Reading for Growth

I don’t think the modernity of a book is a good judge of its value and wisdom. Wisdom is timeless, and fashionable trends fade with the fickle tastes of the times.

Below is a small list of the most inspiring and life changing books and essays I’ve had the fortune of reading:

1) As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen
2) Self-Reliance, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
3) How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
4) Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
5) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
6) Five Major Puzzle Pieces of the Life Puzzle, by Jim Rohn
7) Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

The ones above have had the greatest impact on my life. I can remember reading each of these books and the various moments when they provided me with life changing epiphanies. They’re all relatively short, but contain profound, timeless wisdom. They are cited as some of the most widely influential books and read by some of the greatest leaders in recent history.

The following books refined my perspective on life and myself, but require a good deal of intellectual energy to read and digest:

The Will to Believe, by William James
The Denial of Death, by Ernest Becker
The Genealogy of Morals, by Nietzsche
The Theory of the Leisure Class, by Thorstein Veblen

And aphorisms, reflections, and thoughts by a few of the greatest minds:

Ideas and Opinions, by Albert Einstein
Pensees, by Pascal
Maxims and Reflection, by J.W. Goethe

And lastly: why do you want to read? What do you think it’s gonna do for you?

The reason I ask is that if you don’t know “why” you’re reading or learning something, it won’t change you. It will simply leave superficial impressions on your memory, and not lasting changes on your character. And the “why” must be powerful enough to drive you towards growth, it needs to contain enough emotion and enough reason so that what you read sticks in your mind and literally attaches itself to your character and aids in the construction of your worldview. That way it’ll never leave you and you’ll be more of a person.

It doesn’t matter what we know. It matters who we are, because ultimately who we are dictates what we do with what we know, and that makes all the difference.

So I ask, if you’re trying to develop yourself into someone better, into your full potential, allow yourself to change. Suspend judgement. Admit that you don’t know anything. Allow yourself to be wrong. Only then will you able to gain wisdom and grow and achieve destined greatness.

If you happen to take me up on my suggestions and read these books, read them with an open mind. Spend time with them. Meditate and reflect on the implication of their message on your life. Be curious and passionate, and they will teach you.

 

American Inequality

A Case for Economic Equity and Long-Term Growth (Draft)

Abstract

Macroeconomic policy issues, as well as the theoretical assumptions underpinning their conclusions, must be considered within a political Liberalism framework that ensures and upholds the democratic values of freedom and equality inherent to the constitution. The complexity of economic development requires a holistic empirical approach that accounts for the historical, political, sociological, and business factors contributing to the makeup of society when crafting and recommending economic policy.

For this paper we will assume that economic growth is the aim for society. Inequality is a product of increased bargaining power resulting from increasingly powerful institutions in the business, financial, and governmental sectors (Kumhof 2011; Barnhizer 2004; Argyres 1999). Research has repeatedly confirmed growing inequality globally and domestically (Hisnanick 2011). Inequality, manifested as widening income and wealth disparity, contributes to domestic and global account imbalances, consumer debt, and economic stagflation, i.e. inflation and unemployment (Kumhof 2012; Rajan 2012). In addition, inequality is linked to key social variables such as political stability, civil unrest, democratization, education attainment, health and longevity, and crime rates (Thorbecke 2002). Greater economic equality always results in greater long run economic prosperity for the whole. (Wilkinson 2009)

The thesis explored in this paper is that bargaining power inequalities causally contribute to economic and socioeconomic inequality due to path dependency, organizational inertia, and habit formation. Bargaining power inequalities increase proportionally with capital accumulation, concentration, and centralization. This paper will show that the restoration of equal bargaining power will rectify financial and labor market imperfections and spur economic growth. In addition, this paper argues that US economic growth over the past several decades has been vastly overestimated due to increases in financialization.

Executive Summary

In order to determine the best policy for rectifying inequality and spurring economic growth, this essay provides an overview of current economic and socioeconomic conditions within the US and abroad, identifies problems within those conditions, and details the contributing historical economic policies that shaped them. It then examines the systemic causal mechanisms contributing to current US economic conditions, present potential policy solutions that seek to address these underlying causal mechanisms, and lastly interpret and rank their theoretical effectiveness. This paper addresses the following areas:

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Worldview: Etiology Formation

According to Apostel, a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:

  1. An explanation of the world
  2. futurology, answering the question “where are we heading?”
  3. Values, answers to ethical questions: “What should we do?”
  4. praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: “How should we attain our goals?”
  5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. “What is true and false?”
  6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own “building blocks,” its origins and construction.

1. There are many explanations of worldly phenomenon, and therefore many worldviews, i.e. etiologies.
(The multiplicity of perspectives, variably determined by the union of direct experience and the influence of the prevailing ideologies within any given context of culture, render unique explanations for every individual; while similarities exist, no two perspectives are completely commensurable. Socialization, or more specifically enculturation, is the single most important determinate in shaping a subjective perspective.)

2. Each explanation contains its own end, or futurology. (Explanations may change when a subject recognizes and challenges the limits of their experience and the latent ideology maintained by their subjective perspective.)

3. Values and ethics are dependent on these ends and seek to preserve these ends.

4. The justification of ends, i.e. the methodology for their achievement, is dependent upon the content of these values and ethics.

5. A subjects epistemology is determined by their perspective, which in turn yields their explanations. (See 1)

6. A world view is domain constituted by the propositional content and functionality maintained by a subjective perspective. (See 1-5.)

Etiology Formation

According to Apostel, a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:

  1. An explanation of the world
  2. futurology, answering the question “where are we heading?”
  3. Values, answers to ethical questions: “What should we do?”
  4. praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: “How should we attain our goals?”
  5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. “What is true and false?”
  6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own “building blocks,” its origins and construction.

1. There are many explanations of worldly phenomenon, and therefore many worldviews, i.e. etiologies.
(The multiplicity of perspectives, variably determined by the union of direct experience and the influence of the prevailing ideologies within any given context of culture, render unique explanations for every individual; while similarities exist, no two perspectives are completely commensurable. Socialization, or more specifically enculturation, is the single most important determinate in shaping a subjective perspective.)

2. Each explanation contains its own end, or futurology. (Explanations may change when a subject recognizes and challenges the limits of their experience and the latent ideology maintained by their subjective perspective.)

3. Values and ethics are dependent on these ends and seek to preserve these ends.

4. The justification of ends, i.e. the methodology for their achievement, is dependent upon the content of these values and ethics.

5. A subjects epistemology is determined by their perspective, which in turn yields their explanations. (See 1)

6. A world view is domain constituted by the propositional content and functionality maintained by a subjective perspective. (See 1-5.)

Alfred Marshall and the Growth of Wealth: A Short Microeconomic Analysis of Wealth Accumulation

Alfred Marshall was a pioneer in economics, even by today’s standards. In 1890 he published Principles of Economics which, compiled from years of study and contemplation, proved to be his magnum opus on economic thought. The work was so fastidiously compiled that it served as a standard in which all economic thought over the next century would respectfully consider. This essay will delve into the concept and history of the growth in wealth. A brief outline of Marshall’s descriptive analysis of wealth accumulation will provide a basic framework that can be used for comparing Marshall’s thoughts to that of other economists.

Continue reading “Alfred Marshall and the Growth of Wealth: A Short Microeconomic Analysis of Wealth Accumulation”

nonsense

You can be whoever you want. Who are you? Who legislates your role? No doubt your cognition, but from what matter? Your society nurses your beliefs. You choose which kernel of knowledge will yield the most fruit- we execute this legislation. And who decides if we are effective? Certainly not the executor, for that would be tyranny of mind, a fascist abomination of being. And who is the judge after all? Why, the society from which we glean our kernels and suckle our wellsprings. We are not our conscience; rather, we are fawns, helpless without our mother’s milk. We grovel, as slaves do, compromising and snarling in desperate hysteria. We are slaves to each other, to the perceptions of past ancestors, of yesteryear. Why can’t we inherit a spirit of wildness? Is that too unwieldy? It is not our man we cannot tolerate, but ourselves. We see ourselves in them and we recoil in horror, in disdain. Creeping around, like a blind beggar, seeking handouts from our fellow mendicants. We run, internally, and hide, but never willing to give up our conditioned vices. We rot inside, desperately coining new meaning for every chapter of life. The insatiable will for freedom only collapses on itself as we become our own ends, and means. But we are never alone, so long as our cognitions are anthropomorphizing sensations into false meaning. No. we are forever haunted.

Push yourself, and you will grow, we are adaptable creatures. Our minds absorb the brunt of circumstantial externalities and forces. They conform to the challenges and grow in complexity. Throw yourself into hardship, with reckless abandon. Confusion, pain, and unfamiliarity are temporary illusions of weakness. Do not succumb to despair or opt for an extended approach. Commit to the pain and hardship and you will find a transformation of boundaries, internally and externally. Life changes, its flux is evident on any time scale. Our cognition is apart of this change. Limits will migrate continually, closer and farther from your potential. Recognize that your potential is every growing. You will surpass those limits, confines of the mind, and flow into thousands of potential seeds of opportunity. Push yourself. Hurl yourself. Sweat is the reward. It cleanses perspective.

Infiltrate society. Corrupt custom. Confuse tradition. Reinvention is bound, helpless to each inventor. Distort familiar ground. Remap well worn paths. Gather mindless spirits to join. They will have no choice but to think. There is no end in sight. Only adaptation and invention. Perpetual evolution and rebirth. Toss the puerile minds into a boiling pot and watch as they firm and harden. Let nature corrupt mans manipulation. Let understanding wallow in neurosis. Nature is genius, overwhelming and paralyzing our imagination. Acceptance is not progress, it is pride. Attach with instinct but be wary of certainty. Open the gates of passion. Channel natures deliberate zephyrs onto our kindled spirit. Reignite our blaze. Life is not controlled. It is natural and wild, like our fiery spirit. Do not stifle its flame. Throw dampening constraints elsewhere.

Always

There are no ifs ands or buts. I will refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I will not put limits on myself. I will succeed wildly. I will dream wildly. I am starving for achievement. I am a success. It is impossible that I will not succeed. I am positive. I am focused. I am driven. I am totally capable. There is nothing more I need than a firm resolve to actualize dreams. I will sacrifice anything. I will read, listen, watch, imagine, create, work, feel, suffer, and endure anything and everything I need to. I will stake my existence on making my dreams a reality. There is never a dream that is too big. The only limits we face are the ones we set for ourselves. I will succeed. I am a success. I have already begun. I pay no heed to the voices of mediocrity all around me. I am unfamiliar with failure. I am convicted to seeing my dreams through until they are a reality. I only see opportunity. There is no such thing as difficulty. I no longer stake the existence of my chief wants by gauging the difficulty of a task. Progress is the reward. No task is difficult if it leaves me closer to the things I want most.

There are controllables and there are uncontrollables. I am in control of a single aspect that dictates the success or failures of my life. My thoughts. I will choose only the most worthy. I will see my dreams as though they have already been accomplished. I will be the most successful person who as ever walked the earth, and if I am ever to play the part, I will need to act the part. No longer will I acknowledge the thoughts that don’t contribute to this aim. I will train myself and develop the habits of the person I hold myself to be. I will never let the standards for myself waiver. I have strong faith. I have tested belief. I am succeeding.

dreamm

if this is your life. why wouldnt you want to make it the happiest most creative positive joyful uplifting inspirational gleeful existance ever? why not try to do the best you can in every thing you take on. why wouldnt you think only the very best thoughts. thoughts that capture life and invigorate from the inside out; radiating through your eyes and illuminating the world around you, even enhancing the world for the people around you? i dont understand? why wouldnt you try to conjure the very best of those thoughts and actions? do you not know what that looks like and feels like? than why dont you search for it and try to find it? if it was under your nose, and it really is, you wouldn’t know unless you looked. why wouldnt you wake up every day excited to upturn another of lifes wonders? gosh. life is never always good. those hormones are never really reliable. but you can control one thing. and thats your thoughts. and you know what can change a mood pretty quickly? a single thought. i single word can change a mood for the better. so why why why dont you search for that word every day. that fleeting satisfying goodness that could sooth any ache the day could possibly lay in front of you. attitude. its all about that. our self talk. we need to improve it. have uplifting self talk.

im not an idiot. im not naive. im not ignorant of the troubles around us. or circumstances. I like to make my circumstances work for me. I like to be incontrol of my life. I cant control what happens to me, but i can control how i react and handle it. I am responsible for my life. I do not like the thought of circumstances and happenings controlling my mood and thoughts. i like to capture every thought and have it work for me in any circumstance.

i like to be an idealist. realists are just like everything else innate on this earth. idealist see what can be. realists see what is. what kind of world would we live in if no one ever dreamed. realists dont dream big. they dream small. i like to keep things in perspective, but you know what, the craziest people out there contributed the most creative material and ideas this world had seen. what if edison was a realist? or da vinci? or graham bell? or tesla? or marconi? or ford? or daimler? alexander the great? or i mean. even Jesus. idealist think of possibility. its easier to work with what we know, but unless we think of what could be how would we approach learning?

where is the hope?our minds can take us anywhere. create whatever reality we could possibly concieve for ourselves? DREAM.