Orrin Woodward Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

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    Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Leadership. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.




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Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

Financial bondage is a form of slavery.

Financial Fitness Pack is Breaking Sales Records

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 18, 2014

The Financial Fitness Pack (FFP) is LIFE Leadership‘s #1 selling product. Why? Because practically everyone you talk to can benefit from applying the step-by-step principles taught in the FFP program. Understanding the Offense, Defense, and the Playing Field for financial success is essential to free a person from financial bondage.

To share the value of the FFP program to improve lives, CEO Chris Brady and his LIFE Leadership staff produced an amazing video that interviews leaders who have applied the principles. Where else can your customer purchase a life-changing financial program that pays for itself (it’s only $99 for crying out loud) from what most people save on interest debt alone! To truly be free, one must be free economically, politically, and spiritually. The FFP points a person onto the path to financial freedom.

In fact, many of LIFE Leadership‘s customers have converted to members after realizing they are saving enough from the FFP information (defense) to start funding their own business (offense). This is why I love LIFE Leadership so much. While most alleged “leaders” in society  are bantering back and forth pointing out who is to blame, the LIFE leaders are progressively changing their own lives so they can inspire others to change.

LIFE will model and message the proper principles in each area of life to help people solve life challenges rather than be frozen in fear because of them. This is why I am so proud to be in business with the LIFE Leadership community.

To purchase a Financial Fitness Pack and begin the journey to financial freedom click here.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 16 Comments »

Western Civilization’s Debt Trap

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 11, 2014

Western Civilization is in the midst of a life and death struggle with its monetary system. The financial elites have bound society with the most oppressive monetary system ever created, where over 90% of the money supply exists through debt. This is a recipe for disaster as people, companies, and governments at all levels are chronically insolvent.

Money Supply Explodes Without Gold Standard

Money Supply Explodes Without Gold Standard

While reform of the total monetary system is essential, individuals should not wait for global reform to begin household reform. Indeed, the best thing for each person to do is launch a financial revolution where he lives below his means and wipes out ALL of his debt. This includes student loans, car loans, and even mortgages. In the process of wiping out out personal debt, one also reduces the money supply created by that debt.

It’s really a simple, but not easy choice. Does society want products and services so badly that it will sell itself into debt-slavery in order to obtain them? Or, on the other hand, can society learn to apply the three keys to wealth to its finances by taking a longer term perspective, delaying its gratifications for trinkets, and start leveraging the effects of compounding to its benefit.

Sadly, our society does the opposite today by viewing everything in the short-term, desiring instant gratification, and having compound interest work against them. LIFE Leadership has committed to play its part in helping people, companies, and governments get out of debt by applying the proper principles of financial management. Indeed, it all starts with the individual. When a person decides to end his debt-enslavement, he becomes the model for others to follow. The Financial Fitness Pack has already helped thousands of people terminate their debt and it can help others do the same. Are you sick and tired of running out of money before running out of month?

The financial debt matrix is real and continues to grow. Ignorance only imperils one’s financial health. British monetary reformer Michael Rowbotham explained the effects of the debilitating debt system upon Western Civilization when he wrote:

The reason for all this monetary scarcity and insolvency is that the financial system used by all national economies worldwide is actually founded upon debt. To be direct and precise, modern money is created in parallel with debt. The reason for the failure of economists to question patently invalid monetary data becomes clear – there is a total acceptance by them of the most extraordinary method for supplying money to the modern economy.

The creation and supply of money is now left almost entirely to banks and other lending institutions. Most people imagine that if they borrow from a bank, they are borrowing other people’s money. In fact, when banks and building societies make any loan, they create new money. Money loaned by a bank is not a loan of pre-existent money; money loaned by a bank is additional money created. The stream of money generated by people, businesses and governments constantly borrowing from banks and other lending institutions is relied upon to supply the economy as a whole. Thus the supply of money depends upon people going into debt, and the level of debt within an economy is no more than a measure of the amount of money that has been created…

If a monetary system is invalid or flawed, then the entire economy is based on the mathematics of error, and must be riddled with the effects. If the financial system upon which our economies are built is defective, and yet monetary considerations dominate our economic decisions, should we be surprised if the results are less than satisfactory?

The major role played by bank credit, which forms over 95% of the money stock in most developed nations, suggests that it cannot but be implicated in these trends. This is further suggested by the way that banking has literally become the focal point of modern economic management, through manipulating interest rates. The stargazers of Whitehall and the Federal Reserve hold their councils, trying to tread the non-existent tightrope between growth and recession by debating quarter percentage-points of interest rates. Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, engagingly describes his task in controlling the American economy through adjusting interest rates as a matter of ‘taking the champagne away once the party has started’. Businessmen around the world hold their breath, measuring his every word, wondering what he will decide. There could be no greater indictment of contemporary financial economics than this; that a fluctuating financial digit on a single computer system in a single street in a single country should have the ability to dominate the economies of an entire planet…

The past thirty years are almost unique by comparison with the previous three centuries in the lack of attention that has been directed at debt and the financial system. Throughout the eighteenth century, there were repeated calls for reform. During the nineteenth century, excessive banking was held by many to be directly responsible for the waves of appalling poverty that swept Europe and America during a period of increasing industrialisation and agricultural development. In this century, during the depression of the 1930s, the financial system effectively seized up and brought virtual collapse to the economies of the world in an age which was, perhaps for the first time, obviously wealthy, and in which technology offered people real freedom as well as material prosperity. One observer judged that over 2,000 schemes for monetary reform were put forward at that time – all with a common theme in their outright rejection of the debt-based financial system as it then operated. The same system continues to this day, modified in small details, but unchanged in principle; and the recent financial crisis in Asia shows the potential for collapse still exists.

However the issue of economic volatility through booms, slumps, crises, and collapses has never been the sole point of criticism. It is the long-term trends that a debt-based financial system fosters which are most destructive. The most obvious of these is declining personal solvency. Mortgages support over 60% (£420 billion) of the money stock in the UK and over 70% ($4.2 trillion) in the US. Housing-debt statistics for the UK and the US show that there has been a dramatic decline in true home ownership as mortgages become higher and ever more widespread. There can be little question that relying upon housing debt to supply money to an economy lacks economic and political justification. However, taken in conjunction with the marked rise in commercial debt, mortgages have a knock-on effect. In an economy where the price of goods is elevated by commercial debt and consumer incomes are deeply eroded by mortgage debt, there is a persistent and subtle advantage given to low-quality, mass-produced goods, and growth is fostered in this direction. The persistent decline in product durability and the growth-culture of a rapacious consumer society can be directly traced to the debt-based financial system…

The more one explores the broad impact of debt, the more apparent it becomes that bank-credit constitutes a dysfunctional form of money. An economy based almost entirely upon bank-credit and debt experiences an intense drive for growth, regardless of need or demand. Bank credit engenders financial dependence, injects instability and fosters growth-distortions, both within an economy and throughout the international arena.

Reform of the debt-based financial system is clearly not a minor issue. It is not a matter of fiddling around with taxes, incomes and allowances to make things apparently more equal, more efficient, or perhaps more straightforward. Changing the debt-based financial system involves gradually altering the very foundations upon which national and international economics is based. Monetary reform is concerned with attempting to determine a new principle for the supply of money to an economy – the purpose being to create a supportive financial environment in which more constructive economic trends are allowed to emerge, and in which more benign systems of overall economic management become possible. 

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, LIFE Leadership | 17 Comments »

Robinson Crusoe: The Entrepreneur

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 16, 2014

Financial Fitness Pack

Financial Fitness Pack

This is part 2 of Hernando de Soto’s enlightening example of the savings process role in a non-State-interventionist’s free market economy.  LIFE Leadership has taught, since its inception, the three keys to wealth (1. Long term Vision; 2. Delayed Gratification; 3. Utilize the Power of Compounding). Unfortunately, the State does not follow these concepts and, since 1913, it has rarely attempted to apply these principles. Instead, it chooses inflation, taxation, and debt accumulation, seeking short-term bandaid fixes while the underlying issues become a greater risk to society’s future.

Needless to say, the current lack of long term vision, delayed gratification, and positive power of compounding must be changed. I believe the only way to change the political process is to change the thinking of the populace. Instead of demanding the State take care of everything, what if we put the State on a fixed budget and demanded they balance it? Imagine someone in Washington having to balance the budget like practically every household in the world must.

The State must end the temporary stopgaps (printing money and debt growth) which only mortgage our children’s financial futures to satisfy the State’s financial lunacy.

What can we do? We can start by displaying financial literacy in our own home by applying the principles from the LIFE Leadership Financial Fitness Pack. On a weekly basis, I am receiving letters, emails, and LIFE Lines describing how the Financial Fitness Pack has changed their financial future. Indeed, how can we criticize the financial mess in Washington until we model the proper behavior personally?

Let’s lead our homes first and then find leaders who will do the same in every branch of government.

If you have applied the principles from the Financial Fitness Pack and have achieved progress in your personal financial situation then please share a comment below.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Robinson Crusoe’s production process, like any other, clearly arises from an act of entrepreneurial creativity, the actor’s realization that he stands to benefit, i.e., he can accomplish ends more valuable to him, by employing action processes which require a longer period of time (because they include more stages). Thus action or production processes yield capital goods, which are simply intermediate economic goods in an action process whose aim has not yet been reached. The actor is only willing to sacrifice his immediate consumption (i.e., to save) if he thinks that by doing so he will achieve goals he values more (in this case, the production of ten times more berries than he could gather by hand).

Furthermore Robinson Crusoe must attempt to coordinate as well as possible his present behavior with his foreseeable future behavior. More specifically, he must avoid initiating action processes that are excessively long in relation to his savings: it would be tragic for him to run out of berries (that is, to consume all he has saved) halfway through the process of producing a capital good and without reaching his goal. He must also refrain from saving too much with respect to his future investment needs, since by doing so he would only unnecessarily sacrifice his immediate consumption. Robinson Crusoe’s subjective assessment of his time preference is precisely what enables him to adequately coordinate or adjust his present behavior in relation to his future needs and behavior.

On the one hand, the fact that his time preference is not absolute makes it possible for him to forfeit some of his present consumption over a period of several weeks with the hope of thus being able to produce the stick. On the other hand, the fact that he does have a time preference explains why he only devotes his efforts to creating a capital good he can produce in a limited period of time and which requires sacrificing and saving for a limited number of days.

If Robinson Crusoe had no time preference, nothing would stop him from dedicating all of his efforts to building a hut right away (which, for example, might take him a month minimum), a plan he would not be able to carry out without first having saved a large quantity of berries. Therefore he would either starve to death or the project, out of all proportion to his potential saving, would soon be interrupted and abandoned. At any rate, it is important to understand that the real saved resources (the berries in the basket) are precisely the ones which enable Robinson Crusoe to survive during the time period he spends producing the capital good and during which he ceases to gather berries directly.

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | 9 Comments »

LIFE Leadership Financial Fitness Pack

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 27, 2013

Financial Fitness Pack

LIFE Leadership is proud to present its new Financial Fitness Pack. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet tens of thousands of people and one of the biggest challenges facing North Americans today is the lack of financial intelligence. Increasingly, people are placed into the bondage of compound interest, late bills, and financial stress. Thankfully, there is a way out of the financial morasse through applying the proper principles over time. In other words, applying financial wisdom to one’s life.

The Financial Fitness Pack teaches a proper perspective on money along with the offense and defense of finances. Indeed, a person can make money, but without a proper money mindset, it will not last. Likewise, frugality alone will not create wealth without understanding the offense of finances. In my twenty plus years of LIFE Coaching, I have never seen all the components of financial success collected into one pack like this. In fact, I believe the Financial Fitness book is the best book on finances period!

The fact that LIFE Leadership can offer the financial book, the workbook, and eight audios for under $100 is a testament to the desire of its founders to truly make a difference. For it is practically impossible for a person to leave a legacy when debt is strangling him or her. The Financial Fitness pack offers a path to financial freedom for those with the willingness to learn and the diligence to apply.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

makethumbnail

Posted in Finances, LIFE Leadership | 21 Comments »

John Law: Paper Money & Inflation

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 24, 2013

John Law has been called a knave, fool, and an evil genius. Probably all are true in some sense, but probably most accurately, he is another person who sought utopia in something for nothing (SFN). Printing money is not the same as producing goods. Somehow, however, the lure of SFN, continues tempting governments to print paper and call it real value by government fiat. Simply stated, this results in a devaluing of all the money in the system, making every productive citizen a loser by the government’s unconscionable actions. Nonetheless, inflationary policies, like printing fiat money along with the newer methods involving digits on the computer screen, continue to bilk billions from hard-working Americans.

Most Americans know little about the underlying principles of inflation, but intuitively, they wonder why they work harder every year and yet seem to get further behind. In an effort to educate North America on the evils of inflation, I will share a portion of an article from Adam Hamilton. This article wonderfully explains one of the best documented cases of inflation on record – John Law and France in the 18th century. To truly create a LeaderShift, we must learn what the State is doing to our money, economy, and freedoms. LIFE Leadership is monthly providing CDs, books, and seminars to educate North Americans on their history, liberties, and the need for leadership.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership

There are many fabulous examples of this phenomenon throughout history, including Germany after the First World War.  One of the most entertaining ones surrounds the British rogue John Law in the early 1700s.  John Law was forced to flee England in order to avoid prosecution for some alleged crimes.  He traveled around Europe and eventually settled in France, where his powerful personality, incredible mind, and command presence ultimately brought him to the attention of the King of France.

Law convinced the King and the French monetary authorities that in order to have a perpetual business boom, all they needed to do was print enough fiat currency so that business was assured of having access to the capital it needed.  Law stated that a stable gold-backed currency, which by its very nature stops meddlesome government bureaucrats from living beyond their means, was too archaic and far inferior to his new fiat currency theme.  He assured the French ruling class that because the government would print money when more was needed and buy it back when there was a surplus of money, that there would not be inflation and business would have the optimum amount of capital to thrive.  Unfortunately, the French powers that be bought into Law’s inflationist plan and executed the necessary monetary policy to make it happen.

Initially, Law’s plan seemed to be working brilliantly.  In the 1720s, France experienced an incredible boom as vast amounts of new fiat capital flowed into the existing markets.  Prosperity seemed to be everywhere, and the French stock market was exploding.  Soon, ordinary folks were quitting their jobs to hang out on the street where securities were traded and they became day traders.  Charles Mackay reports in his 1841 magnum opus “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” that one deformed hunch-backed man made large amounts of money renting out his slumped back as a mobile writing table for the frenzied stock jobbers buying and selling French equities on the street!  The wild stories that came out of this particular mania are endlessly fascinating!

John Law became the most famous and loved man in France, accruing enormous wealth for himself.

He then convinced the French government to join him in forming a company to develop the fabled wealth of the Mississippi River, of which the French controlled the gateway with their colony of New Orleans.  The Mississippi company was floated and everyone in France wanted to own shares of this hot new IPO.  They were convinced that they would be able to retire in a year or two because of the legendary wealth that the Mississippi company would generate.  Like hungry sharks boiling around a wounded whale, the people of France started a bidding war that propelled the Mississippi company stock and other French equities to dazzling heights.

Of course, since France was printing inherently worthless fiat money with both hands, the prices of everything in France were rising dramatically.  Gresham’s Law, the timeless axiom that bad money drives good money out of circulation, came into full effect.  Gold coins were hoarded and smuggled out of France, and paper fiat currency was spent as rapidly as it was received.  Eventually the gold hemorrhage became so bad that the French government, on John Law’s advice, outlawed gold.

In the meantime, like all exponential parabolic manias, the French bubble soon collapsed.  The aftermath of the disastrous inflationary policy of creating money out of nothing was brutal, and the Mississippi Scheme is one of the most widely studied speculative manias and bubbles in all of history.  The country of France and the French people bore the consequences of this monetary inflationary nightmare for decades, and some would argue France has never regained the prominence it had before the greatest inflationist of all time, John Law, took the reigns.

The man whom kings used to wait to consult was widely known as the “eldest son of Satan” in France after the bitter fruit of rampant fiat monetary expansion became apparent.  Provocatively, reading accounts of the Mississippi Mania in France and its sister South Sea Bubble in England, which arose at the same time, is eerie in that the parallels with the US NASDAQ tech bubble of early last year are startling and profound.  The lessons of history are never learned by governments and they continually repeat these same mistakes.

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty | 31 Comments »

Claude Hamilton: Financial Commonsense

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 17, 2012

Claude Hamilton shares some commonsense principles of finances. Claude has become one of the top leaders within the LIFE Business because he is mentally hungry to learn and grow. With the LIFE Business Compensation Plan, people gain earn while they learn. 2012 was a great year and I hope everyone is setting their resolutions for 2013 to make it the best year of their life! Here is Claude’s video.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in All News, Finances | Tagged: | 26 Comments »

Ludwig Von Mises Predicts Credit Crisis

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 18, 2012

Updated: After finishing Too Big to Fail by Andrew Sorkin, I had to update this post!

If the 1989 breakup of the Soviet Bloc countries didn’t humble all the Keynesian economists, then the 2007 credit-crisis finished the process. The Keynesian economists were confronted, yet again, with the difference between economic law and the fallacies bandied about in their numerous textbooks.

First, the Keynesians, with the communist bloc in near starvation, learned that communism didn’t work – something Mises had pointed out eighty years previous. Mises irrefutable theoretical answers – he proved that without a free market there was no price system; therefore, no economic calculations were possible – are now confirmed with hard data from the numerous failed communistic nations. China, shockingly, has more economic freedom than the United States today! This is what happens when America continues to dabble in Keynesianism (socialism light) and China, in an effort to improve results, rejected hard-line communism in favor of free-enterprise concepts. The world truly has been turned upside down. :)

Second, the Keynesians learned the banking system is a “house of cards,” surviving on a “confidence game,” where only the insiders know how highly leveraged the banks truly are. Without the $1.1 trillion bailout (TARP) from the USA government, the banking system would have “dominoed to destruction” – Bear-Stearns to Lehman Brothers, to Merrill Lynch, to AIG, to Morgan Stanley, even Goldman-Sachs was on the precipice before TARP.  Andrew Sorkin’s book Too Big To Fail provides the reader with a front row seat and play-by-play descriptions of the events during the 2007-08 credit-crisis.

Third, and a preview of coming attractions, the Keynesians will learn that even all-powerful governments must obey economic law. They will witness a government “domino to destruction,” similar to banking systems near collapse; however, the governments have no one to backstop their violations of economic law and the collapse will be on a much greater scale. In other words, the government bailouts only delayed, rather than killed, the day of reckoning. The highly-linked leveraged debt dominos between countries are set up in precarious fashion. It will only take one country (Greece anyone?) to renege on its payments causing the next weakest country to follow suit, leading eventually to a world-wide economic collapse of the highly leveraged governments. 

For the overly taxed citizens, “Humpy-Dumpty’s” fall will upset the markets and livelihoods in the short term. But, over time, it will free citizen leaders to create market-place solutions, rather than submit to the unworkable Statist-Keynesian global mindset. Essentially, history will teach the Keynesian that their measures were the problem, not the solution as advertised. Only a few voices, mainly Ludwig Von Mises with a nod to Friedrich Von Hayek, predicted the cycle of inflationary spending in the early twentieth century! Truth, in other words, was right under the global powers noses over 100 years ago, but it was denigrated because it went against their desire for FREE money and increased Statist’s control. I wrote about this in my book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE on how the whole credit-crisis is symptomatic of a bigger issue: the character-crisis.

Remember, when the Big Banks and Big Government first proposed taking over our nations money system, it was to eliminate the credit cycles; however, truth be told, it didn’t eliminate cycles, but only delayed them, making the waves bigger and the destruction greater when they finally crash upon the economy. Thankfully for the modern power-pundits, the masses remain ignorant of the Federal Reserve’s dismal track record. Unaware of the danger, the people’s lethargy is the power-brokers’ best security, allowing the inflationary money scam to consistently rob the producers for the benefit of the exploiters.

Indeed, it must be asked: why doesn’t anyone stand for truth in today’s modern age? I believe a huge part of it is that few people believe in truth anymore, and of the few who do, few are willing to do the heavy mental work involved to learn it. The goal of the Mental Fitness Challenge is to awaken people to the need for personal development and developing a foundation in which to learn, apply, and change oneself. Here is a fantastic article on Mises by Mark Spitznagel.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

By MARK SPITZNAGEL

Ludwig von Mises was snubbed by economists world-wide as he warned of a credit crisis in the 1920s. We ignore the great Austrian at our peril today.

Mises’s ideas on business cycles were spelled out in his 1912 tome “Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel” (“The Theory of Money and Credit”). Not surprisingly few people noticed, as it was published only in German and wasn’t exactly a beach read at that.


Taking his cue from David Hume and David Ricardo, Mises explained how the banking system was endowed with the singular ability to expand credit and with it the money supply, and how this was magnified by government intervention. Left alone, interest rates would adjust such that only the amount of credit would be used as is voluntarily supplied and demanded. But when credit is force-fed beyond that (call it a credit gavage), grotesque things start to happen.

Government-imposed expansion of bank credit distorts our “time preferences,” or our desire for saving versus consumption. Government-imposed interest rates artificially below rates demanded by savers leads to increased borrowing and capital investment beyond what savers will provide. This causes temporarily higher employment, wages and consumption.

Keynesian economics picture

Ordinarily, any random spikes in credit would be quickly absorbed by the system—the pricing errors corrected, the half-baked investments liquidated, like a supple tree yielding to the wind and then returning. But when the government holds rates artificially low in order to feed ever higher capital investment in otherwise unsound, unsustainable businesses, it creates the conditions for a crash. Everyone looks smart for a while, but eventually the whole monstrosity collapses under its own weight through a credit contraction or, worse, a banking collapse.

The system is dramatically susceptible to errors, both on the policy side and on the entrepreneurial side. Government expansion of credit takes a system otherwise capable of adjustment and resilience and transforms it into one with tremendous cyclical volatility.

“Theorie des Geldes” did not become the playbook for policy makers. The 1920s were marked by the brave new era of the Federal Reserve system promoting inflationary credit expansion and with it permanent prosperity. The nerve of this Doubting-Thomas, perma-bear, crazy Kraut! Sadly, poor Ludwig was very nearly alone in warning of the collapse to come from this credit expansion. In mid-1929, he stubbornly turned down a lucrative job offer from the Viennese bank Kreditanstalt, much to the annoyance of his fiancée, proclaiming “A great crash is coming, and I don’t want my name in any way connected with it.”

We all know what happened next. Pretty much right out of Mises’s script, overleveraged banks (including Kreditanstalt) collapsed, businesses collapsed, employment collapsed. The brittle tree snapped. Following Mises’s logic, was this a failure of capitalism, or a failure of hubris?

Mises’s solution follows logically from his warnings. You can’t fix what’s broken by breaking it yet again. Stop the credit gavage. Stop inflating. Don’t encourage consumption, but rather encourage saving and the repayment of debt. Let all the lame businesses fail—no bailouts. (You see where I’m going with this.) The distortions must be removed or else the precipice from which the system will inevitably fall will simply grow higher and higher.

Mises started getting some much-deserved respect once “Theorie des Geldes” was finally published in English in 1934. It is unfortunate that it required such a disaster for people to take heed of what was the one predictive, scholarly explanation of what was happening.

But then, just Mises’s bad luck, along came John Maynard Keynes’s tome “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” in 1936. Keynes was dapper, fresh and sophisticated. He even wrote in English! And the guy had chutzpah, fearlessly fighting the battle against unemployment by running the currency printing press and draining the government’s coffers.

He was the anti-Mises. So what if Keynes had lost his shirt in the stock-market crash. His book was peppered with fancy math (even Greek letters) and that meant rigor, modernity. To add insult to injury, Mises wasn’t even refuted by Keynes and his ilk. He was ignored.

Fast forward 70-some years, during which we saw Keynesianism’s repeated disappointments, the end of the gold standard, persistent inflation with intermittent inflationary recessions and banking crises, culminating in Alan Greenspan’s “Great Moderation” and a subsequent catastrophic collapse in housing and banking. Where do we find ourselves? At a point of profound insight gained through economic logic, trial and error, and objective empiricism? Or right back where we started?

With interest rates at zero, monetary engines humming as never before, and a self-proclaimed Keynesian government, we are back again embracing the brave new era of government-sponsored prosperity and debt. And, more than ever, the system is piling uncertainties on top of uncertainties, turning an otherwise resilient economy into a brittle one.

How curious it is that the guy who wrote the script depicting our never ending story of government-induced credit expansion, inflation and collapse has remained so persistently forgotten. Must we sit through yet another performance of this tragic tale?

Mr. Spitznagel is the founder and chief investment officer of the hedge fund Universa Investments LP, based in Santa Monica, Calif.

 

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty | 116 Comments »

Welfare Plus Warfare Equals Unfair

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 16, 2012

Welfare Plus Warfare Equals Unfair pictureAmerica’s leadership deficit may be the only thing bigger than Washington’s budget deficit. Since FDR took over the presidential helm back in 1932, every president has supported either the Welfare State or the Warfare State. In truth, most have supported both! Consequently, the GNP to national debt ratio has surged embarrassingly close to banana republic levels. It seems America is determined to follow the course of the Roman Empire; eschewing the need for external enemies, America is collapsing as Rome did from within, riding the waves of poorly planned and executed internal policies.

On one hand, the Welfare State feeds, clothes, and houses people, which seems like a noble gesture until one understands learned helplessness. Why should men and women marry when the government will provide for mother and child without the father’s involvement. Fathers are freed from the responsibilities of raising a family that are essential in transforming males into men. This isn’t hypothetical as the percentage of children being born to unwed mothers has skyrocketed since the government began providing “help.” Communities across America ought to plead with government to stop helping them into learned helplessness and allow them to help the real charity cases locally.

On the other hand, the Warfare State recruits, trains, and supplies a military, which seems like a proper role of government until one understands the empire building methods of our current governments. Governments should protect their citizens from foreign invasion, but our current military adventures – military bases in nearly 150 countries – no longer seem like protection, but rather empire building. I am thankful for America’s military, and my dad served as a Green Beret; however, we cannot afford to allow our government to volunteer America’s military as the world’s police force for free, especially when we are beyond broke!

Each country must provide for its own military protection, ending our “allies” learned helplessness served up by America’s government at the taxpayers’ expense. Is there any country that is threatening to invade America currently? In contrast, how many countries is America threatening to invade? Like the old saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everyone looks like a nail. The Soviet Union – the bogeyman needed for a cold war – is no more, but America’s defense spending is alive and well. Despite trillions in deficits, our leaders feel the need to play empire at our country’s expense. Is there any sanity left in Washington, DC? Perhaps our current “leaders” ought to read George Washington’s thoughts on the principle of “entangling alliances.”

When one group provides for another that it is fully capable of providing for itself, both groups end up ruined – the first through increased spending and decreased productivity and the second through increased passivity and decreased productivity. This is the perfect lose/lose scenario, one in which our government specializes. :) How long must we ignore common sense and the lessons of history? Simply put, the government’s welfare and warfare strategies are unfair and unsustainable. Wake up, America, before it’s too late!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | 13 Comments »

Chris Brady: LIFE Videos

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 10, 2012

In this excellent video, Chris Brady, my good friend and co-founder of LIFE, speaks on the importance of a person’s view of money. How a person views money determines the actions he takes toward it. Brady has mastered the principles of money management and financial success. Everyone learns from experience; however, it is much quicker to learn from others’ experience. Each reader has a choice; he can learn from his own financial mistakes, or he can learn from leaders who have experience in that area. Chris Brady has wisdom and experience when it comes to making and keeping money. Enjoy the video and develop the proper money view.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

LIFE Island: Family & Friends

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 6, 2012

In 1998, I got this crazy dream. I had had many dreams that others thought were crazy at the time, but I had always believed they were fairly reasonable. Yet even I knew this particular dream was crazy! However, an important point about life is that if you’re not willing to dream crazy dreams, then crazy dreams will never come true for you.

Anyway, as an engineer at Delphi, a division of General Motors, I placed pictures on my cubicle wall of an in-house movie theater, houses on the lakes, properties with forests, and yachts, to name just a few. Each of the pictures was courageously pinned on the wall. I say courageously because when new engineers joined the Delphi division, they were given a tour of the facility. Without fail, one of the last stops was my cubicle to show them the crazy pictures I had on the wall. Sure they laughed at me while the tour guide explained again why engineers don’t live like this. I didn’t like it, but it only steeled my resolve. I figured that it was better for them to laugh at me while I kept my dreams than for them to stop laughing because I had surrendered my dreams.

As I reflect back, every single picture pinned on that wall came true. In fact, many of the PC members have accomplished the pictures today. Ok, there is one picture that still hasn’t been accomplished. It’s not that it hasn’t come true; it’s still just a work-in-progress. :) Some of you may have already guessed what that dream is: LIFE Island. I remember hesitating when I placed the island picture on the wall; I didn’t take placing a picture lightly because I knew it was a commitment made to myself to follow through, and this island picture was a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG (as Jim Collins calls it). Many times, I stared at that island dreaming of the day when a fleet of yachts would travel from Florida (yes, I had a Florida property on the wall) to the island.

There are two types of people reading this article. The first group will think I am crazy to dream a BHAG of this magnitude, believing there’s no way the LIFE community can achieve that. The ones in the second group, in contrast, will study the picture and feed their elephant minds. This group understands Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s proclamation, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” This article won’t teach a person how to build a LIFE business; instead, it is an expression of fourteen years of longing for an island to enjoy with my family and friends.

Can anyone else imagine the evening picnics at the beach park, cookouts, volleyball, horseshoes, and late-night conversation around the firepit all while enjoying the beautiful views and listening to the ocean surf behind us? Community and fellowship are essential for the picture I have envisioned. I can see the fleet of PC yachts making its way into the LIFE Island harbor. Laurie and I greet people as they disembark from their private yachts and ready themselves for several months of R&R on the island. As you step off your yacht, you realize that every plan, every challenge, every year was worth the effort required to achieve this victory.

The aroma of freshly grilled steaks, chicken, and fish permeates the air as you mingle among friends. Freshly squeezed fruit juices tease your taste buds as you recalibrate yourself to the island tempo. Imagine Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, and their lovely brides looking you in the eyes and welcoming you to the dream-come-true LIFE Island. Later, many will walk the island trails for the first time—speechless as they realize that the dream they have yearned for, the dream they have worked for, the dream they have struggled for has finally come true.

I know; I know—I must be crazy. I have been hearing the same thing for years now. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about BHAGs, it’s that if it doesn’t take your breath away, then it’s not a BHAG at all. This dream has always (and still does) taken my breath away! Today, by posting this picture, I am officially launching the quest for LIFE Island. Consider this blog as my new office wall. Go ahead and look at the picture. Now that you have seen it, here is my question: Which group do you belong to? One group will laugh now but live with the pain of sacrificed dreams later; the other group will sacrifice now but live with friends on an island of dreams later.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Walker Cay picture

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Life Training, Orrin Woodward | Tagged: , | 62 Comments »