A brief philosophical discourse on what financial freedom really means, and if there are other ways that we could define freedom.
‘Always with you this freedom! For your walled-up country, always to shout “Freedom! Freedom!” as if it were obvious to all people what it wants to mean, this word. But look: it is not so simple as that. Your freedom is the freedom-from: no one tells your precious individual U.S.A. selves what they must do. It is this meaning only, this freedom from constraint and forced duress. But what of the freedom-to?’David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (1996)
I was supposed to attend the first-ever Financial Freedom Summit in St. Louis at the beginning of this month. An offshoot of FinCon, this was more of a “business-to-consumer” conference and less of a “business-to-business” conference.
It didn’t happen due to the pandemic, and instead it, like so much else in our lives, was moved online. The actual event has been postponed to be adjacent to this year’s FinCon in Long Beach, CA, but I have no confidence that either will actually happen.
But it, and so much else in our political discourse, has gotten me to think about what the “freedom” in “financial freedom” actually means. And whether it means the same thing to everyone. I suspect it doesn’t.
Let’s start with a 20th century political theorist, shall we?[Read more…] about What kind of freedom are you looking for?