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Category Archives: Economic Books

One Nation Book Study

On Ben Carson’one nations website he states that the reason he wrote “One Nation” is “to try to convince our fellow Americans that ‘we the people’ are not each other’s enemies and that our strength is derived from unity and common sense, which should be ubiquitous. The real enemies are the forces that are constantly trying to divide and conquer. They create divisions based on race, gender, age, education and, especially, income. It is important that we discuss who the purveyors of division are and what drives them to seek a radical alteration in the American way of life.”

When I finished the book I could not help but want to be part of the solution which means I do what I do best and that is to engage others in a dialogue as we educate ourselves. Thus, join me in an online book study during which we will read 2 chapters a week and discuss them via an online exchange. I will post my thoughts via weekly blogs on my website.

As such, order the book (the link is to the left) and read the Preface and Chapter 1 by July14th. We will read two chapters each week thereafter so we can dialogue online.

Finally, “who knows what tomorrow holds for each of us and for our nation? We have no time to waste. Today is the day to act. Resolve to take one step toward helping our nation return to greatness. If we all do so, we cannot fail to remain ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’”

I look forward to increasing our collective knowledge so that we can make wise decisions for ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation.

Preface and Chapter1

Excerpts from Hayek

I look forward to seeing some of you next month on the 23rd of June when we gather at the Personal Economics Group office in Dallas to discuss “How Capitalism Saved America” by Thomas DiLorenzo. For now, muse on these excerpts from Hayek’s ROAD TO SERFDOM chapter “Who, Whom?” While people will submit to suffering which may hit anyone, they will not so easily submit to suffering which is the result of the decision of authority. It may be bad to be just a cog in an impersonal machine; but it is infinitely worse if we can no longer leave it, if we are tied to our place and to the superiors who have been chosen for us. Dissatisfaction of everybody with this lot will inevitably grow with the consciousness that it is the result of deliberate human decision. As soon as the state takes up on itself the task of planning the whole economic life, the problem of the due station of the different individuals and groups must indeed inevitably become the central political problem. As the coercive power of the state will alone decide who is to have what, the only power worth having will be a share in the exercise of this directing power. (p.138) That a government which undertakes to direct economic activity will have to use its power to realize somebody’s ideal of distributive justice is certain. (p.139) It is because successful planning requires the creation of a common view on the essential values,  that the restriction of our freedom with regard to material things touches so directly on our spiritual freedom. (p.142) If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, you are someone with whom I may be of benefit because you may be open to ways to ensure that every dollar in your system reaches its maximum potential. Contact me if interested.

Excerpts from Hayek’s “Road To Serfdom”

This blog is designed for those of us who want to expand our minds by reading other great thinkers because we believe that ideas have power; ideas have consequences; ideas move the world. As such, excerpts from May’s economic book study selection, F.A. Hayek’s ROAD TO SERFDOM, require contemplation: Chpt. 1 – The Abandoned Road We have progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past. Although we had been warned by some of the greatest political thinkers of the nineteenth century,…that socialism means slavery, we have steadily moved in the direction of socialism. (p.67) The gradual transformation of a rigidly organized hierarchic system into one where men could at least attempt to shape their own life, where man gained the opportunity of knowing and choosing between different forms of life, is closely associated with the growth of commerce….where there was no despotic political power to stifle it. The conscious realization that the spontaneous and uncontrolled efforts of individuals were capable of producing a complex order of economic activities could come only after this development had made some progress. The subsequent elaboration of a consistent argument in favor of economic freedom was the outcome of a free growth of economic activity which had been the undersigned and unforeseen by-product of political freedom. (p.69) …with the decline of the understanding of the way in which the free system worked, our awareness of what depended on its existence also decreased. (p.72) The change amounts to a complete reversal of the trend we have sketched, an entire abandonment of the individualist tradition which has created Western civilization. (p.73) Chpt. 2 – The Great Utopia It is rarely remembered now that socialism in its beginnings was frankly authoritarian. The French writers who laid the foundations of modern socialism had no doubt that their ideas could be put into practice only by a strong dictatorial government. (p,76) Democracy and socialism have nothing gin common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. (p.77) Freedom in this sense is, of course, merely another name for power or wealth….The demand for the new freedom was thus only another name for the old demand for an equal distribution of wealth. Socialism was embraced by the greater part of the intelligentsia as the apparent heir of the liberal tradition: therefore it is not surprising that to them the idea of socialism’s leading to the opposite of liberty should appear inconceivable. (p.78) When you are ready to take control of your finances, your purchases, your investments, your taxes, your growth, when you are ready to start a personal economic system that is sustainable and flexible and that you understand how to effectively work within, when you are ready for MORE, contact me and let’s start learning some macro-economic principles that apply at the personal level and which can dramatically alter the course of the rest of your life and that of your loved ones.

Pain Often Has Origin In Original Intent

As a means to excite you about the level of insight and, therefore, discussion we can have about F.A. Hayek's book, ROAD TO SERFDOM, I have pasted in the first paragraph because OHMIGOD Hayek rocks! At base, what one must understand is that the reason “pain” exists is often because ideas to ensure said pain would not exist, are precisely that which caused the undesired result. It is the law of unintended consequences. It is self-sabotage. Worse, it is selective denial because while others may or may not benefit either in the short run or long term, at least you are getting what you want now. It is the height of selfishness and self-centered thinking. It is what The Great I Am wants us to understand as “hell.” I spend my days training clients how to avoid such thinking because it is this mindset that guarantees they will never have financial peace. As such, Hayek’s book, like all others in the study, is designed to help reset your mind because if you knew that your thinking would led to your ultimate destruction or, at minimum, to enjoy only a portion of the life you COULD lead, when would you want to know? As such, read the following excerpts and get excited because Truth exists for those who seek it. “When the course of civilization takes an unexpected turn when, instead of the continuous progress which we have come to expect, we find ourselves threatened by evils associated by us with past ages of barbarism - we naturally blame anything but ourselves. Have we not all striven according to our best lights, and have not many of our finest minds incessantly worked to make this a better world? Have not all our efforts and hopes been directed toward greater freedom, justice, and prosperity? If the outcome is so different from our aims - if, instead of freedom and prosperity, bondage and misery stare us in the face - is it not clear that sinister forces must have foiled our intentions, that we are the victims of some evil power which must be conquered before we can re¬sume the road to better things? However much we may differ when we name the culprit whether it is the wicked capitalist or the vicious spirit of a partic¬ular nation, the stupidity of our elders, or a social system not yet, although we have struggled against it for half a century, fully overthrown - we all are, or at last were until recently, certain of one thing: that the leading ideas which dur¬ing the last generation have become common to most people of good will and have determined the major changes in our social life cannot have been wrong. We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis of our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our own part and that the pursuit of some of our most cherished ideals has apparently produced results utterly different from those which we expected. “ If you want to know how to gain control of your capital, if you want to clearly articulate your personal wealth strategy given you understand the specific nuances of your personal economy, contact me - 469.682.8280.

Day 2 of 28 – Economic Education Matters

The reason I like working with a macro economic planning firm is because we take economic principles, timeless truths, and apply them on a practical level to the smallest of economies, that of an individual family unit. As such, we ask our clients to see the forest for the trees. We ask clients to envision the future as they operate in the present. We ask clients to recognize that while life happens in the short term, while we have immediate cash flows needs and wants, the more you understand that every dollar in your system impacts every other dollar, not just today but tomorrow, the better decisions you will make in the short run. Thus, you HAVE to have the long range vision in mind as you make your short term moves. Henry Hazlitt in ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON addresses the “art of economics” as just this. He states, “The whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but 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 people.” (p.17)   Hazlitt tells us that “economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man” because the “inherent difficulties of the subject…are multiplied a thousandfold by…the special pleading of selfish interests. While every group has certain economic interests identical with those of all groups, every group has also…interests antagonistic to those of all other groups.”  (p.15) He goes on to explain that there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day and that is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences. “This is the persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups.” (p.15) While Hazlitt writes to bring sanity and clarity to a world of economic thought and confusion so that one can understand the larger political and social implications on a national and global level, he is discussing principles, truths, and, as such, these same ideas can apply to us as individuals. Re-read the above quotes and see the “special groups” that vie for the finite capital in a system as your family deciding whether you have the capital to invest in a new business venture or whether you will use it to send your first born to college. Think about how many times you argue with your spouse about your need for the top of the line luxury car versus her desire for a two week family vacation. The “either-or” decisions that must be made at the national and global level are the same that you much make within your personal economy. “Special interest groups” exist within our own family unit. As such, educate yourself about that which is occurring at the national and global level but, I beseech you, recognize how the underlying beliefs which guide these “bigger” systems are born from a series of beliefs which underlie your own family economy.  As such, whether you have a sustainable wealth plan with a viable and guaranteed strategy for growth or just a “gotta get the most out of the next deal” mentality, will determine whether you are a tree hugger or a forester. I just hope you are not hugging a tree that the forester plans to chop down because there is a forester and if it is not you, then someone else will establish the vision for what gets chopped and what get fertilized. Now if you were able to follow that analogy (in all of its uniqueness), then participate in my economics book study by joining “Epiphany Financial” on Facebook. I further encourage you to immerse yourself in how economic thinkers attempt to correct what the masses read via the popular media outlets as they offer an alternative and realistic perspective on what I call the “delusion of the masses.” If you do not want to educate yourself by studying economics, then contact me and allow me to work with you to understand how your underlying beliefs may be undermining not just your long term success but even that which you could enjoy today. Check out: Mises Institute - The grandfather of it all – The Ludwig von Mises Institute was founded in 1982 as the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics. Zero Hedge - The mission states: to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public.; to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become. Lew Rockwell . com - Former publications editor to Ludwig von Mises and chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell is founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, literary executor of Murray N. Roth bard, and editor of LewRockwell.com