So What Should We Do?
It seems that we are all looking for answers right now.
I’ve been getting emails and messages every day lately with people asking me what I think the solution is, or what I think we should be doing about the continued shutdown of our nation.
Some people are calling for a march in every community on government offices to demand that the country open back up. Some people think the reason the “official” projections of deaths are being halved again and again is because this lockdown is working, and we just need to stay the course—regardless of secondary effects of prolonged economic shut down and personal mental health concerns.
I’ve seen some people who once supported the Stay Home Orders change their minds and now acknowledge that the “cure” could very well be worse than the disease. Even within our Tuttle Twins readership I see opinions across a broad spectrum of solutions and fixes to the current state of things.
Which, I guess, is actually a good thing.
The fact that people disagree on the right course of action is a pretty great sign that people are still, at least to some extent, exercising their rights to speak and learn and act in the ways they feel are right. It’s a good thing when people use the platforms and influence that they have to try to persuade others to join in their cause or to see things from their perspective. I always value seeing that—even when I disagree.
While I know that this shutdown will eventually end, I can’t pretend to know what the long-term consequences of it will be—and although we do have a lot of historical evidence to draw from to make projections, I’m getting a little tired of projections. 😉
What I do know is that more education and more communication is always the right answer.
Although this is truly an unprecedented time, so many of the things we are seeing have already played out in one way or another and much has been written and recorded for us to reference now.
Read to your kids. Teach them.
The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island pretty much perfectly sums up the disastrous effects of stimulus spending, money printing, inflation, and economic collapse that we are watching unfold in real-time right now. Although G. Edward Griffin’s version is the stuff nightmares are made of, our version teaches these lessons in a way that is entertaining and light-hearted—but without coming across as condescending or patronizing to kids. Kids are way too bright to put up with that.
The Tuttle Twins and the Messed Up Market is our newest book and teaches about the way that human action affects markets. In fact, it’s based on Human Action by Ludwig von Mises. Never has the lesson been more important, that individual people, acting in their own best interest, are what comprise an economy—thus making it impossible to plan or control, because each person places value on different things. We are seeing what happens when the government tries to tell people what is “essential” to their lives, and what is not. It simply cannot be done. (Central planning fails, as we explain in our Road to Surfdom book.)
The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future came out last year, and focuses on the tendency of governments to become authoritarian because they rely on coercion instead of persuasion to get people to do what they think should be done. It challenges children to envision better ways for people to acquire the protection and perks of government through voluntary action without employing coercion or force against others. It is based on Murray Rothbard’s Anatomy of the State.
All of these books will serve to help kids understand the things that are happening in the world around them right now. If you haven’t read the original versions, I highly suggest you prioritize reading them soon. (Curious which books ours are based off of? See the list here.)
Incidentally, if you are ready to bring out the pitchforks and torches, please don’t tell me. Plausible deniability, and all that…
I read an article this morning titled The 100 Day Disaster that Befell America and I think there’s a lot of good lessons to take from it. One of my favorite points was this:
No one has ever explained why everyone facing the same calamity (which is never the case, in actuality) requires the same reaction from everybody, especially a response selected and decreed from above by a group of people who usually face far fewer risks than the rest of us.
Why do so many right now seem to have accepted the very collectivist idea that we must all come to the same conclusion, or none at all? I think the most likely answer in all of this is that there simply isn’t a right answer that can magically come down from some position of authority and force things to work out a certain way.
People—individuals—in their own families, neighborhoods, communities, and states, should always be free to make the decisions that meet the needs that they deem essential—but especially in times of crisis. This is a lesson that all of us should be learning, and teaching, during this new and uncertain time.
Our collective safety, security, health, and prosperity cannot be outsourced to someone else to centrally plan what is in our best interest.
President Eisenhower is credited with saying, “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.”
I like “Ike” on this one.