Honesty and the Barriers to Truth


When Pulitzer Prize winning writer George Will began his career he asked William F. Buckley, Jr. “How will I ever write two columns a week?” Buckley responded – easy; at least two things a week will annoy you, and you’ll write about them.  Jonah Goldenberg tells that story in his book Tyranny of Clichés (2013) to explain what motivates him (or me or anyone else) to write regularly about law, economics and politics:


Annoyance is inspiration, aggravation a muse. That which gets your blood up, also gets the ink – or these days, the pixels flowing.  Show me an author without passion for what he holds to be the truth and I will show you either a boring writer or someone who misses a lot of deadlines, or both.  Nothing writes itself, and what gets the writer to push that boulder uphill is more often than not irritation with those saying wrong things righteously.


Today’s mainstream thinkers are obstacles to the truth about wealth. Institutional leftist bias has run amok. Thomas Sowell explains that the intelligentsia is a barrier to truth because they dictate “things you cannot say, even with a mountain of empirical evidence behind you, and other things you can shout from the rooftops, without a speck of evidence behind you, in defiance of whatever evidence exists to the contrary”.  Today’s writers have to navigate a maze of political correctness in order to address anything controversial or untoward about wealth.   Not me; I’m not beholden to a liberal university department head or left leaning editor.  It’s my clients, their wealth and intellectual honesty that I’m passionate about.


Too many thinkers devalue honesty and truth, disabling clear, rational thinking about wealth and economics – wouldn’t want to offend anyone. They avoid unpleasant realities and the unpalatable aspects of wealth, which makes them dishonest.  It reminds me of the old joke about a prospective employer interviewing a job candidate.  The interviewer asks the candidate “What is your greatest weakness?”  The candidate replies – honesty.  The Interviewer says I don’t think that’s really a weakness, to which the candidate quickly replies – I don’t give a fuck what you think.


Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) saw this state of affairs developing when he wrote that American democracy promotes mediocrity among thinkers.   He believed that those who possess true virtue and intelligence are left with only two choices:  They can engage in very limited, honest intellectual circles to explore the weighty and complex problems facing society or they can use their superior talents to amass wealth in the private sector.  The Estate Planning War Chest gives you both by engaging weekly with the clearest, most honest thinkers on wealth (most of whom are dead), which should only be undertaken after your family’s assets have been secured with good financial and estate planning.



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