Author Archives: Adam Selene

Let’s Make Something Clear

I realize that the news today will be all about the Virginia Tech shooting. And gun laws. And so forth. But, I think it is valuable, given much of the recent conversation (past 3 months, give or take), to put a stake in the ground on what The Liberty Papers stands for around the war in Iraq, Islamo-Fascism and how to best defend our country.

Let’s start with this statement. We are individuals. We do not require that any contributor adhere to some specific position on anything. The contributors hold a wide range of individual beliefs. From near Anarcho-Capitalist, like Brad and myself, to Minarchists, like Mike and Chris. We also have a fairly divergent range of beliefs on the war in Iraq. Doug is probably the most vocal supporter of ending the war now and Chris the most vocal win the war proponent.

That said, we do have some areas where we all agree.

First, about Iraq. Not one of us would leave our military “in the lurch”, we do not agree with the Democrats approach. Whether we want to withdraw and leave Iraq to deal with its issues on their own, or we want to stay and try to help them through. Every one of us began this saga as supporters of the war in 2003. Most of us still are. I think every one of us would also agree that the Bush Administration has done a bad job of prosecuting this war, both militarily and politically.

Islamo-Fascism. A threat to freedom and liberty, the anti-thesis of everything we believe in. We diverge in how best to deal with the problem. Personally, I say we get rid of our dependence on oil as quickly as possible and leave ‘em to rot in the sand.

How best to defend ourselves against enemies that use terrorism as a tactic. Here we are in strong agreement that giving up liberty to gain false security is the worst possible choice. We all agree that government never gives back power once gained. Government never uses that power for just the narrow purpose defined. And, even if we did think some loss of liberty was necessary, Bush has not shown that he is a wise custodian of such power.

We have clashed with people that some classify as “left libertarians” quite often. Libertarian Party types generally consider us to not be Libertarians. And we agree. Why? Because we disagree with the non initiation of force principle, we disagree, generally, with the isolationist position they take. For the first time that I can recall, we are actually accused of being Libertarians in the Lew Rockwell tradition. We, in fact, are not.

Defining “Wealthy”

Not long ago I read Richard Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Aside from all of the other valuable things in the book, possibly the most valuable thing I got from it is an appropriate definition of “wealthy”. I’ll put it in my own words.

Being wealthy is defined as owning enough income generating assets to support your standard of living without having to work as someone else’s employee.

That is, wealthy has nothing to do with how much money you are paid by an employer. In fact, regardless of how much money you make, I would argue that if your sole source of income is your paycheck, then you are not wealthy, you are “merely” middle class.

Wealth is much more than how much your paycheck is. Money is not wealth. Money is an intellectual representation of the value of work and property. If your money is generated by work, then it is not sustainable independent of an employer. If your money is generated by property, it is. If you look up the definition of the word “wealthy”, you don’t find, until you work your way through a bunch of other definitions, one that speaks to how much money you have. And none that I could find say anything about how much money you are paid, but all speak to what you own or have.

So, why does the Left spend so much time characterizing those who earn high incomes as “rich” or “wealthy”? Well, I suspect that it has much to do with two things.

  1. Truly wealthy people have spent a lot of time and effort on reducing their real income to avoid income taxes
  2. The Left likes to redistribute wealth and item 1 has left them with folks who earn wages as a focus for their redistribution schemes.

So, the point of all this? Change your definition of wealthy and then re-evaluate every time you hear someone on the left talk about the evil rich or wealthy. They are really talking, generally, about someone with a high wage, not someone who is actually wealthy.

Second point. I highly recommend aspiring to being wealthy rather than highly paid.

Quote To Ponder

“Psychologically, it is important to understand that the simple fact of being interviewed and investigated has a coercive influence. As soon as a man is under cross-examination, he may become paralyzed by the procedure and find himself confessing to deeds he never did. In a country where the urge to investigate spreads, suspicion and insecurity grow.”
— Joost A. Merloo
Source: The Rape of the Mind, 1956

Do I really need to add any commentary to this? It seems obvious and self-evident. Worse yet, it is a daily feature of government in this country.

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