The following story takes place during late summer in south central Texas. As I battle the humidity by sipping on a margarita on the San Antonio river walk, I wonder if the air can get any thicker without precipitation. It is Friday night before a family wedding. We dine together, the bride’s family and the groom’s family. I am a member of the former. The night before, the bride– my sister– had prepped me for the meeting with the family of her hubby-to-be. I was warned the future in-laws were very “politically active.” That is code for, “Will, don’t ruin my wedding with talks of our nobel peace prize drone king, civil liberty erosion, the role of government, …” So, I sip my margarita, while biting my tongue. However, as the margarita flows, as does the liquid courage impeding that internal filter as alcohol acts as a form of truth serum.
As the conversation moves to the subject of gun control, my tongue apparently wins the battle with the cerebral cortex of my brain. I interject, “Why should I need permission from a state or regulatory body to responsibly bear arms?” As I passionately discuss the role of self regulation in a free market, the faces turn blank. Most alive today have never experienced a truly free market. I have, however, studied the intricacies of free markets and understand the concept of self regulation. I believe the good in humanity self regulates the bad, if allowed. When I contend that giving away the mildest of liberties only leads to the forceful theft of the greatest of liberties, I remember perhaps my favorite Thomas Jefferson quote, “I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.” Life is dangerous my friends, and it should be. We should not fear danger, we should embrace it, as “fear is the passion of slaves,” as I quote from Patrick Henry. Without danger we would not understand its cause and effect, and we would not experience that precious thing called self regulation.
It is in this moment that I truly understand what Mr. Jefferson meant. Danger is precious. When we fear it we try to unnaturally regulate it, and in doing so, we inevitably give away our liberties to some collective promising us safety and security from that scary thing called danger. Perhaps it is faith that gives us strength in uncertainty, that allows us to embrace danger and hence embrace our natural freedoms. Faith in God, faith in self, faith in the good of man, and perhaps it is different for each person. Faith in a government, faith in a collective is certainly not the pathway to man’s highest and best self.
Luckily, I managed to keep the political portion of the debate merely on the subject of regulation and free markets. As it turns out, one of the twenty something children of my new family was self-proclaimed “anti government”. (He still supported the need for permission to bear arms, however.) As I finished my duck enchiladas and ordered my second and final tonic of truth serum, the conversation came to an end.
Upon leaving the establishment and parting ways, we exchanged hugs and handshakes, momentarily forgetting our differences in belief. The father of the groom took me to the side and said that he appreciated my passion. He also went on to declare that he thought I was right, but in an almost omnipotent suggestion touted that “government is good.” I did not disagree but merely smiled while shaking his hand and said, “Good thing we have the freedom of opinion. I may not agree with yours, but I damn sure respect your right to have one, freely and without censure.” He looked at me and smiled. He clearly got the reference to the sanctity of the 1st Amendment.
As I later reflected on the trials of the evening I found myself thinking of ways to present to my new in-law the belief that government is seldom good, often just a necessary evil. The most productive and fastest advancing society in the history of the world was built right here, a few hundred years ago, under the premise of a chained up, limited government, and a free society of man. Would he understand this, that the Founding Fathers’ experiment of a free society changed the world forever? It’s not likely, due to the spoon fed propaganda in school and media demonizing the American revolution.
Then it dawned on me. Hit him where it hurts, where it is felt, in the pocket. You see regardless of differences of belief, none of us like being robbed. Most of us can appreciate a hard day’s work and the fruits of our labor. The experience of theft of the fruits we earn is one that can be shared across cultures and borders. The best part about my new strategy is it didn’t require me to corner anyone and evangelize. All I had to do was what everyone does in a social gathering: explain what I do. As a facilitator of IRA LLC rollovers I have personally experienced the utmost in government restriction of capital.
The next day, after the wedding I anxiously waited to connect with my in-law and hear the question, “So what do you do for work?” Once the opportunity arose, I explained how we help jailbreak people’s retirement accounts. I discussed the benefits of taking physical, in-home possession of IRA gold and silver. I discussed the element of asset protection and investment diversification it offers. He was intrigued, which only heightened as I really expanded on asset protection. I explained the MyRA introduction and the real documented risks to private pension “tax.” I carefully used the word tax instead of confiscation so as not to lose him.
I knew this gentleman was an NYPD firefighter. I figured he was certainly a part of a government-sponsored pension plan. Which, by the way, is the most at risk slush fund from theft. I mentioned how many of our clients became terrified of these plans they were locked into and couldn’t wait to get out. I explained howexperts have claimed that government plans are the most at risk, quite simply because the government controls them. When they change the rules, they’ll go for the lowest hanging fruit. These days it’s easy to get almost anyone to agree the government is broke. Seeing the blatant risk to your life savings is not hard to grasp. At this point we had a great dialogue going. I may not have swayed him away from the belief that government is good, but I definitely got his attention and maybe a new client.
Managing Partner & Co Founder