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Are You Economically and Mentally Independent

Politics / US Politics Sep 24, 2009 - 02:26 AM GMT

By: Jerry_Salcido


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAlthough America successfully seceded from the British Empire in 1776, today, more than 200 years later, it is in no way "independent." Its many dependencies include its reliance on debt to finance its operations; it looks to foreign manufacturers to provide basic goods; it is at the mercy of oil sheiks for its energy needs; and, it depends on global and regional organizations like the United Nations, NATO, and other entangling alliances to conduct diplomacy.

America’s dependencies are the result of America’s movement toward statism and away from freedom. It relies on debt financing because it has replaced a free market and sound money with a central bank and paper currency; its manufacturers continue moving overseas because government intervention has caused a sharp rise in the costs of doing business in the United States; government regulations and prohibitions have removed the incentive or outright prevented innovation in the energy sector; and, its politicians ignore Washington’s and Jefferson’s admonitions against entering into entangling alliances, and in doing so cast aside the Constitution in carrying out foreign policy.

The consequences of adopting the statist philosophy is placing a burden on the shoulders of the individual which can no longer be ignored. Fortunately, more people are questioning the anti-freedom philosophy which our federal, state, and local governments have nearly universally accepted, and this has resulted in a newfound movement toward liberty. This liberty movement has made some amazing strides in the last couple of years. Made possible largely by the internet, people from every economic class, race, creed, religion, and nationality have been able to combine with one another to counterattack the assault on their liberties which has become common occurrence. These liberty lovers, if you will, frequently contact their Congressmen, attend political rallies, write op-ed pieces for their local media outlets, hand out literature, participate in political campaigns, and are always looking to share their knowledge of the principles of freedom that so many have forgotten or never learned.

Despite these "green shoots" of liberty (perhaps that phrase should not be used) that recently have become visible, to achieve a true change in society the liberty movement must become independent, that is, free from the control of its enemies, whether they be the mainstream media, politicians, or the common ignoramus. The liberty movement, however, will progress towards independence only as much as permitted by its adherents, and will only achieve a sense of independence when liberty lovers become independents themselves.

The liberty movement, other than its message, requires two primary ingredients for success: time and money – and a lot of both. Those individuals who are independent can provide both components to the liberty movement in the necessary quantities, and can make the needed sacrifices required to restore our freedoms.

In order to achieve individual independence, and therefore, be able to provide the time and money essential to further the cause of freedom, a liberty lover must work toward two interconnected goals in their own individual lives. First, he must get out of all debt. Second, he must work toward achieving a source of income as an entrepreneur – that is, a source independent of an employer – that can provide for his needs. That is not to say that those who carry debt and are employees cannot be effective instruments for the cause of liberty. Most of us in the liberty movement are not self-employed and have financial liabilities and we still work very hard and sacrifice much to further freedom. But the independents have freedom to effect even greater changes for the simple reason that they can dedicate more time and money to the cause.

Get Out of Debt

Becoming debt-free should be paramount for the individual liberty lover who wishes to make a difference, because even if he is dependent on someone else for his income he still maintains a sense of freedom. He is free to allocate any extra resources he may have as he pleases and to direct his thoughts and time toward worthy causes of his choice.

The debt-ridden individual, on the other hand, is in bondage. He is limited in how he can spend his money. He is unable to donate as much as he would like to liberty-promoting organizations or political campaigns. His thoughts are consumed by approaching payment deadlines, making it difficult for him to focus on important political issues. He may feel forced to remain in unsatisfying employment just to be able to make minimum payments on his debt.

Consider that in the United States 13.5% of all disposable income goes toward debt payments; 77% of all households carry debt; the median debt load carried by Americans is approximately $67,000; 33% of all families carry education debt; and, more than half of all families have a car loan. If a liberty lover is like the average American he will be hard-pressed to effect change in society while trying to juggle his mortgage, student loans, car debt, credit card debt, and other consumer debt.

Further, societies in which individuals are weighed downed with debt will naturally bear an unwieldy public debt because the fiscal irresponsibility of such individuals will be reflected in their elected officials. After all, if we as individuals choose a debt-ridden lifestyle, we cannot expect our elected representatives to be fiscally responsible. An excessive public debt, however, poses an even greater problem than individual debt because excessive public debt leads to more individual debt. On this point, Thomas Jefferson, who was no stranger to debt, recognized with remarkable acumen that if the United States were to "preserve [its] independence" Americans could not allow the federal government to burden itself with "perpetual debt." Otherwise Americans would be forced "to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four" and then "give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses" only to find that what remains is "insufficient to afford us bread" and consequently we will "have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." The greater the public debt the greater the taxes; the greater the taxes the less the individual keeps of the fruits of his labor; the less the individual keeps of the fruits of his labor the greater his chances are of being forced to finance his needs with credit. For example, if there were no income tax many people would be able to save enough money to purchase a home in cash in a reasonable amount of time, but with the tax they are forced to take a mortgage.

Living a debt-dependent lifestyle also feeds the corrupt monetary system that is central and fractional reserve banking, since such a system is totally dependent on debt creation. If every person became debt free, the fractional reserve banking system would collapse and Dr. Paul’s wish to End the Fed would become a reality. Thus, the very act of getting out of debt furthers the liberty movement because it decreases the power of the current monetary system.

In sum, it is difficult to work toward furthering the principles of freedom when one is enslaved to debt.

Become Your Own Boss

The liberty movement needs people who can dedicate their time to further the cause of freedom, but most of us have jobs and bosses which restrict our freedom to attend the Audit the Fed rally in the city, visit/call/email elected representatives, distribute literature downtown, or walk precincts on behalf of our favorite liberty-minded candidate. Participating in such activities would become much more likely if we controlled our own economic destiny.

Recently there was an Audit the Fed rally in San Francisco in the middle of a weekday. Many in the Bay Area wanted to attend the rally to convince Nancy Pelosi to bring H.R. 1207 to the House floor, but their boss/job prevented them from doing so. At the rally it quickly became apparent that the organizers of the operation own their own businesses. Their entrepreneurial endeavors made it possible for them to take an extended break from making a living on a weekday to travel into the congested city from all around Northern California and put on a first class rally.

It seems that the same is true for the most influential of the liberty-minded individuals who run for elected office. Just look at the pro-liberty candidates who have popped up in the last few months: Rand Paul, candidate for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky founded and operated his own medical practice and charity; Peter Schiff, candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut runs his own brokerage house; and John Dennis, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives who is running against Nancy Pelosi has started several businesses. Each of these candidates was able to put their lives on hold to further the liberty movement because they became entrepreneurs – they had no boss to tell them that they will not have a job to come back to if they run for elected office.

Other stalwarts of liberty like John Hancock, John Adams, Ron Paul, and Burt Blumert were all their own men each answering only to himself. The freedom they enjoyed as self-employed entrepreneurs allowed them to give of their time and their talents to promote liberty and fight tyranny.

Self-employment and entrepreneurship is not only consistent with the message of liberty, but it is perhaps the only way to truly be free, and those who are free are more able to help their fellowmen become free.

This materialistic and selfish world places every obstacle imaginable in the path to becoming self-employed and debt free, but liberty lovers must find a way because now more than ever freedom needs independents to carry its banner.

Jerry Salcido [send him mail] is a trial and appellate lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves as the chairman of the Alameda County Republican Party and the legal chair for the HomeSchool Association of California. Mr. Salcido’s views and opinions are his alone and are not endorsed by or necessarily those of the Alameda County Republican Party or the HomeSchool Association of California.

    © 2009 Copyright Jerry Salcido / - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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