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Liberty and Societal Prosperity

Posted By: Randy GageDecember 31, 2012

Message from RG:  I’m lounging under a palm tree on a much-needed vacation for a few weeks.  So to fill your insatiable need for brilliant and helpful self-development info each morning, I’ve asked some of my clever friends to sit in for me during my absence.  Today’s guest blogger is Bob Burg:

It’s always a pleasure to read Randy’s posts on individual prosperity. In this guest post that he was kind enough to ask me to write, I’d like to take a look at prosperity from a societal angle.

Based both on years of study and even more years of experience, I believe that societal prosperity begins with the individual. And, this begins with the rights of the individual being protected by the Rule of Law. For a society (which is – of course – nothing more than simply a large group of individuals) to be abundant, the protection of individual rights must be the highest value of that society, and the understood highest legitimate function of that government.

When individuals are free to create, that’s exactly what they do. At least, enough of them do to create products and services that others need, want or desire. As a result, they hire people, creating jobs.

This begins the creation of both individual and societal prosperity. The more free a country is (i.e., the more that individuals are free) the higher the standard of living for all, including the poor. The less free a country is, the lower the standard of living for all, especially the poor.

If we compare people/countries that are similar in many ways (ethnicity, language, history, proximity) and take only the freedom factor into consideration, we see that the more free, the more prosperous; the less free, the less prosperous.

A few examples include:

North Korea/South Korea
East Germany/West Germany (often called, “The Great Experiment”)
Hong Kong (before free-market)/Hong Kong (after free-market)
China/Hong Kong
Cuba (before Castro)/Cuba (during Castro)

So, what is it that makes a society more prosperous? Liberty. The freedom to create. This is manifested through entrepreneurship. It certainly doesn’t happen through government fiat (decree).

Entrepreneurship – via individuals – is the engine that drives the economy and resulting overall prosperity. And, here’s the great and all-important aspect: in a free-market based economy (not to be confused with Corporatism or Cronyism), one can only become wealthy and abundant by providing value that others are willing to pay for, and by providing that value to many people.

In other words, both parties — the buyer and the seller — come away better off than they were before the transaction. There is no limited “pie” to carve up. When entrepreneurs are free to create value for the marketplace, an unlimited number of pies are “baked.” Everyone wins!

And, this helps the company to stay in business, employ more people who can buy from other companies, helping those companies stay in business, etc., etc. (Yes, true “trickle-down” actually does work despite how often some like to mock it. Like most things, it needs to be looked at in context and not through sound bites.)

What stifles the creation of individual and societal prosperity is the huge amount of red tape and unnecessary regulations. It’s like the “gunk” that slows down a car’s engine. Whether on a federal, state, county or local level, the more needless and counterproductive hoops an entrepreneur must “jump through” in order to get his or her business started and to keep it running – the less incentive they will have to do so. Or simply not be able to make a profit and thus go out of business.

The result: less value provided to others (products or services people want or need), less employment, and less money being circulated throughout the community. Yes, back to that inconvenient “trickle-down” thing again.

Now, is any type of regulation ever necessary? Sure; that which will protect the citizenry from force or fraud.

That aside, no…nothing more is needed. Other than for the politicians and bureaucrats to stay out of the way and let both individual and societal abundance happen.

So, please. Next time you hear a politician — any politician from either party — announce that they have a 50-Point, or 30-Point, or 27-point, or 78-Point Plan for creating jobs, remember this much better plan:

In fact, let’s call it “Bob Burg’s 1-Point Plan For Creating Societal Prosperity.” It goes like this:

Get out of the way politicians and bureaucrats so that entrepreneurs can create jobs!

Too simple?

Naw. Just simple enough. (I’m Bob Burg…and I approved this post)

- BB

Bob Burg is coauthor (with John David Mann) of the International Bestseller, The Go-Giver. Visit www.burg.com to check out his blog, and lots of great, value-based information on his site, as well as to connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

150 comments on “Liberty and Societal Prosperity”

  1. randy thx God thay he give you this gave and we can taket it and share to our friends;) we see as on Sitetalk, today or tomorow;) Dejan Kasap

  2. randy thx God thay he give you this gave and we can taket it and share to our friends;) we see as on Sitetalk, today or tomorow;) Dejan Kasap

  3. WOOOW - SO awesome to have you here Bob, what a pleasure!!!!!!!
    Thank's for your fantastic article!!!!! And I couldn't agree more 🙂
    LOVE this "Get out of the way politicians and bureaucrats so that entrepreneurs can create jobs!"
    Hugs and Love to you from Denmark. And Happy New Year 🙂
    Lene XOXO

    1. @LeneJytteHansen Thank you for your awesome welcome, Lene. You are always one of the kindest and encouraging people I have the pleasure to know. X's and O's back. And, Happy New Year to you, as well!

  4. WOOOW - SO awesome to have you here Bob, what a pleasure!!!!!!!
    Thank's for your fantastic article!!!!! And I couldn't agree more 🙂
    LOVE this "Get out of the way politicians and bureaucrats so that entrepreneurs can create jobs!"
    Hugs and Love to you from Denmark. And Happy New Year 🙂
    Lene XOXO

  5. To a great degree I concur. But it is too simplistic. Take Cuba: The main reason they are not prospereous is because the USA boycots them. Also, many large corporations (larger then some countries in many cases) monopolize and thereby stop entrepeneurship. Think Microsoft: Only after the Eu fined them for marketmanipulation true competition had a chance.

    1. @mlmxpertholland Good morning and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Regarding Cuba - and with all respect - I can't even begin to answer that one because it really has so little to do with Cuba's problems. Castro turned them into a communist country, imprisoned and tortured people, took away their liberties and other horrible crimes. To say that the "main reason" they are not prosperous is because the USA boycots them is simply not an accurate statement. Regarding monopolies, the ONLY way a company has ever had a true monopoly is when it was government-created or government-sponsored (often a function of the Corporatism or Cronyism I referred to in the post that would NOT be an example of free-markets). Of course, many companies have tried to create a monopoly but it never actually happens (not without government force aiding it). Again, I appreciate your thoughts, but it's very important to look past the sound-bites you hear on television and read about, and really dig deep and ask the right questions. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  6. To a great degree I concur. But it is too simplistic. Take Cuba: The main reason they are not prospereous is because the USA boycots them. Also, many large corporations (larger then some countries in many cases) monopolize and thereby stop entrepeneurship. Think Microsoft: Only after the Eu fined them for marketmanipulation true competition had a chance.

  7. Hi Bob,
     
    How have you been? So happy RG extended the guest post offer to you, love the topic!
     
    I am currently on a 20 month working holiday traveling through Southeast Asia. The one constant? Wealthier countries like Thailand seem to foster the entrepreneurial spirit while some of the poorer countries like Laos seem to stifle it. Make it easier for people to create for others, and money and other neat things seem to circulate more easily.
     
    Government is great. So is government getting out of the way of individuals who create small, medium of massive ventures which employ tens, hundreds or thousands of people. On the whole, if a country is mired in poverty and shows no signs of growth, they have taken the Power, or freedom, from the people.
     
    Thanks!

    1. @RyanKBiddulph Ryan, GREAT to hear from you. Sounds like an exciting adventure for you. Yes, it's amazing how that works, isn't it? And, indeed,consistently. To the degree that government gets out of the way and simply protects peoples' natural rights, that's the degree to which entrepreneurs can create and the masses enjoy an increased standard of living.  Why people want to argue against prosperity I don't know, but it's part of life, I guess. 🙂 Wishing you the very best is 2013.

  8. Hi Bob,
     
    How have you been? So happy RG extended the guest post offer to you, love the topic!
     
    I am currently on a 20 month working holiday traveling through Southeast Asia. The one constant? Wealthier countries like Thailand seem to foster the entrepreneurial spirit while some of the poorer countries like Laos seem to stifle it. Make it easier for people to create for others, and money and other neat things seem to circulate more easily.
     
    Government is great. So is government getting out of the way of individuals who create small, medium of massive ventures which employ tens, hundreds or thousands of people. On the whole, if a country is mired in poverty and shows no signs of growth, they have taken the Power, or freedom, from the people.
     
    Thanks!

  9. @LeneJytteHansen Thank you for your awesome welcome, Lene. You are always one of the kindest and encouraging people I have the pleasure to know. X's and O's back. And, Happy New Year to you, as well!

  10. @mlmxpertholland Good morning and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Regarding Cuba - and with all respect - I can't even begin to answer that one because it really has so little to do with Cuba's problems. Castro turned them into a communist country, imprisoned and tortured people, took away their liberties and other horrible crimes. To say that the "main reason" they are not prosperous is because the USA boycots them is simply not an accurate statement. Regarding monopolies, the ONLY way a company has ever had a true monopoly is when it was government-created or government-sponsored (often a function of the Corporatism or Cronyism I referred to in the post that would NOT be an example of free-markets). Of course, many companies have tried to create a monopoly but it never actually happens (not without government force aiding it). Again, I appreciate your thoughts, but it's very important to look past the sound-bites you hear on television and read about, and really dig deep and ask the right questions. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  11. @RyanKBiddulph Ryan, GREAT to hear from you. Sounds like an exciting adventure for you. Yes, it's amazing how that works, isn't it? And, indeed,consistently. To the degree that government gets out of the way and simply protects peoples' natural rights, that's the degree to which entrepreneurs can create and the masses enjoy an increased standard of living.  Why people want to argue against prosperity I don't know, but it's part of life, I guess. 🙂 Wishing you the very best is 2013.

  12. I love this post & all its messages, Bob!!
    You wrote in a 360° circle of topics which are connected to make the world go round.
    LOVE IT!
    You sure reach many people with it, what a good timing - have a great New Years Eve. &  Happy New year!
    RG sure is pleased with all his active supporters during the past weeks, while relaxing somewhere....

  13. I love this post & all its messages, Bob!!
    You wrote in a 360° circle of topics which are connected to make the world go round.
    LOVE IT!
    You sure reach many people with it, what a good timing - have a great New Years Eve. &  Happy New year!
    RG sure is pleased with all his active supporters during the past weeks, while relaxing somewhere....

  14. Hi Bob! Thanks for this - a breath of fresh air. For those of us in the UK we have the bureaucratic nonsense of the European Community to contend with.
    One Billion (or was  it ten - either way it's a lot) Euros are spent each year by the EU just to translate everything into English!
    Once again thanks and Have an Awesome 2013.
     
    Live Rich!
     
    Robert

    1. @Rainbowflyer Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm afraid that bureaucracy is bureaucracy with the same negative effects wherever it takes form. That's one reason why the bigger the government the more intrusive and cumbersome it tends to be. And, like a parasite, bureaucracy grows naturally and continues to grow until it consumes its host (or, at least really, really bothers it) 🙂 This is one reason why I try and encourage people to first seek market-based solutions rather than take the "fall-back" position of "asking the government to do things for us." Of course, "government" (and it's bureaucrats) is only too happy to take over. The challenge with that is, they don't do it well (because their is no incentive for them to do so), they take a non-existent problem and turn it into a problem, or they take a small problem and turn it into a much bigger problem. Or, they take an actual problem and turn it into a disaster. Then, they provide  government solutions to the problems that they have caused in the first place. All that said...Happy New Year! 🙂 LOL

  15. Hi Bob! Thanks for this - a breath of fresh air. For those of us in the UK we have the bureaucratic nonsense of the European Community to contend with.
    One Billion (or was  it ten - either way it's a lot) Euros are spent each year by the EU just to translate everything into English!
    Once again thanks and Have an Awesome 2013.
     
    Live Rich!
     
    Robert

  16. @Rainbowflyer Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm afraid that bureaucracy is bureaucracy with the same negative effects wherever it takes form. That's one reason why the bigger the government the more intrusive and cumbersome it tends to be. And, like a parasite, bureaucracy grows naturally and continues to grow until it consumes its host (or, at least really, really bothers it) 🙂 This is one reason why I try and encourage people to first seek market-based solutions rather than take the "fall-back" position of "asking the government to do things for us." Of course, "government" (and it's bureaucrats) is only too happy to take over. The challenge with that is, they don't do it well (because their is no incentive for them to do so), they take a non-existent problem and turn it into a problem, or they take a small problem and turn it into a much bigger problem. Or, they take an actual problem and turn it into a disaster. Then, they provide  government solutions to the problems that they have caused in the first place. All that said...Happy New Year! 🙂 LOL

    1. @DougWagner_ @BobBurg Awesome Doug, I think you'll enjoy it. Happy new year to you -- wishing you a BIG 2013 (and beyond)!

      1. @joshhinds @BobBurg Yes, it was great as expected. Agreed that entrepreneurs drive prosperity. All the best in 2013 Josh and Bob.

  17. @DougWagner_ @BobBurg Awesome Doug, I think you'll enjoy it. Happy new year to you -- wishing you a BIG 2013 (and beyond)!

  18. Bob, Randy chose wisely when it came time to select a guest blogger. This blog is one of my favorites you've posted. Great insights. It's a shame that the solution is really so simple yet made so complicated.
    Well done - and thanks to Randy.
    Bill

    1. @Bill EllisBill, thank you. I appreciate your kind words a lot! (And, yes, I'm very grateful to Randy for asking me to substitute for him!) I also appreciate that you say the solution is really so simple, because...it is. It's not complicated. As with anything, it's a matter of cause and effect. And, basic human principles and basic economic principles are immutable. Follow them correctly and the desired results will occur. The opposite is also true. I believe the key is looking past the surface and past what society as a whole tends to speak and repeat as truth and - as Randy so often suggests we do - asking the right questions. Thanks again, and best wishes for a very Happy New Year!

  19. Bob, Randy chose wisely when it came time to select a guest blogger. This blog is one of my favorites you've posted. Great insights. It's a shame that the solution is really so simple yet made so complicated.
    Well done - and thanks to Randy.
    Bill

  20. @Bill EllisBill, thank you. I appreciate your kind words a lot! (And, yes, I'm very grateful to Randy for asking me to substitute for him!) I also appreciate that you say the solution is really so simple, because...it is. It's not complicated. As with anything, it's a matter of cause and effect. And, basic human principles and basic economic principles are immutable. Follow them correctly and the desired results will occur. The opposite is also true. I believe the key is looking past the surface and past what society as a whole tends to speak and repeat as truth and - as Randy so often suggests we do - asking the right questions. Thanks again, and best wishes for a very Happy New Year!

  21. @joshhinds @BobBurg Yes, it was great as expected. Agreed that entrepreneurs drive prosperity. All the best in 2013 Josh and Bob.

  22. Okay, I would like to play devil's advocate.  The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties?  Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
     
    I am not saying that would happen again.  However, I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.  I hope in the dawn of this new era, we all as a society learn what that is.  It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.  In fact, it might even lead to their demise.  Advancements, yes absolutely!  The quest for materialism, not so much.  Lets define this new age on love, not liberty. Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.  But, Learning, and giving almost always do.
     
    Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!

    1. @Annieb Hi Annie, while I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts, there is much in what you write that is either not really what happened or is based on a rather false premise. If you don't mind, I'll respond point-by-point:
       
      Annieb wrote: The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
       
      Bob responds : Indeed, that was a time in which government interference was at a minimum.
       
      Annieb wrote: While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties? 
       
      Bob responds: No one was made poor by these individuals. While the working conditions and other treatments by management were horrendous and monstrous compared to today's society, people literally (not figuratively - literally) traveled long distances and waited in line, fighting to get these jobs. The reason? Because these awful jobs were still a *huge step up* for most people. Before the Industrial Revolution, desperate poverty was the norm, not the rarity it is in developed countries today. You are comparing two different times. It took about 50-70 years for the Industrial Revolution to bring us from extreme poverty to a middle class sustenance.
       
      Annieb wrote: Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
       
      Bob responds: First, regarding destroying towns, if they used force, that should have been stopped by government. As mentioned in my original post, protecting against force and fraud are *legitimate* functions of government. And, remember, today - if they buy off the right politicians (and/or the judges have no understanding of property rights) - entire neighborhoods can still be destroyed (see Kelo v. City of New London). The same would be true about firearms. Shooting someone? Illegal! Protecting against such and/or prosecuting such is a legitimate function of government.
       
      Now, regarding the horrible work hours and methods, indeed, very true. But please realize, again...people fought for these jobs. They weren't forced to do them. They fought for them. Not that I'm standing up for the owners. I despise mis-treatment of anyone. But it was a different time. Humanity evolves over time. And, a good part of that evolution is indeed made possible because free markets created more prosperity. People who at one time could barely survive were able to scrimp and save. An uptick in standard of living, and, as Maslow so wisely taught, people move from survival to wants and desires. And, that's a great thing. Again, not sticking up for the nasty employers. It was a different time with different expectations. And, the market responded to it, people demanded better, and eventually it got better.
       
      Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.
       
      Bob responds: I certainly agree with you that there is more to prosperity than want and need. One could say that "want and need" is not prosperity at all, but I think what you are saying is that there is more to prosperity than material things. Sure, you are right. And, you have a right o your opinion. What I don't believe you have a right to is to insist that others live their lives according to *your* beliefs. That's where freedom and liberty come into play.
       
      Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than.... and unlimited freedom.
       
      Bob responds: Freedom in the context of my post is certainly *not* unlimited. One does *not* have the freedom to infringe upon the rights of anyone else (see earlier in my response to you). Liberty/Freedom is "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same." If you disagree with that basic definition, then you would probably disagree with most everything else I say, because liberty is based on that very premise. It's also proven to result in greater abundance and standard of living for all - including the poor.
       
      Annieb wrote: It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.
       
      Bob responds: Actually, the right for people to create value that people will pay for, thus advancing the lives of each party, and continuing that process - is indeed what makes a civilization great. Please study up about life for the majority of people (other than royalty and the extreme upper class) before Free Enterprise was unleashed. Far from golden meadows of joy and serenity, you'll read about streets filled with filth, overcrowding, disease run rampant, etc. Most people were desperately poor. Capitalism and free-enterprise is what advanced life.
       
      AnnieB wrote: Lets define this new age on love, not liberty.
       
      Bob: Why should it be one OR the other. It's both. And, without Liberty, people are desperately poor. And it's a lot more difficult to express love when you are starving. Of course, people in North Korea, the old Soviet Union, the old East Germany, today's Cuba, they still do love their families. But, why shouldn't they also enjoy liberty and the resulting prosperity, as well?
       
      Annieb wrote: Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.
       
      Bob: Yes, it does. Is sure does.
       
      Annieb wrote: But, Learning, and giving almost always do {bring prosperity}.
       
      Bob: Try learning when you're starving. And, try giving food and blankets and other material comforts to the less fortunate when you have nothing like that to give. Why not have prosperity too? As a reader of Randy's, you should know that.
       
      Annieb wrote: Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!
       
      Bob: Annie, remember this, because it's so important: "Correlation is not the same as Causality." You don't know *why* any of these people became philanthropists, other than that they had the money and the desire. I believe it was Andrew Carnegie himself who said his goal was to invest the first half of his life making money and the second half giving it away. Also, many of the industrialists whose freedoms you think were limited by the anti-trust laws simply bought off members of government to have certain rules and regulations passed on their behalf, thereby creating the monopolistic entities they could never before reach (remember what I said in the post, it's the only way monopolies can take place - with the help of government). That is Corporatism/Cronyism, not free-market capitalism.
       
      I hope this was in some way helpful. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

      1. Whoa!  You must type many words per minute.  Thank you for that long and thoughtful response.
         
        Bob wrote: (I'm using your format, I like it)  No one was made poor by these individuals.
         
        Annie: Okay, but they worked their behinds off to make a few very wealthy while the workers stayed in poverty.  The worked very hard and were still poor.  When they should have had their piece of the pie.  Because, those workers were obviously needed.  Interdependency.  It took a great many people that never became even middle class to build the America we know today, not just a few.  It may have been two different time periods, but I'm not sure what that has to do with the price of tea in China.  Greed was misunderstood and accepted back then?  If people were so unenlightened, I would like to know why Shakespeare which was written long before, is still so deeply felt today.
         
        Annie and Bob:  We agree on killing and willful destruction being illegal.
         
        Bob:  What I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs. 
         
        Annie: That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.  BTW, I do wish corporations would get out of government. 🙂
         
        Bob: Freedom, (I'm paraphrasing) Is the right to choose the course of life which brings you happiness as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.  Yes, I agree with that statement. 
         
        Annie: However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem.  Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know.  Of course that kind of freedom only works if we are all the same.  In every way. Same shoes, same hair, same brain, same body, same toenail fungus..... whatever.  Unfortunately we are not.
         
        Bob: Actually to create value(paraphrasing again) (BTW Bob, this format is hard and you made it look easy.) for value exchange creating wealth, making each party stronger is what makes a great civilization. 
         
        Annie: Is it?  Maybe we haven't even seen a truly great civilization then.  I hope we will in our lifetime.  As for other great civilizations I was thinking of some of the more ancient and less lauded ones.  Like some of the Native American tribes and Maybe the Ancient Egyptians and Mayans.  But, the latter we can't be sure of.
         
        Annie: Yes lets have love and liberty.  Maybe not rugged individualism though.  Not communism or socialism either.  Just real life love and liberty.  People in Cuba and Russia are starving and still loving yes...Bob people are starving in America too.  Is less government regulation going to solve that?  I'm sure the government creates horrible red tape and loop holes for entrepreneurs, but really they do for everybody.  Maybe their is some better way, hopefully we can find it.  We do need some real solutions I agree.  People need to set aside differences and figure that out.
         
        Bob:  The freedom of which I speak always brings prosperity.
         
        Annie: Sure it does, for some.  I want people to prosper I do and be happy.  It will take more than what you propose, I believe anyway.  If it worked great.  I am not even sure if their is a correlation between trickle down economics and prosperity at this point.
         
        Bob: Maslow talks of people moving from poverty to wants and desires. 
         
        Annie: What the...?  No.  the upper echelons of Maslow's hierarchy are love and belonging, and the top is self actualization.  He talks about food and security if that is what you are referring to.  Yes people need housing health care and food.  So pay up and stop crying about taxes!  Be happy you are in a position where you can help people.
         
        Bob: Much of what you say is based on false premises or did not really happen.
         
        Annie:  Mine is not based on any more false premises than yours.   You are right maybe there was not causation for Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller to become philanthropists.  But, that is what happened.  And, all that poverty, disease and  street muck you talk about before Capitalism, and Free Enterprise, was not everywhere, it was in the Western European world. We both are just sharing our opinions and they are different. 
         
        As for that Andrew Carnegie.  He was a bit like Scrooge wasn't he?  Greedy and evil in the middle half of his life and giving in the last.  No, he wasn't greedy because he wanted to be wealthy.  He was greedy because he took more than his fair share, and he killed for it.  Maybe not him personally, but he turned his back while his steel workers were shot because they went on strike.
         
        Money is not evil, wanting money is not evil.  Money as an Idol is evil.  Money is place of love, money in place of people, money in place of community is evil.
         
        We have an obligation as an individual to ensure the strength of the community because without others we all fail.  This is implicit in Maslow's Hierarchy.
         
        Happy New year.

        1. @Annieb Hi Annie. Happy New Year to you. I hope 2013 has been good to you so far. :-). Thank you for the dialogue and for sharing your thoughts.
           
          As I go through your responses a lot of what I see indicates (and this is simply my inference - I could of course be wrong) that you might simply not believe that "liberty" itself is both a moral and productive concept.
           
          The only thing I can really suggest is that you make a study on it, perhaps beginning with books like "The Capitalist Manifesto" by Andrew Bernsetein, "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt and "Healing Our World" by Dr. Mary Ruwart. You'll see why, basically, free minds and free markets work in terms of overall abundance and standard of living. And, that, to the degree freedom and liberty are deprived, most people suffer; especially the poor.
           
          Rather than taking time to respond to all of your comments and questions (to do so would simply take too much time because they are not "sound bite" answers and I feel I did explain many of them either in the post or in my response to your initial comments) I would like to respond to a few that I believe are very important to answer.
           
          One thing is that I noticed that you seem to be under the impression that I'm saying that because someone is an entrepreneur that automatically makes them a good person. I'm not saying that at all. Like anything, some are and some are not. Also, different people have different motivations for being in business, whether it is creativity, strictly financial, etc.
           
          The great thing about free markets - because in order to make money the person must provide value - the entrepreneur knows it's in his or her best interests to do right by you in terms of quality, price, service and other elements of value. This is what Adam Smith famously referred to regarding "the butcher, the brewer and the baker" passage.
           
          And, this is why the free-er the market the more the consumer benefits. Most people don't know that Smith was *not* pro-business; he was pro-consumer. He knew that pure Capitalism and free-markets were most beneficial to that end. Hence his fight against Mercantilism.
           
          It also seems that you feel that if Capitalism/free markets don't make everyone equally wealthy than there is something wrong with it. I disagree, but it's beyond the scope here to explain why.
           
          The key (and this is so important) is that, in a true free market-based economy, the standard of living of the masses will rise/increase dramatically. That is why - if one is going to be poor - they are much better off being poor in a developed economy rather than in a third-world country.
           
          But, no, people will not be equally wealthy. By the way, the more free market-based a country is, the bigger the middle class. The reason why we in the U.S. are seeing such a widening gap between rich and poor and a shrinking of the middle class is because we are *not* a free market-based economy. We have become a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. That is not working out real well for either as individuals or as a nation. And, as we continue to swing towards socialism is will continue to get worse.
           
          Regarding your Shakespeare remark, I'm not really sure why you said that. It was kind of a red-herring in that it really didn't seem to have much to do with the original point. The fact that there have been many, many brilliant people throughout history doesn't mean that - as human beings in total - we don't evolve and grow. That's not to say there aren't a lot of very mean people in management to this day; perhaps, if they had the opportunity - they might treat their workers just as badly as during the 1800's (though I doubt it).
           
          But, the reason they cannot is because free markets created a society where workers have a lot more choices. That is another benefit of free markets - they provide more choices for the employees.
           
          (Continued)...

        2. @Annieb
          Annie, here is something I'd like to answer directly. In response to my saying that while I respect your right to believe whatever you'd like, I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs...
           
          You (Annieb) wrote: "That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service." 
           
          I'd need to respond by saying, first, that I'm not sure I understand much of what you wrote. But, I'll say this: since I defined liberty to you (in my response to you) as "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same"...then if you disagree with that then you are advocating forcing others to do your will.
           
          On the other hand, I'm not. I'm willing to live and let others live however they see fit (providing they don't infringe on my or anyone else's rights).
           
          What is it about that with which you disagree? By the way, the above is not to say that we cannot try and persuade others to take a different point of view. (So, no, I won't tell Randy I don't want to guest post for him.) The key has to do with not being able to force someone to do so. Again, I'd be interested to know what it is about that with which you disagree.
           
          Where you (Annieb) wrote:...Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.
           
          My response is that, I don't really get what you're saying. I certainly don't believe that for one to win another needs to lose. Free-enterprise results in an ever-expanding pie (this has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt - we see it every day) rather than a limited one. And, of course we want a loving society in which all have the opportunity to thrive. That's what free markets allow. That just doesn't happen in North Korea, Cuba and many other places. Again, not really sure I understood that.
           
          But, here, Annie, is where I must say that I feel badly you said the following:
           
          Annieb wrote: "However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem. Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know."
           
          I must respond by first saying, "with all respect, yes, you are wrong." I also feel the need to ask you - based on how little you know of me and that we've never met - why you would ever assume such a horrible thing about me. I'm not going to talk about the amounts of money I give to charity but I believe anyone who knows me would say that your statement was out of line.
           
          So, why would a person - especially an obviously deep-thinker such as you - assume that because someone believes in free minds and free markets that he must be callous toward someone who is less-fortunate than he?
           
          I think it goes back to the basic belief that - unfortunately - so many now have: that government is some benevolent, charitable enterprise and that individuals and entrepreneurs are callous people who care only about money, with no type of feeling or interest in others.
           
          And, that's a problem. Annie, government is not your friend. They are not the friend of the poor. People help people. Groups of people help and care about people. Governments sometimes try to, but even then, they don't do it very well.
           
          Remember, in 1965 President Lyndon Johnson, when introducing the "Great Society" predicted that, "in 2 years, poverty as we know it will be completely eradicated." How is that working out?  Yes, sometimes government tries, but they don't do it well. Most of the time, the only thing they try and do is benefit themselves.
           
          Anyway, this obviously went on a lot longer than I meant it to and I still didn't answer a few things I was going to. I hope you'll really research Capitalism/free-markets. We need good thinkers like you to be its advocates, not its detractors.
           
          Again, best wishes for a very Happy and Prosperous 2013.

        3. @Annieb
          Hi Bob.  I am sure you give plenty to charity.  Charity is very helpful to all society.  
           
          I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government.  Charity isn't enough.  Government taxes and programs do help people.  Not always, and like anything else Government has lots of flaws. 
           
          Government is comprised of people.  Government is us.  We the people.  Government (people) freed slaves.  Government enforced civil rights.  Government gave women the right to vote.  Government also took some of things things away.  You see Government is the people.  Sometimes they do good and sometimes they do bad.  A good government would help society to progress, and yes make it easy for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their ideas to fruition.  You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it.
           
          If I lived in Iraq, I would say the American Government was not my friend.  When I go to pay a reduced fee for Health insurance because of Obama Care, I will say Government is my friend.
           
          When I see little Children go to Head Start and get fed and have free health care check ups, and free pre-school education, I will say Government is being a friend.  One program that actually did work from the "War on Poverty". 
           
          When the Parents as Teacher educator came to my home when I was a stay at home mom, I thought this Government program is pretty nice.  (Started by a Republican, from my state).
           
          I don't think  "Liberty" as you express it is immoral.  I think trickle down economics and other anti tax policies are immoral.  Because then people do get hurt.  The elderly, the poor, the sick, the young.  You say the villianization of trickle down economics is just been through sound bites.  But, you use a sound bite to support it.  You don't explain how it worked well.  I am old enough to have lived through those policies.  I honestly think they failed.  I have heard more than sound bites about it.  I still don't think it works.  It was you who said correlation is not the same as causation.  There is not even a correlatory example to support this concept.  Listen Bob, the youth today are smart.  They are far more informed than the majority may think.  Trickle down  days are gone with the wind.  For Bob, like the other Bob said "The times they are changing."    They know better.  They voted for Obama.  You better start moving or you'll sink like a stone......  It is time to figure out how government and the wealthy can get along.  Follow the example of France and Warren Buffet. 
           
          I made a good case about the Industrial Revolution.  Power and Wealth can easily corrupt.  It did those men, Rockefeller and Carnegie.  Government and the people made sure they did not continue to be oppressed in difficult labor with out fair wages.
           
          There is a revolution going on.  Because here in America there are a lot of poor people.  We need to focus on something else to get us out of this mess.  I think we need a good dose of social welfare right now.  Not, trickle down ecomomics (again).    
           
          Yes, free enterprise does create prosperity.  It also has caused social and environmental destruction.  The earth is suffering and many human beings on this planet as well, do to free enterprise.  This is why some times thinkers like myself and others have to use the government to try and correct some of these errors.  
           
          If I thought that without government interference, social problems would be erraticated and the earth would be healed, I would say "All Systems Ago" for your "Liberty".  I don't think we are there yet my friend.  Perhaps government itself needs to be redefined.
           
          I think your "liberty" is immoral because I don't think you are defining it accurately and honestly.  You think that without Government we would all take care of each other.  A nice thought.  I think we have a government to make sure the right thing happens.  Infringing on another's rights is not always as clear cut as you might believe. 
           
          I am a good thinker Bob, that is why I don't always support the kind of "Liberty" you are suggesting.  I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him.  I also hope you do some more research on social policy and social justice.  I have a feeling on these subjects you may be lacking.  I will read up and research, it is one of my favorite things to do.  But, fair warning, your friend Randy has me reading Ayn Rand, and so far I still choose the philosophy of the man from galilee to the obviously neroutic, yet brilliant Russian woman.

        4. @Annieb Hi Annie, I'm afraid that in certain areas we are just so far apart in our philosophies and belief systems in regards to liberty that it's best we sort of let it go. It will be interesting to see what conclusions people come to who have read our back-and-forth discussion after the original post. I hope they've enjoyed it and found it to be of value.
           
          If I may, there are certain things you've stated regarding my thoughts that I need to clarify, as I feel you have unintentionally misunderstood and taken out of context.
           
          Where you say:
           
          Annieb wrote: "I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government."
           
          Bob responds: I am *not* anti-government, nor have I ever claimed to be. I am for a government that upholds it's legitimate Constitutional functions in protecting its citizenry from force and fraud. That is *not* anti-government.
           
          And, I *must* comment on this statement where you said:
           
          Annieb wrote: "Government (people) freed slaves."
           
          Bob responds: Annie, government *allowed* slavery to happen and go on in our country for 200 years before freeing them. The government (first England's of which we were a colony and then our own) failed miserably in protecting the rights of individual black men and women. And, remember, even after slavery was ended, the government allowed "Jim Crow Laws" and for over 100 years did a terrible job of protecting our black brothers and sisters from violence. And when you say government *gave* women the right to vote, government can not *give* rights. Those rights are natural, women should have always had them, and government should have protected women's rights from the beginning.
           
          Annieb wrote: "You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it."
           
          Bob responds: It was one blog post and it was principle-based; not a litany of examples. There are hundreds of thousands of non-sensical, politically-based laws on the books (with millions and millions of pages) that harm much more than help.
           
          Obviously, you believe in big government and that it is the solution. I believe that big, intrusive  government is the cause of much of our problems. Greece and other countries are experiencing it full-force right now and our big government policies (on both sides of the aisle) are bringing us close to that situation, as well. But, I'm certainly not going to change your mind.
           
          As I read through much of your last letter to see if there was anything else to comment on, I saw that we simply look at things from two very different points of view.
           
          The last thing I'll comment on is where you wrote:
           
          Annieb wrote: "I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him."
           
          Bob responds: Yes, I noticed that bothered you and I should have acknowledged that in my last response. Annie, I had simply written my original comment lazily. I understand the hierarchy. I don't imagine there are many people today who haven't read him at least on a surface level. I assumed you knew what I meant but that was indeed totally my fault in not being clearer in my original statement about that.
           
          Again, thank you for the conversation. I appreciate your time and kindness.

        5. Okay, Bob.  I will let you have the last word since your such a nice man.  Thank you for the conversation.  I love a good debate! 🙂

  23. Okay, I would like to play devil's advocate.  The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties?  Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
     
    I am not saying that would happen again.  However, I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.  I hope in the dawn of this new era, we all as a society learn what that is.  It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.  In fact, it might even lead to their demise.  Advancements, yes absolutely!  The quest for materialism, not so much.  Lets define this new age on love, not liberty. Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.  But, Learning, and giving almost always do.
     
    Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!

  24. @Annieb Hi Annie, while I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts, there is much in what you write that is either not really what happened or is based on a rather false premise. If you don't mind, I'll respond point-by-point:
     
    Annieb wrote: The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
     
    Bob responds : Indeed, that was a time in which government interference was at a minimum.
     
    Annieb wrote: While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties? 
     
    Bob responds: No one was made poor by these individuals. While the working conditions and other treatments by management were horrendous and monstrous compared to today's society, people literally (not figuratively - literally) traveled long distances and waited in line, fighting to get these jobs. The reason? Because these awful jobs were still a *huge step up* for most people. Before the Industrial Revolution, desperate poverty was the norm, not the rarity it is in developed countries today. You are comparing two different times. It took about 50-70 years for the Industrial Revolution to bring us from extreme poverty to a middle class sustenance.
     
    Annieb wrote: Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
     
    Bob responds: First, regarding destroying towns, if they used force, that should have been stopped by government. As mentioned in my original post, protecting against force and fraud are *legitimate* functions of government. And, remember, today - if they buy off the right politicians (and/or the judges have no understanding of property rights) - entire neighborhoods can still be destroyed (see Kelo v. City of New London). The same would be true about firearms. Shooting someone? Illegal? Protecting against such and/or prosecuting such is a legitimate function of government.
     
    Now, regarding the horrible work hours and methods, indeed, very true. But please realize, again...people fought for these jobs. They weren't forced to do them. They fought for them. Not that I'm standing up for the owners. I despise mis-treatment of anyone. But it was a different time. Humanity evolves over time. And, a good part of that evolution is indeed made possible because free markets created more prosperity. People who at one time could barely survive were able to scrimp and save. An uptick in standard of living, and, as Maslow so wisely taught, people move from survival to wants and desires. And, that's a great thing. Again, not sticking up for the nasty employers. It was a different time with different expectations. And, the market responded to it, people demanded better, and eventually it got better.
     
    Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.
     
    Bob responds: I certainly agree with you that there is more to prosperity than want and need. One could say that "want and need" is not prosperity at all, but I think what you are saying is that there is more to prosperity than material things. Sure, you are right. And, you have a right o your opinion. What I don't believe you have a right to is to insist that others live their lives according to *your* beliefs. That's where freedom and liberty come into play.
     
    Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than.... and unlimited freedom.
     
    Bob responds: Freedom in the context of my post is certainly *not* unlimited. One does *not* have the freedom to infringe upon the rights of anyone else (see earlier in my response to you). Liberty/Freedom is "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same." If you disagree with that basic definition, then you would probably disagree with most everything else I say, because liberty is based on that very premise. It's also proven to result in greater abundance and standard of living for all - including the poor.
     
    Annieb wrote: It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.
     
    Bob responds: Actually, the right for people to create value that people will pay for, thus advancing the lives of each party, and continuing that process - is indeed what makes a civilization great. Please study up about life for the majority of people (other than royalty and the extreme upper class) before Free Enterprise was unleashed. Far from golden meadows of joy and serenity, you'll read about streets filled with filth, overcrowding, disease run rampant, etc. Most people were desperately poor. Capitalism and free-enterprise is what advanced life.
     
    AnnieB wrote: Lets define this new age on love, not liberty.
     
    Bob: Why should it be one OR the other. It's both. And, without Liberty, people are desperately poor. And it's a lot more difficult to express love when you are starving. Of course, people in North Korea, the old Soviet Union, the old East Germany, today's Cuba, they still do love their families. But, why shouldn't they also enjoy liberty and the resulting prosperity, as well?
     
    Annieb wrote: Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.
     
    Bob: Yes, it does. Is sure does.
     
    Annieb wrote: But, Learning, and giving almost always do {bring prosperity}.
     
    Bob: Try learning when you're starving. And, try giving food and blankets and other material comforts to the less fortunate when you have nothing like that to give. Why not have prosperity too? As a reader of Randy's, you should know that.
     
    Annieb wrote: Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!
     
    Bob: Annie, remember this, because it's so important: "Correlation is not the same as Causality." You don't know *why* any of these people became philanthropists, other than that they had the money and the desire. I believe it was Andrew Carnegie himself who said his goal was to invest the first half of his life making money and the second half giving it away. Also, many of the industrialists whose freedoms you think were limited by the anti-trust laws simply bought off members of government to have certain rules and regulations passed on their behalf, thereby creating the monopolistic entities they could never before reach (remember what I said in the post, it's the only way monopolies can take place - with the help of government). That is Corporatism/Cronyism, not free-market capitalism.
     
    I hope this was in some way helpful. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  25. Thank you, Julio. Honored to fill in for that vacationing guy, Sir Randy Gage! Wishing you a Prospero Ano Nuevo, mi amigo y hermano!

  26. Thank you, Julio. Honored to fill in for that vacationing guy, Sir Randy Gage! Wishing you a Prospero Ano Nuevo, mi amigo y hermano!

  27. Absolutely agree 100%...  and Love the  (I’m Bob Burg…and I approved this post) politician touch... LOL...
    All of the Red tape people have to go thru these with ANYTHING..  from something as important as Health Insurance to getting a Drivers License....  They are STUCK in the dark ages with some of their Government systems they refuse to change...   It is the NEW THOUGHT LEADERS of Today that are the ones that are being innovative in creating jobs and abundance for others.  
     
    The New Thought Leaders also have happier Teammates if you will because they Teach, Empower, Inspire from a different place.  The Values, Methods are more creative, awake and create Empowerment within the system which then in return gives them more value because what is being created by their Team is an essence a "FRED FACTOR" they are creating many "FRED's" they team is going beyond the norm is their customer service, and or product because they LOVE what they do and are in an environment instilled with Empowerment, Inspiration and Creativity versus Politics, Red Tape and BS....

    1. @CarlyAlyssaThorne Carly, thank you for sharing your thoughts. And, for your mention of "The Fred Factor" an awesome book by my friend and colleague, Mark Sanborn. It's a book I highly recommend. Best wishes for a very Happy 2013!

      1. LOL.. Absolutely an AWESOME Book, sorry forgot to Put Mark's name in there, of course I knew you would know what the "Fred Factor" meant LOL... Yes I highly Recommend the book as well... Fred's are awesome...

  28. Absolutely agree 100%...  and Love the  (I’m Bob Burg…and I approved this post) politician touch... LOL...
    All of the Red tape people have to go thru these with ANYTHING..  from something as important as Health Insurance to getting a Drivers License....  They are STUCK in the dark ages with some of their Government systems they refuse to change...   It is the NEW THOUGHT LEADERS of Today that are the ones that are being innovative in creating jobs and abundance for others.  
     
    The New Thought Leaders also have happier Teammates if you will because they Teach, Empower, Inspire from a different place.  The Values, Methods are more creative, awake and create Empowerment within the system which then in return gives them more value because what is being created by their Team is an essence a "FRED FACTOR" they are creating many "FRED's" they team is going beyond the norm is their customer service, and or product because they LOVE what they do and are in an environment instilled with Empowerment, Inspiration and Creativity versus Politics, Red Tape and BS....

  29. @CarlyAlyssaThorne Carly, thank you for sharing your thoughts. And, for your mention of "The Fred Factor" an awesome book by my friend and colleague, Mark Sanborn. It's a book I highly recommend. Best wishes for a very Happy 2013!

  30. LOL.. Absolutely an AWESOME Book, sorry forgot to Put Mark's name in there, of course I knew you would know what the "Fred Factor" meant LOL... Yes I highly Recommend the book as well... Fred's are awesome...

  31. Whoa!  You must type many words per minute.  Thank you for that long and thoughtful response.
     
    Bob wrote: (I'm using your format, I like it)  No one was made poor by these individuals.
     
    Annie: Okay, but they worked their behinds off to make a few very wealthy while the workers stayed in poverty.  The worked very hard and were still poor.  When they should have had their piece of the pie.  Because, those workers were obviously needed.  Interdependency.  It took a great many people that never became even middle class to build the America we know today, not just a few.  It may have been two different time periods, but I'm not sure what that has to do with the price of tea in China.  Greed was misunderstood and accepted back then?  If people were so unenlightened, I would like to know why Shakespeare which was written long before, is still so deeply felt today.
     
    Annie and Bob:  We agree on killing and willful destruction being illegal.
     
    Bob:  What I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs. 
     
    Annie: That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.  BTW, I do wish corporations would get out of government. 🙂
     
    Bob: Freedom, (I'm paraphrasing) Is the right to choose the course of life which brings you happiness as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.  Yes, I agree with that statement. 
     
    Annie: However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem.  Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know.  Of course that kind of freedom only works if we are all the same.  In every way. Same shoes, same hair, same brain, same body, same toenail fungus..... whatever.  Unfortunately we are not.
     
    Bob: Actually to create value(paraphrasing again) (BTW Bob, this format is hard and you made it look easy.) for value exchange creating wealth, making each party stronger is what makes a great civilization. 
     
    Annie: Is it?  Maybe we haven't even seen a truly great civilization then.  I hope we will in our lifetime.  As for other great civilizations I was thinking of some of the more ancient and less lauded ones.  Like some of the Native American tribes and Maybe the Ancient Egyptians and Mayans.  But, the latter we can't be sure of.
     
    Annie: Yes lets have love and liberty.  Maybe not rugged individualism though.  Not communism or socialism either.  Just real life love and liberty.  People in Cuba and Russia are starving and still loving yes...Bob people are starving in America too.  Is less government regulation going to solve that?  I'm sure the government creates horrible red tape and loop holes for entrepreneurs, but really they do for everybody.  Maybe their is some better way, hopefully we can find it.  We do need some real solutions I agree.  People need to set aside differences and figure that out.
     
    Bob:  The freedom of which I speak always brings prosperity.
     
    Annie: Sure it does, for some.  I want people to prosper I do and be happy.  It will take more than what you propose, I believe anyway.  If it worked great.  I am not even sure if their is a correlation between trickle down economics and prosperity at this point.
     
    Bob: Maslow talks of people moving from poverty to wants and desires. 
     
    Annie: What the...?  No.  the upper echelons of Maslow's hierarchy are love and belonging, and the top is self actualization.  He talks about food and security if that is what you are referring to.  Yes people need housing health care and food.  So pay up and stop crying about taxes!  Be happy you are in a position where you can help people.
     
    Bob: Much of what you say is based on false premises or did not really happen.
     
    Annie:  Mine is not based on any more false premises than yours.   You are right maybe there was not causation for Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller to become philanthropists.  But, that is what happened.  And, all that poverty, disease and  street muck you talk about before Capitalism, and Free Enterprise, was not everywhere, it was in the Western European world. We both are just sharing our opinions and they are different. 
     
    As for that Andrew Carnegie.  He was a bit like Scrooge wasn't he?  Greedy and evil in the middle half of his life and giving in the last.  No, he wasn't greedy because he wanted to be wealthy.  He was greedy because he took more than his fair share, and he killed for it.  Maybe not him personally, but he turned his back while his steel workers were shot because they went on strike.
     
    Money is not evil, wanting money is not evil.  Money as an Idol is evil.  Money is place of love, money in place of people, money in place of community is evil.
     
    We have an obligation as an individual to ensure the strength of the community because without others we all fail.  This is implicit in Maslow's Hierarchy.
     
    Happy New year.

  32. @BobBurg @Randy_Gage Ooh, love to read posts that stoke the passions of readers. I'll head on over. Happy New Year, Bob (and Randy)!

      1. @BobBurg I'm about 90 minutes in to the New Year and I'm feeling great. Looking forward to a fantastic year! Are you taking it easy today?

        1. @buildandbalance Have a huge deadline I'm working on for the new book. Good thing for me that I love my work LOL!

        2. @BobBurg Ah, no bowl games and naps on the couch 4u, Bob. I know you'll meet the deadline because your passion is there. Good luck with it!

        3. @BobBurg And a little bowl game might be in the cards for me since hometown fave, Stanford, is playing.enjoy the glorious day!

        4. @BobBurg Wishing you a blessed and wonderful New Year Bob! Nothing less than spectacular!! #youmatter

        5. @BobBurg Put on your MUST DO list in 2013---Meeting with Angela Maiers and giving her a big hug!!! Will u be at SXSW?

        6. @AngelaMaiers Yes, both meeting you AND hug are musts for 2013! Re: SXSW...for some reason, I never get invited to that party! LOL

  33. @BobBurg @Randy_Gage Ooh, love to read posts that stoke the passions of readers. I'll head on over. Happy New Year, Bob (and Randy)!

  34. @BobBurg I'm about 90 minutes in to the New Year and I'm feeling great. Looking forward to a fantastic year! Are you taking it easy today?

  35. @buildandbalance Have a huge deadline I'm working on for the new book. Good thing for me that I love my work LOL!

  36. @BobBurg Ah, no bowl games and naps on the couch 4u, Bob. I know you'll meet the deadline because your passion is there. Good luck with it!

  37. @BobBurg And a little bowl game might be in the cards for me since hometown fave, Stanford, is playing.enjoy the glorious day!

  38. @BobBurg Wishing you a blessed and wonderful New Year Bob! Nothing less than spectacular!! #youmatter

  39. @BobBurg Put on your MUST DO list in 2013---Meeting with Angela Maiers and giving her a big hug!!! Will u be at SXSW?

  40. @AngelaMaiers Yes, both meeting you AND hug are musts for 2013! Re: SXSW...for some reason, I never get invited to that party! LOL

  41. @Annieb Hi Annie. Happy New Year to you. I hope 2013 has been good to you so far. :-). Thank you for the dialogue and for sharing your thoughts.
     
    As I go through your responses a lot of what I see indicates (and this is simply my inference - I could of course be wrong) that you might simply not believe that "liberty" itself is both a moral and productive concept.
     
    The only thing I can really suggest is that you make a study on it, perhaps beginning with books like "The Capitalist Manifesto" by Andrew Bernsetein, "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt and "Healing Our World" by Dr. Mary Ruwart. You'll see why, basically, free minds and free markets work in terms of overall abundance and standard of living. And, that, to the degree freedom and liberty are deprived, most people suffer; especially the poor.
     
    Rather than taking time to respond to all of your comments and questions (to do so would simply take too much time because they are not "sound bite" answers and I feel I did explain many of them either in the post or in my response to your initial comments) I would like to respond to a few that I believe are very important to answer.
     
    One thing is that I noticed that you seem to be under the impression that I'm saying that because someone is an entrepreneur that automatically makes them a good person. I'm not saying that at all. Like anything, some are and some are not. Also, different people have different motivations for being in business, whether it is creativity, strictly financial, etc.
     
    The great thing about free markets - because in order to make money the person must provide value - the entrepreneur knows it's in his or her best interests to do right by you in terms of quality, price, service and other elements of value. This is what Adam Smith famously referred to regarding "the butcher, the brewer and the baker" passage.
     
    And, this is why the free-er the market the more the consumer benefits. Most people don't know that Smith was *not* pro-business; he was pro-consumer. He knew that pure Capitalism and free-markets were most beneficial to that end. Hence his fight against Mercantilism.
     
    It also seems that you feel that if Capitalism/free markets don't make everyone equally wealthy than there is something wrong with it. I disagree, but it's beyond the scope here to explain why.
     
    The key (and this is so important) is that, in a true free market-based economy, the standard of living of the masses will rise/increase dramatically. That is why - if one is going to be poor - they are much better off being poor in a developed economy rather than in a third-world country.
     
    But, no, people will not be equally wealthy. By the way, the more free market-based a country is, the bigger the middle class. The reason why we in the U.S. are seeing such a widening gap between rich and poor and a shrinking of the middle class is because we are *not* a free market-based economy. We have become a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. That is not working out real well for either as individuals or as a nation. And, as we continue to swing towards socialism is will continue to get worse.
     
    Regarding your Shakespeare remark, I'm not really sure why you said that. It was kind of a red-herring in that it really didn't seem to have much to do with the original point. The fact that there have been many, many brilliant people throughout history doesn't mean that - as human beings in total - we don't evolve and grow. That's not to say there aren't a lot of very mean people in management to this day; perhaps, if they had the opportunity - they might treat their workers just as badly as during the 1800's (though I doubt it).
     
    But, the reason they cannot is because free markets created a society where workers have a lot more choices. That is another benefit of free markets - they provide more choices for the employees.
     
    (Continued)...

  42. @Annieb
    Annie, here is something I'd like to answer directly. In response to my saying that while I respect your right to believe whatever you'd like, I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs...
     
    You (Annieb) wrote: "That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service." 
     
    I'd need to respond by saying, first, that I'm not sure I understand much of what you wrote. But, I'll say this: since I defined liberty to you (in my response to you) as "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same"...then if you disagree with that then you are advocating forcing others to do your will.
     
    On the other hand, I'm not. I'm willing to live and let others live however they see fit (providing they don't infringe on my or anyone else's rights).
     
    What is it about that with which you disagree? By the way, the above is not to say that we cannot try and persuade others to take a different point of view. (So, no, I won't tell Randy I don't want to guest post for him.) The key has to do with not being able to force someone to do so. Again, I'd be interested to know what it is about that with which you disagree.
     
    Where you (Annieb) wrote:...Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.
     
    My response is that, I don't really get what you're saying. I certainly don't believe that for one to win another needs to lose. Free-enterprise results in an ever-expanding pie (this has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt - we see it every day) rather than a limited one. And, of course we want a loving society in which all have the opportunity to thrive. That's what free markets allow. That just doesn't happen in North Korea, Cuba and many other places. Again, not really sure I understood that.
     
    But, here, Annie, is where I must say that I feel badly you said the following:
     
    Annieb wrote: "However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem. Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know."
     
    I must respond by first saying, "with all respect, yes, you are wrong." I also feel the need to ask you - based on how little you know of me and that we've never met - why you would ever assume such a horrible thing about me. I'm not going to talk about the amounts of money I give to charity but I believe anyone who knows me would say that your statement was out of line.
     
    So, why would a person - especially an obviously deep-thinker such as you - assume that because someone believes in free minds and free markets that he must be callous toward someone who is less-fortunate than he?
     
    I think it goes back to the basic belief that - unfortunately - so many now have: that government is some benevolent, charitable enterprise and that individuals and entrepreneurs are callous people who care only about money, with no type of feeling or interest in others.
     
    And, that's a problem. Annie, government is not your friend. They are not the friend of the poor. People help people. Groups of people help and care about people. Governments sometimes try to, but even then, they don't do it very well.
     
    Remember, in 1965 President Lyndon Johnson, when introducing the "Great Society" predicted that, "in 2 years, poverty as we know it will be completely eradicated." How is that working out?  Yes, sometimes government tries, but they don't do it well. Most of the time, the only thing they try and do is benefit themselves.
     
    Anyway, this obviously went on a lot longer than I meant it to and I still didn't answer a few things I was going to. I hope you'll really research Capitalism/free-markets. We need good thinkers like you to be its advocates, not its detractors.
     
    Again, best wishes for a very Happy and Prosperous 2013.

  43. @Annieb
    Hi Bob.  I am sure you give plenty to charity.  Charity is very helpful to all society.  
     
    I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government.  Charity isn't enough.  Government taxes and programs do help people.  Not always, and like anything else Government has lots of flaws. 
     
    Government is comprised of people.  Government is us.  We the people.  Government (people) freed slaves.  Government enforced civil rights.  Government gave women the right to vote.  Government also took some of things things away.  You see Government is the people.  Sometimes they do good and sometimes they do bad.  A good government would help society to progress, and yes make it easy for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their ideas to fruition.  You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it.
     
    If I lived in Iraq, I would say the American Government was not my friend.  When I go to pay a reduced fee for Health insurance because of Obama Care, I will say Government is my friend.
     
    When I see little Children go to Head Start and get fed and have free health care check ups, and free pre-school education, I will say Government is being a friend.  One program that actually did work from the "War on Poverty". 
     
    When the Parents as Teacher educator came to my home when I was a stay at home mom, I thought this Government program is pretty nice.  (Started by a Republican, from my state).
     
    I don't think  "Liberty" as you express it is immoral.  I think trickle down economics and other anti tax policies are immoral.  Because then people do get hurt.  The elderly, the poor, the sick, the young.  You say the villianization of trickle down economics is just been through sound bites.  But, you use a sound bite to support it.  You don't explain how it worked well.  I am old enough to have lived through those policies.  I honestly think they failed.  I have heard more than sound bites about it.  I still don't think it works.  It was you who said correlation is not the same as causation.  There is not even a correlatory example to support this concept.  Listen Bob, the youth today are smart.  They are far more informed than the majority may think.  Trickle down  days are gone with the wind.  For Bob, like the other Bob said "The times they are changing."    They know better.  They voted for Obama.  You better start moving or you'll sink like a stone......  It is time to figure out how government and the wealthy can get along.  Follow the example of France and Warren Buffet. 
     
    I made a good case about the Industrial Revolution.  Power and Wealth can easily corrupt.  It did those men, Rockefeller and Carnegie.  Government and the people made sure they did not continue to be oppressed in difficult labor with out fair wages.
     
    There is a revolution going on.  Because here in America there are a lot of poor people.  We need to focus on something else to get us out of this mess.  I think we need a good dose of social welfare right now.  Not, trickle down ecomomics (again).    
     
    Yes, free enterprise does create prosperity.  It also has caused social and environmental destruction.  The earth is suffering and many human beings on this planet as well, do to free enterprise.  This is why some times thinkers like myself and others have to use the government to try and correct some of these errors.  
     
    If I thought that without government interference, social problems would be erraticated and the earth would be healed, I would say "All Systems Ago" for your "Liberty".  I don't think we are there yet my friend.  Perhaps government itself needs to be redefined.
     
    I think your "liberty" is immoral because I don't think you are defining it accurately and honestly.  You think that without Government we would all take care of each other.  A nice thought.  I think we have a government to make sure the right thing happens.  Infringing on another's rights is not always as clear cut as you might believe. 
     
    I am a good thinker Bob, that is why I don't always support the kind of "Liberty" you are suggesting.  I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him.  I also hope you do some more research on social policy and social justice.  I have a feeling on these subjects you may be lacking.  I will read up and research, it is one of my favorite things to do.  But, fair warning, your friend Randy has me reading Ayn Rand, and so far I still choose the philosophy of the man from galilee to the obviously neroutic, yet brilliant Russian woman.

  44. @Annieb Hi Annie, I'm afraid that in certain areas we are just so far apart in our philosophies and belief systems in regards to liberty that it's best we sort of let it go. It will be interesting to see what conclusions people come to who have read our back-and-forth discussion after the original post. I hope they've enjoyed it and found it to be of value.
     
    If I may, there are certain things you've stated regarding my thoughts that I need to clarify, as I feel you have unintentionally misunderstood and taken out of context.
     
    Where you say:
     
    Annieb wrote: "I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government."
     
    Bob responds: I am *not* anti-government, nor have I ever claimed to be. I am for a government that upholds it's legitimate Constitutional functions in protecting its citizenry from force and fraud. That is *not* anti-government.
     
    And, I *must* comment on this statement where you said:
     
    Annieb wrote: "Government (people) freed slaves."
     
    Bob responds: Annie, government *allowed* slavery to happen and go on in our country for 200 years before freeing them. The government (first England's of which we were a colony and then our own) failed miserably in protecting the rights of individual black men and women. And, remember, even after slavery was ended, the government allowed "Jim Crow Laws" and for over 100 years did a terrible job of protecting our black brothers and sisters from violence. And when you say government *gave* women the right to vote, government can not *give* rights. Those rights are natural, women should have always had them, and government should have protected women's rights from the beginning.
     
    Annieb wrote: "You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it."
     
    Bob responds: It was one blog post and it was principle-based; not a litany of examples. There are hundreds of thousands of non-sensical, politically-based laws on the books (with millions and millions of pages) that harm much more than help.
     
    Obviously, you believe in big government and that it is the solution. I believe that big, intrusive  government is the cause of much of our problems. Greece and other countries are experiencing it full-force right now and our big government policies (on both sides of the aisle) are bringing us close to that situation, as well. But, I'm certainly not going to change your mind.
     
    As I read through much of your last letter to see if there was anything else to comment on, I saw that we simply look at things from two very different points of view.
     
    The last thing I'll comment on is where you wrote:
     
    Annieb wrote: "I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him."
     
    Bob responds: Yes, I noticed that bothered you and I should have acknowledged that in my last response. Annie, I had simply written my original comment lazily. I understand the hierarchy. I don't imagine there are many people today who haven't read him at least on a surface level. I assumed you knew what I meant but that was indeed totally my fault in not being clearer in my original statement about that.
     
    Again, thank you for the conversation. I appreciate your time and kindness.

  45. Okay, Bob.  I will let you have the last word since your such a nice man.  Thank you for the conversation.  I love a good debate! 🙂

  46. Well said. I am facing a bureaucrats who is wasting my time the last two days. I could have been much more productive, but I'm asked to write a report that they won't read.

  47. Well said. I am facing a bureaucrats who is wasting my time the last two days. I could have been much more productive, but I'm asked to write a report that they won't read.

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  • 150 comments on “Liberty and Societal Prosperity”

    1. randy thx God thay he give you this gave and we can taket it and share to our friends;) we see as on Sitetalk, today or tomorow;) Dejan Kasap

    2. randy thx God thay he give you this gave and we can taket it and share to our friends;) we see as on Sitetalk, today or tomorow;) Dejan Kasap

    3. WOOOW - SO awesome to have you here Bob, what a pleasure!!!!!!!
      Thank's for your fantastic article!!!!! And I couldn't agree more 🙂
      LOVE this "Get out of the way politicians and bureaucrats so that entrepreneurs can create jobs!"
      Hugs and Love to you from Denmark. And Happy New Year 🙂
      Lene XOXO

      1. @LeneJytteHansen Thank you for your awesome welcome, Lene. You are always one of the kindest and encouraging people I have the pleasure to know. X's and O's back. And, Happy New Year to you, as well!

    4. WOOOW - SO awesome to have you here Bob, what a pleasure!!!!!!!
      Thank's for your fantastic article!!!!! And I couldn't agree more 🙂
      LOVE this "Get out of the way politicians and bureaucrats so that entrepreneurs can create jobs!"
      Hugs and Love to you from Denmark. And Happy New Year 🙂
      Lene XOXO

    5. To a great degree I concur. But it is too simplistic. Take Cuba: The main reason they are not prospereous is because the USA boycots them. Also, many large corporations (larger then some countries in many cases) monopolize and thereby stop entrepeneurship. Think Microsoft: Only after the Eu fined them for marketmanipulation true competition had a chance.

      1. @mlmxpertholland Good morning and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Regarding Cuba - and with all respect - I can't even begin to answer that one because it really has so little to do with Cuba's problems. Castro turned them into a communist country, imprisoned and tortured people, took away their liberties and other horrible crimes. To say that the "main reason" they are not prosperous is because the USA boycots them is simply not an accurate statement. Regarding monopolies, the ONLY way a company has ever had a true monopoly is when it was government-created or government-sponsored (often a function of the Corporatism or Cronyism I referred to in the post that would NOT be an example of free-markets). Of course, many companies have tried to create a monopoly but it never actually happens (not without government force aiding it). Again, I appreciate your thoughts, but it's very important to look past the sound-bites you hear on television and read about, and really dig deep and ask the right questions. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

    6. To a great degree I concur. But it is too simplistic. Take Cuba: The main reason they are not prospereous is because the USA boycots them. Also, many large corporations (larger then some countries in many cases) monopolize and thereby stop entrepeneurship. Think Microsoft: Only after the Eu fined them for marketmanipulation true competition had a chance.

    7. Hi Bob,
       
      How have you been? So happy RG extended the guest post offer to you, love the topic!
       
      I am currently on a 20 month working holiday traveling through Southeast Asia. The one constant? Wealthier countries like Thailand seem to foster the entrepreneurial spirit while some of the poorer countries like Laos seem to stifle it. Make it easier for people to create for others, and money and other neat things seem to circulate more easily.
       
      Government is great. So is government getting out of the way of individuals who create small, medium of massive ventures which employ tens, hundreds or thousands of people. On the whole, if a country is mired in poverty and shows no signs of growth, they have taken the Power, or freedom, from the people.
       
      Thanks!

      1. @RyanKBiddulph Ryan, GREAT to hear from you. Sounds like an exciting adventure for you. Yes, it's amazing how that works, isn't it? And, indeed,consistently. To the degree that government gets out of the way and simply protects peoples' natural rights, that's the degree to which entrepreneurs can create and the masses enjoy an increased standard of living.  Why people want to argue against prosperity I don't know, but it's part of life, I guess. 🙂 Wishing you the very best is 2013.

    8. Hi Bob,
       
      How have you been? So happy RG extended the guest post offer to you, love the topic!
       
      I am currently on a 20 month working holiday traveling through Southeast Asia. The one constant? Wealthier countries like Thailand seem to foster the entrepreneurial spirit while some of the poorer countries like Laos seem to stifle it. Make it easier for people to create for others, and money and other neat things seem to circulate more easily.
       
      Government is great. So is government getting out of the way of individuals who create small, medium of massive ventures which employ tens, hundreds or thousands of people. On the whole, if a country is mired in poverty and shows no signs of growth, they have taken the Power, or freedom, from the people.
       
      Thanks!

    9. @LeneJytteHansen Thank you for your awesome welcome, Lene. You are always one of the kindest and encouraging people I have the pleasure to know. X's and O's back. And, Happy New Year to you, as well!

    10. @mlmxpertholland Good morning and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Regarding Cuba - and with all respect - I can't even begin to answer that one because it really has so little to do with Cuba's problems. Castro turned them into a communist country, imprisoned and tortured people, took away their liberties and other horrible crimes. To say that the "main reason" they are not prosperous is because the USA boycots them is simply not an accurate statement. Regarding monopolies, the ONLY way a company has ever had a true monopoly is when it was government-created or government-sponsored (often a function of the Corporatism or Cronyism I referred to in the post that would NOT be an example of free-markets). Of course, many companies have tried to create a monopoly but it never actually happens (not without government force aiding it). Again, I appreciate your thoughts, but it's very important to look past the sound-bites you hear on television and read about, and really dig deep and ask the right questions. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

    11. @RyanKBiddulph Ryan, GREAT to hear from you. Sounds like an exciting adventure for you. Yes, it's amazing how that works, isn't it? And, indeed,consistently. To the degree that government gets out of the way and simply protects peoples' natural rights, that's the degree to which entrepreneurs can create and the masses enjoy an increased standard of living.  Why people want to argue against prosperity I don't know, but it's part of life, I guess. 🙂 Wishing you the very best is 2013.

    12. I love this post & all its messages, Bob!!
      You wrote in a 360° circle of topics which are connected to make the world go round.
      LOVE IT!
      You sure reach many people with it, what a good timing - have a great New Years Eve. &  Happy New year!
      RG sure is pleased with all his active supporters during the past weeks, while relaxing somewhere....

    13. I love this post & all its messages, Bob!!
      You wrote in a 360° circle of topics which are connected to make the world go round.
      LOVE IT!
      You sure reach many people with it, what a good timing - have a great New Years Eve. &  Happy New year!
      RG sure is pleased with all his active supporters during the past weeks, while relaxing somewhere....

    14. Hi Bob! Thanks for this - a breath of fresh air. For those of us in the UK we have the bureaucratic nonsense of the European Community to contend with.
      One Billion (or was  it ten - either way it's a lot) Euros are spent each year by the EU just to translate everything into English!
      Once again thanks and Have an Awesome 2013.
       
      Live Rich!
       
      Robert

      1. @Rainbowflyer Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm afraid that bureaucracy is bureaucracy with the same negative effects wherever it takes form. That's one reason why the bigger the government the more intrusive and cumbersome it tends to be. And, like a parasite, bureaucracy grows naturally and continues to grow until it consumes its host (or, at least really, really bothers it) 🙂 This is one reason why I try and encourage people to first seek market-based solutions rather than take the "fall-back" position of "asking the government to do things for us." Of course, "government" (and it's bureaucrats) is only too happy to take over. The challenge with that is, they don't do it well (because their is no incentive for them to do so), they take a non-existent problem and turn it into a problem, or they take a small problem and turn it into a much bigger problem. Or, they take an actual problem and turn it into a disaster. Then, they provide  government solutions to the problems that they have caused in the first place. All that said...Happy New Year! 🙂 LOL

    15. Hi Bob! Thanks for this - a breath of fresh air. For those of us in the UK we have the bureaucratic nonsense of the European Community to contend with.
      One Billion (or was  it ten - either way it's a lot) Euros are spent each year by the EU just to translate everything into English!
      Once again thanks and Have an Awesome 2013.
       
      Live Rich!
       
      Robert

    16. @Rainbowflyer Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm afraid that bureaucracy is bureaucracy with the same negative effects wherever it takes form. That's one reason why the bigger the government the more intrusive and cumbersome it tends to be. And, like a parasite, bureaucracy grows naturally and continues to grow until it consumes its host (or, at least really, really bothers it) 🙂 This is one reason why I try and encourage people to first seek market-based solutions rather than take the "fall-back" position of "asking the government to do things for us." Of course, "government" (and it's bureaucrats) is only too happy to take over. The challenge with that is, they don't do it well (because their is no incentive for them to do so), they take a non-existent problem and turn it into a problem, or they take a small problem and turn it into a much bigger problem. Or, they take an actual problem and turn it into a disaster. Then, they provide  government solutions to the problems that they have caused in the first place. All that said...Happy New Year! 🙂 LOL

      1. @DougWagner_ @BobBurg Awesome Doug, I think you'll enjoy it. Happy new year to you -- wishing you a BIG 2013 (and beyond)!

        1. @joshhinds @BobBurg Yes, it was great as expected. Agreed that entrepreneurs drive prosperity. All the best in 2013 Josh and Bob.

    17. @DougWagner_ @BobBurg Awesome Doug, I think you'll enjoy it. Happy new year to you -- wishing you a BIG 2013 (and beyond)!

    18. Bob, Randy chose wisely when it came time to select a guest blogger. This blog is one of my favorites you've posted. Great insights. It's a shame that the solution is really so simple yet made so complicated.
      Well done - and thanks to Randy.
      Bill

      1. @Bill EllisBill, thank you. I appreciate your kind words a lot! (And, yes, I'm very grateful to Randy for asking me to substitute for him!) I also appreciate that you say the solution is really so simple, because...it is. It's not complicated. As with anything, it's a matter of cause and effect. And, basic human principles and basic economic principles are immutable. Follow them correctly and the desired results will occur. The opposite is also true. I believe the key is looking past the surface and past what society as a whole tends to speak and repeat as truth and - as Randy so often suggests we do - asking the right questions. Thanks again, and best wishes for a very Happy New Year!

    19. Bob, Randy chose wisely when it came time to select a guest blogger. This blog is one of my favorites you've posted. Great insights. It's a shame that the solution is really so simple yet made so complicated.
      Well done - and thanks to Randy.
      Bill

    20. @Bill EllisBill, thank you. I appreciate your kind words a lot! (And, yes, I'm very grateful to Randy for asking me to substitute for him!) I also appreciate that you say the solution is really so simple, because...it is. It's not complicated. As with anything, it's a matter of cause and effect. And, basic human principles and basic economic principles are immutable. Follow them correctly and the desired results will occur. The opposite is also true. I believe the key is looking past the surface and past what society as a whole tends to speak and repeat as truth and - as Randy so often suggests we do - asking the right questions. Thanks again, and best wishes for a very Happy New Year!

    21. @joshhinds @BobBurg Yes, it was great as expected. Agreed that entrepreneurs drive prosperity. All the best in 2013 Josh and Bob.

    22. Okay, I would like to play devil's advocate.  The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties?  Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
       
      I am not saying that would happen again.  However, I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.  I hope in the dawn of this new era, we all as a society learn what that is.  It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.  In fact, it might even lead to their demise.  Advancements, yes absolutely!  The quest for materialism, not so much.  Lets define this new age on love, not liberty. Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.  But, Learning, and giving almost always do.
       
      Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!

      1. @Annieb Hi Annie, while I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts, there is much in what you write that is either not really what happened or is based on a rather false premise. If you don't mind, I'll respond point-by-point:
         
        Annieb wrote: The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
         
        Bob responds : Indeed, that was a time in which government interference was at a minimum.
         
        Annieb wrote: While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties? 
         
        Bob responds: No one was made poor by these individuals. While the working conditions and other treatments by management were horrendous and monstrous compared to today's society, people literally (not figuratively - literally) traveled long distances and waited in line, fighting to get these jobs. The reason? Because these awful jobs were still a *huge step up* for most people. Before the Industrial Revolution, desperate poverty was the norm, not the rarity it is in developed countries today. You are comparing two different times. It took about 50-70 years for the Industrial Revolution to bring us from extreme poverty to a middle class sustenance.
         
        Annieb wrote: Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
         
        Bob responds: First, regarding destroying towns, if they used force, that should have been stopped by government. As mentioned in my original post, protecting against force and fraud are *legitimate* functions of government. And, remember, today - if they buy off the right politicians (and/or the judges have no understanding of property rights) - entire neighborhoods can still be destroyed (see Kelo v. City of New London). The same would be true about firearms. Shooting someone? Illegal! Protecting against such and/or prosecuting such is a legitimate function of government.
         
        Now, regarding the horrible work hours and methods, indeed, very true. But please realize, again...people fought for these jobs. They weren't forced to do them. They fought for them. Not that I'm standing up for the owners. I despise mis-treatment of anyone. But it was a different time. Humanity evolves over time. And, a good part of that evolution is indeed made possible because free markets created more prosperity. People who at one time could barely survive were able to scrimp and save. An uptick in standard of living, and, as Maslow so wisely taught, people move from survival to wants and desires. And, that's a great thing. Again, not sticking up for the nasty employers. It was a different time with different expectations. And, the market responded to it, people demanded better, and eventually it got better.
         
        Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.
         
        Bob responds: I certainly agree with you that there is more to prosperity than want and need. One could say that "want and need" is not prosperity at all, but I think what you are saying is that there is more to prosperity than material things. Sure, you are right. And, you have a right o your opinion. What I don't believe you have a right to is to insist that others live their lives according to *your* beliefs. That's where freedom and liberty come into play.
         
        Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than.... and unlimited freedom.
         
        Bob responds: Freedom in the context of my post is certainly *not* unlimited. One does *not* have the freedom to infringe upon the rights of anyone else (see earlier in my response to you). Liberty/Freedom is "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same." If you disagree with that basic definition, then you would probably disagree with most everything else I say, because liberty is based on that very premise. It's also proven to result in greater abundance and standard of living for all - including the poor.
         
        Annieb wrote: It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.
         
        Bob responds: Actually, the right for people to create value that people will pay for, thus advancing the lives of each party, and continuing that process - is indeed what makes a civilization great. Please study up about life for the majority of people (other than royalty and the extreme upper class) before Free Enterprise was unleashed. Far from golden meadows of joy and serenity, you'll read about streets filled with filth, overcrowding, disease run rampant, etc. Most people were desperately poor. Capitalism and free-enterprise is what advanced life.
         
        AnnieB wrote: Lets define this new age on love, not liberty.
         
        Bob: Why should it be one OR the other. It's both. And, without Liberty, people are desperately poor. And it's a lot more difficult to express love when you are starving. Of course, people in North Korea, the old Soviet Union, the old East Germany, today's Cuba, they still do love their families. But, why shouldn't they also enjoy liberty and the resulting prosperity, as well?
         
        Annieb wrote: Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.
         
        Bob: Yes, it does. Is sure does.
         
        Annieb wrote: But, Learning, and giving almost always do {bring prosperity}.
         
        Bob: Try learning when you're starving. And, try giving food and blankets and other material comforts to the less fortunate when you have nothing like that to give. Why not have prosperity too? As a reader of Randy's, you should know that.
         
        Annieb wrote: Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!
         
        Bob: Annie, remember this, because it's so important: "Correlation is not the same as Causality." You don't know *why* any of these people became philanthropists, other than that they had the money and the desire. I believe it was Andrew Carnegie himself who said his goal was to invest the first half of his life making money and the second half giving it away. Also, many of the industrialists whose freedoms you think were limited by the anti-trust laws simply bought off members of government to have certain rules and regulations passed on their behalf, thereby creating the monopolistic entities they could never before reach (remember what I said in the post, it's the only way monopolies can take place - with the help of government). That is Corporatism/Cronyism, not free-market capitalism.
         
        I hope this was in some way helpful. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

        1. Whoa!  You must type many words per minute.  Thank you for that long and thoughtful response.
           
          Bob wrote: (I'm using your format, I like it)  No one was made poor by these individuals.
           
          Annie: Okay, but they worked their behinds off to make a few very wealthy while the workers stayed in poverty.  The worked very hard and were still poor.  When they should have had their piece of the pie.  Because, those workers were obviously needed.  Interdependency.  It took a great many people that never became even middle class to build the America we know today, not just a few.  It may have been two different time periods, but I'm not sure what that has to do with the price of tea in China.  Greed was misunderstood and accepted back then?  If people were so unenlightened, I would like to know why Shakespeare which was written long before, is still so deeply felt today.
           
          Annie and Bob:  We agree on killing and willful destruction being illegal.
           
          Bob:  What I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs. 
           
          Annie: That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.  BTW, I do wish corporations would get out of government. 🙂
           
          Bob: Freedom, (I'm paraphrasing) Is the right to choose the course of life which brings you happiness as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.  Yes, I agree with that statement. 
           
          Annie: However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem.  Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know.  Of course that kind of freedom only works if we are all the same.  In every way. Same shoes, same hair, same brain, same body, same toenail fungus..... whatever.  Unfortunately we are not.
           
          Bob: Actually to create value(paraphrasing again) (BTW Bob, this format is hard and you made it look easy.) for value exchange creating wealth, making each party stronger is what makes a great civilization. 
           
          Annie: Is it?  Maybe we haven't even seen a truly great civilization then.  I hope we will in our lifetime.  As for other great civilizations I was thinking of some of the more ancient and less lauded ones.  Like some of the Native American tribes and Maybe the Ancient Egyptians and Mayans.  But, the latter we can't be sure of.
           
          Annie: Yes lets have love and liberty.  Maybe not rugged individualism though.  Not communism or socialism either.  Just real life love and liberty.  People in Cuba and Russia are starving and still loving yes...Bob people are starving in America too.  Is less government regulation going to solve that?  I'm sure the government creates horrible red tape and loop holes for entrepreneurs, but really they do for everybody.  Maybe their is some better way, hopefully we can find it.  We do need some real solutions I agree.  People need to set aside differences and figure that out.
           
          Bob:  The freedom of which I speak always brings prosperity.
           
          Annie: Sure it does, for some.  I want people to prosper I do and be happy.  It will take more than what you propose, I believe anyway.  If it worked great.  I am not even sure if their is a correlation between trickle down economics and prosperity at this point.
           
          Bob: Maslow talks of people moving from poverty to wants and desires. 
           
          Annie: What the...?  No.  the upper echelons of Maslow's hierarchy are love and belonging, and the top is self actualization.  He talks about food and security if that is what you are referring to.  Yes people need housing health care and food.  So pay up and stop crying about taxes!  Be happy you are in a position where you can help people.
           
          Bob: Much of what you say is based on false premises or did not really happen.
           
          Annie:  Mine is not based on any more false premises than yours.   You are right maybe there was not causation for Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller to become philanthropists.  But, that is what happened.  And, all that poverty, disease and  street muck you talk about before Capitalism, and Free Enterprise, was not everywhere, it was in the Western European world. We both are just sharing our opinions and they are different. 
           
          As for that Andrew Carnegie.  He was a bit like Scrooge wasn't he?  Greedy and evil in the middle half of his life and giving in the last.  No, he wasn't greedy because he wanted to be wealthy.  He was greedy because he took more than his fair share, and he killed for it.  Maybe not him personally, but he turned his back while his steel workers were shot because they went on strike.
           
          Money is not evil, wanting money is not evil.  Money as an Idol is evil.  Money is place of love, money in place of people, money in place of community is evil.
           
          We have an obligation as an individual to ensure the strength of the community because without others we all fail.  This is implicit in Maslow's Hierarchy.
           
          Happy New year.

          1. @Annieb Hi Annie. Happy New Year to you. I hope 2013 has been good to you so far. :-). Thank you for the dialogue and for sharing your thoughts.
             
            As I go through your responses a lot of what I see indicates (and this is simply my inference - I could of course be wrong) that you might simply not believe that "liberty" itself is both a moral and productive concept.
             
            The only thing I can really suggest is that you make a study on it, perhaps beginning with books like "The Capitalist Manifesto" by Andrew Bernsetein, "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt and "Healing Our World" by Dr. Mary Ruwart. You'll see why, basically, free minds and free markets work in terms of overall abundance and standard of living. And, that, to the degree freedom and liberty are deprived, most people suffer; especially the poor.
             
            Rather than taking time to respond to all of your comments and questions (to do so would simply take too much time because they are not "sound bite" answers and I feel I did explain many of them either in the post or in my response to your initial comments) I would like to respond to a few that I believe are very important to answer.
             
            One thing is that I noticed that you seem to be under the impression that I'm saying that because someone is an entrepreneur that automatically makes them a good person. I'm not saying that at all. Like anything, some are and some are not. Also, different people have different motivations for being in business, whether it is creativity, strictly financial, etc.
             
            The great thing about free markets - because in order to make money the person must provide value - the entrepreneur knows it's in his or her best interests to do right by you in terms of quality, price, service and other elements of value. This is what Adam Smith famously referred to regarding "the butcher, the brewer and the baker" passage.
             
            And, this is why the free-er the market the more the consumer benefits. Most people don't know that Smith was *not* pro-business; he was pro-consumer. He knew that pure Capitalism and free-markets were most beneficial to that end. Hence his fight against Mercantilism.
             
            It also seems that you feel that if Capitalism/free markets don't make everyone equally wealthy than there is something wrong with it. I disagree, but it's beyond the scope here to explain why.
             
            The key (and this is so important) is that, in a true free market-based economy, the standard of living of the masses will rise/increase dramatically. That is why - if one is going to be poor - they are much better off being poor in a developed economy rather than in a third-world country.
             
            But, no, people will not be equally wealthy. By the way, the more free market-based a country is, the bigger the middle class. The reason why we in the U.S. are seeing such a widening gap between rich and poor and a shrinking of the middle class is because we are *not* a free market-based economy. We have become a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. That is not working out real well for either as individuals or as a nation. And, as we continue to swing towards socialism is will continue to get worse.
             
            Regarding your Shakespeare remark, I'm not really sure why you said that. It was kind of a red-herring in that it really didn't seem to have much to do with the original point. The fact that there have been many, many brilliant people throughout history doesn't mean that - as human beings in total - we don't evolve and grow. That's not to say there aren't a lot of very mean people in management to this day; perhaps, if they had the opportunity - they might treat their workers just as badly as during the 1800's (though I doubt it).
             
            But, the reason they cannot is because free markets created a society where workers have a lot more choices. That is another benefit of free markets - they provide more choices for the employees.
             
            (Continued)...

          2. @Annieb
            Annie, here is something I'd like to answer directly. In response to my saying that while I respect your right to believe whatever you'd like, I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs...
             
            You (Annieb) wrote: "That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service." 
             
            I'd need to respond by saying, first, that I'm not sure I understand much of what you wrote. But, I'll say this: since I defined liberty to you (in my response to you) as "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same"...then if you disagree with that then you are advocating forcing others to do your will.
             
            On the other hand, I'm not. I'm willing to live and let others live however they see fit (providing they don't infringe on my or anyone else's rights).
             
            What is it about that with which you disagree? By the way, the above is not to say that we cannot try and persuade others to take a different point of view. (So, no, I won't tell Randy I don't want to guest post for him.) The key has to do with not being able to force someone to do so. Again, I'd be interested to know what it is about that with which you disagree.
             
            Where you (Annieb) wrote:...Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.
             
            My response is that, I don't really get what you're saying. I certainly don't believe that for one to win another needs to lose. Free-enterprise results in an ever-expanding pie (this has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt - we see it every day) rather than a limited one. And, of course we want a loving society in which all have the opportunity to thrive. That's what free markets allow. That just doesn't happen in North Korea, Cuba and many other places. Again, not really sure I understood that.
             
            But, here, Annie, is where I must say that I feel badly you said the following:
             
            Annieb wrote: "However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem. Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know."
             
            I must respond by first saying, "with all respect, yes, you are wrong." I also feel the need to ask you - based on how little you know of me and that we've never met - why you would ever assume such a horrible thing about me. I'm not going to talk about the amounts of money I give to charity but I believe anyone who knows me would say that your statement was out of line.
             
            So, why would a person - especially an obviously deep-thinker such as you - assume that because someone believes in free minds and free markets that he must be callous toward someone who is less-fortunate than he?
             
            I think it goes back to the basic belief that - unfortunately - so many now have: that government is some benevolent, charitable enterprise and that individuals and entrepreneurs are callous people who care only about money, with no type of feeling or interest in others.
             
            And, that's a problem. Annie, government is not your friend. They are not the friend of the poor. People help people. Groups of people help and care about people. Governments sometimes try to, but even then, they don't do it very well.
             
            Remember, in 1965 President Lyndon Johnson, when introducing the "Great Society" predicted that, "in 2 years, poverty as we know it will be completely eradicated." How is that working out?  Yes, sometimes government tries, but they don't do it well. Most of the time, the only thing they try and do is benefit themselves.
             
            Anyway, this obviously went on a lot longer than I meant it to and I still didn't answer a few things I was going to. I hope you'll really research Capitalism/free-markets. We need good thinkers like you to be its advocates, not its detractors.
             
            Again, best wishes for a very Happy and Prosperous 2013.

          3. @Annieb
            Hi Bob.  I am sure you give plenty to charity.  Charity is very helpful to all society.  
             
            I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government.  Charity isn't enough.  Government taxes and programs do help people.  Not always, and like anything else Government has lots of flaws. 
             
            Government is comprised of people.  Government is us.  We the people.  Government (people) freed slaves.  Government enforced civil rights.  Government gave women the right to vote.  Government also took some of things things away.  You see Government is the people.  Sometimes they do good and sometimes they do bad.  A good government would help society to progress, and yes make it easy for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their ideas to fruition.  You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it.
             
            If I lived in Iraq, I would say the American Government was not my friend.  When I go to pay a reduced fee for Health insurance because of Obama Care, I will say Government is my friend.
             
            When I see little Children go to Head Start and get fed and have free health care check ups, and free pre-school education, I will say Government is being a friend.  One program that actually did work from the "War on Poverty". 
             
            When the Parents as Teacher educator came to my home when I was a stay at home mom, I thought this Government program is pretty nice.  (Started by a Republican, from my state).
             
            I don't think  "Liberty" as you express it is immoral.  I think trickle down economics and other anti tax policies are immoral.  Because then people do get hurt.  The elderly, the poor, the sick, the young.  You say the villianization of trickle down economics is just been through sound bites.  But, you use a sound bite to support it.  You don't explain how it worked well.  I am old enough to have lived through those policies.  I honestly think they failed.  I have heard more than sound bites about it.  I still don't think it works.  It was you who said correlation is not the same as causation.  There is not even a correlatory example to support this concept.  Listen Bob, the youth today are smart.  They are far more informed than the majority may think.  Trickle down  days are gone with the wind.  For Bob, like the other Bob said "The times they are changing."    They know better.  They voted for Obama.  You better start moving or you'll sink like a stone......  It is time to figure out how government and the wealthy can get along.  Follow the example of France and Warren Buffet. 
             
            I made a good case about the Industrial Revolution.  Power and Wealth can easily corrupt.  It did those men, Rockefeller and Carnegie.  Government and the people made sure they did not continue to be oppressed in difficult labor with out fair wages.
             
            There is a revolution going on.  Because here in America there are a lot of poor people.  We need to focus on something else to get us out of this mess.  I think we need a good dose of social welfare right now.  Not, trickle down ecomomics (again).    
             
            Yes, free enterprise does create prosperity.  It also has caused social and environmental destruction.  The earth is suffering and many human beings on this planet as well, do to free enterprise.  This is why some times thinkers like myself and others have to use the government to try and correct some of these errors.  
             
            If I thought that without government interference, social problems would be erraticated and the earth would be healed, I would say "All Systems Ago" for your "Liberty".  I don't think we are there yet my friend.  Perhaps government itself needs to be redefined.
             
            I think your "liberty" is immoral because I don't think you are defining it accurately and honestly.  You think that without Government we would all take care of each other.  A nice thought.  I think we have a government to make sure the right thing happens.  Infringing on another's rights is not always as clear cut as you might believe. 
             
            I am a good thinker Bob, that is why I don't always support the kind of "Liberty" you are suggesting.  I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him.  I also hope you do some more research on social policy and social justice.  I have a feeling on these subjects you may be lacking.  I will read up and research, it is one of my favorite things to do.  But, fair warning, your friend Randy has me reading Ayn Rand, and so far I still choose the philosophy of the man from galilee to the obviously neroutic, yet brilliant Russian woman.

          4. @Annieb Hi Annie, I'm afraid that in certain areas we are just so far apart in our philosophies and belief systems in regards to liberty that it's best we sort of let it go. It will be interesting to see what conclusions people come to who have read our back-and-forth discussion after the original post. I hope they've enjoyed it and found it to be of value.
             
            If I may, there are certain things you've stated regarding my thoughts that I need to clarify, as I feel you have unintentionally misunderstood and taken out of context.
             
            Where you say:
             
            Annieb wrote: "I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government."
             
            Bob responds: I am *not* anti-government, nor have I ever claimed to be. I am for a government that upholds it's legitimate Constitutional functions in protecting its citizenry from force and fraud. That is *not* anti-government.
             
            And, I *must* comment on this statement where you said:
             
            Annieb wrote: "Government (people) freed slaves."
             
            Bob responds: Annie, government *allowed* slavery to happen and go on in our country for 200 years before freeing them. The government (first England's of which we were a colony and then our own) failed miserably in protecting the rights of individual black men and women. And, remember, even after slavery was ended, the government allowed "Jim Crow Laws" and for over 100 years did a terrible job of protecting our black brothers and sisters from violence. And when you say government *gave* women the right to vote, government can not *give* rights. Those rights are natural, women should have always had them, and government should have protected women's rights from the beginning.
             
            Annieb wrote: "You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it."
             
            Bob responds: It was one blog post and it was principle-based; not a litany of examples. There are hundreds of thousands of non-sensical, politically-based laws on the books (with millions and millions of pages) that harm much more than help.
             
            Obviously, you believe in big government and that it is the solution. I believe that big, intrusive  government is the cause of much of our problems. Greece and other countries are experiencing it full-force right now and our big government policies (on both sides of the aisle) are bringing us close to that situation, as well. But, I'm certainly not going to change your mind.
             
            As I read through much of your last letter to see if there was anything else to comment on, I saw that we simply look at things from two very different points of view.
             
            The last thing I'll comment on is where you wrote:
             
            Annieb wrote: "I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him."
             
            Bob responds: Yes, I noticed that bothered you and I should have acknowledged that in my last response. Annie, I had simply written my original comment lazily. I understand the hierarchy. I don't imagine there are many people today who haven't read him at least on a surface level. I assumed you knew what I meant but that was indeed totally my fault in not being clearer in my original statement about that.
             
            Again, thank you for the conversation. I appreciate your time and kindness.

          5. Okay, Bob.  I will let you have the last word since your such a nice man.  Thank you for the conversation.  I love a good debate! 🙂

    23. Okay, I would like to play devil's advocate.  The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties?  Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
       
      I am not saying that would happen again.  However, I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.  I hope in the dawn of this new era, we all as a society learn what that is.  It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.  In fact, it might even lead to their demise.  Advancements, yes absolutely!  The quest for materialism, not so much.  Lets define this new age on love, not liberty. Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.  But, Learning, and giving almost always do.
       
      Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!

    24. @Annieb Hi Annie, while I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts, there is much in what you write that is either not really what happened or is based on a rather false premise. If you don't mind, I'll respond point-by-point:
       
      Annieb wrote: The U.S. Government did not intervene so much during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
       
      Bob responds : Indeed, that was a time in which government interference was at a minimum.
       
      Annieb wrote: While our country prospered and grew, and many wonderful ideas came to fruition, many were made poor and abused by individuals with maybe to many liberties? 
       
      Bob responds: No one was made poor by these individuals. While the working conditions and other treatments by management were horrendous and monstrous compared to today's society, people literally (not figuratively - literally) traveled long distances and waited in line, fighting to get these jobs. The reason? Because these awful jobs were still a *huge step up* for most people. Before the Industrial Revolution, desperate poverty was the norm, not the rarity it is in developed countries today. You are comparing two different times. It took about 50-70 years for the Industrial Revolution to bring us from extreme poverty to a middle class sustenance.
       
      Annieb wrote: Liberty to enforce ungodly work hours and methods, liberty to destroy towns, and liberty to obtain the use of fire arms to keep their workers in line.  Remember reading about that?
       
      Bob responds: First, regarding destroying towns, if they used force, that should have been stopped by government. As mentioned in my original post, protecting against force and fraud are *legitimate* functions of government. And, remember, today - if they buy off the right politicians (and/or the judges have no understanding of property rights) - entire neighborhoods can still be destroyed (see Kelo v. City of New London). The same would be true about firearms. Shooting someone? Illegal? Protecting against such and/or prosecuting such is a legitimate function of government.
       
      Now, regarding the horrible work hours and methods, indeed, very true. But please realize, again...people fought for these jobs. They weren't forced to do them. They fought for them. Not that I'm standing up for the owners. I despise mis-treatment of anyone. But it was a different time. Humanity evolves over time. And, a good part of that evolution is indeed made possible because free markets created more prosperity. People who at one time could barely survive were able to scrimp and save. An uptick in standard of living, and, as Maslow so wisely taught, people move from survival to wants and desires. And, that's a great thing. Again, not sticking up for the nasty employers. It was a different time with different expectations. And, the market responded to it, people demanded better, and eventually it got better.
       
      Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than wanting and needing things, and unlimited freedom.
       
      Bob responds: I certainly agree with you that there is more to prosperity than want and need. One could say that "want and need" is not prosperity at all, but I think what you are saying is that there is more to prosperity than material things. Sure, you are right. And, you have a right o your opinion. What I don't believe you have a right to is to insist that others live their lives according to *your* beliefs. That's where freedom and liberty come into play.
       
      Annieb wrote: I think there is more to prosperity than.... and unlimited freedom.
       
      Bob responds: Freedom in the context of my post is certainly *not* unlimited. One does *not* have the freedom to infringe upon the rights of anyone else (see earlier in my response to you). Liberty/Freedom is "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same." If you disagree with that basic definition, then you would probably disagree with most everything else I say, because liberty is based on that very premise. It's also proven to result in greater abundance and standard of living for all - including the poor.
       
      Annieb wrote: It didn't always take material value to make civilizations great.
       
      Bob responds: Actually, the right for people to create value that people will pay for, thus advancing the lives of each party, and continuing that process - is indeed what makes a civilization great. Please study up about life for the majority of people (other than royalty and the extreme upper class) before Free Enterprise was unleashed. Far from golden meadows of joy and serenity, you'll read about streets filled with filth, overcrowding, disease run rampant, etc. Most people were desperately poor. Capitalism and free-enterprise is what advanced life.
       
      AnnieB wrote: Lets define this new age on love, not liberty.
       
      Bob: Why should it be one OR the other. It's both. And, without Liberty, people are desperately poor. And it's a lot more difficult to express love when you are starving. Of course, people in North Korea, the old Soviet Union, the old East Germany, today's Cuba, they still do love their families. But, why shouldn't they also enjoy liberty and the resulting prosperity, as well?
       
      Annieb wrote: Liberty, in the sense you speak does not always bring prosperity.
       
      Bob: Yes, it does. Is sure does.
       
      Annieb wrote: But, Learning, and giving almost always do {bring prosperity}.
       
      Bob: Try learning when you're starving. And, try giving food and blankets and other material comforts to the less fortunate when you have nothing like that to give. Why not have prosperity too? As a reader of Randy's, you should know that.
       
      Annieb wrote: Coincidentally, the main movers of the Industrial Revolution, after government limited their freedoms, became much better men and the philanthropist we remember them as.  And progress was not hurt for it!
       
      Bob: Annie, remember this, because it's so important: "Correlation is not the same as Causality." You don't know *why* any of these people became philanthropists, other than that they had the money and the desire. I believe it was Andrew Carnegie himself who said his goal was to invest the first half of his life making money and the second half giving it away. Also, many of the industrialists whose freedoms you think were limited by the anti-trust laws simply bought off members of government to have certain rules and regulations passed on their behalf, thereby creating the monopolistic entities they could never before reach (remember what I said in the post, it's the only way monopolies can take place - with the help of government). That is Corporatism/Cronyism, not free-market capitalism.
       
      I hope this was in some way helpful. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

    25. Thank you, Julio. Honored to fill in for that vacationing guy, Sir Randy Gage! Wishing you a Prospero Ano Nuevo, mi amigo y hermano!

    26. Thank you, Julio. Honored to fill in for that vacationing guy, Sir Randy Gage! Wishing you a Prospero Ano Nuevo, mi amigo y hermano!

    27. Absolutely agree 100%...  and Love the  (I’m Bob Burg…and I approved this post) politician touch... LOL...
      All of the Red tape people have to go thru these with ANYTHING..  from something as important as Health Insurance to getting a Drivers License....  They are STUCK in the dark ages with some of their Government systems they refuse to change...   It is the NEW THOUGHT LEADERS of Today that are the ones that are being innovative in creating jobs and abundance for others.  
       
      The New Thought Leaders also have happier Teammates if you will because they Teach, Empower, Inspire from a different place.  The Values, Methods are more creative, awake and create Empowerment within the system which then in return gives them more value because what is being created by their Team is an essence a "FRED FACTOR" they are creating many "FRED's" they team is going beyond the norm is their customer service, and or product because they LOVE what they do and are in an environment instilled with Empowerment, Inspiration and Creativity versus Politics, Red Tape and BS....

      1. @CarlyAlyssaThorne Carly, thank you for sharing your thoughts. And, for your mention of "The Fred Factor" an awesome book by my friend and colleague, Mark Sanborn. It's a book I highly recommend. Best wishes for a very Happy 2013!

        1. LOL.. Absolutely an AWESOME Book, sorry forgot to Put Mark's name in there, of course I knew you would know what the "Fred Factor" meant LOL... Yes I highly Recommend the book as well... Fred's are awesome...

    28. Absolutely agree 100%...  and Love the  (I’m Bob Burg…and I approved this post) politician touch... LOL...
      All of the Red tape people have to go thru these with ANYTHING..  from something as important as Health Insurance to getting a Drivers License....  They are STUCK in the dark ages with some of their Government systems they refuse to change...   It is the NEW THOUGHT LEADERS of Today that are the ones that are being innovative in creating jobs and abundance for others.  
       
      The New Thought Leaders also have happier Teammates if you will because they Teach, Empower, Inspire from a different place.  The Values, Methods are more creative, awake and create Empowerment within the system which then in return gives them more value because what is being created by their Team is an essence a "FRED FACTOR" they are creating many "FRED's" they team is going beyond the norm is their customer service, and or product because they LOVE what they do and are in an environment instilled with Empowerment, Inspiration and Creativity versus Politics, Red Tape and BS....

    29. @CarlyAlyssaThorne Carly, thank you for sharing your thoughts. And, for your mention of "The Fred Factor" an awesome book by my friend and colleague, Mark Sanborn. It's a book I highly recommend. Best wishes for a very Happy 2013!

    30. LOL.. Absolutely an AWESOME Book, sorry forgot to Put Mark's name in there, of course I knew you would know what the "Fred Factor" meant LOL... Yes I highly Recommend the book as well... Fred's are awesome...

    31. Whoa!  You must type many words per minute.  Thank you for that long and thoughtful response.
       
      Bob wrote: (I'm using your format, I like it)  No one was made poor by these individuals.
       
      Annie: Okay, but they worked their behinds off to make a few very wealthy while the workers stayed in poverty.  The worked very hard and were still poor.  When they should have had their piece of the pie.  Because, those workers were obviously needed.  Interdependency.  It took a great many people that never became even middle class to build the America we know today, not just a few.  It may have been two different time periods, but I'm not sure what that has to do with the price of tea in China.  Greed was misunderstood and accepted back then?  If people were so unenlightened, I would like to know why Shakespeare which was written long before, is still so deeply felt today.
       
      Annie and Bob:  We agree on killing and willful destruction being illegal.
       
      Bob:  What I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs. 
       
      Annie: That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.  BTW, I do wish corporations would get out of government. 🙂
       
      Bob: Freedom, (I'm paraphrasing) Is the right to choose the course of life which brings you happiness as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.  Yes, I agree with that statement. 
       
      Annie: However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem.  Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know.  Of course that kind of freedom only works if we are all the same.  In every way. Same shoes, same hair, same brain, same body, same toenail fungus..... whatever.  Unfortunately we are not.
       
      Bob: Actually to create value(paraphrasing again) (BTW Bob, this format is hard and you made it look easy.) for value exchange creating wealth, making each party stronger is what makes a great civilization. 
       
      Annie: Is it?  Maybe we haven't even seen a truly great civilization then.  I hope we will in our lifetime.  As for other great civilizations I was thinking of some of the more ancient and less lauded ones.  Like some of the Native American tribes and Maybe the Ancient Egyptians and Mayans.  But, the latter we can't be sure of.
       
      Annie: Yes lets have love and liberty.  Maybe not rugged individualism though.  Not communism or socialism either.  Just real life love and liberty.  People in Cuba and Russia are starving and still loving yes...Bob people are starving in America too.  Is less government regulation going to solve that?  I'm sure the government creates horrible red tape and loop holes for entrepreneurs, but really they do for everybody.  Maybe their is some better way, hopefully we can find it.  We do need some real solutions I agree.  People need to set aside differences and figure that out.
       
      Bob:  The freedom of which I speak always brings prosperity.
       
      Annie: Sure it does, for some.  I want people to prosper I do and be happy.  It will take more than what you propose, I believe anyway.  If it worked great.  I am not even sure if their is a correlation between trickle down economics and prosperity at this point.
       
      Bob: Maslow talks of people moving from poverty to wants and desires. 
       
      Annie: What the...?  No.  the upper echelons of Maslow's hierarchy are love and belonging, and the top is self actualization.  He talks about food and security if that is what you are referring to.  Yes people need housing health care and food.  So pay up and stop crying about taxes!  Be happy you are in a position where you can help people.
       
      Bob: Much of what you say is based on false premises or did not really happen.
       
      Annie:  Mine is not based on any more false premises than yours.   You are right maybe there was not causation for Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller to become philanthropists.  But, that is what happened.  And, all that poverty, disease and  street muck you talk about before Capitalism, and Free Enterprise, was not everywhere, it was in the Western European world. We both are just sharing our opinions and they are different. 
       
      As for that Andrew Carnegie.  He was a bit like Scrooge wasn't he?  Greedy and evil in the middle half of his life and giving in the last.  No, he wasn't greedy because he wanted to be wealthy.  He was greedy because he took more than his fair share, and he killed for it.  Maybe not him personally, but he turned his back while his steel workers were shot because they went on strike.
       
      Money is not evil, wanting money is not evil.  Money as an Idol is evil.  Money is place of love, money in place of people, money in place of community is evil.
       
      We have an obligation as an individual to ensure the strength of the community because without others we all fail.  This is implicit in Maslow's Hierarchy.
       
      Happy New year.

    32. @BobBurg @Randy_Gage Ooh, love to read posts that stoke the passions of readers. I'll head on over. Happy New Year, Bob (and Randy)!

        1. @BobBurg I'm about 90 minutes in to the New Year and I'm feeling great. Looking forward to a fantastic year! Are you taking it easy today?

          1. @buildandbalance Have a huge deadline I'm working on for the new book. Good thing for me that I love my work LOL!

          2. @BobBurg Ah, no bowl games and naps on the couch 4u, Bob. I know you'll meet the deadline because your passion is there. Good luck with it!

          3. @BobBurg And a little bowl game might be in the cards for me since hometown fave, Stanford, is playing.enjoy the glorious day!

          4. @BobBurg Wishing you a blessed and wonderful New Year Bob! Nothing less than spectacular!! #youmatter

          5. @BobBurg Put on your MUST DO list in 2013---Meeting with Angela Maiers and giving her a big hug!!! Will u be at SXSW?

          6. @AngelaMaiers Yes, both meeting you AND hug are musts for 2013! Re: SXSW...for some reason, I never get invited to that party! LOL

    33. @BobBurg @Randy_Gage Ooh, love to read posts that stoke the passions of readers. I'll head on over. Happy New Year, Bob (and Randy)!

    34. @BobBurg I'm about 90 minutes in to the New Year and I'm feeling great. Looking forward to a fantastic year! Are you taking it easy today?

    35. @buildandbalance Have a huge deadline I'm working on for the new book. Good thing for me that I love my work LOL!

    36. @BobBurg Ah, no bowl games and naps on the couch 4u, Bob. I know you'll meet the deadline because your passion is there. Good luck with it!

    37. @BobBurg And a little bowl game might be in the cards for me since hometown fave, Stanford, is playing.enjoy the glorious day!

    38. @BobBurg Wishing you a blessed and wonderful New Year Bob! Nothing less than spectacular!! #youmatter

    39. @BobBurg Put on your MUST DO list in 2013---Meeting with Angela Maiers and giving her a big hug!!! Will u be at SXSW?

    40. @AngelaMaiers Yes, both meeting you AND hug are musts for 2013! Re: SXSW...for some reason, I never get invited to that party! LOL

    41. @Annieb Hi Annie. Happy New Year to you. I hope 2013 has been good to you so far. :-). Thank you for the dialogue and for sharing your thoughts.
       
      As I go through your responses a lot of what I see indicates (and this is simply my inference - I could of course be wrong) that you might simply not believe that "liberty" itself is both a moral and productive concept.
       
      The only thing I can really suggest is that you make a study on it, perhaps beginning with books like "The Capitalist Manifesto" by Andrew Bernsetein, "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt and "Healing Our World" by Dr. Mary Ruwart. You'll see why, basically, free minds and free markets work in terms of overall abundance and standard of living. And, that, to the degree freedom and liberty are deprived, most people suffer; especially the poor.
       
      Rather than taking time to respond to all of your comments and questions (to do so would simply take too much time because they are not "sound bite" answers and I feel I did explain many of them either in the post or in my response to your initial comments) I would like to respond to a few that I believe are very important to answer.
       
      One thing is that I noticed that you seem to be under the impression that I'm saying that because someone is an entrepreneur that automatically makes them a good person. I'm not saying that at all. Like anything, some are and some are not. Also, different people have different motivations for being in business, whether it is creativity, strictly financial, etc.
       
      The great thing about free markets - because in order to make money the person must provide value - the entrepreneur knows it's in his or her best interests to do right by you in terms of quality, price, service and other elements of value. This is what Adam Smith famously referred to regarding "the butcher, the brewer and the baker" passage.
       
      And, this is why the free-er the market the more the consumer benefits. Most people don't know that Smith was *not* pro-business; he was pro-consumer. He knew that pure Capitalism and free-markets were most beneficial to that end. Hence his fight against Mercantilism.
       
      It also seems that you feel that if Capitalism/free markets don't make everyone equally wealthy than there is something wrong with it. I disagree, but it's beyond the scope here to explain why.
       
      The key (and this is so important) is that, in a true free market-based economy, the standard of living of the masses will rise/increase dramatically. That is why - if one is going to be poor - they are much better off being poor in a developed economy rather than in a third-world country.
       
      But, no, people will not be equally wealthy. By the way, the more free market-based a country is, the bigger the middle class. The reason why we in the U.S. are seeing such a widening gap between rich and poor and a shrinking of the middle class is because we are *not* a free market-based economy. We have become a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. That is not working out real well for either as individuals or as a nation. And, as we continue to swing towards socialism is will continue to get worse.
       
      Regarding your Shakespeare remark, I'm not really sure why you said that. It was kind of a red-herring in that it really didn't seem to have much to do with the original point. The fact that there have been many, many brilliant people throughout history doesn't mean that - as human beings in total - we don't evolve and grow. That's not to say there aren't a lot of very mean people in management to this day; perhaps, if they had the opportunity - they might treat their workers just as badly as during the 1800's (though I doubt it).
       
      But, the reason they cannot is because free markets created a society where workers have a lot more choices. That is another benefit of free markets - they provide more choices for the employees.
       
      (Continued)...

    42. @Annieb
      Annie, here is something I'd like to answer directly. In response to my saying that while I respect your right to believe whatever you'd like, I don't believe is you have a right to "insist " others live their lives  by your beliefs...
       
      You (Annieb) wrote: "That's good because I don't want to live by your belief that politicians and governments should just get out of entrepreneurs way.  So, if you are not hoping others abide by your beliefs you should tell Randy, you don't wish to write these posts any longer!  I think in my heart of hearts that is exactly what you want.  Is for other to live by your beliefs.  It's only when someone disagrees with your view that they are "insisting".  Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service." 
       
      I'd need to respond by saying, first, that I'm not sure I understand much of what you wrote. But, I'll say this: since I defined liberty to you (in my response to you) as "the right to live your life and pursue happiness in whatever way you choose, so long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others to do the same"...then if you disagree with that then you are advocating forcing others to do your will.
       
      On the other hand, I'm not. I'm willing to live and let others live however they see fit (providing they don't infringe on my or anyone else's rights).
       
      What is it about that with which you disagree? By the way, the above is not to say that we cannot try and persuade others to take a different point of view. (So, no, I won't tell Randy I don't want to guest post for him.) The key has to do with not being able to force someone to do so. Again, I'd be interested to know what it is about that with which you disagree.
       
      Where you (Annieb) wrote:...Sometimes someone has to lose and someone has to win.  My hope is that the belief that brings about the most "real" freedom, is the one that wins.  A freedom where irrespective of who you are, you know your a part of a loving society that wants you to thrive, if your an entrepreneur, infant, mail carrier, schizophrenic, or disabled.  And not just with lip service.
       
      My response is that, I don't really get what you're saying. I certainly don't believe that for one to win another needs to lose. Free-enterprise results in an ever-expanding pie (this has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt - we see it every day) rather than a limited one. And, of course we want a loving society in which all have the opportunity to thrive. That's what free markets allow. That just doesn't happen in North Korea, Cuba and many other places. Again, not really sure I understood that.
       
      But, here, Annie, is where I must say that I feel badly you said the following:
       
      Annieb wrote: "However, since I love Chekov, I also know their is some subtext in your statement.  Maybe, something like I will do my thing you do yours, your free to make money, if you don't leave me alone.  If your broke, not my problem. Well your right it is not.  Sum it up?  If I'm wrong let me know."
       
      I must respond by first saying, "with all respect, yes, you are wrong." I also feel the need to ask you - based on how little you know of me and that we've never met - why you would ever assume such a horrible thing about me. I'm not going to talk about the amounts of money I give to charity but I believe anyone who knows me would say that your statement was out of line.
       
      So, why would a person - especially an obviously deep-thinker such as you - assume that because someone believes in free minds and free markets that he must be callous toward someone who is less-fortunate than he?
       
      I think it goes back to the basic belief that - unfortunately - so many now have: that government is some benevolent, charitable enterprise and that individuals and entrepreneurs are callous people who care only about money, with no type of feeling or interest in others.
       
      And, that's a problem. Annie, government is not your friend. They are not the friend of the poor. People help people. Groups of people help and care about people. Governments sometimes try to, but even then, they don't do it very well.
       
      Remember, in 1965 President Lyndon Johnson, when introducing the "Great Society" predicted that, "in 2 years, poverty as we know it will be completely eradicated." How is that working out?  Yes, sometimes government tries, but they don't do it well. Most of the time, the only thing they try and do is benefit themselves.
       
      Anyway, this obviously went on a lot longer than I meant it to and I still didn't answer a few things I was going to. I hope you'll really research Capitalism/free-markets. We need good thinkers like you to be its advocates, not its detractors.
       
      Again, best wishes for a very Happy and Prosperous 2013.

    43. @Annieb
      Hi Bob.  I am sure you give plenty to charity.  Charity is very helpful to all society.  
       
      I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government.  Charity isn't enough.  Government taxes and programs do help people.  Not always, and like anything else Government has lots of flaws. 
       
      Government is comprised of people.  Government is us.  We the people.  Government (people) freed slaves.  Government enforced civil rights.  Government gave women the right to vote.  Government also took some of things things away.  You see Government is the people.  Sometimes they do good and sometimes they do bad.  A good government would help society to progress, and yes make it easy for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their ideas to fruition.  You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it.
       
      If I lived in Iraq, I would say the American Government was not my friend.  When I go to pay a reduced fee for Health insurance because of Obama Care, I will say Government is my friend.
       
      When I see little Children go to Head Start and get fed and have free health care check ups, and free pre-school education, I will say Government is being a friend.  One program that actually did work from the "War on Poverty". 
       
      When the Parents as Teacher educator came to my home when I was a stay at home mom, I thought this Government program is pretty nice.  (Started by a Republican, from my state).
       
      I don't think  "Liberty" as you express it is immoral.  I think trickle down economics and other anti tax policies are immoral.  Because then people do get hurt.  The elderly, the poor, the sick, the young.  You say the villianization of trickle down economics is just been through sound bites.  But, you use a sound bite to support it.  You don't explain how it worked well.  I am old enough to have lived through those policies.  I honestly think they failed.  I have heard more than sound bites about it.  I still don't think it works.  It was you who said correlation is not the same as causation.  There is not even a correlatory example to support this concept.  Listen Bob, the youth today are smart.  They are far more informed than the majority may think.  Trickle down  days are gone with the wind.  For Bob, like the other Bob said "The times they are changing."    They know better.  They voted for Obama.  You better start moving or you'll sink like a stone......  It is time to figure out how government and the wealthy can get along.  Follow the example of France and Warren Buffet. 
       
      I made a good case about the Industrial Revolution.  Power and Wealth can easily corrupt.  It did those men, Rockefeller and Carnegie.  Government and the people made sure they did not continue to be oppressed in difficult labor with out fair wages.
       
      There is a revolution going on.  Because here in America there are a lot of poor people.  We need to focus on something else to get us out of this mess.  I think we need a good dose of social welfare right now.  Not, trickle down ecomomics (again).    
       
      Yes, free enterprise does create prosperity.  It also has caused social and environmental destruction.  The earth is suffering and many human beings on this planet as well, do to free enterprise.  This is why some times thinkers like myself and others have to use the government to try and correct some of these errors.  
       
      If I thought that without government interference, social problems would be erraticated and the earth would be healed, I would say "All Systems Ago" for your "Liberty".  I don't think we are there yet my friend.  Perhaps government itself needs to be redefined.
       
      I think your "liberty" is immoral because I don't think you are defining it accurately and honestly.  You think that without Government we would all take care of each other.  A nice thought.  I think we have a government to make sure the right thing happens.  Infringing on another's rights is not always as clear cut as you might believe. 
       
      I am a good thinker Bob, that is why I don't always support the kind of "Liberty" you are suggesting.  I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him.  I also hope you do some more research on social policy and social justice.  I have a feeling on these subjects you may be lacking.  I will read up and research, it is one of my favorite things to do.  But, fair warning, your friend Randy has me reading Ayn Rand, and so far I still choose the philosophy of the man from galilee to the obviously neroutic, yet brilliant Russian woman.

    44. @Annieb Hi Annie, I'm afraid that in certain areas we are just so far apart in our philosophies and belief systems in regards to liberty that it's best we sort of let it go. It will be interesting to see what conclusions people come to who have read our back-and-forth discussion after the original post. I hope they've enjoyed it and found it to be of value.
       
      If I may, there are certain things you've stated regarding my thoughts that I need to clarify, as I feel you have unintentionally misunderstood and taken out of context.
       
      Where you say:
       
      Annieb wrote: "I think that is always the red herring to people who are anti-government."
       
      Bob responds: I am *not* anti-government, nor have I ever claimed to be. I am for a government that upholds it's legitimate Constitutional functions in protecting its citizenry from force and fraud. That is *not* anti-government.
       
      And, I *must* comment on this statement where you said:
       
      Annieb wrote: "Government (people) freed slaves."
       
      Bob responds: Annie, government *allowed* slavery to happen and go on in our country for 200 years before freeing them. The government (first England's of which we were a colony and then our own) failed miserably in protecting the rights of individual black men and women. And, remember, even after slavery was ended, the government allowed "Jim Crow Laws" and for over 100 years did a terrible job of protecting our black brothers and sisters from violence. And when you say government *gave* women the right to vote, government can not *give* rights. Those rights are natural, women should have always had them, and government should have protected women's rights from the beginning.
       
      Annieb wrote: "You really did not offer any examples of government interference, you just complained about it."
       
      Bob responds: It was one blog post and it was principle-based; not a litany of examples. There are hundreds of thousands of non-sensical, politically-based laws on the books (with millions and millions of pages) that harm much more than help.
       
      Obviously, you believe in big government and that it is the solution. I believe that big, intrusive  government is the cause of much of our problems. Greece and other countries are experiencing it full-force right now and our big government policies (on both sides of the aisle) are bringing us close to that situation, as well. But, I'm certainly not going to change your mind.
       
      As I read through much of your last letter to see if there was anything else to comment on, I saw that we simply look at things from two very different points of view.
       
      The last thing I'll comment on is where you wrote:
       
      Annieb wrote: "I hope you will research Maslow a little better, I think you misunderstood him."
       
      Bob responds: Yes, I noticed that bothered you and I should have acknowledged that in my last response. Annie, I had simply written my original comment lazily. I understand the hierarchy. I don't imagine there are many people today who haven't read him at least on a surface level. I assumed you knew what I meant but that was indeed totally my fault in not being clearer in my original statement about that.
       
      Again, thank you for the conversation. I appreciate your time and kindness.

    45. Okay, Bob.  I will let you have the last word since your such a nice man.  Thank you for the conversation.  I love a good debate! 🙂

    46. Well said. I am facing a bureaucrats who is wasting my time the last two days. I could have been much more productive, but I'm asked to write a report that they won't read.

    47. Well said. I am facing a bureaucrats who is wasting my time the last two days. I could have been much more productive, but I'm asked to write a report that they won't read.

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