I was talking with one of my colleagues the other day, and he raised a very interesting question, one that deserves consideration by anyone worried about their digital privacy. He read an article that championed the idea that the more steps one took to protect their privacy by using anonymous Web-browsing tools like Tor, the […]
A great technology solves a problem that we didn’t know we had. It makes us aware of deprivations we didn’t know existed until we discover the new thing. Once discovered, we can’t go back.People in the 1950s, for example, never missed the smart phone. They were pleased to have a phone at all. But today, […]
Fifty years after the 1929 crash, a group of money managers and investment thinkers put together a collection of essays looking back at that experience. The result was a distillation of some pretty fine investment wisdom. Timely, I think, to review now.One of the contributors was Arthur Zeikel, then with Merrill Lynch. The title of […]
Although the mainstream media have turned its attention away from the wreckage of Obamacare, don’t think for a second that all is well.As the politicos in D.C. focus their attention on the midterm elections in November, now is a great time to study, prepare, and seek out the most affordable, accessible, and highest quality options […]
Turn on the tube and economic ignorance seems to be everywhere. There is constant shilling for more government. Business is demonized. Man is said to be trashing the environment. “Workers and women are oppressed” is the constant mantra.And members of the clueless media nod their heads in unison.Only John Stossel has provided the fresh air […]
I’m sure you’ve seen the news. As if recent, past U.S. policy fiascos in Libya, Egypt and Syria were not enough, the wheels are now coming off the proverbial bus in Iraq, site of so much blood and treasure spent in the last decade. Radical Islamist armies are marching toward Baghdad, slicing through Iraqi government […]
Health care costs in the U.S. have been rising so steadily for so long that containment barely seems possible. Even optimists don’t dream of cutting the price tag. As its official name — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — suggests, Obamacare aims for affordability, not radical reduction.But at a time when we’re all […]
In early July 1944, delegates from 44 countries gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. A three-week summit took place, at which a new system was agreed to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the Second World War.The U.S. was already the world’s commercial powerhouse, having eclipsed the British […]
In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
When you type a website address into a browser, you might have noticed that the letters “http” appear at the front. “HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In typing a Web address, you are actually sending an HTTP command to transmit that website to you. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the means by which information is […]
“Do you hear that popping noise?” “Yeah…” said Joe, my racquetball companion. “What is that?” “It’s my knee” I replied, grimacing. Apparently, after a series of twists, turns and lunges, my left knee had endured enough. Every step I took produced that eerie suction sound your tongue makes after being released from the roof of […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.Is this a realistic vision of the future, […]
“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
They’re in every grocery store… those brightly colored boxes of prepared foods loudly claiming how healthy they are. But they’re not what you think. Nearly all of the prepackaged “low-fat,” “low-carb,” and “heart-healthy” meals lining the shelves are just shadows of real food… with little to no nutritional value. “Most people think of “flavoring” as […]
One issue I have with our modern lifestyle – of many — is the emphasis on perfection. Newer, slimmer, bigger, better, faster: the message of perfection screams out to us from glossy magazines, slick television ads and popup ad after popup ad. (Or purrs, cajoles, teases, and smothers.)While I do believe fundamentally in pursuing whatever your […]
People jacked up about income inequality can find a new hobby. The 1% are victims of a doomsday machine, and the countdown is ticking. Machine, thy name is “family.”This came to mind as I was reading a preview of Columbia Professor Andrew Ang’s forthcoming, must-read book on Asset Management. Ang is that oxymoron, an exciting […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
It might sound like the latest new product from Apple, but IPAB is actually the newest major legal challenge to Obamacare.Recently, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member panel created by the Affordable Care Act and empowered […]
To get free, unlimited access to these books and 100s more, join the Laissez Faire Club! The Ethics of Redistribution by Bertrand de Jouvenel Release Date: July 24, 2014 This interesting and challenging book argues that redistributing income from the rich to the poor is unethical. It also shows how redistribution works in practice: it […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Here’s a fun fact: Although we all hate the U.S. dollar, as it continues to hemorrhage wealth, its foothold as the world’s reserve currency isn’t going to disappear overnight.A Russian gas deal with China won’t change that — as we’ll highlight below.But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a story that’s right […]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the term “forgotten man” in a 1932 speech to describe those at the bottom of the economic pyramid who, he felt, government should aid.But the originator of the phrase “forgotten man” had a whole different meaning in mind. He aimed to expose the seeming good intentions of government to reveal […]
“As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding […]
In France, each winemaking appellation is governed by specific rules. To be called a “Burgundy” or a “Bordeaux,” for example, wines must come from a specific geographic border. Not only that, these rules dictate which grapes can be grown, how they’re irrigated and pruned, and even what alcohol level is allowed in the finished product. […]
The Keynesian disaster recovery plan has been to lower rates, force people to take more risk in search of yield, and entice others to borrow and spend and, magically, more jobs will be created. If people won’t buy stocks, central banks will.Back in 2011, Ben Bernanke, when asked if QE2 was driving up stock prices, […]
I want to share some insight and give you a front-row seat to America’s next big shale play.Let’s get to it…Over the past 10 years, the U.S. has turned the ship around, quite literally.We’ve gone from a country that was expecting to import massive amounts of oil and gas — to a country that’s sitting […]
In September 2009, when President Obama made a primetime speech pitching his not-yet-passed health care overhaul, he made the following promise: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. Period.” To prove his seriousness, he further promised that “there will be a provision […]
Whatever your views on the role of government, one thing is clear: There will be no way to pay for it if the economy doesn’t grow. And I’m not talking by a measly percentage point or two. If we can’t find our way back to 5% annual economic growth or above soon, America’s accumulated federal […]
The trend of pervasive surveillance is accelerating. Fortunately, the marketplace for privacy is growing too. And with just a little effort, you can take advantage of these privacy tools to help protect your “digital life.” Several months ago, in our Make Yourself Invisible to the NSA special report, we told you about DuckDuckGo. Unlike Google […]
What if I told you that the march of human progress could be traced in a direct line from the Epicureans of Ancient Greece… through the 18th Century’s cure for smallpox… to where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates found inspiration as scrappy teenagers… to the flying car of tomorrow?Stay with me and I’ll show you […]
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices are rising at a 2.1% annual rate. This suggests to us that the current stock market boom will die with a bang, rather than a whimper.Fed economists say they don’t think inflation rates are rising. They think the most recent reading is a fluke. But why […]
|Table of Contents|
Higher Cause is an ambitious new project from Laissez Faire Books, a serialized novel with timely sweeping themes, active free-thinking characters, conflicts affecting the world, spies, guns, explosions, new forms of energy, sinister conspiracies, government plots, nationalization, destruction, and hope. Higher Cause is written by an author whose core values dismiss the initiation of force or fraud as an acceptable mode of action. It is libertarian fiction, but not preaching, because it is written by a libertarian thinker who is not a preacher but rather a doctor. I know all this because I am the author of Higher Cause. My name is John Hunt, and it is my desire that we get to know each other in the months ahead.
I wrote Higher Cause to appeal not only to free thinkers who crave knowledge from multiple nonfiction sources — in other words many Laissez Faire readers — but also to appeal to their family members and friends and older children, who may not yet have formulated an internally consistent set of core values that helps them make sense of the world. Fiction brings philosophies to life and provides a framework for understanding what values are worthy of incorporating into oneself. The reading of thoughtful fiction is a useful pursuit at all ages.
Let me be clear: the nonlibertarian will not likely notice the libertarian themes contained in the book. They are for the most part subtle — simply reflecting the integrity and consistency inherent in a well-considered philosophical construct. Higher Cause makes no academic arguments filled with statistics and case studies and historical evidence of the failings of competing political mentalities. Instead, the characters present how government force and fraud has been used by the immoral among us, and show a path by which individuals can help humans as a whole unhoist ourselves from this petard to which most of us unknowingly have contributed gunpowder. Higher Cause begins with the famous British vessel the Bounty. Its trip to Tahiti in 1789 ended in mutiny, but perhaps not for the reasons so many of us have come to believe. The mysterious mission the Bounty was sent furtively to accomplish is a continuous theme throughout the remainder of the book, which takes place in the years 2012 and following, as the central banks and governments of the world have placed the world economy on a loose and shaky high wire on which even the strongest Keynesian thinkers, trained at the most expensive progressive arts colleges, can no longer balance.
Later this week, I would like to begin to introduce you to the characters of Higher Cause who see no need for a high wire, for they have another idea: create wealth. Higher Cause will come to you for free, in 22 installments of roughly 27 pages each, in electronic serialization hosted by the Laissez Faire Blog. Serialization of a novel is nothing new. Dickens published all his great works in this manner. If you join the Laissez Faire Club, you will have the opportunity to read the book much faster, at your own pace, also for free as a benefit of membership.
During this serial publication, I encourage you to write me emails, and I will provide occasional brief insights into how the book came to be.
I hope to see you later in the week when the first installment of Higher Cause is launched.
For a full list of chapters, see the table of contents.