Is Porter Stansberry biting the hand that feeds?
Crux note: Earlier this week, an e-mail came across Porter Stansberry’s desk from a Stansberry Digest reader who said he “can’t wait for the day” when Porter might show a little gratitude toward the economic system that affords him so many opportunities… (Don’t hold your breath.)
Read on to see how Porter distinguishes American greatness from the current state of the U.S. government…
“Porter: I do admire the research organization you have put together. I find most of the FINANCIAL advice to be worthy of my time and money. But for a fellow who has been rewarded so richly by the capitalist system, and one who takes advantage of every little wrinkle in our system, you sure do slam the government at every opportunity under which you have been able to be rewarded.
“I think, regardless of your political leanings (which are very evident), you need to take a pause and thank somebody (besides yourself) for your birthright, being born and raised here in the United States. Unless you’re not well read, there is NO form of government or governed country in the world which provides all the things you imply you need. I strongly suggest you stop biting the hand that feeds you and come to appreciate the value of the luck you had in being born here.
“I feel pretty certain were you born and raised in Nigeria or Uzbekistan (or name any other of 137 countries in the world), you wouldn’t be carrying the tune you do about the role of government being so oppressive or unfair.
“I can’t wait for the day when I open my Stansberry publication and it is Porter stating how much gratitude he has for the economic system, despite its flaws, under which he was raised. That surely would be a show of strength on your part. Any chance of that ever happening? Good luck.”
Porter Stansberry: Thank you very much for your business and your compliment of my work. I’m grateful for the career our subscribers have given me. I “tap dance” to work every day.
But I must say, your comments about my “political” views are a little surprising. You see, I don’t have political views. I don’t favor political solutions, whether Republican or Democrat. I can’t recall ever voicing any support for either political party or any political leader.
You see, political solutions invariably involve coercion (force). And I believe that the initiation of force is objectively wrong.
Likewise, I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about when you accuse me of “biting the hand” that has “fed me.” That’s because you’re conflating our current federal government with benefits that have accrued to me because of our country and its people. That’s a common enough misunderstanding, but it’s one that I wish more people could discern.
So… let’s address that issue first.
Virtually all of the success I have enjoyed – in both my personal and professional life – has come as a result of the accomplishments and the sacrifices of other people. I have enjoyed the benefits of vast amounts of accumulated knowledge and capital.
Most important, I have benefited tremendously from a culture that has evolved traditions, such as property rights and contracts, marriage, limited representative government, freedom of speech, etc. These are things that most people in the West would simply call civilization, or perhaps common law.
You seem to imply that these benefits were created and enabled by the federal government, but that’s just not so. The truth is, our federal government is a corruption of these ideals.
But in any case, I agree with the sentiment that “I didn’t build that…” regarding my success in life and business. I merely stood on the shoulders of giants.
I had great parents. They taught me life’s most important lessons – the value of integrity and hard work. They gave me many lessons other parents didn’t have the discipline to teach, which was a tremendous advantage in life.
In terms of economic opportunity, my business partners and mentors – men like Steve Sjuggerud, Bill Bonner, Mark Ford, Doug Casey, Mike Palmer, and Dr. David Eifrig – taught me countless lessons about how to succeed in business. Again and again, they have stood behind me with their capital, knowledge, and friendship. I have been blessed beyond all reason by their loyalty. And of course, there are the hundreds of employees who have devoted their careers to building my companies. Without these people, the story of my life would be far different.
Finally, there’s the most important person of all in my life – my wife. She has given me the best years of her life, two children, and unconditional love, in good times and bad. When I met her, I had nothing – no wealth, no business experience, and little relationship experience. There was no particular reason to believe I could provide her with any financial stability, let alone wealth. And she still, to this day, doesn’t give a wit about having money. I am a very, very lucky man.
I know “I didn’t build this.”
But please, allow me to point out one important facet of this story that many folks who trumpet the “you didn’t build that” line seem to always ignore.
None of the people in my story, not a single one, was ever coerced into providing me with anything.
All of these people, to whom I owe all of my financial success and all of my emotional well-being, chose freely to provide me with everything I’ve needed to build my life and my company. Not a single employee was ever forced to work for me. Not a single subscriber was ever coerced into buying anything from us. As I’m sure you realize, you can’t make someone be your friend – much less your lifelong friend, mentor, business partner, key investor… or your wife.
These relationships and the benefits they brought me were entered into freely, as guided by mutual self-interest. In business, I was able to attract partners by treating my earliest partners generously. (I got my first business partner at about age 14, by trading Steve Sjuggerud access to a tiny beach cottage for a ride to the beach. We’re still doing business 30 years later.)
By rewarding my employees, I was able to retain them for many years and attract more and more talented people to our banner.
By returning the love, loyalty, affection, and generosity of my friends and family, I was able to sustain these relationships and attract more friends and eventually, a wife.
These are virtuous circles. Doing the right things, treating others well, and delivering value led to success in my life.
Your claim that I’ve been biting the hand that feeds me because I’m critical of our government ignores the most important factor in economics.
The government can’t give me anything it hasn’t first taken from someone else. The government doesn’t feed anyone, David. It merely redistributes what’s been stolen.
There is an enormous difference between the “win-win” transactions and relationships of the free market, where persuasion and mutual self-interest guide human action, and the “win lose” transactions of the State, which can only be enabled by force (coercion).
I abhor violence and coercion. Therefore, I oppose the federal government at every turn.
Was I lucky to be born in America? Yes, most certainly. Here, our country’s culture and much of its wealth is still protected by its people’s long tradition of freedom and common law. But we don’t owe these benefits to our government. Many decades ago, our government abandoned the idea of America. It virtually ignores the common laws and virtues that created our country. Lately, it doesn’t even seem to remember the pretense of civilization.
A few obvious examples…
Hear more on this topic in the latest episode of Stansberry Investor Hour.
Once, America stood for sound money, and our laws called for the death penalty for counterfeiting dollars. Today, our government controls the largest counterfeit operation history has ever seen (the Federal Reserve). Congress uses these counterfeit dollars to fund mind-boggling debts on future generations of Americans – taxes that certainly do not come with any representation.
Once, America stood apart from the petty rivalries and mindless violence of Europe’s princelings. We ensured our safety and sovereignty by allowing our citizens to arm themselves and by smartly avoiding the temptations of a standing army. In fact, our first president warned of becoming involved in foreign wars. Our most recent military president (Eisenhower) repeated those same warnings in the early 1950s.
But none of that tradition or wisdom has stopped our government from building the world’s most powerful (and expensive) standing army, a force that could destroy our entire planet several times over. We don’t even bother declaring war anymore… We simply attack any nation we seem confident to defeat. Most Americans don’t even know how many countries our military currently occupies, or the decisive role we play in propping up dictators around the world. (We have around 800 military bases in about 70 different countries.)
Why oppose the dominant institution in our society, an institution that routinely ignores its own laws and destroys the lives of people who try to oppose it?
Well, maybe… just maybe… someone reading this will begin to wonder why he believes what he does about our country and our government. Maybe someone reading will begin to think about who these beliefs serve.
If you start asking some basic questions, there’s a reasonable chance that before too long, you’ll find yourself wondering what the hell is going on in our country. Like… how did the government get the right to take more than half my income in taxes every year and take it out of my paycheck before I even see it? How did government employees gain the right to unionize and begin to control elections, ensuring that their pay and benefits would spiral ever higher to the point of bankrupting entire states?
Or… why did we rename the War Department the Department of Defense in 1949? Why haven’t we declared war ever since, despite launching half a dozen major wars of aggression? Speaking of war, why do we care who collects taxes in Vietnam, Korea, or Jerusalem?
Why does the U.S. dollar say “Federal Reserve Note”? Didn’t the dollar used to say “silver certificate“? Why did they make the new Federal Reserve Notes look exactly like the old Silver Certificates? And wait… isn’t a “Note” a debt? What does the Federal Reserve owe me? Why can I only pay my taxes in these notes? Why is the government allowed to print them? Why have wages (paid in these notes) not kept up with inflation since the early 1970s? Why does our currency no longer maintain any correlation with productivity in our economy?
Whose interest does paper money serve? Whose interests does the War Department serve? Whose interests does Congress serve?
I hope you’ll ask yourself these questions. I hope you’ll find out the real answers.
If you do, I’m sure you won’t conflate the greatness of our country with our current government. It is only the greatness of our country that, for the moment, sustains the cancer of our government… not the other way around.
And by the way, I’m certain that our country will outlive this government… which is rapidly destroying itself with policies that are un-American and unsustainable.
Crux note: Porter has been trying to warn you: An event is coming.
It’s coming from the inevitable consequences of our country’s debts… and the extreme measures the government will be forced to take to wipe them away.
It will devastate millions of unsuspecting Americans and wreak havoc on the U.S. financial system. That’s why Porter published a his book, The American Jubilee, to teach you everything you need to know to not just survive, but prosper.
Inside, you’ll learn which companies to avoid… the one financial asset you need to weather the crisis… one critical move you absolutely must make in your bank account… and much more. Get your copy for just $19 right here.