Vice and Virtue


I was talking with a friend recently who said that he didn't beleive the government should legislate on "purely moral" issues, such as gay marriage.

He also said he thought the government needs to make sure to have social programs for the poor, and programs to create greater "equality".

I had to break it to him - prohibiting vice and forcing virtue are both "purely moral" uses of legislation. Not to mention, using government to try to achieve "equality" and alleviation of poverty doesn't work.

Great article on vice, virtue and morality in law here - http://libertyunbound.com/archive/2003_04/legate-christ.html

Monster and the Fed


A blog post originally written for the Prometheus Institute.

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There's a reason the earliest economists likened the economy to a human body

I’m a huge fan of Monster energy drinks.  The things are dangerous.  I have to severely limit myself.  I only consume one if I’m in desperate need of a wake-up and I know I can handle the crash that inevitably follows.

Energy drinks are basically a way of fooling your body.  When the human body needs something, it sends all kinds of signals to let you know.  When you need sleep, you feel tired.  It tells you when you need food.   You feel sick when you’ve not eaten the right nutritional mix.  Health problems kick in when exercise is lacking.  Headaches can mean lack of sleep, water, nutrition, too much stress, bad posture, etc.  These signals can be a pain in the butt – but they perform a vital function.  Ignore them at your own peril.

Your body is begging you to sleep; so you slam a Monster to make you feel like you have energy and shut down the bodily signals screaming for repose.  This may give you a temporary productive burst, but there is no long-run net benefit.  The burst is followed by a crash of equal (sometimes greater) magnitude on the opposite end.  Worse still, the greenish liquid you’re putting in via Monster has other deleterious health effects (sugar and acid which rot your teeth to name just one) that will be especially pronounced if you frequently imbibe.  So while your body is tricked into telling you that you feel great for a few hours, inside bad things are happening, and they’ll be felt in short order.

If you begin to rely on high doses of caffeine and ginseng, you find the dosage must be continually increased, which makes the crashes greater.  To avoid the crashes, even more must be taken; but this only prolongs the inevitable and causes more negative health effects.  It can get to a point where the Monster fails to give you a boost at all.  (If you’ve gotten this far, I suggest stopping vs. moving on to anything stronger).

Monetary inflation is a lot like a Monster drink, and the Fed is a lot like an addict.

The current housing “crisis” was created in part by the Fed injecting constant doses of caffeine-like dollar bills into the economy, tricking the market into thinking it had more capital than it did, and mixing up a system as vital to economics as your nerves are to your body – prices, profits and interest rates.

The problem with mortgages was created largely by the Fed increasing the money supply, causing rates to be artificially low like your body is artificially energized via Monster.  Meanwhile, the screwed up rates diverted capital and production away from its truly best use towards uses that looked deceptively profitable – i.e. the purchase of crappy mortgages banked on exaggerated equity rates.  The natural market signals were fuzzied by an injection of valueless dollars, and some made decisions based on those false signals.

As with Monster, a crash has to come.

I would say that the Fed should be as careful with inflation as I am with Monster, but that wouldn’t be a fair comparison.  They need to be far more careful than that.  When I drink Monster, I choose to do so and take the consequences myself.  When the Fed inflates they are force feeding the monetary Monster to us and making us pay for the fallout.  That’s not just economic stupidity, it’s moral transgression.

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the CEO of Crash, the career launch platform, and the founder of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

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Ask Isaac: ‘Business Bores Me’, Ecuador, Blogging Tips, and Startup Stuff


Some questions have accumulated and it’s time for an Ask Isaac episode!  I really enjoy doing these because there's no logistical stress with a guest, no prep work, and I get to talk directly to listeners, which feels kind of intimate (as weird as that sounds since I'm just talking into a mic in a room by myself).  Plus, the questions are always fun and I like wrestling with them verbally.

*If you love the show (or even can mildly tolerate it), please review it on iTunes!*

As you may know, I recently spent a couple of weeks in Ecuador with my family and there were a couple of questions regarding that adventure.  I was interviewed in depth about the trip on the (excellent) World Wanderers Podcast.  The episode should be live soon.

Other questions that were answered here:

  • Why ‘Ask Isaac’ episodes aren’t numbered?
  • A father asks about whether his daughter who is an average, B student who is not sure about her path and who was turned off from business by her econ class, would be a good candidate for Praxis?  (I cheated and had TK Coleman provide an answer which I echoed and emphasized the need to focus on creating value.)
  • Keri would like to start blogging every day and she wonders how do I do it.  Do you pick a niche to stick to?  Where does inspiration come from?
  • Another question on blogging comes from Peter who asks how I handle editing of my posts.   Do I edit immediately or do I post as soon as I write it down?  (Yes)
  • Philip wonders whether some people are unfit for a startup and what is the one characteristic needed in order to thrive in a startup?

(NOTE: For some reason, the sound is a little tinny on this episode.  It seems like my mic settings were a bit off.  Sorry!  Just pretend it's more "authentic" that way, like a scratchy vinyl record.)

Send me questions anytime about anything.  I love to get them and will respond!

Sponsor Spot: If you want to spend a year apprenticing with an entrepreneur and building your own brand, skills, experience, confidence, network, and knowledge, apply to Praxis today.  The program cost nets out to $0.  What you earn equals what you pay.  Zero debt, zero BS, zero wasting away killing time.  One year will change your life.

This and all episodes are also available on SoundCloud, iTunes, YouTube, and Stitcher.

Easter and Tax Season


There's an old saying about death and taxes.

With both I'd like to grind some axes.

Both are surmountable, unnecessary.

Of the two, which first will we bury?

At least one man overcame death, once upon an Easter,

But even he felt compelled to 'Render unto Caesar'.

I guess it's progress, though.

One down, and one to go.

Being Me or Being Lazy?


So many days I don't have it in me to write a really thorough post.

It's not that I don't have ideas. I've got drafts that could be really fleshed out almost always on hand.  It's that doing more than a few paragraphs that quickly describe the core idea in those drafts is really hard work sometimes. 

I tell myself I'm just being true to my style.  I write about broad principles and simple observations in a single quick take.  I'm not Mr. Investigative Reporter or lengthy describer. I write every day so I can't labor over every idea with thousands of words. 

Part of that is absolutely true. I'm just not sure how much.

The days I really push to add more meat to the bones of an idea are harder, but more rewarding. The content is better and I feel pretty damn good about it.

Still, I'm not a writer first and foremost. I write as therapy and a tool to enhance productivity, creativity, and happiness.  So why do I need to always go big?

I'm normally at peace with this tension, but sometimes I wonder. How often am I just being lazy when I think I'm being me?

Public Speaking Workshop


We run a public speaking workshop for Praxis participants where they gain some tips and advice, present a short speech, get specific feedback, do a second take, and leave with final ideas for continued improvement.

I've run versions of this workshop for hundreds of people over the last seven years and been through it several times myself.  It really works, and quickly.  You absolutely improve by going through it, and you leave with two or three key things to work on specific to your unique strengths and weaknesses.

We're creating an online version of the workshop and I'm going to open it up to a limited number of people outside of Praxis as a kind of experiment.  The full course should be up next week with more details, but the basic structure is:

  • Watch 10 short videos with tips on voice, hand gestures, stance, props, etc.
  • Submit a video of yourself delivering a 3-minute speech
  • Within 24 hours receive feedback on the speech
  • Give the speech again incorporating feedback and submit second video
  • Within 24 hours get final feedback and tips

The workshop is self-paced but will take place within a week long time frame.  The entire thing will be done - all videos submitted and all feedback received - within 72 hours.  It's a great way to improve your speaking skills quickly.

Sign up if you're interested and want to be added to the list when the course opens.  There will be a limit of probably 10-15 spots.  The cost is going to be around $149.

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Put Your Education and Life In Good Hands…Yours


I had an awesome email conversation with a young lady named Hannah who's busy building the life she wants and realized there is no prefabricated, standardized educational path that will cut it. Here's an excerpt:

"I originally thought I was on a college path, because I loved academics so much and because everybody told me college was the obvious choice for me, but when I started actively exploring schools I was really unimpressed. I knew from my homeschooling experience that, academically, I could learn pretty much anything I wanted to on my own. I also feel pretty sure that I can learn it better, because I can follow my own instinct and interest and learn it in the way that perfectly suits me, not the one-size-fits-all system. I was horrified by the price tag, felt like four years was a long time to waste in school, and I didn't have a formulaic career path picked out for which a degree would be a logical first step. I didn't want the life of any young college graduate I knew, definitely wanted to avoid the college culture, and felt underwhelmed by the curriculum and unimpressed by every professor I'd ever met. At this point in my life, I can't think of anything I really want to do for which I actually need a college education. The icing on the cake was the moment when I realized: right now I'm free. The moment I commit to a semester of college I become shackled in debt -- something I'll have to shape my life around paying off, rather than exploring interesting projects and developing and growing, which is what I'd rather be doing."

Check out her blog.

If this resonates with you, check out Praxis.  It's for people like you and Hannah.  And whether or not Praxis is a fit, you can email me anytime if you're itching to do your own thing but need someone to talk to!

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program making degrees irrelevant for careers. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

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