Millennial investor explains why he spends millions on libertarian causes

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Kurt Wallace: This is Kurt Wallace and our guest today on Rare is John Ramsey angel investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Austin, Texas and he’s a millennial. John thanks for being with us today on Rare.

John Ramsey: Kurt, it’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Kurt Wallace: John, you wrote an article talking about why you invest in the cause of liberty. Tell us about the early times in your life and your relationship with your grandfather as a mentor.

John Ramsey: Sure, Kurt – I was very fortunate to have a mentor and a lot of people around me to show me the way business is conducted and the way to do things the right way. Especially, in the business world and what really I think I’m most grateful for him showing me is how regulations and how punitive legislation can block out mom and pop shops all around the country.

If you look at a lot of the big legislation – one that comes to mind is the Dodd-Frank Act, what it really did is crowd out small banks. And, that’s the type of thing that goes on all around the country. It’s literally legislators picking winners and losers. That’s really how I got my first taste of what liberty is all about.

Kurt Wallace: Now, your approach is obviously very different from wealthy people, you talk about how they favor big government and authoritarianism. As a millennial, why is it important for your generation to understand how investors and people that are wealthy can be very beneficial to society?

John Ramsey: Absolutely, so you’ve got definitely that class out there. In fact, the majority of wealthy people I would say out there, they want to game the system because it’s easy.

At the end of the day when you can have a product and not worry about any competitors ever coming out with a better product because you’re able to manipulate the system via legislation, that’s the easy way out. Where in a truly free society and a thriving society we would have constant competition always coming out with new and improved products and that ultimately benefits the consumer.

In the system that we have now I worry that we’re embarking on a path where government’s just bought and paid for. And, that’s not what’s conducive to a society when human flourishing and innovation. That’s a society that all about corruption ad bribery and when you get into that — that’s when you get into these terrible oligarchies where a lot of people are suffering and those at the very top are still benefiting.

Having said that, there are still a hand full of very wealthy individuals out there that who create value for others, who create successful businesses, they have great products that are benefiting a lot of people and they also are not participating in this type of system. So, those are the people that we have to surround ourselves with and who can really help us spread this message.

Kurt Wallace: As a millennial, there’s a lot of frustration that your generation grew up in a war state, you’re growing up in a welfare state with Obamacare forced healthcare. A lot of people in your generation went to college, did all the right things that they were told to do and they’re still living at their parents house. The third leading cause of death for millennial is suicide.

What is the disconnect from the generation before and you and your generation in terms of all of the problems in society that your generation faces?

John Ramsey: Sure, I think that we all know especially as single parents around the country weather it be small mom and pop business owner, people know that America’s not doing well right now. They know that America’s sick, that things aren’t right.

The great thing for the cause of liberty now is people are looking for answers and I think we have really good answers to offer them, we have solutions to these problems. For example, you mentioned where’s the disconnect? I think we’ve gotten a little bit lazy. We’ve forgotten what it means to be truly free and the responsibility that comes along with that.

But also, where I really worry is we’re embarking on a path of destruction, a nightmare. The things that I talk about and that a lot of people that think the way that I do talk about — they’re not political in nature, it’s not based on politics, it’s based on mathematics. If you look at just one or two government programs, they’re worth all the wealth in the United States and that is totally unsustainable.

We’re fighting wars all over the world today. We’re throwing sick people in jail for using marijuana. These are uncontroversial issues that I think we can all agree with as genuine Americans.

Kurt Wallace: You support specific candidates. Could you talk about those candidates and why you have supported these politicians?

John Ramsey: Sure, I think one of the things we can do of our mindset is support candidates who support these values. For example, I’m a big supporter of Ron and Rand Paul and Justin Amash, Thomas Massie. These guys are going into Washington and standing up to the establishment. These guys are heros at the end of the day. Especially, when you know the elites — John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnells of the world when they come out and want to bully people.

When we have this sort of irate minority there that’s really standing up for our rights that’s something that we have to do. Now, I do realize that the political game long term it may not be our best and it’s definitely not our only solution for solving a lot these problems. But, at the end of the day the political platform is a great marketing platform for us to spread this beautiful message.

Kurt Wallace: Along the issues of politics we see the Republican Party which is kind of the place that libertarianism has been developing and there are some concerns about this war that’s happening within the Republican Party, can you speak to that?

John Ramsey: Sure, I think it’s a very healthy war if nothing else. The fact that we’re trying — especially, libertarians trying to purify the Republican party. One thing that I think will be crucial for libertarians going forward and is actually very much a mission of mine is unite social conservatives and libertarians.

Social conservatives tend to be very non-corrupt, they’re very genuine. They care about the cause. We as libertarians may disagree with them on a few issues. It’s really just the semantics of issues, it’s not even the issues per se. Just for example, I think someone can be a libertarian and a social conservative at the same time.

But, the great things is if libertarians and social conservatives ever unite the establishment will be completely done. I think that’s something that they really fear because those two groups I’ve just mentioned — they’re not in the system to game it. They don’t want a big government benefit.

Whereas, your establishment — they exist because of the whole system in general. So, that’s something that I’m really interested in and also to that point I think there’s a lot of Democrats out there that could side with us as well. The well intentioned ones that maybe there just not so big on the social issues but they;re small business owners. I think there’s a lot of potential there as well.

Kurt Wallace: In terms of marketing the message, you talk about the political aspect being a great platform for marketing the message — the ideas of liberty. How else can people do this and what ways do you see it being most effective?

John Ramsey: In marketing any message whether that be in business or a debate anything that you do you’ve got to win three different components of an argument. Aristotle talks about this in his book Rhetoric. And the three are the ethos, logos and pathos.

Ethos is obviously the credibility, a lot of libertarians we have that. We either have successful businesses, we’re very philanthropic, we’re likable people.

The logos is logic: don’t spend more money than you bring in, don’t tell other people how to live their lives — our philosophy is pretty logical I would say.

Where we get hammered often, Kurt, is the pathos. Which is the moral appeal. What’s really cool about that is our philosophy is the most moral philosophy that’s ever existed. And we’ve got to win that “I care about you” argument.  If we can do that and take that moral high ground, especially on Democrats, I don’t think we’ll ever loose again.

I think that our message is here to stay for one thing and what’s neat about libertarianism is it has the track record that has created the most value for the most vulnerable in societies all around the world.  So, if we’re really serious about alleviating poverty, about getting wealth equality under control. I think society based upon liberty, volunteerism and self ownership is the way we have to go.

Kurt Wallace: John Ramsey, is your website, thanks for being with us today on Rare.

John Ramsey: Thank you Kurt.

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