Yeah, the video for this article is a bit dark, it was early in the morning, and it was raining heavily at times. But it was my open window to do that kind of thing, so I made the best of it. Yet, I have been hoping for these kinds of topics in many ways because I’ve been thinking about them for a very long time. So much so that the issues of my latest book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, is all about them. If Joe Biden had not come along, many of these topics might have stayed in obscurity because the need to flesh them out into the open would have never occurred. But in this case, when Joe Biden continues to rail against “freedom” and suggest that “safety” is our primary concern, he is proving a point I have long been making. And for that, I am grateful. So no matter how much rain and lack of light there was, I couldn’t wait to get my thoughts out on the matter to clarify some things that many of us feel but never can quite articulate. I would say that it’s probably one of the most important things we learn as human beings, that delicate balance between safety and risk and how few people learn to manage that balance throughout a long life. But for those who do economic activity flourishes, precisely this trait that all the philosophers from previous centuries never quite figured out. But the American experiment brought them forth, and we can see them most obviously in the creation of amusement parks.
As human beings, we have a natural lust for risk, and as intelligent creatures, we also want to control risk. So we created roller coasters which are simulated dangers that we can pretty much assure ourselves will be completely safe. We want to feel the threat of a roller coaster, but we don’t want to die while experiencing it. I would call that in my book the management of human needs. All good management considers those needs in humans and specifies a work culture to their full utilization. A workforce that feels it can risk thoughts and ideas without the danger of losing their job is critical to innovation. Cultures that have too many rules and regulations hinder this and create an oppressive, unsatisfactory work experience. This is the case in every business and is undoubtedly the problem of every government. We had a very risk-obsessed administration in Trump, which many of us liked because it turned on the gears to a productive economy; people felt safe to take risks and do what it takes to move and create money. Now we have a very safety-oriented administration with too many rules and regulations that stifle creativity and work ambition, slowing the economy down predictably.
In my book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, I obsess over why people do work, which goes well beyond the financial rewards. People work, but not just because they want to pay their rent or car payment. For people who understand good management, people want more from their work than just financial payment. This is often the great mystery of a good football team with many players equally strong and as fast as other players. But a good coach and organization have figured out a way to align all those minds toward the joy of a victory. Good management helps share the victory with every team member, which is the essence of what leadership is all about. Good leadership is one of the least understood elements of all philosophy and the various political elements that have formed over the entire span of the human race. Yet, in America, by removing all the previous static cultures of oppressive government, whether, from the church or some king, we discovered a lot about humans, which erupted into the most explosive economy in the world during the shortest period.
The Biden administration desires to return to the safety and security of big government-driven by monarchs and emperors. Most left-leaning people are the type of people who are averse to risk and seek security and protection by some form of organization or government. It’s not an accident that people who work for large corporations tend to vote for Democrats because the corporate culture is often stifling to creativity and innovation, trading risk for security. All the poor little children who grow up with panicky parents teaching them to be afraid of lightning, rain and make their kids wear bicycle helmets just for riding down the sidewalk are, without knowing it, killing their children’s ability to think for themselves and live a life of embracing risk without destroying their lives. A life without risk is a life that is essentially dead, and that is what we see out of the Biden economy. Those most uncomfortable with risk are now in charge and imposing a boring life of too much regulation and caution on the rest of society. Covid rules have only hindered that trend more by even taking away the illusion of some danger in life. That could be compared to going to an amusement park to find all the roller coasters closed, but that you could stand in line for them. People wouldn’t choose to do that if there was no reward for standing in line, leaving the amusement park losing a lot of money in attendance. If people don’t believe their work will give them something tangible, some level of satisfaction, they are less inclined to participate. They might go through the motions to get their paycheck, but they will do no more if they don’t feel connected to risk and victory.
I argue in The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business that many people will do just about anything for the mere opportunity to gain treasure and a taste of victory. That trait propelled our economy into the greatness we have achieved so far, so it is not surprising that the moment that risk is taken away from our society and safety is over-emphasized, declines in productivity would be evident to all. Economic stagnation happens when the thrill of doing work is lost, and a job becomes a means to paying for one’s obligations in life. It’s the freedom to choose risk over safety that all humans crave, but few ever realize the key to their happiness. A happy society finds a balance between safety and risk. Yet when safety is used to stifle risk, then bad things happen. This is why all socialist and communist countries have failed and will always fail. Organizations, whether they are companies, or governments fail to understand that leadership is best when they organize a team toward risk to realize rewards. But when leadership is ignored, and safety is over-emphasized, the result is collective paralysis. Then it cannot be a surprise when economic activity moves into a dormant state, with shipping containers sitting around waiting to be unloaded, people not participating in the workforce, and everything else slows down in a supply chain. When work is burdened with too much safety and regulation, people check out and put their minds where there are fewer limits on them. And that is a natural reaction in all human beings. Some people are comfortable with risk; some can’t handle it at all. But it is along these lines, not in politics, that all people find themselves either happy or unhappy with the conditions of their world. Therefore, what matters most in the world is that people have the freedom to pick their fate because the world as a whole depends on the results of the few risk-takers who propel all society forward into innovation and goodness.