Maximize Capital; Minimize Crap

submitted by jwithrow.
Click here to get the Journal of a Wayward Philosopher by Email

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Maximize Capital; Minimize Crap

September 20, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction…
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
This is to have succeeded.
” – Bessie Anderson Stanley

The S&P closed out Monday at $2,139. Gold closed at $1,316 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $43.80 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.70%. Bitcoin is trading around $608 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

The first leaves of Autumn have begun to fall, and each new morning is now accompanied by a light breeze. Little Maddie seems to share her father’s love of the season, as she enthusiastically gathers black walnuts from the yard to feed the squirrels.

Here, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel… I have an apricot for you!

Yeah, she calls the walnuts apricots. I am not sure where that came from.

Madison has also been debriefed on the proper way to carve a jack-o-lantern, and I test her knowledge daily.

“Maddie, what’s the first thing we have to do to make a jack-o-lantern?”

“We have to carve the top and get the gunk out!”

“And what are we going to do with the gunk?”

“We are going to throw it on mommy!”

…I think you are ready, kiddo.”pumpkin

It is truly the simple things that make this life worth living.

We spend most of our time in these journal entries and especially in the Zenconomics Report discussing complex topics within the world of money, finance, and economics, but that is only because we want to be able to enjoy the simple things. Continue reading “Maximize Capital; Minimize Crap”

Become a Creator

submitted by jwithrow.
Click here to get the Journal of a Wayward Philosopher by Email

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Become a Creator

July 8, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Let them be creators, not followers. Followers have a certain mentality, and independent creators a quite different mentality. We want creators – people who find solutions by themselves, who have their own conceptions of right and good, and who are capable of independent, righteous action. Followers don’t do that. To get the creator mindset, you have to get out of the way and let them rise to the occasion. Make sense? ” – Phillip Donson, A Lodging of Wayfaring Men

The S&P closed out Thursday at $2,097. Gold closed at $1,362 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $45.14 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.39%. Bitcoin is trading around $652 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Wife Rachel took it upon herself to take me out on a date earlier this week! She had recently discovered a picturesque country inn nestled in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and she thought it was just the place for me. So we traveled an hour’s worth of winding country roads even deeper into the mountains of Virginia on a misty Tuesday night. Continue reading “Become a Creator”

Fourteen Lessons for the Federal Reserve

submitted by jwithrow.fed-speak federal reserve

Excerpt from The Folly of the Fed’s Central Planning:

1. Increasing money and credit by the Fed is not the same as increasing wealth. It in fact does the opposite.

2. More government spending is not equivalent to increasing wealth.

3. Liquidation of debt and correction in wages, salaries, and consumer prices is not the monster that many fear.

4. Corrections, allowed to run their course, are beneficial and should not be prolonged by bailouts with massive monetary inflation.

5. The people spending their own money is far superior to the government spending it for them.

6. Propping up stock and bond prices, the current Fed goal, is not a road to economic recovery.

7. Though bailouts help the insiders and the elite 1%, they hinder the economic recovery.

8. Production and savings should be the source of capital needed for economic growth.

9. Monetary expansion can never substitute for savings but guarantees mal–investment.

10. Market rates of interest are required to provide for the economic calculation necessary for growth and reversing an economic downturn.

11. Wars provide no solution to a recession/depression. Wars only make a country poorer while war profiteers benefit.

12. Bits of paper with ink on them or computer entries are not money – gold is.

13. Higher consumer prices per se have nothing to do with a healthy economy.

14. Lower consumer prices should be expected in a healthy economy as we experienced with computers, TVs, and cell phones.

All this effort by thousands of planners in the Federal Reserve, Congress, and the bureaucracy to achieve a stable financial system and healthy economic growth has failed.

It must be the case that it has all been misdirected. And just maybe a free market and a limited government philosophy are the answers for sorting it all out without the economic planners setting interest and CPI rate increases.

A simpler solution to achieving a healthy economy would be to concentrate on providing a “SOUND DOLLAR” as the Founders of the country suggested. A gold dollar will always outperform a paper dollar in duration and economic performance while holding government growth in check. This is the only monetary system that protects liberty while enhancing the opportunity for peace and prosperity.

The Emerging Cultural Shift

submitted by jwithrow.cultural shift

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Emerging Cultural Shift

January 23, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P opened at $2,056 today. Gold is still at $1,296 per ounce. Oil is back down to $46 per barrel. Bitcoin is hanging around $233 per BTC, and the 10-year Treasury rate opened at 1.82% today.

Yesterday we examined the cultural shift towards top-down authoritarianism that occurred in America during the 20th century. We also observed a promising new cultural shift beginning to emerge; this time away from politics and towards non-coercion and free markets.

Mind you, the emerging cultural shift is still quiet and small so few people are aware of it at this time. It is also non-uniform in nature which is somewhat foreign to our way of thinking about culture in modern times. We are accustomed to thinking along the lines of hard-coded doctrine that must be accepted, believed, and adhered to. Everyone must agree on the specific bullet points handed down to them: If you are “conservative” then you must agree on these issues; if you are “liberal” then you must agree on these other issues; if you are “green” then you must agree on these issues, and so forth.

The emerging cultural shift does not fit into that top-down paradigm – it is more holographic in nature. The shift is comprised of many different ideas, views, and philosophies that sometimes overlap in certain places and other times overlap in different places. The hologram is held together by one underlying sentiment: non-coercion. The individuals who make up this emerging shift share the understanding that it is neither right nor necessary to force your ideas upon others. The old “Do unto others…” philosophy is making a comeback. With this mindset firmly in place, individuals are free to come together in those places where they overlap and they are free to diverge in those places where they do not overlap.

Everyone wins.

R. Buckminster Fuller once said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Guess what? The emerging cultural shift renders the current paradigm based on politics obsolete. Politics is nothing but a tool used by one group to force other groups to conform against their will. This is a win-lose model; politically connected groups win and all others lose. Politics is the almighty dragon within a top-down societal model; it is the shunned cockroach within a decentralized holographic model.

To some the holographic model sounds unrealistic. They just can’t fathom a community without a leader or a November without an election. They are like the Israelites in the book of Samuel who asked for a king to rule over them – they just couldn’t envision a better way. And who’s to blame them? For most of recorded human history people have identified with hierarchal institutional structures.

But the highest ‘entity’ in society is not the institution, it is the individual. All humans operate individually; there is no getting around that fact. Humans can choose to cooperate with one another but that is always an individual choice. All individuals are endowed with an indomitable will and they are left with the decision to either use their will or to subvert it. Institutions specialize in convincing individuals to subvert their own will for the benefit of the institution.

The emerging cultural shift is gaining steam for two reasons: ethics and economics.

Most of us are taught some variation of “love your neighbor as yourself” in our youth but we can very clearly see that this ideal is at odds with our authoritarian societal model. Political institutions litter the face of the Earth and they each subject individuals to all manner of taxes, regulations, mandates, restrictions, licenses, tags, identifying documents and they back these edicts with the threat of force and imprisonment. Sometimes these political institutions compete with each other and resort to violence as a resolution. Other times these institutions collude with each other to further enrich the ruling class at the expense of the public. It’s very difficult to expect individuals in society to exhibit a sound code of ethics when political aggression rules the day.

Further, most of us fundamentally understand we must produce before we can consume; there is no such thing as a free lunch as the old cliché goes. We also understand that if we consume less than we produce in the present then we have a surplus. That surplus can either be saved for future consumption, invested to increase future production, or it can be given to a neighbor in need. Each of these surplus scenarios is a win for both the individual and for society.

Our authoritarian society makes it extremely difficult for individuals to create a surplus, however, because it skims roughly 50% of individual production off the top via taxation. We are taxed on all income earned, all investment gains, all real estate owned, all vehicles owned, all gas purchased for those vehicles, all food and goods purchased, and any inheritance received. The political institutions then destroy all of the surplus skimmed from individual production on warfare, welfare, political favors, and unsustainable public works projects. This is why government buildings are always and everywhere the most prestigious buildings in existence – they are built with stolen money! To add insult to injury, the most powerful of our political institutions have not been content with their portion of the skim so they have borrowed massively against the production of future generations to enhance their spree of warfare, welfare, political favors, and public works. Such economic activity destroys capital and creates a net deficit which is a tremendous loss for both individuals and for society.

Free, innovative, entrepreneurial commerce creates an economic surplus while political intervention, aggression, and redistribution creates an economic deficit. Surpluses enrich while deficits impoverish. Factor in the ethical implications and the choice is clear, is it not?

More to come,







Joe Withrow
Wayward Philosopher

For more of Joe’s thoughts on the “Great Reset” and the paradigm shift underway please read “The Individual is Rising” which is available at The book is also available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.


submitted by jwithrow.Fishing Boat

We have been hearing all about how most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and not saving any money as justification for the brilliant (*cough*) myRA government savings plans so we felt that it would be prudent to take a deeper look at what ‘saving’ is.

You see, we don’t think that saving is about money. Money is involved, but it is not the focus. Saving is really about storing our productive efforts.

It goes back to the days of barter…

Back then the fisherman would catch extra fish in the morning and take them to the market in the afternoon to trade his extra fish with the farmer for vegetables. His wife liked to have vegetables with her fish for supper so he had to trade for vegetables instead of the painted rock that he really liked.

The fisherman had learned that fish would start to smell bad the day after being caught so he had no choice but to trade all of his extra fish every afternoon and go fishing for more again every morning.

Until the fisherman discovered gold. Then the fisherman could trade his extra fish for gold and take the next day off. The fisherman didn’t really care about amassing gold; he just figured out that gold would let him store his production so he didn’t have to go fishing every single day to feed his family. And it turned out that three day old gold smelled much better than three day old fish – this was a bonus.

So saving was born!

Somewhere along the line we forgot this and started to think that saving was about amassing money. And on top of that we started to think that money was paper and not gold. We are so forgetful!

So when saving became about money and not about production we opened the door to debt. We started to think that instead of saving we could just borrow whatever money we needed. After all, the credit money still bought stuff just like the saved money except we didn’t have to wait to use it!

But then when we had to start using our entire paycheck to pay back all of the credit money we found out that we had to be even more productive now than before we went into debt. Our plan backfired.

We didn’t learn from our smart fisherman ancestor and now we had to go fishing both in the morning and in the afternoon to have enough fish for our supper and also enough to trade for vegetables so our wife won’t get mad and also enough to give to the banker to pay him back for the credit money that bought us the really neat painted rock.

Darn painted rocks.