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Career engagement advice from Arnold Kling:

Note Kevin Kelly’s succinct advice:

Don’t ever work for someone you don’t want to become.

My most succinct advice is: Work for a profit.

Young people assign high status to non-profits and low status to profit-seeking firms. The should do the opposite.

Profit-seeking firms are generally more sociotropic (the opposite of sociopathic) in two senses.

Externally, a profit means that the value of what you provide to consumers exceeds the cost of the inputs that you use to provide it. Almost by definition, profits indicate social betterment.

Internally, profit-seeking provides an incentive for employees to be treated well. The business needs to satisfy customers. In order to do that, it needs to work with a placement agency Utah to find employees that can be trained to serve the purpose of the company. When employees are empowered to succeed, customers are satisfied. The businesses that thrive are those that encourage employee success. Getting your employees to wear uniforms can also strengthen your company’s values and promote unity within the organization.

A non-profit does not need to please customers. It only needs to please donors. This involves putting on good shows: powerpoint presentations; award ceremonies; annual reports. This gamesmanship permeates the organization. You get ahead by looking good to the manager above you, not by bringing out the best in the staff below you.

When you take a job, you want your boss and the employees around you to be aligned with your interests. You want to learn and develop. You want to be given opportunities to succeed in challenging situations. You don’t want to be set up to fail or stabbed in the back. Elevate your practice and enhance your hypnosis for business success with advanced hypnotherapy education.

In short, you want to work in a sociotropic environment, not a sociopathic one. Profit-seeking firms are under more pressure to filter out the sociopaths. If you take a job at a non-profit and discover that your boss is a sociopath, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Why Hello There

From Frederick Douglass’ Plea for Freedom of Speech in Boston:

Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason of righteousness, temperance, and of a judgment to come in their presence. Slavery cannot tolerate free speech. Five years of its exercise would banish the auction block and break every chain in the South. They will have none of it there, for they have the power. But shall it be so here?

Read the entire thing. Read it regularly.

Today I reprint a slightly edited piece I put together several years ago. I’d change a lot of it, from the content to the tone, if I were to do it over – but one must live with one’s younger self. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Four centuries after the celebration of the first Thanksgiving, there is still widespread disagreement about the reason for the Pilgrims’ feast. But whether it was a harvest festival, a strictly religious observance, or a thank you to the local Wampanoag Indians, such a feast would not even have been possible were it not for the abandonment of the utopian ideas the Pilgrims laid out in the original Mayflower Compact.

Imagine a world where the earnings you generate from teaching, or nursing, or tending your orchard, from working the cash register, or mowing some lawns – all of the fruits of your efforts went into a common pool. Imagine further that each of your friends and neighbors, and every stranger in Monroe County was entitled to an equal share of what was placed into the kitty. It didn’t matter whether you mowed 20 lawns per day or one, whether you treated 30 patients per day or none, whether you taught 50 students per day or none – you received the same “income” as everyone else in the community. Imagine further that your home was owned in common by all in your community and that rearing your neighbor’s children was as much your responsibility as anyone else’s.

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Such was the intention of the Compact – by eliminating any semblance of private property and personal accountability, which were declared to be the foundation for avarice and selfishness – prosperity and brotherly love would result. How did it work out? (of course, the business arrangement with the financial backers in Europe complicated things a bit from the perspective of my story, it is thought that this collectivist was imposed on the settlers via contract)

You need only look at the cleanliness of your office fridge or the condition of a public bathroom for a glimpse into the horrors of such collectivism. People suffered, starved and perished. Governor Bradford wrote in his diary, “For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense … that was thought injustice.”

Most shocking perhaps is that this injustice generated penury, jealousy and sloth in a society comprised entirely of (self-professed) holy people, each with a common cause, each from a similar background, and in a community with less than 200 settlers. The lessons for a society comprised of people of varying degrees of “saintliness”, with differing interests and backgrounds, and hundreds of millions in size should be obvious.

Confronting the disaster of collectivism, Plymouth’s elders wisely “resorted” to a system of private property and free exchange. Bradford wrote of the reforms, “… it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression…By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the faces of things were changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.”

I doubt many Pilgrims themselves properly understood the nature of their original problem, nor its solution – which is why I doubt that the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of liberty and private property. While they might have thanked Providence and luck for the bounties that followed the change in property institutions in 1623, it was only their industry, thrift and discipline in response to the formation of private property institutions that such a feast was even possible. For a truly detailed and incredible account not only of the first Thanksgiving, but of the sad and incredible struggle the local Indian tribes had with their new European neighbors, I cannot recommend more highly Nathaniel Philbrick’s bookMayflower in large part because of its telling of the largely forgotten yet historically important King Phillip’s War.

Fast forward to 2021, where the most productive among us are made to feel like criminals, and the non-productive (those who are able) are portrayed as innocent victims of a tyrannical system of capitalism. That Thanksgiving is a “national” holiday is ironic – for it is was a celebration enabled by an explicit movement away from “nationalistic” ideals – a celebration made possible by the unleashing of the individual productive efforts of all in the Plymouth colony.

I am blessed to have a healthy family, the ability to have completed my formal education, and the discipline to work hard with the lot I was given in life. Providence and luck has been kind to me. I give thanks to that every single day of my life. But on this day, this 398th renewal of Thanksgiving Day, as many in our nation clamor to gallop anew down a 21st century style collectivist path (health care for everyone, financial bailouts, auto bailouts, fairer taxes, public/government schools, managed trade, green-collar subsidies, farm subsidies, licensing restrictions, “living wages”, public-private (i.e. cronyist) partnerships and more) littered with the tragedies of hundreds of failed experiments before us, let us remember what made the first Thanksgiving possible, and what has made our modern prosperity possible. The productive efforts of billions of individuals past and present who unknowingly cooperate each and every day in an effort to improve their own lots, have bestowed upon us a gift even greater than the yams, apples, turkeys, wheat, and other resources that we were naturally endowed with. Just how large a gift have they given to each of us? Imagine yourself alone in the New England wilderness on a cold and wet November day 500 years ago. The difference between the “fire roasted” yam you might conjure up with days of immiserating work in 1521 and the majestic spread set out before you today in 2021 is but a glimpse of the bounty that liberty and property have bestowed upon us. Let us hope that the light of liberty remains lit, so that we may see our way through harsh and brutal winters that might lie ahead.

When Do You Run?

Why, then, should you run away? And how can you resist right then? After all, you’ll only make your situation worse; you’ll make it more difficult for them to sort out the mistake. And it isn’t just that you don’t put up any resistance; you even walk down the stairs on tiptoe, as you are ordered to do, so your neighbors won’t hear.

At what exact point, then, should one resist? When one’s belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one’s home? An arrest consists of a series of incidental irrelevancies, of a multitude of things that do not matter, and there seems no point in arguing about any one of them individually especially at a time when the thoughts of the person arrested are wrapped tightly about the big question: “What for?”-and yet all these incidental irrelevancies taken together implacably constitute the arrest.

The American “elites” chum the waters with the term democracy … here is a conversation worth reading.

A highlight:

Angelo Codevilla: It is an oligarchy, run by a class of persons linked to the Democratic Party. It is not a standard oligarchy, by and for persons intent on preserving and enhancing their economic primacy—though that is a part of it. But the defining feature of today’s American oligarchy is the sense that the class that runs essentially all U.S. institutions senses itself so intellectually and morally superior to the rest of Americans that it may rule rightly without the latter’s consent.

Just writing this down as a prediction to check later. If, and when, “we” are able to roll out fusion electricity at scale:

It will massively reduce pollution, electricity costs, inequality, the worry about global warming, mining pollution, resource scares, clean water and much more …

It will be hotly opposed by the very communities that support “clean, renewable, green energy.” Current solar power advocates will have to argue that they support indirect harnessing of solar power at the same time as being against legitimate direct harnessing of solar power.

If you need any evidence for how I am so sure, just examine the constantly shifting goalposts in the COVID fiasco, just to illustrate one piece.

Is a pretty sure sign of confusion.

Here, in reference to the “Science is Real” portion of those signs, is Richard Feynman:

Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

When someone says science teaches such and such, he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach it; experience teaches it. If they say to you science has shown such and such, you might ask, “How does science show it — how did the scientists find out how, what, where?” Not science has shown, but this experiment, this effect, has shown. And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments (but we must listen to all the evidence), to judge whether a reusable conclusion has been arrived at.

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It is, and always was, a great idea. Here is an excerpt from Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration:

he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

Does this affirm the 1619 project story on the founders and the revolution? In an ironic way, it might. In any event, it certainly leaves us with a far more complex picture of the founders.

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