knows a thing or two about managing money: The entrepreneur has built five companies and a multi-million dollar fortune.
In the best-selling author’s latest book, he emphasizes that if you want real success, you have to be hungry, hyper-focused, even obsessed.
While Cardone offers some contrarian advice — he discourages investing in a 401(k) plan and buying a home — his wealth-building strategies helped him go from broke at 25 to earning his first million by age 30.
11. “The Power of Broke” by Daymond John
“Shark Tank” investor and entrepreneur Daymond John turned $40 worth of fabric into a $6 billion brand, FUBU. Along the way, he’s been rejected a lot and has lost a lot.
Being broke, however, offers at least one major advantage: It sparks creativity and out-of-the-box solutions, he explains in “The Power of Broke.”
Don’t write off your chances of wealth and success if your bank account is low, he suggests. Use it to your advantage.
12. “You Can Negotiate Anything” by Herb Cohen
If you want to earn more in 2017, a simple yet often overlooked strategy is to negotiate your salary.
If you’re nervous about approaching your boss to ask for a raise, try Cohen’s best-seller. It will help you get what you want, and what you deserve.
For more great suggestions follow me on Twitter at Jason Stapleton Suggests and Tom Woods Suggests.
You can also get two FREE Audiobooks by signing up with Audible on the link below:
For instance, no nation has ever become rich with big government. But that doesn’t stop leftists from advocating in favor of higher taxes and more coercive redistribution.
They are equally capable of rationalizing that economic misery in places such as Greece and Venezuela has nothing to do with bad policy, and you can even find a few zealots willing to defend basket cases such as Cuba and North Korea.
So long as they don’t burn me at the stake for my heretical views, I guess I won’t get too agitated by their bizarre fetish for statism.
But I will periodically mock them. And that’s the purpose of today’s column. We’ll start with this nice comparison between a capitalist grocery store and a socialist grocery store. I have no idea, by the way, if the lower image actually is a supermarket in a socialist country, but let’s not forget that a real-world version of this comparison is one of the reasons there’s no longer an Evil Empire.
But the bad news about socialism is not limited to economic deprivation for the masses.
The system also leads in many cases to totalitarianism (see this article by Marian Tupy, for example).
Which makes this set of images from Reddit‘s libertarian page both funny and sad.
As you might expect, Milton Friedman had some very pointed observations on this topic.
The really good part starts shortly before 2:00. He explains very clearly that socialism is based on force and coercion.
I’ve saved the best for last.
The PotL sent me this collection of risky temptations and it perfectly captures the attitude of many statists. No matter how many times socialism has failed, they never learn the appropriate lesson. It just hasn’t been tried by the right people, they tell us. Or been imposed in the right circumstances.
So they want us to give it one more try, just like a person with no willpower will eat one more bite of chocolate.
The bottom line is that statism is a recipe for stagnation and free markets are a route to prosperity.
Republished from International Liberty.
Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.
My friend used to have a big crush on this girl when he was younger. Now she's a dude, a communist, SJW cultist, obnoxiously militant atheist and generally disconnected from reality. It really is sad, and it didn't hit him until he saw the image above...
I've been making the point to people, in liberty and otherwise, that the real fight isn't over policy, it's over culture. Not that you could pin me down as socially conservative or liberal proper, but there's something truly troubling about it being trendy to be transgendered and it's a third rail to suggest it's not normal.
Is anyone else realizing that our divisive social culture is becoming increasingly aligned along economic lines? This chick/dude/thing could have gone places.
Even if achieving some modicum of success in life, her lifestyle will put a ceiling on how successful she can be. We live in a free-market society and she will be unable to take full advantage of Free Market Capitalism. You see, she'll be sucked into the Bernie-Blame-Rich-People-SJW-Crowd and she'll repeat the talking points that 'capitalism is evil' and 'Rich White Men' and are the reason she can't get ahead blah blah blah when in fact, she's just lacking as a "Value-creator" to society.
We live in a capitalistic society. In order to succeed you're challenged to provide value. You'll know when you're successful when others voluntarily trade their money for your services. They agree that the services or product you provide is more valuable that the money they give you in exchange. That's how all this works.
Socialism and Communism work because value is forcefully taken from others.
We love the #FreeMarkets around here. It's the principle means that you need to create value for others in order to be rewarded and enriched. Bernie Sanders' message is one of demonizing and stealing from those who are more successful in order to enrich yourself.
I hope the best for our friend here. Maybe, upon seeing her again, we could fist-bump and I could share the message of Liberty. There is still a lot of opportunities to succeed even when, economically and culturally speaking, much is dim.
You're looking at a guy who just got an audience at Yale -- Yale! -- to vote in favor of the right of state secession, by a margin of 2 to 1.
Yes, I had some supporters in the audience. But an organizer said that even correcting for that, the outcome was still very surprising.
Events at the Yale Political Union begin with a 20-30 minute statement by the speaker, and conclude by giving the speaker an opportunity to respond to the various speeches, pro and con, that students have given over the course of the night regarding the resolution at issue.
My responses were the most enjoyable part of the night.
Let's be blunt about this: while keeping the audience laughing, I pummeled my opponents into dust.
"Man, that Woods sure has a high opinion of himself," you say.
I'm just telling you what happened.
I've got video coming.
My favorite part involved the poor soul who was outraged that we hadn't discussed slavery, which "everybody knows" was at the root of battles between the states and the federal government.
I then reviewed the history of that struggle, and rhetorically removed his kneecaps.
It's nice to be able to walk into one of the most prestigious universities in the world and feel completely confident arguing a highly controversial position.
You can have that nice feeling, too.
No more thinking to yourself: I know I'm right, yet my co-workers left me stammering for a response.
I've distilled the knowledge it's taken me decades to acquire into on-the-go courses you can listen to in your car.
Today is the five-year anniversary of my Liberty Classroom, where my (trustworthy and awesome) colleagues and I teach the history and economics they kept from you.
In honor of that anniversary, I'm taking 200 smackers off the Master, lifetime membership to the site. That's all 18 courses (that you can watch or listen to whenever you want), Q&A forums, live events, and more, plus every single course we ever create.
This ain't never happening again, period.
As a bonus, you get all the courses I created for the Ron Paul Curriculum (that's 400+ videos, also available in audio format).
My course on government distills 20 years of learning into a one-semester course.
Savings: 19 1/2 years.
Plus, again today only, I'm also throwing in signed, personalized copies of FOUR of my books: The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (aNew York Times bestseller), Who Killed the Constitution?, Real Dissent, and 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask.
Could there be a better treat for yourself, or for that student in your life?
The clock is ticking....
"Get the equivalent of a Ph.D. in libertarian thought and free-market economics online for just 24 cents a day."
Random Liberty Lover spouting random Liberty goodness.
Purchasing your Amazon items through this search box supports libertyLOL and doesn't cost you a penny more at checkout!
Tom Wood's Liberty Classroom
"Get the equivalent of a Ph.D. in libertarian thought and free-market economics online for just 24 cents a day...."
Most of us learned politically correct U.S. history in school. The economics was at least as bad.
It's never too late to learn the truth.
At Liberty Classroom, you can learn real U.S. history, Western civilization, and free-market economics from professors you can trust.
Short on time? No problem. You can learn in your car.
Find out more!