We have an important questions before our society to determine the future of our democracy. Will we allow our presidential election to be a free exchange of ideas or become a partisan battle that divides power between two nearly identical parties? Do we embrace and welcome third parties such as the Libertarians and Green parties to the public forums to participate in the exchange of ideas?
As an American people we coexist among each other peaceful by sharing a basic moral foundation. You and your neighbors develop local ‘norms’ of behavior that allow you to remain peaceful, if not develop relations as friends. As new persons are added to the community they may bring new norms and behaviors that are adopted as they too conform to the norms that already exist. This is the melting pot of these United States that makes it such a great nation.
The moral foundation that evolves and builds over time becomes the character of the nation, who we are as a people. The substance of our collective character becomes evident in the government under which we as a people choose to live. Your world view of morality is also the spectrum that is used to develop your political view. It is not possible to consider a political philosophy intelligently and adequately without also considering its moral implications.
Then ask yourself, “what do you believe?” Then keep asking yourself “why, why, why, why, why?” What is the basis of your moral principles? Here is where many Americans will find they have lost themselves and really don’t know why they believe or support the political positions they do.
Let us interject a rebirth of an old moral argument for this nation – individual liberty. By starting with a position of individual liberty we can form a societal context that is fair, and just while still protecting our individual inalienable rights. Individual liberty means you own your life, you own your body, and you own your free will to produce. Individual liberty means you do not have a right to claim someone else’s life, body, or production. You may not force a man into servitude. Simply put you may not tell another person what to do. Individual liberty means as a society we will together protect each other from a person who is harming one or all of us. The person who is inflicting harm on another may be exercising their individual liberty to do so, but in doing so has harmed another’s individual liberty. Benjamin Franklin said it best as “your rights stop, where my nose starts”.
Returning to this basic moral foundation, that I as an American am born a free person with an inalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the issues of our nation can easily be solved. We can easily find the best answers to the many problems that plague our times.
This website, FinancialStreet.com has evolved quite substantially over time. As I look back over the years at various forms I’ve taken with this site it has always circled a common theme of finance, yet more specifically an idea about financial independence. As the site discussed personal finances, small business, or the entrepreneurial startup – it always skirted the real crux of what each of these topics were really speaking to. To be free.
I’ve decided to go straight for the target in this rebirth of the site to focus on the very topic everyone seems to be afraid to speak of – Economic Freedom. Lots of people call this various things and we will explore these topics in our conversation together.
Ayn Rand described it in the Oath by John Galt:
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
This isn’t just a political view its a way of life.
Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask anything of them
Or an a way of acting in our daily life. Nasim Taleb discribes it well here.
The Golden Rule (do to others what you want them to do to you) is an invitation to interventionism, utopianism, and meddling into other people’s affairs, particularly poor nations, as represented by the the NGO clowns at TED conferences trying to “save the world”, and causing more harm with unseen side effects. Remember that Mao, Stalin, Lenin, and were following the positive Golden rule. At the personal level, I may feel good trying to nudge a vegetarian to eat raw kebbeh (Lebanese steak tartare) because I like it myself.
The Silver rule (do NOT do to others what you don’t want them to do to you) leads to a systematic way to live “doing no harm” and gives rise to a liberating type of ethics: your obligation is to pursue your personal interests provided you do not hurt others probabilistically unless you are yourself exposed, & not transfer risks to others (skin-in-the-game at all times). But, and here is the key, should there be a spillover, it will necessarily be positive. It is therefore convex.(Typical via negativa rules are convex). It separates the “self-interest” in Adam Smith from the “selfish” version. And if you want to help society, just try to benefit WHILE at least harming no one.
This distinction puts a lot of clarity behind the idea of free markets and morality. You should never have to prove that what you do is GOOD for society (hard to express in words and rationalistic framework), but you can certainly show you are NOT hurting others more than yourself via skin-in-the-game.
We will explore the economics of living life with a view of self sufficiency. We will try to find a path to discover if it is possible to live a fullfilled and meaningful life in a way that does not create co-dependency on another fellow man or cause him harm. By doing this Financial Street can be the economic center of reason for the self sufficiency worldview.
Welcome to Financial Street.