America needs true bipartisanship to fight the return of slavery around the world and right here at home. I built a business from scratch without any outside funding or partners that now employs 270 full time employees, and the study of economic and political systems has been a big factor in my success. Slavery comes in many disguises, but is at its root the loss of individual freedom to choose what to do with your life.
Prior to the industrial revolution, most of humanity lived in some form of slavery. In the UK, many individuals were forced to work the land as peasants who did not have the freedom to go work under a different lord. In Japan, serfs under feudal rulers similarly lacked freedom. Throughout Europe, craftsmen and many others worked in indentured servitude. And, of course, in many areas people worked as just plain slaves on plantations. Slavery in all its forms is truly evil as it takes away human freedoms.
Oil and coal were literally the fuel for the industrial revolution that helped to set large parts of humanity free from the bonds of slavery. Other forms of energy that came later were hugely beneficial as well: hydroelectric, nuclear, and now solar and wind power. These new forms of energy harnessed thousands of times more calories of energy than the human body produces and made slavery redundant.
Dictators, who enslave everyone in their society, are trying to reduce the energy available to gain more power. OPEC is a cartel run by dictators working together in Russia, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere to limit the amount of oil production. They destroyed America’s oil producing industry over the last decade by using slave labor to artificially lower the cost of production below profitability for the American businesses and cause them to go bankrupt. The dictators in China have used slave labor to artificially lower the cost of production and thus to bankrupt American manufacturing businesses. The World Trade Organization was meant to help reduce governments artificially bankrupting foreign businesses, but has been ineffective. Heavily taxing imports from countries that use subsidies or slave labor could help.
Reducing government regulations and restrictive policies on energy will allow the free market to work to produce a lot more and help to reduce global slavery. A lot of good ideas originally like the American clean air act and EPA that helped reduce pollution in the first couple of decades of their existence have now become all consuming bureaucracies that are choking off energy supplies and uses unnecessarily. It would be better to use the free market mechanisms of pricing and supply and demand perhaps in some form of carbon tax to control the pollution problems.
Oil dictatorships have put enormous funds into environmental groups that oppose nuclear and hydro power worldwide. The oil dictators know that solar and wind will never be able to replace the vast and constant power generation provided by oil, but that nuclear and hydro do replace oil. Over-regulation has choked off the nuclear industry even though it is the safest form of power ever invented; tens of millions of people globally die annually from pollution from oil but nuclear has had only a few dozen deaths ever. And hydroelectric is even safer and cleaner than nuclear. It is essential to remove all the bureaucracies that are smothering these clean forms of energy.
Electric vehicles are not a great option either yet because of fundamental physics… Even the theoretical maximum storage of the best batteries we have today is only 1/100th the energy storage of hydrocarbons. Look up the YouTube videos of electric trucks trying to pull a load, it just doesn’t work. We are going to need gas and diesel engines for the foreseeable future. The production of electric vehicles and their batteries also are extremely damaging to the environment, but that environmental damage is hidden out of sight in foreign countries currently. Power production for electric vehicles comes over our grid from coal and gas plants that simply shift the pollution out of sight while in some cases making the environmental damage even worse. A more complex system is more likely to fail than a simple system: a clean burning diesel engine without DEF and other add ons interfering with it’s performance is much better for the environment than a huge plant burning coal 200 miles away then transmitting that power with huge losses to a car with expensive batteries produced in huge toxic waste ponds.
We need many more railroads. America has completely lost the initial lead we have in efficient rail transport of goods. Goods and people transported by rail save the environment from enormous damages. It is far more efficient to have one very large diesel engine pulling a heavy load down nearly frictionless iron tracks then to have hundreds of little inefficient gas engine moving little trucks and cars. We need to streamline and simplify eminent domain and remove environmental reviews and other bureaucratic road blocks. We need to get consultancies and money wasters out of the way. Europe and Japan have highly efficient rail networks and America could too if we adjusted our policies.
We need to admit the failure of America’s war policy. Many great military minds from Caesar to Von Clausewitz to our modern American generals have pointed out that artificially limited war does not work. As Von Clausewitz pointed out, if we try to minimize bloodshed in war, an opponent will eventually come along that cuts our arms off. War should be avoided if at all possible, but if war is necessary it must be won even if that means American soldiers die and foreign civilians suffer massive collateral damage. The most humane war is the war most swiftly ended.
We also need to admit the failure of our policy of not setting up a new government ourselves in countries we defeat. Russia after the fall of communism, Iraq after the fall of its oil dictator, and Afghanistan after the fall of its religious dictatorship all show that existing factions can regain power easily if outside force is not used. The Romans brought peace and prosperity to the known world by first defeating a territory, then permanently annexing it into Rome. The people in these territories rejoiced as modern infrastructure like roads, aquaducts, civil buildings, and fair laws and open trade improved their lives. Think now of how much better off people in Puerto Rico and other American territories are because of our help and protection. Many areas of the American West that are now states first started as territories. We should have made Iraq and Afghanistan the 51st and 52nd states and auctioned off the assets to put into a trust for the people of those countries. All the little Afghani girls who trusted American promises to go to school would now be far better off. Instead, both countries are back under the control of the same oppressive warlords who hate freedom and America.
In the short run, we need to learn how to fight back against bullies again. I am opposed to most of Biden’s domestic policies, but I am very impressed with how he has helped the Ukrainians fight back against Putin. I am also impressed with his support of Taiwan against the Chinese dictatorship. I think we need to consider stronger support for these free nations, including giving them nuclear weapons so that they can put a stop to the nuclear blackmail that dictators are trying to use.
At home, Americans are falling towards slavery as we slowly lose individual freedoms to encroaching bureaucracies in government and business.
Americans themselves have been slowly losing a lot of individual freedom as government agencies and bureaucracies have ballooned out of control over the years. Every time we vote for a nice new law, we start out getting good results by mission focused workers. Then eventually the government workers settle in and it becomes a self perpetuating business. Finally, it devolves into a scam with enormous numbers of bureaucratic parasites defending their jobs at all costs while providing no value. I think the solution here is a bankruptcy process for government agencies, an automatic process to defund agencies after a period of time, and a competitive process where multiple much smaller agencies compete to achieve their goal as efficiently as possible.
Americans have been sold a lie by financiers and crooked businessmen over the last two decades… There is no such thing as a business that is too big to fail. We all know that many of the huge corporations in this country are bloated zombies that outright abuse their customers. Bankruptcy is sad in that it is the death of an organization, but is wonderful in that it clears room in the market for hundreds of new baby businesses to be born. We are becoming slaves to these huge corporations. Let them die. If there is a need in the market, new entrepreneurs will very quickly fill that spot.
Founders of businesses are often incredibly knowledgeable, hard working, and have rare specialized skills that no one else has. Financiers (private equity, venture capitalists, mergers and acquisitions folks) destroy the economic value founders bring when they buy their companies. As a founder myself, I recognize the siren call of millions of dollars and never having to work again, but this needs to be discouraged. When a founder is replaced by a financier, the company is now run by someone with a huge ego but no knowledge of the business in question. This usually leads to the failure of the business, but not before the financier has saddled it with debt and extracted all the profits possible by lying to employees and customers. I am not certain what the best solution is here, but it probably needs to be some form of tax or law reducing the incentive for a founder to sell out.
Slavery is returning to the world as dictators rise. Free nations need to use military intervention to topple corrupt dictatorships and to protect against raids from those dictators. Imagine a free and happy Russia where the KGB and the old communist warlords had not been allowed to retain power. Or if all of China was a highly productive and joyful free market democracy like Taiwan. Or a Saudi Arabia freely producing oil outside of OPEC and not committing genocide in Yemen and keeping indentured servants / slaves from India and the Philippines.
Remember – America itself is only free because we got a lot of military and financial support during the Revolutionary War from France and Spain! We need a truly bipartisan effort in America to fight for our freedoms domestically and to fight for freedom for people around the world.