American Consequences - November 2020


You’re paying $100,000 or more so your kid can be protected from having his or her feelings hurt. That doesn’t exactly seem like the best way to get at the truth, does it? No matter your views on war in general, or World War II in particular, we’re not exactly the same nation that stormed the beaches of Normandy 76 years ago. Right or wrong, as Americans, we used to fight bad guys we believed were threatening our way of life and who were already at war against our allies. Now, a swath of our society – admittedly small right now, but who knows for how long – only fights against other Americans who speak their minds. And I do want to make one financial connection here... Speech is to civilization as money is to a modern economy . The violent squelcher of speech infringes upon your person. And in a similar vein, the central banks and government collude to inflate the currency, infringing upon your property and person... They’re essentially mandating that wage earners systematically be paid less value than they create in the market. All the while, asset price increases against the deteriorating currency treat the bankers and their friends very well. Porter recently explained that “money is a promise”... And the promise is broken when the Federal Reserve prints too much of it – corrupting its value and making it impossible for wage earners to fully participate in economic growth.

After decades of such deterioration, whose origin most people simply don’t understand, people become frustrated – eventually enough to make violence an irresistible outlet. This current situation reminds me of one specific line in Ayn Rand’s novel, The Fountainhead ... In the book, the protagonist – an architect named Howard Roark – proclaims during a courtroom speech, “We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live.” I’ve always thought the character went too far with that statement... In an earlier book by Rand, a novella called Anthem , the protagonist grabs his girlfriend and escapes a totalitarian nightmare to start their lives over in the wilderness. And that world is much worse than the one in The Fountainhead ... So how could the better world be the one in which the guy

can’t permit himself to live? The inconsistency wouldn’t mean anything to me if Rand weren’t explicit about the connection between her writing and her philosophy.


November 2020

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