Begin with self. Put your own house in order. Start with your soul. Begin to both produce and save there. Build up reserves of effort, self-restraint, patience, endurance, sobriety. These will have to be acquired by you in a body. So, they will necessarily involve bodily activity. What is gained in abstaining from sugar can be applied to almost any area of encounter with the earthly good. The self-restraint produced (which is different from willed constraint from whence it is produced) applied to the consumption of sugar and the regulation of bodily size and shape can be transferred to the regulation of size and shape of bank account. He who does not consume sugar can avoid consuming many things. This will increase the bank account.
The success in the former will enhance the probability of acquisition in the social realm. Make yourself attractive–first soul, second body. But the two are interconnected and cannot be separated but in death (and we’ll see). You are a social animal. So, get social. Establish community. This is the realm of social clubs. I find two wonderful for different reasons. First, the family is wonderful because once acquired it is in your face and it is both the blessing of friendship and the challenge of continued building of virtue all rolled into one. The profit found in little dependents greeting you at the door is matched by the profit in dealing with a becoming independent teenager. The regularity of sex is matched by the tension in budgetary disagreement found with a spouse. The goods are always two in the rich labrynth of family life: gratifying joy and the challenge of the other.
Second, the regularly meeting social club with emphasis on merit and achievement, sobriety and virtue is worth joining. Here you will meet those who are further along and, if needed, you can provide inspiration to those coming up behind. The regularity of meeting, the prescribed shaking of hands, the nods of affirmation, the weekly (what matters is that it is regular) coming together that makes possible the surprise conversation or new acquaintance. And there are challenges here. There is again the pushback from those in disagreement or that member of the club who simply rubs the wrong way. Good opportunities for training in patience, endurance, self-restraint.
Let us move on to the grander scheme of that which is hopefully achieved in your local sphere. I speak of the abolition of assault and theft. If we are to make anything of our nation we
will have to establish a sound currency that cannot be tampered with by the thieves. This will require a currency with a fixed amount of, oh it might as well be, gold or other precious metals. This is not arbitrary. And the fiat regulation we now endure amounts to theft. The FED and Treasury will need to be abolished.
Theft and assault will have to be removed from the economy. The thieves will have to stop competing with what can be provided by the private sector. Roads, energy, mail, numbers of hospitals, power plants, fire trucks. It all needs to go.
The regulation which burdens the poorest and weakest among us by saddling them with a complexity of rules and regulations if they want to meet demand with supply (produce and trade) has to go. I heard a story the other day about a small businessman who had contract labor to whom he wished to give an extra $15 a week to those whom he contracted with for an increase in gas prices. The work required driving. He was subsequently audited. The government fined him $10,000 for treating contractors like employees. The average person has no clue how the thieves have hamstrung production and trade. On top of this the young are trained, often by the state, from a young age, to view the “capitalist” with distrust and to assign him greed.
There should be a complete abolition of forced assault and theft involved in income redistribution. A flat tax of each citizen to cover the protection of property from assault and theft (police, army) and the resolution of conflict and punishment (court, prison) is the limit. Even here there are problems. The only advantage publicly assigned and supported institutions have is that they do not have to compete like the rest of us to secure the goods they receive for their services. This is an advantage to them, but a grave disincentive to efficiency, effectiveness and so a grave disadvantage to those of us forced to pay. Taxation should be permitted only for consumption NOT production. That way saving is not disincentivized. We will be a nation that promotes saving!
Here is reform. Extend what makes community good at the local level to the national level. This is Puritanical Libertarianism–the recommendation of personal virtue and liberty.