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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Real progress happens through real people, ideas, and innovations. Not by legislation argued and debated in Congress. Right now, one of the most influential technologies is changing the way people do business. And reinventing the future in the process.
Innovation can change the world… if the world lets it. Unfortunately, society’s gatekeepers make it a point to constrain, regulate, and control these ideas. But their power is limited, and the power of innovation is too great. Unfortunately for regulators, there are some technologies they can’t control.
What’s the #1 reason a start-up fails?It runs out of money!And why would it run out of money?Because nobody wants the product it’s selling!For early-stage investors, this presents a bit of a conundrum:If a product doesn’t exist yet, how do you figure out if there’s demand for it?And how do you figure it out before […]
Politicians love raising the minimum wage because they don’t have to ask voters to pay more in taxes. They just dump the costs onto shop owners. But they don’t act like politicians and go into debt to pretend like they have all the money in the world. They face real world situations. And sometimes that means replacing workers with more affordable options...
Regulation is supposed to keep you safe and make the economy function smoothly. At least that’s what they tell you in the news. But there’s another cost to regulation. One that you won’t hear about unless you have to deal with directly. And for the people in the economy who do, they’re the ones who have to pay the final cost.
According to some estimates, one man - whose name you're probably not familiar with - has saved over a billion lives. Who is he? And how has he influenced the current crop of innovators? Josh Grasmick explains...
Biotech breakthroughs and other transformative innovations are a few of the brightly shining spots in the U.S. economy. In fact, Paul Mampilly believes this is the golden age of biotech investing, and that you can earn massive returns while investing in companies with drugs that benefit all of humanity. Read on for his latest example...
Harold Hamm isn’t your typical entrepreneur. His life’s story shows you success in America doesn’t always depend on a fat checkbook
Obama recently claimed this was the “Decade of the Brain”. But it not the first time the government made that promise. The last time they did it, they wasted millions of your tax dollars. Now they’re back for round two. But this time, their failure could mean more than squandered money. It could mean making Alzheimer’s even worse for those who suffer from it.
American ingenuity. It’s the stuff of lore and legend, and it’s what drives the global economy. We literally bank on the next disruptive entrepreneur — and innovative new technology — to completely redefine or create new industries. It’s what America does really well, our goose that continues to lay golden eggs.And yet, maybe not.The truth […]
Entrepreneurs innovate. Bureaucrats regulate. It’s the eternal struggle that exists in our modern economy/government. The people in power try to make the playing field as even and fair as possible. While innovators buck the rules and push the world toward a better tomorrow.
Technological progress moves the world forward. It finds ways to do things better, for less money, while using fewer resources. And if you ask any politician, they’ll tell you that’s the way to grow the economy and get America back on track. But if that progress threatens one of the government’s sacred programs, then that’s a different story. One that results in a crackdown on progress, and protection of the status quo.
Politicians proclaim the benefits of small business while on the campaign trail. But when they meet in the seedy halls of Congress, they have no problem doing whatever they can to stifle, regulate, and subdue their progress. Instead of siding with entrepreneurs, these politicians often side with political allies and cronies that helped put them into office.
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Technology brought the world together. But has it gone too far? Decades ago, mail was delivered by hand. Now it’s delivered in seconds. How has that changed the way you live your life? How has it changed the way people act with each other? These are just some of the questions we need to ask.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
As full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaches, every doctor, research professional, and health administrator I talk to tells me the same thing: Obamacare is going to reduce the quality of care and cost you more… in some cases, a lot more.
Can you imagine losing $119 billion in a single day? That might sound like an impossible amount of money to lose in any amount of time, but in the high-stakes world of startups, it really can happen in a day. And whenever there’s a “loser” in a zero-sum situation like this, there’s also a “winner.” The difference between the two? Vision.
The web is packed with some of the greatest educational material on entrepreneurship and enterprise, material that didn’t exist a decade ago and is now within the mouse-click reach of vast swaths of humanity. Are we taking advantage of it?
Doug French and I set out to collect the top 15 videos on entrepreneurship — a totally subjective list, of course, but these are the ones we have found most compelling. Watching all of these provides a great overview of the contribution that enterprise makes to the quality of life.
They illustrate, too, the dangers of government rules, regulations, taxes, and trade restrictions. They kill creativity and prosperity, making life harder for entrepreneurs and capitalists to serve society through innovation and expansion.
We sought to pick videos that show the real stuff at work — not just academic lectures, but the real heartbeat of human action in an enterprising world.
Please share this set with people who need to understand!
1. The LEGO Story
This is an amazing short movie about the history of one company, covering the dream, the setbacks, the innovations, the development, the achievement, and so much more. It is also very beautifully made. Every kid in the world ought to see this wonderful video!
2. Caine’s Arcade
This is a heartwarming story of a child with an idea. But it is more than that. It is a look at the dream of commercial achievement and what it takes to see it realized. We see in Caine the traits that made a Rockefeller or a Carnegie or any of the greats. There is a certain fanaticism about what they do, a deep love and belief in the idea and the desire to serve others.
3. Matt Ridley: When Ideas Have Sex
Matt Ridley may not have set out to illustrate the power of economic thinking, but that is what he does here. He shows how a developed, complex economy is all about sharing, cooperation, service, and learning. He re-characterizes the commercial spirit as community minded and deeply connected to public service. It is a brilliant presentation from one of the finest writers and thinkers working today.
4. Johanna Blakley: Lessons From Fashion’s Free Culture
This lecture sweeps away a profound confusion about commerce: that it is due to the containment and privatization of ideas. On the contrary, a true enterprise economy is about the spreading and sharing of ideas, just as entrepreneurship itself relies on innovating from existing knowledge. Great creators are great students too. This video uses fashion to show how it works.
5. Hans Rosling and the Magic Washing Machine
Hans Rosling is a demographer with a passion for explaining what the numbers mean, as a way of countering ideological bias in the population. He uses amazing tools to show how economic forces are all about the quality of life: longer, healthier, wealthier lives. He is a dedicated believer in the cause of human flourishing, and this comes across in his beautiful tribute to the washing machine.
6. Rory Sutherland: Perspective Is Everything
Rory Sutherland is one of the most-perceptive marketing experts in the world today. He has a keen mind, and he traces his own economic influences to Ludwig von Mises. His many examples of how real-world commerce differs from what you find in textbooks make for an interesting corrective. As Mises himself said, the difference between capitalism and socialism comes down the principle of marketing. Sutherland is the great specialist in consumer behavior.
7. Richard Branson’s Advice for Entrepreneurs
Richard Branson is a legend in his own time, an extraordinary entrepreneur and a breaker of every rule in the book. He does not give systematic lectures or write detailed essays, but he will sit for spontaneous interviews. This short video packs a powerful punch. He makes the case for making errors, giving employees lots of freedom, and praising accomplishments of others.
8. Soda Pop: John Nese, proprietor of Galcos Soda
A store owner discovers a market niche in making customers happy by offering 500 different kinds of soda pop, rather than Pepsi or Coke… he couldn’t compete with Ralph’s down the street by carrying Pepsi and Coke… but could compete by offering something different.
9. Anthony Bourdain in Haiti
Anthony Bourdain didn’t set out to make a documentary about economics, but that’s what it ended up as. Laissez Faire Today goes into greater detail here about how this film makes the case for capital accumulation.
10. Allen Edmonds Factory Tour
Many people have never seen the inside of a manufacturing plant. This video take you there. This company started in 1922 by Elbert Allen and is still business after 90 years, through thick and thin, overcoming every obstacle.
11. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Plant Tour
Korean car manufacturing has brought astonishing economic vitality to Alabama. The plant has been a real godsend, and it underscores just how complex economic structures are in today’s world. There is no more us versus them. We are all in this together. And this video shows just what a marvel manufacturing really is. Miracles are made here.
12. I, Smartphone
Based on Leonard Read’s famous essay “I, Pencil,” this short video beautifully illustrates the vast complexity that we carry in our pockets. No one person could ever make a smartphone. It required the spontaneous cooperation of millions across all countries. The world could never be reinvented by a single mind, but rather requires the coordination of plans made possible only through private property and the price system.
13. The Call of the Entrepreneur
This is only a trailer, but covers one of the finest movies ever made about entrepreneurship. It is made by the Acton Institute. It seeks to put a human face on commerce, showing entrepreneurs from three very different walks of life. It includes extremely effective interviews with some of the best intellectuals, as well. This is only the trailer but you can purchase the entire film at Acton.org.
14. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Together
This video is historic in so many ways. It includes lots of technical talk, some interesting memories, and a fascinating dynamic. But it demonstrates how two great entrepreneurs see the world and their roles in it. Despite the famed rivalry here, they also understand that they have benefitted from each other’s work.
15. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the Moral Case for Capitalism
John Mackey is a rare CEO and corporate founder who understands much more than his own business and industry; he understands just how crucial and beneficial freedom itself is to the social order. In this interview, which is quite short, he provides a compelling defense of the corporation and its place in the modern life, directly refuting those who think the corporation is parasitic and evil. His candor is extremely refreshing.
Conclusion: As these films show, economics and enterprise are not things that exist outside the human experience, but rather extend organically from it, as an expression of the finest that the human person has to offer humanity.