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The Stewardship of Wealth: Successful Private Wealth Management for Investors and Their Advisors, + Website by Gregory Curtis

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The Indispensable Nation

The distinct American version of free market democracy, with wealthy families at its indispensable center, is crucial not just for Americans, but for the world at large. And not just in ways that might immediately come to mind. Yes, American economic vigor, and the resulting gigantic market we represent to other economies around the world, is certainly the main engine of global economic growth and therefore the main hope for people everywhere for material improvement in their lives. Yes, American democracy is the most widely admired form of political organization in the world and therefore represents the main hope for freedom among people everywhere. And, yes, American military might is the main guarantor of peace globally and the main fear of despots everywhere; as well as—let's face it—the main source of fear even among our allies.

But my argument goes beyond these issues, important as they are. When former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright insisted that the United States was the world's one “indispensable nation,” European statesmen engaged in paroxysms of sputtering outrage. But Albright was transparently correct. Let's examine why.

In the famous “Kantian paradox,” Emmanuel Kant pointed out that the only solution to constant warfare among the aggressive and all-too-adjacent European powers was the creation of a world government. But because such a government would have to be all-powerful to enforce a “state of universal peace,” the world government ...

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