If I am correct, the most pressing need of our time is education: in particular, a rectification of the many fallacies Americans hold about the power of governments to control the economy. Needless to say, such an education will not come from any government-run or government-subsidized institution of education. This is a job for free men in a free market.
26 years ago, a man writing under the pseudonym of "John Galt" addressed this need. His book, Dreams Come Due: Government and Economics As If Freedom Mattered, was a peculiar sort of masterpiece. It was organized as a selection of essays, each no longer than ten minutes' reading, and each full to overflowing with hard data and easily checked references. Any American who took the book seriously reached the back cover with whatever illusions he might have had about government's benignity, or its power to improve on national economy, ripped to shreds.
I've been rereading that book, and I find myself freshly overwhelmed by the concision, the accuracy, and the power of its arguments. It's not for the faint of heart, nor will any ideologically committed liberal read it with pleasure. Atop that, it has one other shortcoming: it's 26 years old.
If "John Galt" is out there listening, I beseech him to update his book, and most critically, to make it available in low cost formats: mass-market paperback and electronic-reader-compatible. Robert Ringer's book Restoring The American Dream was too personal a polemic to be sufficiently educational to a broad market. Dreams Come Due, if updated for our day, distributed widely, and taken seriously, has what it takes.
The original edition was published by Simon and Schuster. To the best of my knowledge, it's only available used. I exhort all freedom lovers with an interest in effective polemics to track down a copy and read it. If you're as impressed with it as I was and am, your next step is to petition Simon and Schuster to contact "John Galt" and encourage him to update his magnum opus.
In the interim, have a brief quote from his introduction:
This book was written because not one person in 50 understands what has happened and is happening to the United States and the world in day to day political and economic affairs. In the words of Emerson they do not understand that you cannot do wrong without suffering wrong....
Washington politicians, economists, and other government-worshippers, whose only concern is for the next election, have increasingly victimized and polarized our country through their envy-motivated dreams. They have sown the seeds of disaster with idiotic legislation that unceasingly robs the people of their freedom by placing more and more law above the rights of property. Now that these dreams are coming due at an ever increasing rate, they are pointing the finger at the victims, blaming them for the results, while continuing to pass new laws (i.e., compounding their crimes) that only assure us worse disasters in the future....
To overcome this confusion, we must have and understand an objective set of laws that are as unchanging as the laws of physics. Read and grasp the following economic laws...the Ten Pillars Of Economic Wisdom from the American Economic Foundation, and you will never again be confused or unknowingly cheated by government. When you have finished the economic laws, I suggest you read the sections money, currency, and inflation before continuing the book....
And here are:
- Nothing in our material world can come from nowhere or go nowhere, nor can it be free: everything in our economic life has a source, a destination, and a cost that must be paid.
- Government is never a source of goods. Everything produced is produced by the people, and everything that government gives to the people, it must first take from the people.
- The only valuable money that government has to spend is that money taxed or borrowed out of the people’s earnings. When government decides to spend more than it has thus received, that extra unearned money is created out of thin air, through the banks, and, when spent, takes on value only by reducing the value of all money, savings, and insurance.
- In our modern exchange economy, all payroll and employment come from customers, and the only worthwhile job security is customer security; if there are no customers, there can be no payroll and no jobs.
- Customer security can be achieved by the worker only when he cooperates with management in doing the things that win and hold customers. Job security, therefore, is a partnership problem that can be solved only in a spirit of understanding and cooperation.
- Because wages are the principal cost of everything, widespread wage increases, without corresponding increase in production, simply increase the cost of everybody’s living.
- The greatest good for the greatest number means, in its material sense, the greatest goods for the greatest number which, in turn, means the greatest productivity per worker.
- All productivity is based on three factors: 1) natural resources, whose form, place and condition are changed by the expenditure of 2) human energy (both muscular and mental), with the aid of 3) tools.
- Tools are the only one of these three factors that man can increase without limit, and tools come into being in a free society only when there is a reward for the temporary self-denial that people must practice in order to channel part of their earnings away from purchases that produce immediate comfort and pleasure, and into new tools of production. Proper payment for the use of tools is essential to their creation.
- The productivity of the tools--that is, the efficiency of the human energy applied in connection with their use--has always been highest in a competitive society in which the economic decisions are made by millions of progress-seeking individuals, rather than in a state-planned society in which those decisions are made by a handful of all-powerful people, regardless of how well-meaning, unselfish, sincere and intelligent those people may be.
[Dictated using Windows 7 Speech Recognition.]