In Defense of Common Sense

Common Sense for a Confused Era

Reflections and Recommitment

I started this blog five years ago, hoping to make a difference in the world. It was shortly after what would be called the “worst financial crisis in nearly a century,” when the world seemed to be trying to pick up the pieces and figure out where to go. I had the crazy idea of providing answers to some of the “big questions,” by weighing in on what I thought were important topics.  As you can see, I didn’t get too far.

Today, I want to restart with a new and improved website. A lot has changed since the Fall of 2010. I’ve lived in a foreign country, almost completed college, spent the summer working on Capitol Hill, and refined a lot of my views and opinions. Hopefully, this will make the blog more interesting than simply the ruminations of a high school senior.

I suppose my hope for this blog is simply to be insightful. It’s easy to gloss over so much of what is happening in the world and focus only on the simple and shallow parts of the issues. I would hope to be thought-provoking, if not persuasive. I’d hope to explore the “why” of the issues. I’d hope for people to come away with a different take on things and reconsider why they believe what they believe. This might be a lot to ask, but I’ll endeavor.

The Visible Hand of the Market

Every stock broker has heard of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.”  The invisible hand is a market’s “intangibles.”  The “invisible hand” creates the sense of fear and panic that drives prices lower, as well as the joy and hope in market rallies.

But it seems as if one organization can have significant influence over the “invisible hand”: the Federal Government.  The way that the U.S. government has responded to the market crash is proof that government can and will control the market.  While some would argue that government interference into market activities is wrong, no one can deny the power the White House and Congress has to affect our economy.

Creative Destruction

How does a market improve?  There are surely some that would say it can’t, others that believe that capitalism fosters improvement, and those that believe that “markets create a new, more efficient order by destroying the old one.”

This last belief happens to be the most accurate one, but as Charles Wheelan says about it: “there is nothing pleasant about [the way markets change], particularly for the individuals and firms equipped for the old order.”

This is clearly evident throughout history.  One could argue that the Civil War was an outcome of the industrial revolution in America.  The only way to fully unite the country was through abolishing the “old economy.”

So this begs the question: Are we experiencing a massive change in our economy right now?  The answer: yes, but we will discuss that later.

Level 5 Leadership

I recently ran across an interesting book by Jim Collins at a leadership conference I attended.  His  suggestion was that the main two characteristics of great leader are personal humility and fierce resolve.  It is amazing how two seemingly completely different attributes are married within a level 5 leader.

But when we examine all great leaders, we notice these two traits.  Also at this conference, I meet a leader with these two traits.  He is current the Student Body Vice President and President of the Student Advisory Council here at BYU.  I did not know about this until nearly half-way through the conference.  He had such amazing humility, yet when you heard him speak, you felt the sense of motivation.

Look at good leaders around you and you will notice their personal humility and professional drive.

“A House Divided”

In a speech in 1858, Abraham Lincoln used these words, taken from the teachings of Christ, to describe his nation: “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”  These words were a prophetic view of what would happen to the United States if it could not stand together.

Today, the situation is no different.  We are a nation divided;we stand divided between conservatives and liberals.

It is concerning to watch how deep this division is forming.  Since the founding of this country we have been able to work together to accomplish things.  Now, it appears as if you are not for a specific party, you are against them.

It will be interesting to see how this division continues to form.  It leaves one question: Will George Washington’s prediction that political parties would be the downfall of this country finally be fulfilled.

“In the beginning…”

“In Defense of Common Sense” is ready to begin.  This blog attempts to analyze current events.  Me, myself, am a lover of learning and history.  I am a student at BYU studying economics and the humanities.  I plan on practicing law and eventually running for political office.

Currently, I am working for Leprino Foods in Ravenna.  I am a string cheese, quality assurance, floor technician.  It is quite a job.  I have three siblings, all younger, and live with them, my parents, and my dog in Kearney, Nebraska.

I hope something here will spark your interest.