Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership

NY Times/WSJ best-selling author Orrin Woodward shares his life leadership secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

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    Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of LeaderShift, Launching a Leadership Revolution, and sold over one million books on leadership and liberty. His first solo book 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 has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business. 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 ‘Freedom/Liberty’ Category

Without freedom, there is no leadership.

Ancient Greece’s Power Pendulum

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 19, 2014

The Six Duties of Society (SDS) and the Five Laws of Decline (FLD) are present in every human society because it the seeds of both processes are inherent within the human heart. LIFE Leadership is a company that focuses on expanding the SDS and restraining the FLD. In a similar fashion, every successful society rises under the impetus of the SDS and eventually falls when the FLD kill it.

I promise that anyone who reads history with an SDS and FLD mindset will see it everywhere. For instance, the following video about the Greeks and the Power Pendulum is from a talk I gave last year. Listen to the video and tell me where else you have seen the FLD working within society.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 1 Comment »

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 | 6 Comments »

Robinson Crusoe the Capitalist?

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 14, 2014

Jesus Huerta de Soto

Jesus Huerta de Soto

In Hernando de Soto’s fantastic book Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, he uses a simple example from Robinson Crusoe to explain how savings is essential for the free enterprise process. Understanding these concepts at the simplest levels helps one decipher the more complicated cases in today’s modern economies. I have spent the last year really studying the fractional reserve banking (FRB) methods and now realize the highly inflationary nature of this process.

Unfortunately, the modern State’s marriage to the banking system has only exacerbated the ill effects of FRB by juicing the whole process with fiat money created through the central banks. Thus, the money supply grows precipitously during the Boom process and banks enjoy massive profits until the borrowers (both business and consumers) realize their inability to repay the debts at the now inflated prices cause the the monetary expansion. Of course, this leads to the Bust when debt defaults rapidly reverse the FRB monetary expansion.

LIFE Leadership is just months away from releasing my new book And Justice for All that reveals the SDS and FLD and how they interact within society. Increasingly, entrepreneurs are failing because they can no longer make accurate predictions based upon current prices thanks to the Boom/Bust FRB cycles. With that said, however, I am not a doom and gloom person as I believe the truth sets you free. It’s time for We the People to learn, live, and apply truth in the areas of finances (both personally, professionally, and societally) and restore the American (along with every other societies) Dream for the next-generation.

Here is part I of a two part series.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The sine qua non for producing capital goods is saving, or the relinquishment or postponement of immediate consumption. Indeed in an action process the actor will only be able to reach successive and increasingly time-consuming intermediate stages if he has first sacrificed the chance to undertake actions which would produce a more immediate result. In other words, he must give up the achievement of immediate ends which would satisfy current human needs (consumption).

To illustrate this important concept, we will use the example given by Böhm-Bawerk to explain the process of saving and investment in capital goods carried out by an individual actor in an isolated situation, such as Robinson Crusoe on his island. Let us suppose that Robinson Crusoe has just arrived on his island and spends his time picking berries by hand, his only means of subsistence. Each day he devotes all of his efforts to gathering berries, and he picks enough to survive and can even eat a few extra daily.

After several weeks on this diet, Robinson Crusoe makes the entrepreneurial discovery that with a wooden stick several meters long, he could reach higher and further, strike the bushes with force and gather the necessary berries much quicker. The only problem is that he estimates it could take him five whole days to find a suitable tree from which to take the stick and then to prepare it by pulling off its branches, leaves, and imperfections. During this time he will be compelled to interrupt his berry picking. If he wants to produce the stick, he will have to reduce his consumption of berries for a time and store the remainder in a basket until he has enough to survive for five days, the predicted duration of the production process of the wooden stick.

After planning his action, Robinson Crusoe decides to undertake it, and therefore he must first save a portion of the berries he picks by hand each day, reducing his consumption by that amount. This clearly means he must make an inevitable sacrifice, which he nevertheless deems well worth his effort in relation to the goal he longs to achieve. So he decides to reduce his consumption (in other words, to save) for several weeks while storing his leftover berries in a basket until he has accumulated an amount he believes will be sufficient to sustain him while he produces the stick. This example shows that each process of investment in capital goods requires prior saving; that is, a decrease in consumption, which must fall below its potential level.

Once Robinson Crusoe has saved enough berries, he spends five days searching for a branch from which to make his wooden stick, separating it from the tree and perfecting it. What does he eat during the five days it takes him to prepare the stick, a production process which forces him to interrupt his daily harvest of berries? He simply consumes the berries he accumulated in the basket over the preceding several-week period during which he saved the necessary portion from his handpicked berries and experienced some hunger. In this way, if Robinson Crusoe’s calculations were correct, at the end of five days he will have the stick (a capital good), which represents an intermediate stage removed in time (by five days of saving) from the immediate processes of the berry production (by hand) which up to that point had occupied him.

With the finished stick Robinson Crusoe can reach places inaccessible to him by hand and strike the bushes with force, multiplying his production of berries by ten. As a result, from that point on his stick enables him to gather in one-tenth of a day the berries he needs to survive, and he can spend the rest of his time resting or pursuing subsequent goals that are much more important to him (like building a hut or hunting animals to vary his diet and make clothes).

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 20 Comments »

Anti-Federalist Fears are Today’s Reality

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 8, 2014

The Federalist/Anti-Federalist debates at the founding of America have some of the best insights into government and society that have ever been written. Unfortunately, few have read both sides of the debate. I am working on a book project that will provide the main points from both sides and discuss where history has proven each side right.

LIFE Leadership is about providing truth for one to learn how to think and reason in order to better his/her life. I am so thankful I get to do what I do with the greatest compensated community and customer base in the world! :) Below is a short segment from the upcoming work.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The Anti-Federalist

The Anti-Federalist

“[C]onstitutions are not so necessary to regulate the conduct
of good rulers as to restrain that of bad ones.”
—Robert Yates (Brutus), Anti-Federalist

What the Anti-Federalists Had to Say

The Anti-Federalists had a number of very important things to say about the powers of the sword and the purse. For example, as one Anti-Federalist wrote in the Pennsylvania Minority Report: “[T]he new government will not be a [cooperation] of states, as it ought, but one consolidated government, founded upon the [federal control] of…the states…”

In other words, one huge problem with the Constitution was that it gave too much power to the federal government, swinging the nation in the direction of Coercion—as I have already discussed. But the really interesting thing is exactly how the Pennsylvania Minority Report predicted that this would happen:

The Federalists

The Federalists

“The powers of Congress under the new constitution, are complete and unlimited over the purse and the sword, and are perfectly independent of, and supreme over, the state governments, whose intervention in these great points is entirely destroyed. By virtue of their power of taxation, Congress may command the whole, or any part of the property of the people.

“They may impose what imposts upon commerce; they may impose what land taxes, poll taxes, excises, duties on all written instruments, and duties on every other article that they may judge proper; in short, every species of taxation, whether of an external or internal nature is comprised in section the 8th, of article the 1st [of the Constitution], viz., ‘The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States.”

This was a major concern for the Anti-Federalists. They predicted that the federal government would use the power of the sword as an excuse to increase the federal power of the purse, and then just keep increasing their powers until the federal government did much, much more than protect our national defense.

They saw that the federal powers of sword and purse would lead to federal involvement in every facet of our lives. This is exactly what happened.

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 17 Comments »

Jesus Huerta de Soto: Booms/Busts Part II

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 22, 2014

Here is part II of de Soto’s impressive summary of the Boom/Bust cycle at work in America. Those who fail to learn from history end up repeating it and American leaders seem intent on not learning from history. LIFE Leadership, on the other hand, is intent on teaching people the principles behind the processes at work within the world. I believe the more truth one applies to life, the more capable he/she becomes in navigating the rough spots.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Jesus Huerta de Soto

Jesus Huerta de Soto

At present, numerous self-interested voices are demanding further reductions in interest rates and new injections of money which permit those who desire it to complete their investment projects without suffering losses. Nevertheless, this escape forward would only temporarily postpone problems at the cost of making them far more serious later. The crisis has hit because the profits of capital-goods companies (especially in the building sector and in real-estate development) have disappeared due to the entrepreneurial errors provoked by cheap credit, and because the prices of consumer goods have begun to perform relatively less poorly than those of capital goods.

At this point, a painful, inevitable readjustment begins, and in addition to a decrease in production and an increase in unemployment, we are now still seeing a harmful rise in the prices of consumer goods (stagflation). The most rigorous economic analysis and the coolest, most balanced interpretation of recent economic and financial events support the conclusion that central banks (which are true financial central-planning agencies) cannot possibly succeed in finding the most advantageous monetary policy at every moment. This is exactly what became clear in the case of the failed attempts to plan the former Soviet economy from above.

To put it another way, the theorem of the economic impossibility of socialism, which the Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek discovered, is fully applicable to central banks in general, and to the Federal Reserve—(at one time) Alan Greenspan and (currently) Ben Bernanke—in particular. According to this theorem, it is impossible to organize society, in terms of economics, based on coercive commands issued by a planning agency, since such a body can never obtain the information it needs to infuse its commands with a coordinating nature. Indeed, nothing is more dangerous than to indulge in the “fatal conceit”—to use Hayek’s useful expression—of believing oneself omniscient or at least wise and powerful enough to be able to keep the most suitable monetary policy fine tuned at all times.

Hence, rather than soften the most violent ups and downs of the economic cycle, the Federal Reserve and, to some lesser extent, the European Central Bank, have most likely been their main architects and the culprits in their worsening. Therefore, the dilemma facing Ben Bernanke and his Federal Reserve Board, as well as the other central banks (beginning with the European Central Bank), is not at all comfortable. For years they have shirked their monetary responsibility, and now they find themselves in a blind alley. They can either allow the recessionary process to begin now, and with it the healthy and painful readjustment, or they can escape forward toward a “hair of the dog” cure. With the latter, the chances of even more severe stagflation in the not-too-distant future increase exponentially. (This was precisely the error committed following the stock market crash of 1987, an error which led to the inflation at the end of the 1980s and concluded with the sharp recession of 1990-1992.)

Furthermore, the reintroduction of a cheap-credit policy at this stage could only hinder the necessary liquidation of unprofitable investments and company reconversion. It could even wind up prolonging the recession indefinitely, as has occurred in Japan in recent years: though all possible interventions have been tried, the Japanese economy has ceased to respond to any monetarist stimulus involving credit expansion or Keynesian methods. It is in this context of “financial schizophrenia” that we must interpret the latest “shots in the dark” fired by the monetary authorities (who have two totally contradictory responsibilities: both to control inflation and to inject all the liquidity necessary into the financial system to prevent its collapse).

Thus, one day the Federal Reserve rescues Bear Stearns (and later AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac or Citigroup), and the next it allows Lehman Brothers to fail, under the amply justified pretext of “teaching a lesson” and refusing to fuel moral hazard. Then, in light of the way events were unfolding, a 700-billion-dollar plan to purchase the euphemistically named “toxic” or “illiquid” (i.e., worthless) assets from the banking system was approved. If the plan is financed by taxes (and not more inflation), it will mean a heavy tax burden on households, precisely when they are least able to bear it.

Finally, in view of doubts about whether such a plan could have any effect, the choice was made to inject public money directly into banks, and even to “guarantee” the total amount of their deposits, decreasing interest rates to almost zero percent.

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | 11 Comments »

Anti-Federalist Centinel IV

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 18, 2014

I have been reading the works of the Ant-Federalist and comparing them to the works of the Federalists. What an interesting dialogue between the American Founders. One of the more interesting Anti-Federalist works is from an author who called himself Centinel, rumored to be from Pennsylvania judge George Bryan and his Samuel. At any rate, Centinel is from a top thinker who saw the Constitution had propelled the Power Pendulum’s momentum out of chaos, through concord, and unfortunately into increasing coercion. Centinel even predicted a conflict between the states and Federal government to settle the questioned governmental sovereignty.

The prescience of the anti-federalist is rarely recognized in our Statist-loving culture today. Nonetheless, had the Federalist listened and applied some of the lessons offered, I believe the Articles of Confederation could have accomplished the goals of both sides and permitted America to enjoy concord for many generations. Instead, the growing political conflicts caused America’s Civil War, where after millions dead on both sides, the Federal government claimed ultimate sovereignty. Since that time, America has drifted into increasing coercion and the Founders would not even recognize the nation their ideas helped to birth.

LIFE Leadership is about learning lessons from the past to help us make better choices in the future.  Here is a portion of the Centinel for your reading pleasure.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Anti-Federalist Centinel

Anti-Federalist Centinel

It is a maxim that a government ought to be cautious not to govern overmuch, for, when the cord of power is drawn too tight, it generally proves its destruction. The impracticability of complying with the requisitions of Congress has lessened the sense of obligation and duty in the people and thus weakened the ties of the Union; the opinion of power in a free government is much more efficacious than the exercise of it; it requires the maturity of time and repeated practice to give due energy and certainty to the operations of government. …

I am persuaded that a due consideration will evince that the present inefficacy of the requisitions of Congress is not owing to a defect in the Confederation but the peculiar circumstances of the times.

The wheels of the general government having been thus clogged, and the arrearages of taxes still accumulating, it may be asked: What prospect is there of the government resuming its proper tone unless more compulsory powers are granted? To this it may be answered that the produce of imposts on commerce, which all agree to vest in Congress, together with the immense tracts of land at their disposal, will rapidly lessen and eventually discharge the present encumbrances. When this takes place, the mode by requisition will be found perfectly adequate to the extraordinary exigencies of the Union. Congress have lately sold land to the amount of eight millions of dollars, which is a considerable portion of the whole debt.

It is to be lamented that the interested and designing have availed themselves so successfully of the present crisis, and under the specious pretense of having discovered a panacea for all the ills of the people, they are about establishing a system of government that will prove more destructive to them than the wooden horse filled with soldiers did in ancient times to the city of Troy. This horse was introduced by their hostile enemy the Grecians by a prostitution of the sacred rites of their religion; in like manner, my fellow citizens, are aspiring despots among yourselves prostituting the name of a Washington to cloak their designs upon your liberties.

I would ask: How was the proposed Constitution to have showered down those treasures upon every class of citizens, as has been so industriously inculcated and so fondly believed by some? Would it have been by the addition of numerous and expensive establishments? By doubling our judiciaries, instituting federal courts in every county of every state? By a superb presidential court? By a large standing army? In short, by putting it in the power of the future government to levy money at pleasure, and placing this government so independent of the people as to enable the administration to gratify every corrupt passion of the mind, to riot on your spoils, without check or control?

A transfer to Congress of the power of imposing imposts on commerce, the unlimited regulation of trade, and to make treaties—I believe is all that is wanting to render America as prosperous as it is in the power of any form of government to render her; this properly understood would meet the views of all the honest and well-meaning.

Posted in Freedom/Liberty | 9 Comments »

The Federalist Era

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 6, 2014

I am reading a fascinating book on the Federalist Era by John Miller as part of my new book for LIFE Leadership. Miller does a great job of showing the strengths of both the Federalist and anti-federalist positions. The Federalist wanted a consolidated government to end state induced chaos. This was the right course, but in their haste to ratify the Constitution, they permitted the Power Pendulum to move further into coercion than most understood. In fact, the Federal government immediately began usurping sovereignty from the states beyond its written limits. Sadly, this dispute between those who supported Federal sovereignty and those who supported state-sovereignty was not resolved until America’s Civil War.

What is surprising to me is that the issues fought over during the Civil War were clearly present as early as 1790! In fact, Alexander Hamilton, the leader of the US treasury, drove three key issues through Congress – Debt Assumption, The US Bank, and Protective Tariffs – that were all designed to move power from the states into the Federal government. Let’s  study the history and see what leadership lessons we can learn from the Founders experiences. Here is Historian John Miller’s explanation of Hamilton’s vision:

Federalist Alexander Hamilton on Government

Federalist Alexander Hamilton on Government

In they heyday of their power under the Articles of Confederation, some states had assumed part of the federal debt. Now, in 1790, Hamilton proposed to turn the tables by assuming the state debts. As he visualized it, such an assumption would serve as a double-edged sword with which to strike at the roots of state sovereignty. In the first place, it promised to bring within the orbit of the Federal government all the state creditors, the most influential part of the community; secondly, it would relieve the states of the necessity of levying taxes, for if the Federal government took upon itself the payment of all the debts, it must perforce have all the revenue – and possessing the whole revenue it came into possession of the whole power of the Union. Deprived of the support of their wealthiest citizens and unable to exert their authority by means of taxation, the states, Hamilton fondly imagined, would gradually wither away and their strength would be absorbed by the Federal government.

Interestingly, Patrick Henry predicted the North’s banking and manufacturing interests plan of action during the Virginia ratification debates. He outlined the North’s plan for consolidation of the states into the Federal government well before the Constitution was ratified when he argued, “Not satisfied with a majority of legislative councils, they must have all our property. . . This is a contest for money as well as empire.” Henry, surpassed all the other founders in his knowledge of human nature. He intuitively understood that human beings run governments; therefore, governments cannot be given absolute power without endangering the life, liberty, and property of society’s members. In the Founders haste to ratify the new Constitution, few, if any, stepped back from the precipice to ponder why one of the greatest leaders of the recent revolution was against the Constitution. Indeed, had they truly listened to the Anti-Federalist main issues, American history would be radically different. Unfortunately, one of life’s key lessons is that one cannot beat something with nothing. Although Henry clearly delineated the Five Laws of Decline opening within the proposed Constitution, he did not offer a viable alternative.

In consequence, shortly after the Constitution was ratified, the issues Henry pointed out reared their ugly head within Congress. John Miller wrote, “In November, 1790, the Virginia legislature sent a Protest and Remonstrance to Congress in which assumption (of the state debts) was pronounced to be ‘repugnant to the Constitution of the United States’ and the funding (protective tariffs) system ‘dangerous to the rights and subversive of the interest of the people.’” Alexander Hamilton was upset at Virginia’s state-rights stance and responded accordingly as Miller wrote, “This development strengthened Hamilton’s conviction that a decisive showdown struggle between Virginia and the national government was inevitable, ‘This is the first symptom of the spirit which must either be killed or it will kill the Constitution of the United States,’ he told John Jay. Instead of sympathizing with Hamilton’s eagerness to force a showdown upon Virginia, Jay advised him to wait for the healing effects of time and statesmanship to demonstrate the benefits of the Constitution.’”

As a result, the main undercurrents of the issues that led to open conflict in the Civil War – slavery, Federal usurpation of state sovereignty, and the unfair distribution of taxes and rewards (tariff and National Bank stocks) – were at work by 1790. Since Jay believed that time was on the Federalist side and eventually would overcome state resistance, Jay counseled Hamilton to pursue his policies with caution and patience (not an easy course for the aggressive Hamilton). Disastrously, however, time did not heal the riff between the North and Sought. Indeed, both sides rejected compromises and the injustices mentioned above continued until the Civil War ended slavery. Because the Founders did not address and resolve the inconsistencies inherent within the Constitution, their sons and grandsons died in droves in the Civil War fulfilling Hamilton’s prophecy as Miller wrote, “While Hamilton reluctantly agreed to hold his hand, he was never persuaded that there was any permanent solution to the problem short of carving up Virginia and other large states in smaller jurisdictions.” This is exactly what occurred in the Civil War when West Virginia separated from Virginia. Unfortunately, the others (Federal control over states, central banking, and oppressive taxation) were not ended. In fact, the Federal government invented new forms of tyranny as their funding grew and the realism of the anti-Federalist proved more accurate than the the idealism of the Federalist. American oppression grew to levels inconceivable by even the most fearful of anti-federalist.

The genius of Alexander Hamilton was to recognize the incompatibility between a nation with divided sovereignty. True, a nation can divide the spheres of sovereignty, but it cannot have two parities (Federal and states) responsible for the same sovereignty issues. Hence, the Constitution was created with the seeds of its own destruction. Curiously, the American Founders, although they studied the Roman Republic extensively, missed the main lesson to be learned from them. Indeed, the Roman Republic failed because of the divided sovereignty issues between the people supported  Tribunes and the aristocratic Senate supported Counsels. They both, in essence, attempted to lead Roman society and the political conflicts eventually led to civil war. In the Roman Republic’s example, Caesar resolved the conflict in the people’s favor against the Senate. Strangely, America followed a similar course in its divided sovereignty issue between the states and federal government. The political conflicts of 1790 were resolved in America’s Civil War of 1860 when Lincoln settled the disputed sovereignty in the Federal government’s favor. In both instances, the republics ended and the empires began.

I believe the main leadership lesson to learn from the above is that one cannot leave issues unsettled to pass onto the next-generation. Leaders address and resolved issues – that is what they get paid to do. Hence, when issues arise, one cannot pass the buck, hoping some leader in the future fixes the issues. In essence, this is why I created LIFE Leadership because I am sick and tired of watching America’s future be mortgaged through excessive government spending and borrowing at the expense of liberty, prosperity, and integrity. Leaders cannot sit back and wait for others. Instead, they must change themselves so they can play a part in changing society. What part will you play?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in All News, Freedom/Liberty | 16 Comments »

The First US National Bank: Hamilton vs Jefferson

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 15, 2014

Thomas DiLorenzo shares how the First USA National Bank came into existence. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, two of the brightest and best American minds, disputed whether a national bank was within the boundaries of the Constitution. Unfortunately, for liberty’s sake, Hamilton won approval for the national bank and America tilted towards Statism. It is difficult to protect freedoms one does not understand. Hence, learning the early history of the American founding is a great start in understanding and defending the freedoms American’s hold dear. LIFE Leadership seeks to learn and share truth in the fields of leadership, liberty, and life.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Freedom/Liberty | 9 Comments »

Income Tax: The Goose and Golden Eggs

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 8, 2014

I am still plugging along on my new book. The long history of taxation has been both a treat and disappointment to me. On one side, it has been a treat to learn all the various methods that society has sought to check the exploitive State. On the other side, though, it has also been disappointing to realize how many times the State has won this contest against society. LIFE Leadership is a company on a quest to learn truth so it can be shared with others. The only agenda is truth, wherever that may lead in life. Understanding taxation is an important aspect of State/Society truth. More pointedly, understanding the Income Tax, that goose that has laid so many golden eggs for the State at society’s expense is essential. There are few areas in the history of mankind that have been subjected to more Five Laws of Decline outcomes than the taxation policies. Hence, let’s turn to the Income Tax in today’s blog.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

USA Income Tax Amendment

USA Income Tax Amendment

Income tax has proven to be the goose that lays the golden eggs for government. Although all governments, even those performing its limited and delegated role, need constant funding, the creation of income tax has led to the unlimited State. Indeed, expecting a limited-government to restrain itself when it has been handed the power to tax the people’s income indiscriminately is like expecting the local drunkard to restrain his drinking when he has a free pass for unlimited drinks from the local brewery. It cannot be emphasized enough that power is an insatiable drug and money is its means of purchase. Hence, any government given a practical unlimited ability to tax (restrained only by society’s rebellion or destruction) will use this power over the purse to build State Power by taxing Social Power. The State’s view of society is akin to a the shepherd over his sheep, namely, seeking to shear them as close as possible without slaughtering them. Montesquieu recognized the State and Social Power and Social symbiotic relationship when he wrote:

The revenues of the state are a portion of that each subject gives of his property in order to secure or to have agreeable enjoyment of the remainder. To fix these revenues in a proper manner, regard should be had both to the necessities of the state and those of the subject. The real wants of the people ought never to give way to the imaginary wants of the state. Imaginary wants are those which flow from the passions, and from the weakness of the governors, from the charms of an extraordinary project, from the distempered desire of vain glory and from a certain impotency of mind incapable of withstanding the attacks of fancy. Often has it happened that minsters of a restless disposition, have imagined that the wants of the state were those of their own little ignoble souls.

The State and society, however, have had an ongoing dispute over the definition appropriate, equitable, and just levels of taxation. Indeed, when John Marshall wrote, “the power to tax is the power to destroy”, he articulated why limiting government’s ability to tax is just as important as limiting as its sphere of operation. In fact, the only proven method for limiting the State has been by limiting its funds. For anytime the funds are available to do so, government’s “force hammer,” has routinely usurped its delegated boundary to becomes the exploiters agent of injustice. Accordingly, if society intends to enjoy its inalienable rights, it must minimize the level of taxation to a limited and equitable amount that permits the government to perform its delegated role. Anything above this minimum amount is dangerous to the inalienable rights of society’s members since government will seek to use these funds to interfere with the SDS. Unhappily, few societies have successfully walked this tightrope and thus why the FLD has historically thrived under government taxation schemes. Taxation has typically been used by the rulers to optimize their profits and power by providing special deals for the few funded by increased taxation upon the many. Tax historian Charles Adams wrote:

A government that taxes excessively is like a spouse that engages in adultery. Its destructiveness is usually not apparent until it is too late. . . A society can best be evaluated by examining who is taxed, what is taxed, and how taxes are assessed, collected, and spent. Those in control of the political process invariably bear lighter tax burdens than those on the outside. . . Taxes are forced exactions. The loss of money through taxation often enrages people and drives them to revolt. Governments, therefore, must face their tax management with the utmost prudence and wisdom. . . A government that shackles its people with grossly inequitable tax laws and despotic enforcement practices loses all moral persuasion with respect to compliance, and can hardly complain if its taxpayers resort to all kinds of schemes to protect themselves . . . The ethics then, of society’s tax policy should develop from two moral maxims: First, it is the duty  – the first duty – of every government to develop just and sound revenue systems. . . Second, it is the duty of every person to pay his (or her) fair share of the costs of maintaining the government that serves and protects them. 

Regrettably, the history of taxation reveals the inability of those in power to lightly shear society’s sheep. As the tax rates increase, the shearing transforms into slaughter as the the people are plundered mercilessly. Moreover, the increased taxes rob the people of the capital needed to grow the SDS. As a result, societal growth slows before it begins its inevitable decline. Although people can endure injustices for extended periods of time, they will not tolerate an unjust tax system indefinitely. If the FLD continues to expand within the tax system, then evasion, exile, and rebellion become the potential paths of action. But when the rebellion against the State’s oppression reaches a certain point, the SDS collapses as either chaos or coercion overthrows societal concord.

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Three Avenues of Societal Injustice

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 2, 2014

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the Six Duties of Society (SDS) chapter. The SDS are the six duties that every healthy society must have in order to prosper while the Five Laws of Decline (FLD) are the systematic method of exploitation used by the State in society. By understanding these two systemic processes, one can build laws to support the SDS and check the FLD. In effect, until this is done, society will never enjoy true justice for all. LIFE Leadership will be publishing my new book when its finished and I cannot wait to work with Chris Brady on videos and workbook to support it.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Making a Difference

Making a Difference

In reality, there are three main avenues of injustice within society. The first is the strong members of society oppressing the weak. Since man seeks the satisfaction of his wants with the least amount of effort, if plunder is unchecked within society, the strong will plunder the weak and injustice will reign. The second type of societal injustice occurs when the government uses its force-hammer outside its delegated and limited sphere of defense. Although society thrives under persuasion and only needs government’s force hammer to check potential exploitation, when this hammer enters other areas of society, the government itself becomes an agent of injustice as it pounds people in areas where persuasion is just. Not surprisingly, as government intervention grows, so does State Power at Social Power’s loss. Government’s force-hammer damages society anytime it is used in areas it doesn’t understand, doesn’t belong, and doesn’t help.

Remember, government is only designed for one specific function, namely, to protect the inalienable rights of society’s members. To achieve this, it is delegated the force-hammer to ensure potential exploiters refrain from unjust actions and choose, instead, to meet their needs through production rather than plunder. Government, in other words, is designed to defend society, not conquer it. The third type of injustice occurs in society when it is invaded and defeated by a stronger nation seeking plunder. The victors promptly increase State Power to systematically plunder the defeated society. The vanquished  society, however, still has methods to resist the systematic plunder of the conquerors. For as the oppressive State plunders the life, liberty, and property of the conquered society’s members, they respond in a predictable fashion. Even though they were defeated militarily, the are not defeated metaphysically. Thus, by simply reducing their productivity to the bare minimums necessary to survive, the “rob” the victors of the expected systematic plunder. In effect, how do you plunder someone who has nothing? As a result, when injustice abounds within a society, the people’s creativity and productivity respond accordingly.

Insofar as anything above sustenance level will just be plundered by the State, why would anyone produce anymore than the bare minimum. Evidently, the State believes when it maximizes oppression that it also maximizes plunder, but it simply isn’t so. Society’s members merely reduce their productivity as the State increases its tyranny. Indeed, if the State does not relax its oppression, the death of the parasitic State and its societal host is assured. This is a common theme for all historically oppressive societies. Nevertheless, the State exploiters seem incapable of learning from history by denying themselves in the short-term to gain from longer term exploitation. The reader might wonder why the State exploiters destroy the societies they plunder. The answer, again, is rooted in human nature. Although human beings may have limited needs, they also have unlimited wants.

As a result, when plunder is possible, the exploiters cannot seem to restrain their desire for just a little more. Society, of course, resist the injustice and the vicious cycle of increased exploitation and lower production eventually causes societal collapse. The death of the State and society naturally follows the increasing injustices aimed at the members inalienable rights. Indeed, this is what occurred in the Eastern Bloc communistic countries – oppressive injustices led to woeful production levels which sealed the State’s demise.

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