What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
There are many things you can be when you grow up. Chef. Doctor. Veterinarian.
But… no matter what career path fits you, there is one thing everyone should strive to be.
An owner of what?
No, Not Your House, Car, And TV
Maybe these come to mind first.
Your House: Financially, your house owns you. It’s expensive. With a mortgage, the bank owns your house. The government owns your house too. See if they let you keep it if you don’t pay property taxes.
Your Car: So long as you need to use it, it costs you money. Again, if you ‘own’ your car thanks to the good graces of a bank or financing from the car company, they’re the real owner.
Your TV, Furniture, And Golf Clubs: You could re-sell them for 20% of what you bought them, but that’s not much value.
Your house, car, and other possessions have ‘value’ to you. You can live in your house. You can drive your car. You can relax in your furniture. This is value. This is personal utility. But it’s relatively low value.
What Else Would You Want To Own? Is There Something Of Higher Value?
There are other things that are worth owning. In fact, they’re so valuable and highly coveted that at certain times in history it was illegal for ‘common people’ to own them.
At some points in history, it was only legal for the king to own them.
In communist governments, they are owned by the state.
In pseudo-free-market economies, required permits, legal labyrinths, and full legal liability make their ownership impossible or incredibly risky.
In China, they are regularly nationalized, snatched by the government whenever they wish.
I was just traveling through Bolivia, where the president enjoys taking them for himself whenever he desires.
What is this thing? It must be good if governments need to make it illegal, similar to beer during prohibition or marijuana in the modern-day drug war.
The Means Of Production: The Most Valuable Possessions
Your house is valuable to you, but the construction company that builds new houses is 1,000x more valuable. A company that produces cars is more valuable than your car. The utility company is far more valuable than your running tap or bedroom light bulb. The farmland is more valuable than any single-year’s crop.
The entities that society depends on, the organized ‘machines’ that run society, the assets that produce the necessities of life, are incredibly valuable.
Owning these things gives you… Power.
Power to influence. Power to control your time. Financial power. The power to say ‘no’. Financial power. Power to help others. Power to make decisions. The power to party like Dan Bilzerian… or the power to start a charity to cure AIDS like Bill Gates.
That’s why for all of human history conquerors have fought to control the means of production. Kings claimed them as their holy right, communist governments seized them from private owners, and corrupt government officials continue to do so when persuasion fails.
That’s why, for most of human history, kings, presidents, or other leaders, didn’t like when ‘common people’ owned them. It’s much easier if those things belong to the king, and the common people are only allowed to earn wages for working the machine.
But For The First Time In A Long, Long History, You Can Own The Means Of Production
If you’re not trying to ‘own’ things, you’re playing the game of serf. Working land owned by other people. Rather than owning anything valuable, you must trade your time, your life, for a portion of the profits generated for the owners of the machine.
Once you become an owner you can…
Make money not directly tied to your physical effort.
Protect yourself from inflation, owning something that appreciates over time
Protect the majority of your investment from taxes, as your investment is made more and more in the form of tax write-off money vs. non-tax-write-off effort.
Get loans. Tax-free money that helps you increase your income, if you know how to use it.
Scale! Working the machine requires your time. More output requires more time working. This cannot scale, whereas an ‘owner’ can always acquire more means of production.
Yes, It’s More Difficult And More Complex
It’s more complicated to own a business, or own real estate, or anything else, rather than simply working as a cog in the machine, for sure. You need to read through a lot more laws and contracts, learn a lot more skills, and take on much more responsibility, learn new tax codes and take on some risks… but now it’s legal, so you’d better take advantage of your right to own the means of production!
The better option is almost always more complicated.
It’s more difficult to drive a car than to walk, but which option is faster? A sailboat is more complex than a rowboat, but which will get you across the Atlantic?
Like it or not, we live in a capitalist society. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work so well. In this society of legal ownership, it’s still more complicated to own something than to just live and work with things that other people own, but which option is best?
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
For the first time in a long time, you’re able to ‘own’ a piece of this massive machine called society.
If you want to be a chef, own the restaurant. Don’t work in someone else’s kitchen.
If you want to be a doctor or a veterinarian, own your clinic.
If you want to be a teacher, own the school.
Own the landscaping company. Own the houses people live in, not just your own. Own your private law firm. Own a piece of land. Own a shipping line. Own a factory. Own an island resort in the Philippines. Own an Internet business. Own equity in the company you work for. Own something, own anything!