E Empowering America

At the end of my mother’s magnum opus, she argued that the business of philosophy suffers from a lack of real-world perspective. Philosophers, by and large, live outside the cadence of family and normal human existence. My mother argued that changing diapers (and engaging with the real world in other ways) enabled her to have a richer philosophy than professionals who did nothing but analyze reality from a distance.

If she was right, then that bodes well for me. After all, I play a key role in raising my six children.

fall of a motorbike

Photo by Stephen Isaiah on Unsplash

Indeed, I do believe my experiences as a parent have strengthened my political and economic philosophy. Today, I want to focus on just one small example of this: I have taught five of my children (the sixth is still only three) how to bike. The process is pretty consistent: when they’re ready, you take off the training wheels. And then you hold them up and give them pointers and help them learn how to ride. At first, they just coast for a bit without falling over. And then you get them to pedal. And then, over the course of a day or two, they learn how to bike without you. Their exhilaration is palpable. As a parent, you never forget it. You have, after all, empowered your child.

The process of empowerment fascinates me. As a parent, you constantly balance your support against their growing capabilities. You simultaneously support and challenge. And when they fall, you help them up. Of course, you can’t instruct them on every little movement, you can’t live within their bodies commanding their muscles. Fundamentally, they need to learn how to balance on two wheels. You are just providing broad direction.

Over the course of the last few months, I’ve written a series of articles for TalkMarkets on public policy. I’ve covered areas as diverse as taxation, welfare, foreign policy, healthcare, education and policing. Although I have a professional history modeling taxes, the concepts presented in the other areas are all based on my general education and my experience as a parent focused on empowering his children. They are all about balancing support and challenge while recognizing that you can’t tell people everything they need to know.

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Duanne Johnson 11 months ago Member's comment

Somethings are simply too broken to fix.

Frank Underwood 11 months ago Member's comment

Joseph, I think your perception of the welfare system is simply wrong. Read this article and then let me know what you think:


I read it on TalkMarkets years ago, but bookmarked it since it made such an impression on me and made me realize just how broken our welfare system is. It absolutely is not a form of training wheels to wean people off assistance and encourage them to make more. On the contrary, many make more on welfare than they ever could in a job. It creates an incentive to NOT work, as outlined in the above mentioned article.

Gary Anderson 11 months ago Contributor's comment

Or we could not help poor people and as Ezekiel said, that lead to Sodom being destroyed by fire. Don't forget, poor people aren't even allowed to sleep out on the sidewalks anymore.

Joseph Cox 11 months ago Author's comment

I realize this is what the system is. I've been around it. It doesn't train people to ride, it encourages them to remain dependent forever. This is why I want to completely revamp it. The system I describe supplements earnings - it does not incentive people not to earn. Check out the more detailed article: talkmarkets.com/.../the-road-to-a-post-corona-boom-part-1

Gary Anderson 11 months ago Contributor's comment

Useless wars are the result of tariff wars Joseph. Rules based tariff wars are the worst because countries get locked into collecting the tax.

Old Time Investor 11 months ago Member's comment

Well said Joseph.

Joseph Cox 11 months ago Author's comment

Thank you

Trinity Sinclair 1 year ago Member's comment

The situation in America is getting worse and worse :(

Joseph Cox 11 months ago Author's comment

The argument is that for some it was never very good. The problem is that the existing call for action doesn't do much to make it better.

Trinity Sinclair 11 months ago Member's comment

Which do you think is more destabalizing for America right now? The pandemic or the protests/riots? What about in the long term?

Joseph Cox 11 months ago Author's comment

I think they are intrinsically linked. There have been brutal police killings in the past but they have led to localized protests/riots. There have been anti-globalization riots in the past (see Seattle) but they have been very limited in scope.

When you mix in massive effective unemployment which has *especially* hit minority communities and younger people (I believe) you create enormous frustration, untapped energy, resentment, fear, displacement etc... Heck, even cancelling professional sports augments this. The virus makes the riots and, unfortunately, the riots probably make the virus.

You aren't going to 'outlaw' racism. I'm Jewish and all the efforts to legally combat antisemitism have accomplished less than nothing. What you can do is give people more opportunity, more control over their lives, less fear, clearer paths to justice etc... And that's a lot of what these proposals are about.

Joseph Cox 1 year ago Author's comment

I realized the healthcare link didn't make it. Here it is: talkmarkets.com/.../the-road-to-a-post-corona-boom-healthcare-part-2