Risk

Big ventures do sometimes require concerted action. “Everyone needs to come together.” Everyone has heard that.

Wars can be like that, though they seldom involve everyone, and when they do it’s usually because “everyone’s” country is being overrun by a hostile power, often out to utterly destroy everything in its path.

In the American Revolutionary War, the ballpark estimate, which I’ve seen in various histories, is that a third of the country supported the war and independence from Britain, a third wanted to remain loyal to Britain, and the final third sat on the fence.

The economy isn’t like war. “Everyone” doesn’t need to come together. “Everyone” just needs to get about their business. Waiting around for the government to “do something” is lethal, whether the government is attempting to “do something” or not. The government is most likely to be running around doing a pee-pee dance like an eight-year-old kid last on line for the Johnnie-on-the-Spot, which would be O.K., one supposes, if that was all it did.

So, you’re out there putting your work and money on the line, trying to score a success. And then there are tens of millions more of “everybody” doing the same. There’s this big network of perspectives and styles and approaches and risk-taking that all together comes to billion and billions, hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars, all of it interdependent, but all of it individual risk. That’s the real economy. The one that creates wealth. Not the one where the government takes money and “does something.”

If you win or lose in your rational venture to build your own future your outcome isn’t necessarily going to be that of the guy next to you. Maybe he worked harder or not as hard as you. Maybe he had a better idea, or wasn’t imaginative enough. Luck also plays a role, but luck too, an old saw tells us, is the residue of design.

That big, that gigantic interactive network will reward some and not reward others. Wealth will be built. Some will keep on building. Others will try again.

Now, in place of all those individual bets on individual futures, do you want those people in Washington D.C. who are doing their pee-pee dance stepping up to the gaming tables, with the money they have taken from you and will take from you or your kids in the future, and making your bet for you?

What do you think they know about what you want? Anything? Anything at all?

And if they don’t actually know what you want, then it’s a good bet, a better bet than the one they are making, that they simply have no idea what they are doing.

Even if you aren’t very smart, don’t have any really good ideas, but have the native instincts that come with being a human being, you are going to be a better judge of what you want than the dancers in D.C. You will always know better than them what you need to do. Why are they always trying to convince you otherwise?

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