0 Items  Total: $0.00

Blog

America’s Great Degeneration

March 5th, 2014 // 1:24 pm @

Speaking of how the government runs its finances today, historian Niall Ferguson wrote:

“The present system is, to put it bluntly, fraudulent. There are no regular published and official balance sheets. Huge liabilities are simply hidden from view. Not even the current income and expenditure statements can be relied upon. No legitimate business could possibly carry on in this fashion. The last corporation to publish financial statements this misleading was Enron.”

This basically sums up the modern American problem. The government operates on one set of rules, hides it from the regular citizenry, and enforces a different set of rules on businesses and families.

No such system has ever remained free.

This is already extracting a terrible toll from our economy. As Ferguson put it:

“In a 2011 survey, [Michael] Porter and his colleagues asked [Harvard Business School] alumni about 607 instances of decisions on whether or not to offshore operations. The United States retained the business in just ninety-six cases (16 percent) and lost it in all the rest.

“Asked why they favored foreign locations, the respondents listed the areas where they saw the U.S. falling further behind the rest of the world. The top ten reasons included:

1. the effectiveness of the political system
2. the complexity of the tax code
3. regulation
4. the efficiency of the legal framework
5. flexibility in hiring and firing.”

In short, a number of other countries have more economic freedom than the U.S. We have more regulations, a more complex tax code, and other problems that make business abroad more attractive for about 84 percent of businesses deciding whether to stay in America or leave.

The average citizen isn’t aware of this reality, or the fact that corporation after corporation is moving to other countries because of Washington’s policies.

Our freedoms are being lost, as business leaders see every day. Yet it continues to happen, and most Americans simply don’t realize it. Nor do they realize how much this hurts our economy and the pocketbooks of U.S. families.

As regulations increase, making it harder and harder for businesses to make a profit, more jobs, capital, and corporations are leaving. The American Dream is declining day after day, right in front of our noses.

For most Americans, the only solution in mind is to elect better government officials. But this hasn’t fixed the problem yet — not by a long shot. The problem gets worse (government spending and regulations increase) whichever party inhabits the White House.

Some other solution is needed, and it will require a return to good, old-fashioned American initiative and innovation — from regular people, not government. Yes, the government makes this more difficult with nearly every passing regulation, but freedom is worth overcoming it anyway.

If we rekindle the American spirit of entrepreneurialism in the next few years, this is a battle we can win. Nothing else will fix the problem.

What are you doing to promote, spread, and teach entrepreneurialism?

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

odemille Americas Great Degeneration 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.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link Americas Great Degeneration
  • printfriendly Americas Great Degeneration
  • pdf Americas Great Degeneration
  • facebook Americas Great Degeneration
  • linkedin Americas Great Degeneration
  • twitter Americas Great Degeneration

Category : Blog &Business &Citizenship &Economics &Entrepreneurship &Government

Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future

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

De Jouvenel said it all in one profound paragraph:

“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.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future
  • printfriendly Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future
  • pdf Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future
  • facebook Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future
  • linkedin Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future
  • twitter Why Freedom is Losing: The Battle for Our Future

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

Obamacare is a Disaster

February 15th, 2014 // 10:00 am @

The stories are coming out all over the nation.

For example, Ashley Dionne is a 26-year-old woman with 2 college degrees. The cost of her monthly insurance premium has risen from $75 previously to $319 under Obamacare.

She wrote:

“Liberals claimed this law would help the poor. I am the poor, the working poor, and I can’t afford to support myself, let alone older generations and people not willing to work at all. This law has raped my future. It will keep me and kids my age from having a future at all.”

But the issues go much deeper than just Obamacare. Dionne said,

“All of the kids that I went to school with, and friends from other colleges, are experiencing the same thing — they don’t have work in their field, they are taking whatever they can get, and we’re really competing with kids who just have GEDs and high school diplomas for really low-paying jobs.”

Obamacare has made it even worse for many. Dionne continued:

“I feel like our future has been stolen, in that we don’t have a choice in this. They’re saying, ‘You have to buy this whether you want it or not. And whether you can afford it or not.’ …I’m someone who has always worked hard, and I’m being told, ‘You have to get on Medicaid.’ I don’t want to get on Medicaid. I want to work, and I feel that were it not for Obamacare I could get 40 hours, and I could support myself.”

So many companies geared up to lay off workers and/or reduce employee hours that the Administration unilaterally postponed Obamacare requirements for businesses for a year.

Even with this change, Gallup noted that 41 percent of medium and small businesses have frozen hiring and growth.

This includes fast-food joints (like Wendy’s, Subway, Papa Johns, Del Taco, and many more), family restaurants (like Applebee’s, Denny’s and others), medical suppliers, local governments, and public colleges. There are many other industries that have stopped hiring and growing, and many have announced thousands of layoffs.

Many businesses are also planning to lay off even more employees next year when Obamacare does kick in for companies. In fact, right now, as businesses gear up for Obamacare, we’ve reached the point where 65 percent of all jobs in the United States are part time.

This is a disaster, and it will get worse until something significantly changes.

As for the other point, 50 percent of college grads for the past several years are unemployed or underemployed.

“A college degree once all but guaranteed a well-paying job and higher earnings than high school graduates,” wrote Alana Semuels for the Los Angeles Times. “But fewer of these good jobs are now available because of both long-term economic changes and the lingering effects of the Great Recession.”

“In the 1980s and 1990s, the demand for college graduates started booming, especially in the lead-up to the tech boom,” said Paul Beaudry, an economist at the University of British Columbia who has studied this trend. Wages grew and a college education paid off.

“But when the tech bubble burst, the economy was left with an oversupply of college graduates. Some went into industries related to housing or finance, and then the recession wiped out those jobs. No industry has emerged to employ all the people who got college degrees in that time,” he said.

“As more college graduates have flooded the market, employers are able to offer lower wages. The earnings of college grads have fallen about 13% in the last decade,” according to Drexel University economist Paul Harrington.

“Saim Montakim has a bachelor’s degree in accounting but drives a New York City taxicab. It’s strenuous work, but he can make $200 on a good day. On a bad day, he barely can pay the rent for the taxi and the cost of gas.” And half of college grads are working in jobs that don’t require a degree at all.

Those who learn to think creatively and innovatively, tend to do better than others, and in fact grads with liberal arts degrees are doing better than others in this challenging economy.

So a great education is still a top goal for some young people. In fact, innovative entrepreneurs are doing best of all.

But for most young people, the old promise of “do good in school and get a great career” simply isn’t working.

“The stakes are enormously high,” wrote Lynn Stuart Parramore on AlterNet. “The young people graduating today will feel the effects of the bad job market for decades to come. [A] Demos study found that if we simply continue to add jobs at the 2012 average rate, it would be 2022 before the country recovers to full employment and restores decent opportunities for those Americans who are just starting out. In the meantime, a whole generation of bright and capable young people is getting left behind.”

“‘I’m starting to feel numb,’ said Karen S., who is trying to find a job while ringing up groceries at a Whole Foods in Manhattan. The 24-year-old from Queens graduated in 2012 with a degree in broadcasting. ‘I did well in my classes, and I looked forward to putting my knowledge and skills to use. Instead I ask, ‘Would you like a bag today?’’ Like Karen, many recent graduates are forced to take McJobs.”

And all of this was a major problem before Obamacare. With the new health care law, it’s getting even more difficult for many young people.

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

odemille Obamacare is a Disaster 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.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link Obamacare is a Disaster
  • printfriendly Obamacare is a Disaster
  • pdf Obamacare is a Disaster
  • facebook Obamacare is a Disaster
  • linkedin Obamacare is a Disaster
  • twitter Obamacare is a Disaster

Category : Blog &Economics &Education &Generations &Government &Politics

Are You Really an American

February 3rd, 2014 // 2:02 pm @

The more I watch the news, the more I wish we had more farmers in modern America. I grew up in a small town, and when I was a boy there were lots of farmers still left in the county.

The town was small enough that I knew, at least by face and name, pretty much every man and woman — and I noticed something different about farmers. They didn’t accept the “official line” on anything, and they never tried to impress or fit in. They seemed secure in who they were, not worried about whether they were popular or not. This gave them immense strength.

For example, one day while walking to school, I noticed water spouting high into the air from a broken fire hydrant. A local grocer I knew pulled over, watched it with me and a few other kids, and then said, “I’ll call the city office and tell them to come fix it.”

We all kept walking to school — crisis averted. Later in life, while traveling in a big U.S. city, I noticed a similar spouting hydrant. This time people just walked around it and kept going, as if they had never really noticed it. “No calls to city hall here,” I remember thinking.

But the really amazing thing happened back in my hometown the same day I saw the leak. I’m not sure whether the grocer ever called the city office, but on my way home from school the hydrant was still spraying water. It was hot, so my friends and I cooled off in the free entertainment provided by the leak. In a town this small, this provided high adventure.

While we were there, an old farmer pulled up in an old pickup truck. He got out, looked over the leak, then went and puttered around in the back of his truck. He returned with several tools, and twenty minutes later the leak was fixed. The man walked back to his truck, and I asked him if the city sent him.

I’ll never forget the truly shocked look on his face. “No,” he said. “I was just driving by. The hydrant was broke, so I fixed it.” Then he got in his truck and drove away.

I hauled hay a few times for this farmer, earning some spending money during high school. Neither of us ever mentioned the incident again. It was as normal as sunrise. The hydrant was broken, so the man fixed it. He didn’t work for the city. But he lived there — and a broken hydrant needs fixing.

At least, that’s the logic for a farmer. In many modern cities today, he’d probably be issued a ticket and have to pay a fine.

That’s modern America. When we don’t encourage initiative and innovation, we naturally get less of them. When we punish self-starting entrepreneurialism, jobs go overseas. When we reward “leaving solutions to the government,” we get fewer solutions. No wonder we’re in decline while China and Brazil, among other places, are on the rise.

I once told this story to a group of students, and two of them later served as interns at a state legislature. On the last day of the session, they sat in the seats high above the legislative chamber, reading through the session program and circling the names of the legislators who had become their heroes.

They said something like, “These were the leaders who never, ever caved in on principle, who always stood firm for what they believed — never playing politics or trying to fit in, just doing their level best to serve the people who had elected them.”

After they finished, they noticed something very interesting. Next to the picture and name of every legislator was their profession — teacher, accountant, attorney, businessman, etc. Every single one of the legislators they had circled was a farmer.

The two young interns were duly impressed. They remembered my story about farmers and fire hydrants, and they shared their experience.

Not every American can be a farmer. But every citizen can be an American — one who thinks independently, takes action when it is needed, and always takes a stand for the right.

Washington will get some things right and some wrong in the years ahead, but the future of America doesn’t depend on Washington. It depends on regular people: will they think independently, will they spend their lives trying to fit in, or in standing up for what is right?

Standing up for the right things isn’t always popular. But people who do it anyway are the only ones who keep a nation free. So, sometimes I ask myself a very important question: Are you really an American? Really?

That old farmer was. If you are too, prove it.

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

odemille Are You Really an American 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.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link Are You Really an American
  • printfriendly Are You Really an American
  • pdf Are You Really an American
  • facebook Are You Really an American
  • linkedin Are You Really an American
  • twitter Are You Really an American

Category : Blog &Citizenship &Community &Entrepreneurship &Leadership &Liberty &Mission &Producers &Prosperity &Service &Statesmanship

A Huge Shift is Coming to America

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

We 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.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link A Huge Shift is Coming to America
  • printfriendly A Huge Shift is Coming to America
  • pdf A Huge Shift is Coming to America
  • facebook A Huge Shift is Coming to America
  • linkedin A Huge Shift is Coming to America
  • twitter A Huge Shift is Coming to America

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

Subscribe Via RSS & Email

Click the icon on the left to subscribe in an RSS reader, or have new articles delivered to your inbox by entering your email address: