I, American – An analogy and tribute to “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Read

By: Tisha Casida

I am an American – a human being residing in the United States of America, a citizen who has come here or who resides in this country.

Liberty is both my vocation and my avocation – it is what I am.

You may wonder why it is necessary to express the purpose of explaining what I am.  I am a mystery, and sadly I have been taken for granted as a mere incident and without background.

“This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, ‘We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders’.” (Read, 1999).

I, American, as simple as I may seem, do in fact warrant your wonder, for if you can understand me better, if you can be more aware of what I am, then it can help save the freedom that mankind could so easily lose.

Simple? Yet no one knows exactly how to make me.  I am but a human, a citizen, a member of a community and country, and yet there are innumerable antecedents to what I am.

It is impossible to explain all of the antecedents that made me, however it is possible to name just a few.

My family tree begins on every continent in every country through most every part of the world.  From deserts to the tropics, the mountains to the oceans, the world was the starting point for me.  Think of all the people involved in the innumerable journeys through good times and bad to get me to where I sit today.  Think of the man-power, the machinery, the technology, the will-power to get me here today.  Think of the millions of transactions amongst people, the billions of words, the countless moments of inquiry and faith that made it possible to be in this moment.

Starting in far-away places, my ancestors made choices to seek freedom and prosperity.  In making a choice to come here, the American dream was alive and loved.  It was not just a dream; it was the reality of the journey, the faith, the motion.  My ancestors came to America to work and keep what they worked for, in a place where liberty was alive and responsibility was respected and honored.

Consider the people who have come to America.  White, black, brown; European, African, Asian, Hispanic; people who do not cling to color nor to class nor to ethnicity. For once you are here, you are American – this is the melting pot, and we are all the same, we are all Americans.  People who have come here as people, people who have come here knowing and believing that we are endowed by a Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  The journey has not always been pleasant or good.  The creation of America held many tragic incidents involving the very people that She now desires to protect.  That is the road and the journey that exists, and I must move forward in an effort to do better, as an individual, as an American.  We can learn from our mistakes.

Consider the technology that has moved us here.  Inventions, the revolution in industry, and the revolution with communication – all of these over thousands of years have contributed to my journey.  Although my life cycle is short, the experiences I have are created on the shoulders of giants (Newton, 1676).  Piece by piece, moment by moment, I am standing here today because of these human discoveries, theories, interventions, and practices.

Consider the human desire that has moved us here.  Human beings from around the world, people who work hard, study, love, and crave the freedom that allows them to do those things.  Consider the faith – regardless of religion or origin – consider the faith of the people who want to move forward, want to protect what they love, want to be free in their just pursuit of happiness.

No one knows how to make an American, even though the 307+ million Americans have a part of shaping each other every day.  “There isn’t a single person in all these millions… who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” (Read, 1999).  Each day a citizen may decide to read a newspaper, watch a television show, or go to school, however the other citizens will never truly know how this affects them – we just know that it does.  None of us know what the other millions of Americans want, however we are still all able to co-exist and prosper.  None of us know exactly how this works, but we know that we are able to make transactions and decisions when we have the freedom to do so.

There is no master-mind dictating to people what they should do, what they should want, or where they should work.  For over two hundred years, the country of America has been able to grow without the master planning of its future.  There have been mistakes, and more recently attacks on Her freedom, however the 307+ millions of Americans who are a part of my country can still make informed decisions.  This “absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.” (Read, 1999).

We cannot “make an American”.  The Invisible Hand (Adam Smith), the liberty present in our country, and the free market where we all stand equally as consumers, are a part of a complex combination of miracles.  America is where you can find me, in “the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!” (Read, 1999).  We are free men and women, there is no greater miracle.

I, American, although made from many different races, classes, and religions, do not cling to those as testimony for how others should act or be.  I, American, although a part of a social system do not expect a social system, I take responsibility for what and who I am.  I, American, although faced with displeasure, anger, and poverty, righteousness, happiness, and prosperity, do not expect from anyone anything other than interaction in a marketplace where I can work, purchase, and sell goods and services without the intervention of a master-plan that tries to decide what is best for me.  I, American, understand what I am charged with and accept the responsibility and prosperity that accompanies such “risk”.  Having the liberty to make my decisions, is all I ask for.

I, American, in a country that has had millions of immigrants come to Her for liberty and the opportunity to pursue their dreams, believe in the creative interactions that have made our prosperity possible so far.

“The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed.”  (Read, 1999).

I, American, seemingly simple and often misunderstood, believe in the miracle of my creation. I believe in the liberty that rewards responsibility. I believe in the free men and women who are my fellow citizens.  I, American, believe.

References:

Newton, I. (1676, February 15). Letter to Robert Hooke. Retrieved  June 20, 2010 from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton.

Read, L. E. (1999). “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.” Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Smith, A. (1776). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Edwin Cannan, ed. 1904. Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

Cato Scholar Comments on Stimulus Job Creation Numbers | Tad DeHaven | Cato Institute: Scholars' Comments

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via Cato Scholar Comments on Stimulus Job Creation Numbers | Tad DeHaven | Cato Institute: Scholars’ Comments.

It is time for the American people to stand up and take job creation into their own hands!  Get rid of bureaucratic red tape for small businesses, and increase opportunities for entrepreneurs!  Want to start your own business?  Want to educate your community about liberty?  Start a Good American Post newspaper in your community or town!

I, American – An analogy and tribute to “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Read

By: Tisha Casida

I am an American – a human being residing in the United States of America, a citizen who has come here or who resides in this country.

Liberty is both my vocation and my avocation – it is what I am.

You may wonder why it is necessary to express the purpose of explaining what I am.  I am a mystery, and sadly I have been taken for granted as a mere incident and without background.

“This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, ‘We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders’.” (Read, 1999).

I, American, as simple as I may seem, do in fact warrant your wonder, for if you can understand me better, if you can be more aware of what I am, then it can help save the freedom that mankind could so easily lose.

Simple? Yet no one knows exactly how to make me.  I am but a human, a citizen, a member of a community and country, and yet there are innumerable antecedents to what I am.

It is impossible to explain all of the antecedents that made me, however it is possible to name just a few.

My family tree begins on every continent in every country through most every part of the world.  From deserts to the tropics, the mountains to the oceans, the world was the starting point for me.  Think of all the people involved in the innumerable journeys through good times and bad to get me to where I sit today.  Think of the man-power, the machinery, the technology, the will-power to get me here today.  Think of the millions of transactions amongst people, the billions of words, the countless moments of inquiry and faith that made it possible to be in this moment.

Starting in far-away places, my ancestors made choices to seek freedom and prosperity.  In making a choice to come here, the American dream was alive and loved.  It was not just a dream; it was the reality of the journey, the faith, the motion.  My ancestors came to America to work and keep what they worked for, in a place where liberty was alive and responsibility was respected and honored.

Consider the people who have come to America.  White, black, brown; European, African, Asian, Hispanic; people who do not cling to color nor to class nor to ethnicity. For once you are here, you are American – this is the melting pot, and we are all the same, we are all Americans.  People who have come here as people, people who have come here knowing and believing that we are endowed by a Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  The journey has not always been pleasant or good.  The creation of America held many tragic incidents involving the very people that She now desires to protect.  That is the road and the journey that exists, and I must move forward in an effort to do better, as an individual, as an American.  We can learn from our mistakes.

Consider the technology that has moved us here.  Inventions, the revolution in industry, and the revolution with communication – all of these over thousands of years have contributed to my journey.  Although my life cycle is short, the experiences I have are created on the shoulders of giants (Newton, 1676).  Piece by piece, moment by moment, I am standing here today because of these human discoveries, theories, interventions, and practices.

Consider the human desire that has moved us here.  Human beings from around the world, people who work hard, study, love, and crave the freedom that allows them to do those things.  Consider the faith – regardless of religion or origin – consider the faith of the people who want to move forward, want to protect what they love, want to be free in their just pursuit of happiness.

No one knows how to make an American, even though the 307+ million Americans have a part of shaping each other every day.  “There isn’t a single person in all these millions… who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” (Read, 1999).  Each day a citizen may decide to read a newspaper, watch a television show, or go to school, however the other citizens will never truly know how this affects them – we just know that it does.  None of us know what the other millions of Americans want, however we are still all able to co-exist and prosper.  None of us know exactly how this works, but we know that we are able to make transactions and decisions when we have the freedom to do so.

There is no master-mind dictating to people what they should do, what they should want, or where they should work.  For over two hundred years, the country of America has been able to grow without the master planning of its future.  There have been mistakes, and more recently attacks on Her freedom, however the 307+ millions of Americans who are a part of my country can still make informed decisions.  This “absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.” (Read, 1999).

We cannot “make an American”.  The Invisible Hand (Adam Smith), the liberty present in our country, and the free market where we all stand equally as consumers, are a part of a complex combination of miracles.  America is where you can find me, in “the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!” (Read, 1999).  We are free men and women, there is no greater miracle.

I, American, although made from many different races, classes, and religions, do not cling to those as testimony for how others should act or be.  I, American, although a part of a social system do not expect a social system, I take responsibility for what and who I am.  I, American, although faced with displeasure, anger, and poverty, righteousness, happiness, and prosperity, do not expect from anyone anything other than interaction in a marketplace where I can work, purchase, and sell goods and services without the intervention of a master-plan that tries to decide what is best for me.  I, American, understand what I am charged with and accept the responsibility and prosperity that accompanies such “risk”.  Having the liberty to make my decisions, is all I ask for.

I, American, in a country that has had millions of immigrants come to Her for liberty and the opportunity to pursue their dreams, believe in the creative interactions that have made our prosperity possible so far.

“The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed.”  (Read, 1999).

I, American, seemingly simple and often misunderstood, believe in the miracle of my creation. I believe in the liberty that rewards responsibility. I believe in the free men and women who are my fellow citizens.  I, American, believe.

References:

Newton, I. (1676, February 15). Letter to Robert Hooke. Retrieved  June 20, 2010 from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton.

Read, L. E. (1999). “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.” Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Smith, A. (1776). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Edwin Cannan, ed. 1904. Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

What This Is About

The Good American Post is a newspaper and medium designed to educate our communities about liberty, free markets, and the Constitution of the United States of America.  We have a quarterly national newspaper distributed to targeted distribution points across the country, as well as a model for communities and cities to customize the product to fit their area and region.

We are a non-partisan company dedicated to informing the people of this great country about positive, productive, and actionable steps that we can take as citizens to create wealth and protect our freedoms.

Want more information?  Check us out online at: www.GoodAmericanPost.com

Have questions?  Email us at goodamericanpost (at) gmail.com

Time for NEW MEDIA

With the sudden and somewhat unexpected news of the retirement of Helen Thomas, considered the “dean of the White House press corps”(2010), we can reflect on the concept that journalism as we know it is changing.  Not to say that this particular event is good or bad, but to remember that an era and a country are changing, and that the media, the press, and the journalists are at the forefront of how our country will continue to be shaped.

This brings our attention to another issue – the FTC working paper on the “Reinvention of American Journalism”.  We here at The Good American Post advocate for journalism that is embraced and enhanced by the free market – not by government grants, subsidies, and taxes (which can artificially create incentives or behaviors).  READ THE FTC DISCUSSION DRAFT and oppose any action on behalf of the FTC that may impede free speech as we know it.

It is time for new media – it is time for our country to stand up and stand tall for journalism that is based on the free market by people who are advocates of the truth, presenting all sides, and being caring Americans.

Reference:
CNN Wire Staff. (2010).  Retrieved on June 7, 2010 from http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/06/07/pol.helen.thomas/index.html?hpt=P1&iref=NS1

The Reinvention of Journalism?

Please take the time to read the FTC’s Discussion Draft on the “Reinvention of American Journalism”.

What you will find is the most ludicrous advance against the first amendment of all time, and the beauty of it is, that they are actually telling us that this is their plan.

The “challenges” that they (the FTC) face are that over 300 million Americans have potential access to information from millions of Americans via mediums like the Internet.  Proponents of a free market where consumer knowledge available in real-time is a matter of great efficiency, and what makes for a health and robust economy, not to mention the embracing of our first amendment rights (which is in effect, liberty and freedom), would say that there DOES NOT need to be any taxing/subsidizing/grant-giving from the government to our next generation of journalists.

Because, if the government is taxing/subsidizing/grant-giving, then it is arguable that they will have some type of “control” over who gets taxed/subsidized/awarded.  So, if Uncle Sam doesn’t like your journalism, then you will could be ran out of business.  This is NOT LETTING THE MARKET DECIDE – this is allowing the heavy hand of government to decide what information is taken, promoted, and disseminated.

In my opinion, that is what The Good American Post is the anti-thesis of, and we will stand behind protecting journalist’s rights to free speech as well as vehemently opposing any type of government-funding or intervention into the realms of journalism.

Reinvention of Journalism_FTC Discussion Draft – Please take the time to read this.

– Tisha Casida, Publisher

Independents Win Elections

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We here at The Good American Post have found free-thinking readers who love being American and are focused on positive actions to preserve that concept.  Want to reach them with your products and services?  We are preparing for the 3rd Quarter issue – let us know if you are interested in contributing or advertising.

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Independent Thinking at The Good American Post

By Tisha Casida

Is it possible to both believe in preserving the environment and believe in liberty?

Is it possible to not believe in climate change but to believe that we should not pollute our air as much?

Is it possible to not believe in regulating carbon emissions but like the idea of electric cars?

Is it possible to both want to recycle and believe that the free-market will be the best vehicle to embrace the recycling industry?

Is it possible to eat organic and be a conservative-thinker?

Is it possible to be a “tree-hugger” and want to protect our second-amendment rights?

Is it possible to be a border-line vegetarian but love to hunt?

At The Good American Post, we sure think so.  Our publication embraces independent thinkers who LOVE LIBERTY and LOVE OUR FREE MARKET.  Those are the two things we stand by – our constitution and our economy – the rest is up to us, the American people to continually build and protect.

You will not hear us damning any group of people for their beliefs or their political ideologies.  You WILL hear us promoting and protecting our constitution and our free-market.

And yes, we believe that you can love sustainability and be a capitalist at the same time.

We want to hear from you, come and join us on our blog.

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