Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hope is a good thing - here's how to create some...

As you may recall, several months ago I was on here writing about a good friend of mine who told me I was being too negative in some of my blogs.  I tried to reform for awhile but life - and Supreme Court justice John Roberts - got in the way.

My friend was at my home this evening having dinner when he again mentioned that it seems I have gone back to telling everyone there is no hope for America and that we all need to move and that our country is going to hell in a handbasket and etc., etc. etc.

Then, he said something that made so much sense that I can't believe I didn't think of this before.
That is, instead of only fussing about our loss of liberty and how stupid government is, maybe I could offer some advice to people on how to promote liberty and limited government.  He asked me, "So what do I need to do?" 

Great question.  Here are some answers.

If (and for some of you that might be a big if...) you sincerely care about the erosion of our God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you can start by using social media to spread the concept of limited government to your "friends" or "followers".  If you like this blog, for example, you could go on Facebook, and ask your friends to follow it, read it and spread it to their friends. 

I would suggest going to  - the Foundation for Economic Education and read articles from The Freeman.  For $50 per year you can get the Freeman sent to your home.  It has incredible articles that provide historical perspectives on free markets and small government.  Send links to your friends that you find interesting or useful.  This foundation also has summer seminars for high school and college-age students in Atlanta that are very intellectually challenging.

Other places like the Institute for Humane Studies, The Institute for Justice and the Ludwig von Mises Institute to name a few are great places to read about liberty and find out about seminars and workshops.

On my website - you can click on SPEECHES and see talks given by Walter Williams, John Stossel, Milton Friedman and others that you could send to people.  Many of my lectures can be found there as well if you want your kids to learn about free market economics.

Speaking of kids, if you have younger ones (real young ones), read Yertle the Turtle to them!  It is a classic story of one turtle's fight against tyranny and would help start a conversation about the nature of freedom.  For older students have them read The Law by Frederic Bastiat, Leonard Read's "I Pencil", Not Yours to Give by David Crockett and other books and essays on liberty.  Read the Declaration of Independence to your kids and talk to them about what Jefferson meant in each paragraph. I have other book recommendations on my website.

Teach your kids about the concepts of private property, the role of enlightened self-interest and the principle of voluntary versus forced relationships.  Towards this end, help them understand, for example, that burning CD's and DVD's is a violation of someone's artistic property.  Tell them how income taxes did not exist from 1776-1913 in America because the Founders thought income taxes took property by force.  Discuss eminent domain, property taxes, seat belt laws (if you want to go this far) under the umbrella of, "When is this law a violation of property rights?"

I would suggest teaching your children about the concepts of giving in order to help them understand that giving is the basis of relationships that are profitable in the long run.  Specifically, businesses that people like and trust and don't mind seeing make money are the ones that show that they have some sense of honor, integrity and justice.  These businesses avoid the age-old temptation of being greedy by often doing things that might not make textbook economic sense (i.e. paying their workers a bit more than the market rate or giving to charity in large amounts, or being generous to customers in the discounts offered).  Let's face it.  Many people hate captialism because people who call themselves capitalists are really dishonest and/or selfish.

If you are a businessperson that accepts government subsidies you are not a capitalist and you are helping to destroy liberty.  You are doing this by using lobbyists to plunder the taxpayers - many of whom do not even use your products.  Do you push for protective tariffs or quotas?  Do you push for regulations designed to hurt your competition?  Do you often try to wiggle your way out of serving your customers by telling them to read the fine print on your warranties?  Do you pay your workers a wage that the voters believe is just?  If not, those same voters will pick politicians who promise to regulate your prices and wages and tax you in the name of forced justice.  Do the right thing ( in the eyes of the voters and God, if I may be so bold....) to begin with and maybe the people will love you and not their elected leaders.  We all know that the private sector does everything better than the government.  Show people you can also do compassion and honesty and you will see people vote for less government on your back.

Speaking of you voters - do you receive plundered money?  If you get any money other than what you have created by serving your fellowman, you should stop it and encourage others to stop it.  If everybody steals from everybody, liberty fades away.

Write letters to the editor of your newspaper pointing out where our rights are being threatened. 

Email your elected leaders when they trample our rights - or promote them.

Attend meetings where politicians are campaigning or are discussing matters that impact your rights and let your voice be heard.

I am sure there are some other ideas I am forgetting, but I hope you can use something here.

The bottom line is simple.  There is a multiplier effect from spreading the word of freedom to other people.  All we need is 51% of the people to believe in liberty and we have enough to preserve it.

Yes, I know a couple of blogs ago I said it was over for America.  Who knows?  It might be.  If it is - meaning if we are Rome - at least you and I can fight to delay the inevitable.  If it is possible to avoid becoming Rome that would be great too - and requires that all of us do something - little or big - to help this cause.

I half-jokingly tell my wife that I want my headstone to read,


Don't let it be your fault either.


  1. I already applied one of the above pieces of advice so 364 more people just found out about you. Just think of what I can accomplish by daylight! Thanks for so many more great ideas.
    By the way, I thought of something else I could do. After I got home tonight, I cracked that totally threatening copy of "An Applied Approach to Microeconomics." After reading the preface, I'm convinced your book will bring together the Jack I respect (for his passionate opinions) with the Jack I understand (even when he's talking about stuff I don't otherwise get) with the Jack I like spending time with (because he is funny and interesting). I'm in for all 18 chapters. Maybe by the end of it, I won't have to identify myself as "dumb about economics." There's hope in that.

  2. Going down your list, I say check, check, check, check. Oops, there are some more things for me to do.
    Sorry Jack, there is not much hope. I have given away dozens of copies of The Law that I printed from the Von Mises web site. No one read it no matter how much I praised it, explained how important it was, how simple it was to read, or how short it was.
    Your friend just wants a Disney experience and doesn't like you pointing out the false facades. As soon as your friend realizes their Disney experience is turning into any type of exercise they will put their blinders back on and blame the messengers for the problems.

  3. Congrats Prof. Chambless,
    It is great to read a post full of hope. And it shows me that the strong character of Americans, that I so much admire, is very much alive. Besides, lets face it: accepting that America might be going down and planning to move is not really an option. Where would you move to? Switzerland, perhaps? It's the only place that comes to my mind as a option... Europe is taken by the same ideas that you are fighting over there. And as far as I know, the South America is under the influence of the "Foro de São Paulo", which basically mean more socialism and tyranny.
    I think you have some great suggestions. I am not sure if you follow Glenn Beck, nor if he is "your cup of tea", but he also brought some good suggestions for changing this situation, with his four step program. I guess that is the way. Americans need to be educated about what freedom means, what capitalism means and above all, what will it mean to live under a tyrannical government that controls absolutely everything.
    best wishes

  4. My daughter turns 10 in November. I've been as excited as I could be; I have bought her the book, "The Law." I came across this post and purchased "Yurtle the Turtle" for my son, we always try and give the other kid a small trinket when it's the sibling's birthday.