Peter Schiff is a smart guy — a successful businessman and Austrian
economist. I still can't help but click on those "Peter Schiff
was right" videos as I'm browsing YouTube. It's amazing to
watch his confidence in the face of such economic ignorance. It
is not unlike watching Ron Paul during the presidential debates.
As Peter's predictions bear out, his popularity is growing exponentially.
He has made appearances on several major networks and is a huge
star in the liberty media circles. It was only a matter of time
before slogans and websites popped up demanding "Peter Schiff
Peter Schiff would obviously make a fine senator. He would undoubtedly
be a member of financially oriented committees with more experience
in those areas than most if not all of his newfound senate colleagues.
He would use that experience and his respect for the constitution
to cast his vote in favor of liberty.
"Peter Schiff is considering running for senate!"
linked a Facebook acquaintance.
"What a waste of a perfectly good entrepreneur,"
Why on earth do people insist that Peter Schiff's immense talent,
creativity and intelligence be wasted in the maw that is America's
political machine? Why do people still cling to this notion that
if we can just "vote in our people" that everything
will be okay? Sure, Peter will have an opportunity to vote on
items of which he is immensely qualified; however, as is usually
the case in government he will more often be voting on things
which he has little to no experience with. His yea or nay, now
backed up with the coercive use of force (as is all government
policy), will influence everyone. Unintended consequences abound.
Sure, he will use our constitution as a guide — but even it currently
permits an income tax and for a time allowed for the prohibition
of alcohol. That document is no safeguard, that much should be
Ludwig von Mises said, "Government is essentially the negation
of liberty." Why on earth do we expect that fundamental truth
to change now? All of the things that have made life and society
better have come from private commerce, the free market. Peter
Schiff could do a number of things to support the cause of liberty
besides throwing it all away to pursue higher office. He could
continue to build wealth for his clients. He could continue to
speak publicly about the state of the economy and the cure for
what ails us.
I'd like to see him and other entrepreneurs start businesses
that compete directly with government services. In the twilight
years of empires past, it was the private sector churning along
and making the public sector irrelevant that kept society going.
Take the case of the Birmingham Button Makers, British manufacturers
who began coining their own tokens of silver when the Royal Mint
failed to keep pace during the burgeoning Industrial Revolution
starting in the 1780s. Quickly, these tokens gained preference
among merchants for paying workers and buying goods and remained
popular until the early 1800s when they were finally outlawed
by the Crown. As the old saying goes, government hates competition.
A more modern example would be FedEx for mail and package delivery.
They consistently provide superior service at competitive prices
and are a pleasure to deal with. Having spent my share of time
at the counter in the Post Office, I can say with certainty neither
I nor the employees were very happy to be there. No one would
ever doubt the private sectors ability to deliver mail and cry,
"But who would deliver the mail?" The idea that the
market couldn't provide other services of which the government
typically maintains a monopoly over is silly. Oh, the cognitive
I could go on with regards to private sector victories over public
sector incompetence — the absolute joy of driving a private turnpike,
the skill of largely unregulated alternative medicine practitioners,
the success of private-schooled or home-schooled children over
their public "schooled" counterparts, and even more
recently of private ventures into space — but at this point I
feel it is obvious. What must be communicated now is not that
the private sector can do it, but that we as productive citizens
must no longer waste our time on the folly of politics. The real
r3volutions are happening every day in the minds, labs, and boardrooms
of entrepreneurs all over this world.
As with all of the great peaceful revolutions throughout history,
all it took was more and more people ignoring their political
masters to make them irrelevant. The Mahatma comes to mind. In
a huge act of defiance that challenged the mighty British Empire
and united India, Gandhi and thousands (eventually millions) of
his followers marched to Dandi along the Indian Ocean and began
harvesting salt in direct violation of the British Salt Tax. Practicing
satyagraha (non-violent protest), Gandhi and his followers drew
the attention of Britain and the world to their cause, eventually
winning their independence from the empire.
Adam Kokesh is another example of a liberty activist turned wannabe
politician. That man's speeches are incredible, he really knows
how to stir up a crowd. He'd far better serve the cause of liberty
stirring up a million-freeman march on Washington, DC. Perhaps
they could coin money, smoke marijuana, or sell raw milk. There
is nothing like good old fashioned civil disobedience, some modern
Now, enough about petitioning these wonderful folks for higher
office. We need productivity, real choice and real wealth generation
to restore liberty — not more misguided political will.