On a Sailing Ship by Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-1840
Information about the American economy suffers from giant barriers, misleading people who sincerely care about prosperity and poverty. News organizations and entertainers must cater to the bias of their audience and the interests of their owners and corporate advertisers. Educators and professors must cater to the ideological trends of their peers, mentors, and school administrators. Government officials must cater to the interests of their lobbyists, nonprofits, voters, and campaign donors. Religious leaders feed from this tornado of misinformation and try to reconcile it with their congregations’ beliefs. The facts revealed in the book Economic Sovereignty circumvented all of those influences by using only the charitable sacrifices of the author and concerned citizens. The true story of the American economy is captured within its pages – which entirely violates popular narratives.
Firstly, a prosperous economy puts more money into services than goods, because raw materials and products become much cheaper than people’s time and labor. High wages and profits follow that condition. Steady savings and investments increase, as citizens choose to use their money for an easier future. Growth in private fixed assets – the items of lasting value that contribute to our infrastructure – increases because people spend money on long-term plans instead of short-lived consumption. More profits drive competitive innovation, which leads to wondrous inventions that help everyone. Housing growth with increased quality, more spending on discretionary goods, and a growing cultural infrastructure manifest, as citizens spend their extra money on the things that gratify their desires instead of their needs. Lastly, large governments emerge with armies of lawyers and bureaucrats and high taxation, as their ability increases to siphon money from a prosperous economy without violent retaliation of the masses.
For the past century, America developed these features rapidly; it is more prosperous than ever! Its success at lifting people out of poverty is unprecedented in human history. The triumph of American liberty, capitalism, profits, innovation, competition, and small government has provided surplus for its people and foreign nations. During the same period, the socialist, imperial, and dirigiste nations across the world were destroying their societies with starvation, tyranny, stagnation, and injustice. America has seen its share of setbacks, but any failure of capitalism was enabled only by anti-capitalist interference – government picking winners and losers, or failing to enforce fair-marketplace rules. Short of a total system breakdown, it is unlikely that America will ever see the kind of poverty that emerged during dustbowl and the Great Depression. Regrettably, as American capitalism has triumphed over poverty and chaos, it has increasingly taken on the institutionalist ideology that simultaneously destroyed other nations and brought great misery to millions of people. If America refuses to trim the size of government at the state, local, and federal levels, it will continue to rot itself from the inside out – in a subtle and systematic process called destructionism.
Nevertheless, comparing America to itself over time does not give us an idea of how exceptional America is compared to the world. Unfortunately, such comprehensive treatments are nowhere to be found except in obscure economic forums. Schools and news media show us “the world” through individual experiences and personal stories that distort our perception. A person who travels to a foreign nation can acquire an emblematic or atypical picture through their tiny experience. Then they will falsely draw generalizations about foreign societies based on their limited experience amongst millions of people. Even living in the New York metropolis for decades could not give a person an accurate understanding of what millions of different people experience just miles from their home. We need to evaluate systemic evidence for any valid generalization.
In Economic Sovereignty, American economic data was compared to global economic data. It revealed that America is incredibly economically exceptional in the world because of environmental, political, and cultural advantages. Other societies have failed to use their resources and labor productively for the past century. Our production, currency stability, energy, infrastructure, technology, transportation, research, cultural publications, national security, immigration, and cultural diversity eclipse the rest of the world. The awful news is that all of these advantages have eroded since our society has increasingly adopted political and social standards that violate the fundamentals of America enshrined in our anthropology and Constitution. Without economic sovereignty, America will certainly give way to one economic blunder after the next, and remove itself from the center of the world stage. Edward Gibbon said that “the winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.” As America obliviously sails into a typhoon, we are left wondering if there is any navigator left who, first and foremost, demands an accurate compass and a disciplined crew.
(This article refers to sections 1.3 and 1.4 in Economic Sovereignty. All citations for the arguments here, are within the book)