My wife and I have always been hard workers. We have always tried to do things “the right way“ and have lived by what we believe are “good old-fashioned values“. We’ve worked hard and saved, living within if not below our means.
We have lovingly raised our children to live the same way. While it is never easy, it seems as of late it is becoming more and more difficult.
For example, try to instill into a teenager the virtues of diligently working hard to earn some money, putting it into the “bank” (we use a local credit union) and watching it grow over time. This is certainly no easy task in these times. First, there is the challenge of differentiating between needs and wants. This can be especially difficult when it seems like everyone else around is running out to get the latest and greatest of every new thing that comes along. Even more difficult is trying to explain the concept of compound interest with savings rates near zero. And then there is the concept of inflation. But let’s not get head of ourselves just yet.
My inclinations have always been towards self-reliance and personal responsibility. Early in my adult working years I was an avid listener of talk radio. It was through that medium that I was introduced to Libertarianism by a local talk-show host named Irv Homer. Irv had a personable and humorous way of delivering the message. He’d get right to the heart of issues and chastise “boobous americans” for not understanding the real gist of such matters.
Libertarian ideas seemed quite logical. People being responsible for themselves and leaving others to their own business seemed very American. After all, that was what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Freedom, liberty and personal responsibility was what I thought was the American way. The government should be small and stay out of the way, right?
Through my early investigations of Libertarianism, I became aware of G. Edward Griffin and his book, The Creature From Jeckyll Island. From there I started to peel back the layers of the onion, but again, we’ll not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
With the birth of our first child and all the life changes that came along with it, the focus of my energies naturally shifted. From the very onset of my working years I’d been bothered by the taxes on the fruits of my labor. Eventually transitioning to being self-employed I was as bothered as I’d ever been by the onerous taxes due each April but my enthusiasm for Liberty would simmer on the back burner when compared to raising our family.
Eventually the financial crisis of 2008 reared its ugly head and it seemed as though everything we had been taught to believe in had been turned upside down. I needed some answers.
I began reading and seeking out new sources of information. Once I started digging and digging some more I was on my way down the rabbit hole. Like peeling an onion, each new layer unveils a whole new dimension of discovery. The deeper you get, the more clearly things start to fit together. There are so many pieces to the puzzle that it can become overwhelming. Once you start to see the big picture it can be difficult to logically and coherently present it to someone who is not yet ready to listen. All the different bits of information are quite volatile and powerful on their own.
Most people are set in their ways, believing the current state of affairs is all just part of a cyclical pattern. People who are comfortable in their normalcy bias can be quick to dismiss others who question the status quo as “conspiracy theorists”. They believe things will eventually “get back to normal” in a matter of time. This could not be further form the truth. If they are not made aware of the true nature of things they will eventually be blindsided by the reality.