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Roger Michalski, Publisher
My wife Jo Ann and I attended the White House Christmas Party last night, Dec. 2, thanks to the generosity of long-time friend Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council.
The entire first floor was beautifully prepared with more than 100 real trees, live music and an excellent dinner. We were overwhelmed with this first-class event.
My wife and I met with Wayne Allyn Root and his fiancé Cindy in front of the portrait of President Reagan at the White House.
A few hundred guests attended. I asked a number of them what they thought of the election. Of course, they were disappointed in President Trump not winning. They all agreed that the chance of Trump overturning the results due to voter fraud was tiny at this point.
President Trump himself did not appear last night to greet his guests. He had shown up the night before to tell his supporters that he planned to make a comeback in 2024. We shall see.
Wayne Allyn Root said his new book, “Trump Rules,” is now a bestseller on Amazon. You can buy it by clicking here. Alas, Trump’s rule is about to end next month.
Everyone’s biggest fear was that Joe Biden will use his executive powers to reverse Trump’s own executive orders since the president-elect will not be able to get certain proposals past a Republican-controlled Senate.
Your editor in his favorite room in the White House.
Other attendees expressed concern that socialism will have another round of popularity, especially on college campuses and even on Wall Street.
John Mackey’s New Defense of Conscious Capitalism
To counter this new trend, I am glad to see John Mackey release his new book, “Conscious Leadership,” available by clicking here.
John Mackey is the CEO of Whole Foods Market and a co-ambassador of FreedomFest. He will be a keynote speaker at next year’s big show, whose theme is “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.” (More to come soon.)
My Most Successful Argument Against Socialism
In his book, Mackey is a major critic of socialism and a defender of “conscious” capitalism. I, too, have been at the forefront of this fight for liberty and exposing bad economics.
Last year, I gave a lecture at Hillsdale College on “How to Get Rid of a Bad Idea (Democratic Socialism): With a Better Idea — Democratic Capitalism!”
In this talk, I wrote on the blackboard the famous line, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” and asked the students, “How many of you agree with this statement as an ideal policy to follow in society?” (I did not mention that the quote comes from Karl Marx.)
Even though Hillsdale students are taught conservative principles of the free market, I was surprised that half the students raised their hand in support of this statement.
What’s wrong with it? Simply, it encourages bad behavior. Those who work hard don’t get to keep the fruits of their labor beyond “needs.” The system amounts to a 100% marginal tax rate if you earn more than a basic income. Suppose your basic needs are $50,000 a year. If you earn more than that, it is taxed away and put into a central fund to help the needy.
And for those who earn less than $50,000, their income is subsidized up to meet their “needs.” In short, there’s no incentive to work harder.
No wonder socialist utopias never last.
After going through this exercise, I told the students that the quote comes from Karl Marx. Then I wrote on the blackboard an alternative statement, this one written by Jack London:
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his deeds.”
Jack London’s statement is much better because it encourages industry, thrift and prudence in a society.
Winston Churchill once said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
That about summarizes the difference between the two systems: Democratic socialism is all about sharing the poverty, while democratic capitalism is all about sharing the wealth.
What Do I Mean by ‘Sharing the Wealth’ Under Capitalism?
Democratic capitalism is much better than socialism. By democratic capitalism, I mean companies that offer profit sharing and stock options. In my lecture, I always tell the Henry Ford $5 a day story. Ford was the first to pass along some of his record profits in 1914 to his workers who manufactured Model T cars. He more than doubled their wages overnight.
Karl Marx and the socialists argue that capitalists don’t share the profits, and workers are forced to make products they themselves often can’t afford to buy. By sharing the profits, Ford countered the two Marxist arguments against capitalism — exploitation and alienation. Ford did share the profits with his workers, and at $5 a day, Ford’s employees could finally buy the product they were making, the Model T. It was a “win-win” combination.
In more recent times, Bill Gates gave his workers stock options in Microsoft. Today more than 12,000 employees are millionaires. Other companies have followed suit.
In my book, “The Maxims of Wall Street,” I have a couple of pages of quotes on government and Wall Street. One of my favorites is from Sir John Templeton, who wrote, “Avoid investing in those countries with a high level of socialist or government regulation of business. Business growth depends on a strong free-enterprise system.” (p. 147)
And Sir Harry Schultz once said, “Never underestimate the size of a panic, or the power of a politician.” So true today.
And that brings me to a big announcement:
Ideal Holiday Gift!
New 10th Anniversary Edition of ‘Maxims of Wall Street’ Hot off the Press
Good news! I’m happy to announce that the new 10th Anniversary Edition of “The Maxims of Wall Street” is now available in time for the holidays!
The first edition was published in 2011 and, since then, the book has gone through seven editions, selling more than 30,000 copies. I have added more than 200 new sayings and timeless stories since the first edition.
I am expecting to pick up copies of the new 10th-anniversary edition this weekend and will mail out copies next week.
Providing a Shortcut to Financial Wisdom
Alex Green, chief investment strategist of the Oxford Club, endorsed my book recently:
“Wouldn’t it be great if someone collected the wisest thoughts of the world’s greatest investors, men like Jesse Livermore, Baron Rothschild, J.P. Morgan, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, John Templeton and others?
“As a matter of fact, someone has, my good friend and colleague Dr. Mark Skousen. His book ‘The Maxims of Wall Street’ is a crash course in how to survive and profit in today’s volatile markets.
“A college economics professor, founder of FreedomFest and bestselling author, Mark has spent more than four decades reading, writing, teaching and lecturing about financial markets. Along the way, he has collected a treasure trove of proverbs, slogans, stories and juicy quotes.
“I found myself chuckling (and occasionally sighing) when I first read this book. And I still refer to it regularly. Over my 35-year career, I learned much of this investment wisdom by trial and error. Fortunately, you don’t have to. The Maxims of Wall Street is a pithy and indispensable guide.”
Order Now for the Holidays
The new edition retails for $24.95, but if you buy from Skousen Books, the first copy is just $20, and all additional copies are only $10 each. If you order an entire box of 32 copies, the price is only $300, less than $10 each. To order, go to www.skousenbooks.com.
I number and autograph every copy and pay the postage if mailed in the United States (shipping to Canada or other foreign destinations requires additional postage.) If you have any special inscriptions, please email Ned at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Blew It!
YouTube (and Alphabet) Should be Ashamed of Its Blatant Violation of Free Speech
John Mackey was interviewed on the Joe Rogan Show last week about socialism, capitalism and his new book “Conscious Leadership.” In only three days, more than 1.6 million people watched the video on YouTube — it was three hours long!
John sent me the YouTube link. Click here to try to watch the interview.
At last check, it no longer was available on YouTube, which took down the interview for some unknown reason. What a travesty! This is the worst kind of censorship. And for what? Because Mackey criticized socialism and defended capitalism? Unbelievable.
What is this country coming to? YouTube and its parent company, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) should be ashamed of themselves. To censor the CEO of Whole Foods Market, as if he was some kind of dangerous person. Give me a break.