My Blog List

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Of Economics And Charity

Been busy.  Sorry.  A friend noted how tanned I was getting.  Told him I was an unpaid Day Laborer for a bastard of a boss!  Will do a couple of posts - shortly, I hope - on our adventures towards self-sufficiency on our new property in Nevada.

I've been giving a lot of thought to opening a business here in Northern Nevada.  My initial scratch-and-sniff market analysis shows that there could be a viable market for what I'm considering.

And no, it has nothing to do with precious metals or guns.  Shocking, right?!  No, it's a specialty (kind of) food product.  More later if something flies with this.

Anyways, as I was doing some research on others that have been successful with this type of venture, I ran across an article by Doug Casey.  He's a screaming libertarian (my kinda guy) - a self-made millionaire who absolutely HATES government interference in just about anything.

He was writing about charity, and how in most instances, private charity hurts the recipient.  I have long thought this.  Like government subsidies and programs, most private charity takes away the initiative of the recipient to better themselves.

Build a food bank that feeds the poor, and you've taken away their initiative to feed themselves.

Pay for someones college costs based upon their skin color, ethnic origins, sexual preference or anything other than achievement (such as scholastic or athletic excellence), and you've taken away their initiative to excel.

In my book, the only type of charities I even consider are those where some horrible unplanned or unforeseen event occurs.  Helping the parents of a kid born with some debilitating disease or condition, would be one example.  Things where there is no realistic ability of an individual to afford to pay for their circumstances.

Along those same lines, I give to injured veterans groups.  I'm ashamed of our government, and how it shirks its duty to take care of our vets who come back home, well, destroyed.  It's not the vets fault the government signed a contract with each and every one of them, then looked them in the eye and lied.

Being born poor in America is NOT one of those circumstance.  And that means anywhere in America under any economic circumstances  There is a path out, if you choose to take it.  If you don't make the right choice, don't expect me to pay for the world of hurt where you find yourself.

But Chief!  Think about the children!  No, YOU think about YOUR children, and about what YOU'RE going to do to feed and shelter them.

And to teach them about self-reliance and personal accomplishment to boot.

Some day, I'll tell the story of the shit-hole my wife grew up in, and what she did to turn it around.  Out of the 8 kids in her family, half made it, half didn't.  Two of the latter group are dead.  Their standing in life is one-hundred percent because of the choices each individual made while growing up in the exact same circumstances as his or her siblings.

So, getting back to the Doug Casey article, his point was that most large charitable donation are just for the egos of the givers.  Bill Gates and Warren Buffett get to do the cock-strut to show how they're helping a gajillion people live better lives.

In reality, they're taking away the incentive of those people to better themselves and build pride and self-worth through accomplishment.  They're nothing more than a beneficent, elitist socialist leader with a happy face sticker.

Instead, they should be trumpeting their success so that others will follow their example.  Their donation money should instead go towards making their business bigger, and better, so that more and more people can get jobs, learn skills and develop pride for their accomplishments,

And then it dawned on me that I could do the same, only on a smaller scale (to start!).

My initial direction in another business was to design it with no employees.  Use independent contractors to build whatever I couldn't build myself.  This has nothing to do with not liking people.  It has everything to do with government regulation.  Look at someone the wrong way, or not follow some inane regulation to the "T", and you get sued, you get to pay the "aggrieved" employee some money, and you get to pay a fine to one or more government agencies.

While this business model will still happen, the idea of a brick-and-mortar business that hires locally may give me the ability to develop another stream of income AND fulfill my desire to give folks the opportunity to develop life skills and a sense of accomplishment at the same time.

My very first job in high school was washing dishes in an Italian restaurant.  I was taught food preps during slow periods, and was a cook within 6 months, but my most important lesson was about getting an education.  I worked mostly with grown men in the kitchen.  While I'm sure they were making more money per hour than I was, even back in the late 1970's it couldn't have been much to live on.  From that first job, I knew I wanted more, and that I'd need an education to get that.

One of the men I worked with as a cook had a criminal record, but was trying to get going in the right direction.  My dad (a lieutenant in the Sheriff department) had actually gotten him the job at the restaurant.

Being able to do something along those lines holds some interest to me.  First jobs, new beginnings, career advancement as the business grows.

We'll see.  At first glance, it appears as though Nevada offers significantly fewer hurdles to getting a business up and running.  My worry is that since it has to do with food, the state and federal food police could make it economically unfeasible.  I hope I'm wrong.


One of the businesses that is in my market niche (but outside of my local market!), had a version of this posted on their website.  Amen, brutha!

* You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

Share this post! Click the Twitter, Facebook or Google+ icon below, and let your friends know!
Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.