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What Will You Be Doing After the Coming Crash?

April 3rd, 2014 // 6:01 pm @

After the Storm

What happens when a nation crashes? This is a fascinating question.Colosseum in Rome Italy   April 2007 300x176 What Will You Be Doing After the Coming Crash?

As people discuss the decline of nations comparisons are drawn to the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and so on.

But what happened in the years after these falls?

Of course, the first answer to this question is: that it depends on the severity of the crash or fall.

Every recession or depression, every big war or other calamity is, in a sense, a crash. In this way, 9/11 was a crash, as was the economic crisis of 2008-2010.

In setbacks like these, nations and people suffer, but they eventually get back on their feet.

After the stock market crash of 1929, the nation thought it was getting back to normal, slowly, for over a decade. Today we call this era the Great Depression, but at the time it didn’t look like the whole society had crashed. It hadn’t, though it certainly went through a very difficult time.

It wasn’t until Pearl Harbor, 12 years later, that the nation realized that almost everything and everyone would change.

The Three Types of Crash

After World War II, many things truly were different. We lived in a new nation, so to speak, with permanently altered values, economy, institutions, and vision for the future.

Some changes were arguably good for the nation, others not so much. The same kind of major fall/crash had occurred during the Civil War era and earlier at the time of the American Revolution.

Thus we have “serious” crashes of the Vietnam, Watergate, 9/11, and Great Recession variety, and also even more “major” crashes at the level of the Civil War and World War II.

If either type of crash comes at any point in the next decade, it will have a drastic influence on our lives, families, and national future.

When people speak of “the coming crash,” or “the crash,” in contrast, they usually seem to mean something more along the lines of the fall of Rome or the Ottomans—a truly world-shattering change, with the big powers almost shut down and other world players stepping up to fill the vacuum of power.

This third kind fall or crash is a Black Plague event, where a third of the population dies, or equivalent, and everything about the politics, economy and culture suffers drastic changes.

The Answer

So, now that we’ve defined three levels of crash events, how do we answer the original question? What will happen if we experience a crash or fall during the next decade? Answer:

  1. If we have a Minor crash event (e.g. recession, or 9/11 level), we will see an economic downturn, lots of layoffs and fewer jobs, many full-time jobs downgraded to part-time, less buying power due to inflation. The middle class will continue to shrink, and the lower classes will grow. Much U.S. capital will flee to international markets with better returns and less government red tape. Government programs and dependency will expand, and the gap between the wealthy and the rest will widen.
  2. If we witness a Major crash event (e.g. a great depression, a major war, etc.), we’ll experience everything in the list above, but two to five times more severe. It will be like a minor crash event but with a lot more impact.
  3. If we live through a Cataclysmic crash event (e.g. a Pompei-style natural disaster or a fall of Rome level collapse) it could go a number of directions. The results might be kept to major crash event levels with the right leadership, or they could be truly apocalyptic, where everyone goes back to farming and trading, or marauding, as their daily occupations.

Cycles and the Next Decade

It is interesting how many people—though still a minority—feel strongly that a Black Plague-level crash is coming soon to America. And of the people who reject this, who think this idea is extreme, it amazing how many of them fail to seriously consider how sure a Minor or even Major crash event is in the next ten years.

At the very least, a Minor level crash will happen. At least one such event will occur during the decade.

Why am I so sure? Because such an event occurs at least once during every decade. This is just the passage of history.

A Major level crash event might happen during the next decade—it is more likely than at any point since Pearl Harbor—but it might not.

If no such event transpires, the cycles of history predict that it will certainly happen sometime not too far in the future.

The third level, a true Cataclysm, is much harder to predict. Forecasters will call it highly unlikely right up until it happens, then it will seem obvious that it was coming all along. This pattern has repeated many times.

Part II

How does any of this information help us?

To begin with, it is at the very least interesting that when a Cataclysmic crash comes it turns everyone into farmers, entrepreneurs, or marauders. Maybe these are really the three ways of making a living, after all – in any society – even during peaceful times like ours.

This would mean that engineers, accountants, attorneys, teachers, and every other career are really one of the three—right now. Very enlightening, when you think about it.

Which is your focus? Which do you support in your daily efforts? This is extremely valuable information, because it helps you see what changes are needed now, before an upcoming crash event at any level.

Preparing for the Storm

Next, there are certain things we can do to prepare that will be extremely helpful in all three scenarios. This is where our focus should be, at least for most of us.

  • First, great education will help anyone think like a leader. This is hugely helpful in every possible scenario for the future. Those who have read the great classics, who understand the Great Conversation, who have cultivated the skills (mental, emotional, relational, and physical/practical) will know how to lead and what to do—whatever comes.The worse the crash, the more important the emotional, physical and practical skills.
  • Second, successful entrepreneurialism creates resources, builds connections and relationships, and fosters an environment where more people think and act like leaders.In difficult economic times, it will be those with effective entrepreneurial experience who help create jobs and products that turn things around. This is a proven law of history.
  • Third, getting involved at the local level, making connections with local leaders, is helpful in preparing for times of economic downturn or other potential disaster.When societies turn more to local leadership, your involvement and relationships can have a significant influence. Just attending city council, chamber of commerce, or other meetings of this kind can start this process. People nearly always underestimate their influence on a local level.

All three of these things will be much more effective if we start doing them before times of trouble. Those who wisely take action prior to difficult eras are the natural leaders when any level of crash/fall/downturn comes.

Winston Churchill called the time before World War II the “Calm Before the Storm.” Such a calm, like the world we now live in, doesn’t usually seem very calm at all.

But compared to what comes later, it is a time to prepare.

Are you taking advantage of this time? Specifically, how have your reading of great classics, your entrepreneurialism, and/or your community involvements increased in the last few months? How will they increase in the months ahead?

Leadership and wisdom are all about foresight, and taking action.

Whatever the future brings, these three ventures will make you a better leader, parent and friend in the times ahead.

FreedomShiftCover 200x300 What Will You Be Doing After the Coming Crash? For more on how “regular citizens” can preserve freedom, see Oliver’s book FreedomShift:

Americans who are so demonstrably willing to labor and sacrifice for the benefit of their posterity can only allow the destruction of the forms that protect our freedoms if they do not understand what freedom is, nor how to maintain it.

A FreedomShift is needed today; and to accomplish it, Oliver DeMille proposes The 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Can it be possible that such a peaceful revolution can be accomplished by three simple choices made by a relative few? 

Click here for more information >>

MIC badge 300x276 What Will You Be Doing After the Coming Crash? To get a whole new level of great leadership education, join our Mentoring in the Classics course, taught online twice monthly by Oliver DeMille. To learn more, click here >>

*******************

odemille What Will You Be Doing After the Coming Crash? Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Community &Current Events &Government &History &Leadership

Dictionary Freedom: It’s Fun!

March 17th, 2014 // 11:39 am @

Finding Words

glossary Dictionary Freedom: Its Fun!Let’s go deep. Or really basic, depending on your viewpoint. Socrates is credited with saying that the definition of terms is the beginning of wisdom. Sometimes defining things can be a bit overwhelming, and that’s the case in our topic today. What am I talking about?

Well, I was reading through the compact edition of the Oxford English Thesaurus (a really fun read—try it sometime), and I came to the word “Political.” The list of synonyms was interesting to me: governmental, constitutional, ministerial, parliamentary, diplomatic, legislative, administrative, bureaucratic; party, militant, factional, partisan.

The first time through, I was struck by the number of ways governments can try to control people. But something else was bothering me, in the back of my mind, so I read through the list again to see if I could figure it out. I still wasn’t sure. “Maybe it’s that there’s a strong legislative and also executive focus,” I mused to myself, “but the judicial power of government is left out. As if the judiciary is really not political,” I laughed.

Then I furrowed my brow. “Or maybe it’s that this list is missing so many synonyms,” I thought. I quickly skimmed through the pages and found the word “government,” to see it if added more depth or nuance. It added the following words: executive, regime, authority, directorate, council, cabinet, ministry, regulation, supervision.

“Interesting,” I thought. I had planned to look up each of the synonyms above, one at a time, so I went ahead and turned to the entry for “constitutional.” It added the synonyms statutory, chartered, vested, official, and sanctioned.

Sharing Discoveries

“This isn’t really what was bothering me,” I realized. “It’s not the need for more synonyms. It must be something else.” I wondered what it could be. While I was thinking about this, I reviewed this growing list of synonyms and shook my head. I said aloud, “That’s a lot of government control!”

Then I got it. Somehow, the thing that had been bothering me made it into my consciousness. It was a Eureka! moment. I walked through the house, looking for Rachel or one of the kids to share my new discovery with. Nobody was awake, since it was very late at night, so I opened my laptop and started writing. This is too good not to share, after all.

What was my big epiphany? Simply this: None of the synonyms seem to have anything to do with the people. The word “constitutional” refers to rules written by the people to the government, but most people today don’t realize this. None of the other words were about the people at all, except the word “party,” meaning political parties.

That’s something. I’m not sure what it means, but in our modern language the words “political” and “constitutional” only have one major synonym that includes the people—and that one refers to political parties. Sad.

My question is, “Why?”

Citizens and Leaders

In the time of the American founding, both words held the connotation of actions and choices by the people. Why isn’t “election” or “citizenship” listed as a synonym under either in today’s dictionary? In fact, I turned to these words and found that the synonyms of “citizen” are subject, passport holder, native, resident, denizen.

“Denizen?” That’s an interesting way to view the regular people. In fact, all of these synonyms are passive, none of them are active. None of them present the citizen as a leader, as the true head of the nation.

This is consistent with our modern world, I guess, but it is still wrong. We’ve come to see governments as rulers, and people as subjects. Period. That’s sad.

While I was analyzing this, I realized that something was still bothering me. There was still something tugging at the back of my mind. “What is it?” I asked. I still had my bookmark tucked into the page where the word “political” is found, so I turned back to it and reread the synonyms. Then I noticed something, and everything clicked.

A Sharp Contrast

The word right above “political” is “politic.” Just read this list of synonyms of “politic,” and think about how these relate to politics: wise, prudent, sensible, judicious, canny, sagacious, shrewd, astute, advantageous, beneficial, profitable.

What do any of these have to do with the political world? I mean, they should be connected. They really should. But they hardly ever are.

“Wow!” I said aloud. “This is really interesting. I love reading the dictionary.” Just compare these two lists:

Synonyms of “Political”

governmental

ministerial

parliamentary

diplomatic

legislative

administrative

bureaucratic

party

factional

partisan

Synonyms of “Politic”
wise
prudent
sensible
judicious
canny
shrewd
astute
advantageous
beneficial
profitable

Does anyone else see the irony? Bureaucratic paired with Astute? Partisan with Profitable? Really? Governmental paired with Wise? It’s like a Mark Twain Guide to Preparing for the S.A.T.s.

And yes, both words, “political” and “politic”, come from the same root word, the Greek politikos, meaning “statesman,” “leader of the city,” or in modern terms, “leader of the nation.”

Decline is real.

Let’s read more dictionaries.

 

*******************

odemille Dictionary Freedom: Its Fun! Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Citizenship &Culture &Education &Government &History &Leadership

Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future

February 18th, 2014 // 5:24 pm @

De Jouvenel said it all in one profound paragraph:

wolf in sheeps clothing 271x300 Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future“From the twelfth to the eighteenth century governmental authority grew continuously. The process was understood by all who saw it happening; it stirred them to incessant protest and…reaction. In later times its growth has continued at an accelerated pace…And now we no longer understand the process, we no longer protest, we no longer react. This quiescence of ours is a new thing, for which Power has to thank the smoke-screen in which it has wrapped itself…Masked in anonymity, it claims to have no existence of its own, and to be but the impersonal and passionless instrument of the general will.”

Let’s break this down, point by point, to understand it better:

  • “From the twelfth to the eighteenth century governmental authority grew continuously. The process was understood by all who saw it happening; it stirred them to incessant protest and…reaction.”

As kings, rulers, and aristocratic upper classes took more and more power to themselves, and increasingly more over the regular people, the regular people saw what was happening and tried to stop it.

This culminated in the American Revolution and French Revolution, which happened within a few years of each other.

The American Revolution focused on replacing the old monarchial-aristocracy with a new, constitutionally established government of freedom for all classes. In contrast, the French Revolution emphasized killing off the old — literally executing royals and aristocrats in the hope that with their demise the regular people would gain liberty.

The American method quickly proved more effective in promoting freedom.

  • “In later times its growth has continued at an accelerated pace.”

Today’s regular citizen has less power than people did even a few generations ago, and our grandchildren will have even less — unless something changes very soon.

  • “And now we no longer understand the process, we no longer protest, we no longer react. This quiescence of ours is a new thing, for which Power has to thank the smoke-screen in which it has wrapped itself…Masked in anonymity, it claims to have no existence of its own, and to be but the impersonal and passionless instrument of the general will.”

When those increasing their power were kings and aristocracies, the regular people knew what was happening.

Today, when the new ruling class is a nameless, faceless, unknown elite, the regular people do nothing. They don’t know who is taking away their freedoms, or what to do about it.

Yet power is being lost by the regular people — and gained by the ruling elite — at higher rates than ever before. The gap between the 90 percent and the 10 percent is drastically increasing, but not nearly as much as the gap between the 10 percent and the 1 percent. In fact, the power and wealth gap between the 1 percent and the .1 percent is widening even more rapidly than the others.

If current trends continue, a tiny, ultra-powerful elite will rule our formerly free nations in a way never known before in history — and hardly anyone knows who the new rulers are. They rule by policy, influence, spin, currency transfers, behind the scenes. But their power is still growing.

De Jouvenel wrote of this in 1945, and today the power of this ruling elite only increases. In the conclusion to his great book, On Power, he warned:

“We are the witnesses of a fundamental transformation of society, of a crowning expansion of power…A beneficent authority will watch over every man from the cradle to the grave…controlling his personal development and orienting him towards the most appropriate use of his faculties.

“By a necessary corollary, this authority will be the disposer of society’s entire resources, with a view to getting from them the highest possible return…Power takes over…the whole business of public and private happiness and…all possessions, all productive energies, and all liberties should be handed over to it…The business is one of setting up an immense patriarchy, or…a matriarchy, since we are now told that collective authority should be animated by maternal instincts.”

Today’s Americans are the recipients of this prophecy come true. Today’s newspaper of record, The New York Times, announces that the new “Health Care Law May Result in 2 Million Fewer Full-Time Workers.”

Because Obamacare requires much higher costs for employers to maintain full-time employees, there is a nationwide trend to downsizing employee workweeks. People are supposed to tighten their belts, make do on less income, and pay higher taxes. This is a massive shifting point for the economy.

Many corporations are avoiding the increased taxes and health care costs by moving their operations offshore, to other nations, citing less regulation and more business-friendly tax codes. It’s hard to blame them for seeking greener pastures and shores with more freedom.

Families that were once supported by one wage earner now can’t make ends meet with the incomes of both parents — so they go deeper into debt.

The American Dream is dying.

A new ruling class is rising behind the scenes.

A different future — a lowering standard of living — awaits our children and grandchildren.

Unless something changes.

Regular Americans walk past dusty books on shelves (full of real solutions for our current national problems), click on the television, and settle in for an evening of entertainment…

Somewhere there is a fading memory…of fiddling while Rome burns.

*******************

odemille Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Aristocracy &Blog &Education &Government &History &Liberty &Politics &Statesmanship

A Huge Shift is Coming to America

January 23rd, 2014 // 10:00 am @

constitutional amendment 300x200 A Huge Shift is Coming to AmericaWe entered a new cycle of history during 2013.

Like any cycle, this one started small. But it is growing quickly, and it is already swaying the future.

To understand this, let’s briefly go back to the beginning — when this cycle was first described.

In 1836, even before Alexis de Tocqueville finished his famous classic, Democracy in America, a British official named Henry Taylor published a book entitled The Statesman.

Taylor’s main point was that the Anglo world had been focused on forms of government for too long, ever since 1787 when the Americans wrote their Constitution. Taylor noticed that that there are two main types of political leadership:

  1. Setting up forms and systems of government (statesmanship)
  2. The business of governing (politics)

The first, which consists mostly of writing and discussing what is the best constitution or model of government, is always led by statesmen.

The second, which consists of day-to-day politics that focus on the issues, is dominated by political parties, special interest groups, politicians, and bureaucratic agencies.

The first usually emphasizes freedom and liberty, while the second is all about increasing government spending and regulations.

Statesmanship vs. Politics

In 1836, Taylor’s message was that Europe and America had spent sixty years focused on the first kind of leadership, and he argued that it was time, in his words,

“to divert the attention of thoughtful men from forms of government to the business of governing.”

It was statesmanship versus politics, and Taylor believed that it was time to forget statesmanship for a while and emphasize politics. The era of the politician had come.

Specifically, the statesmanship era from 1776 to 1836 was followed by an era of politics from 1836 to 1913, which was followed by an era of statesmanship (changing constitutions and overarching societal systems) from 1913 to 1945. Then came another era of politics (increased government spending and regulations by politicians and bureaucrats) from 1945 to 2013.

We are on the verge of another major shift today, and the changes will be drastic.

Instead of the major national dialogue focusing on issues (e.g. immigration, abortion, energy policy, national security, health care, gun control, education policy, etc.), the increasing focus will be on how to change the Constitution.

It has already started, in fact. Less than a year ago, for example, Georgetown professor Louis Seidman wrote an article in the New York Times entitled “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.” He argued that the Constitution is outdated, and that it is time to “scrap” it and write something better.

This brought a series of angry rebuttals from the Right, and a number of strong suggestions from the Left, but few seem to realize that this is the beginning of a new era of the American debate.

Several others have entered this growing discussion, like David Brooks, who wrote in the New York Times on December 12, 2013 that the U.S. should alter our system to “Strengthen the Presidency.”

And New York Times bestselling author Mark Levin wrote a series of new amendments that he feels should be added to the Constitution to fix our current system and get America back on track.

Just a couple weeks ago, almost 100 legislators from 32 states met in Mount Vernon, Virginia to discuss the possibility of adding amendments to the constitution through a convention of the states, as authorized by Article 5 of the constitution.

The Next Shift

leadershift cover A Huge Shift is Coming to AmericaWhen Orrin Woodward and I wrote the New York Times bestseller LeaderShift and released it earlier this year, neither of us knew that 2013 would be the year of this major shift — from politics to statesmanship, from issues to changing the whole system.

This is momentous, and our book outlines nine specific changes, in the form of proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution, that would put American prosperity, freedom, strength and power quickly back on line.

I am convinced that LeaderShift is representative of the best of this new trend, this growing debate on how to change our system to get it headed in the right direction once again. And you can read all four of the new commentaries in this emerging debate (Seidman, Levin, Brooks, Woodward and DeMille) and decide for yourself.

Make no mistake: this is THE debate of the coming decade. As a nation, we have concluded that Washington is broken. The American people generally feel that the system is fractured and needs to be fixed, and those who are focused on daily governing will miss out on the real tide ahead: coming changes in our overall system.

Since such changes aren’t usually the focus in elections, many people won’t realize that this is happening. But as I already noted, the debate has already begun.

Issues and Politics

When Orrin and I were interviewed by many journalists about our book, it was a bit of a surprise to us that nearly every interviewer wanted to focus on issues, issues, issues and partisan politics, politics, politics.

That’s been the tone in America for over sixty years, so we probably should have expected it.

But now the tide is shifting. This isn’t something we can afford to get wrong. Change is upon us. President Obama was elected by promising such change. Yet if we make the wrong changes, it can only hurt this great nation.

Change is here, and it is the kind of change that focuses on our Constitution and the very fundamentals of our society and national system.

The debate will grow in the years ahead, the way such changes always do — slowly for a while, and then all at once.

Yet the ideas at the center of this debate, the ideas right now argued by Seidman, Brooks, Levin, Woodward and DeMille, and others who join the discussion, will sway the 21st Century.

I wrote in my book, 1913, that the year 1913 was a pivotal time of change. It looks more and more like its century year 2013 will be even more significant. This is the year we began the shift from politicians, bureaucrats and issues to and major changes to our Constitution and system.

Some will argue that we should change nothing, that the old Constitution is the best. But in reality we haven’t been following the original principles of the Constitution for many decades, and the primacy of the Constitution continues to erode due to the way Washington skirts, reinterprets and at times ignores it.

Whatever you think of our current system, change is imminent. The only question is: How will we change, what precisely will we change?

That is what this debate is all about. A LeaderShift is happening, right now, under our noses. America is changing while its citizens sleep.

What we need is a new generation of Madisons, Adams, and Jeffersons.

We need more men and women who understand how to write constitutions and amendments that create and protect real freedom. If you are one of these people, or should be, it is time to join the debate.

It is time to take action, so we go in the right direction.

*******************

odemille A Huge Shift is Coming to America Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Business &Citizenship &Constitution &Economics &Education &Entrepreneurship &Generations &Government &History &Politics

What’s Really Happening to Our Nation?

January 17th, 2014 // 10:00 am @

manholdingflag 300x221 Whats Really Happening to Our Nation?It happened on the same day.

Two people, who as far as I know don’t know each other, asked me the same question. Or, to be more precise, they asked two different questions that have the same answer.

In truth, this is a question that a lot of Americans have on their mind right now. Many of them don’t even realize it, but every time they watch the news, hear about current politics, or discuss Washington’s latest antics with friends or at work, they feel a growing sense that our government is becoming less and less likely to handle really big challenges.

The first question went something like this: “Oliver, I just don’t understand your logic in a recent article you wrote. I understand your concerns about big government, but why do you think business is any better?”

The second question was similar: “In your book, LeaderShift, you and Orrin Woodward have James Madison say that as business leaders go, so goes America. Why did you single out business leaders, instead of parents, academia, media or the government?”

This is an incredibly important question. Of course, I won’t presume to speak for Orrin — he can answer this question however he wants. His answers are always excellent. As for me, here’s my answer:

Where there is freedom, there is progress.
Where freedom is lacking, there is decline.

Yes, a little regulation can increase freedom — to the extent that it protects people and keeps contracts and agreements honest, and safe from crime. Beyond this, however, increased regulation means decreased freedom and therefore decline.

During the 1990s and 2000s, for example, the computing technology sector was probably the freest major industry in the world — and it brought us our greatest new fortunes, our major new technologies, and the biggest new advancements that drastically changed our world.

During that era, for example, most other sectors were highly regulated — and in decline as a result. Communications and media were highly regulated, banking became highly regulated after 9/11, transportation and manufacturing was highly regulated, and so was education, health care, farming, law, engineering, etc.

In fact, rewind a few decades, and note that the freedom in home construction and land development before the 1990s made real estate a major part of the economy. Huge fortunes, millions of jobs, and a lot of widespread prosperity came from this freedom. Not to mention widespread home ownership — the kind where people could actually afford their homes.

This kind of growth always happens where there is freedom.

And the increase in overbearing real estate regulation began before the housing bubble — it may well have caused it.

Remember: Where there is freedom, there is progress. Where freedom is lacking, there is decline.

Earlier in world history, America rose while Europe declined — precisely because America was free and most European nations were highly regulated. The same had happened when Greece and Rome chose high regulations while the European nations maintained relative freedom.

In the 19th century when Americans went west and found free lands to till, develop and improve, American prosperity soared. Later, when a Civil War gave a higher level of freedom to all Americans by ending slavery, prosperity skyrocketed. It took a while, but in less than eighty years the United States became the world’s leading power.

Freedom brings progress.

When industry, farming, education, and health care were only barely regulated (just enough to provide basic, obvious protections), all of these sectors made huge wealth, built a strong America, created millions of good jobs (where one working adult could support their whole family), and spurred increased innovations and technologies.

While big-government Europe watched its people live in apartments, small-government America watched its citizens build and own independent homes, often with large yards.

In big-government Europe well-to-do families owned a car; in small-government America even many lower-middle-class families owned several.

Freedom brings progress; decreasing freedom brings decline.

So many more examples from world history could be discussed. Sectors free from regulation lead a nation, at least until politicians figure this out and find ways to regulate them.

Today, there are at least five sectors that have higher-than-average levels of freedom:

  1. Family
  2. Home businesses
  3. Network marketing businesses
  4. Online businesses
  5. Businesses that operate across borders in many nations

Note that politicians are already scheming ways to tax online businesses, force people to buy an electronic stamp for each email or Facebook update/relationship change, charge fees for various actions of international companies, and many others.

All such attempts to increase regulation actually reduce freedom and bring decline.

But for now, business is the sector of society with the most freedom. If progress is going to come, it will happen in the entrepreneurial sectors.

Bill Gates said that

“One sign of a healthy industry is lower prices. The statistics show that the cost of computing has decreased ten million fold since 1971. That’s the equivalent of getting a Boeing 747 for the price of a pizza.”

So why can’t all of us afford a jet today, just like we afford a computer? The answer is that during the past thirty years the aerospace industry was highly regulated while the computing sector was not. You can argue that airplanes should be highly regulated; after all, they can be weapons. But, in rebuttal, so can computers.

The principle remains: Where there is freedom, there is progress. Where freedom is lacking, there is decline.

If you want to promote freedom today, think entrepreneurially — and encourage your youth and others to do the same. The future belongs to entrepreneurship, because freedom leads to progress.

This is what’s really going on in our nation, and only those who understand this realize what’s coming — and what to do about it.

*******************

odemille Whats Really Happening to Our Nation? Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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