Ten years ago today I pressed click and posted my first blog. I’ve been writing the blog for a full decade now. This is number 1198—so in another week we’ll hit a full 2000. Thank you or reading whatever portion of those you’ve read.
Not every post makes it obvious what this blog’s purpose is. It is to share the concepts of the Spherical Model by discussing things related to the three spheres: political (freedom), economic (prosperity), and social (civilization).
I’m on a personal crusade to change the vocabulary from the right-left model to this more accurate three-dimensional model. It makes moot any discussions about whether some fringe group is right-wing or left-wing extremist; if they go against the northern hemisphere principles that lead to freedom, prosperity, and civilization, then they are southern hemisphere, leading to tyranny, poverty, and savagery. Degrees (distance south) may differ. Lateral direction toward chaotic tyranny or statist tyranny may differ. But if they’re southern hemisphere, that’s bad.
The Spherical Model is a way to move from “What party is proposing this?” toward “Does this idea/policy follow the principles that lead north?”
We’re not talking earth-north and south; we’re talking about the directions on the Spherical Model. (For a full description of the model, see the resources below.)
|The Political, Economic, and Social Spheres of the Spherical Model|
The three spheres each have some questions or principles you can consider, to determine whether a policy will lead north or south.
Political Sphere: Questions to Ask
1. Is the policy being debated something that an individual has the right to do, and therefore has the right to delegate to his/her government?
2. Does the policy infringe in any way on our God-given rights, including but not limited to those enumerated in the Bill of Rights?
3. Is the idea being debated a proper role of government, some aspect of protection (including defense, protection from interstate crime, enabling international and interstate commerce, standardized weights and measures and currency, the judiciary that guarantees the protective laws), as enumerated in the Constitution?
Economic Sphere: Question to Ask
· Who decides what will be done with the fruits of your labors? Someone always makes these basic economic decisions. Should it be the person who did the work to make the profit (north), or should it be some far distant wielder of power (south)? If you go north, you find prosperity; if you go south, you reach poverty.
Social Sphere: Principles of Civilization
1. Not all religious societies are civilized (according to my definition, which differs from the archaeological definition), but every civilized society is a religious society. This absolutely does not mean state-sponsored religion or lack of religious freedom; in fact, the opposite is true. Freedom of religion is essential, and the flourishing of religion in general must be encouraged.
2. The family is the basic unit of civilized society. Whatever threatens the family threatens civilization. So preserving and protecting the family is paramount in laws and social expectations in a civilized society.
The three spheres interrelate. But it's probably easiest to see things in the political sphere, so let’s take a look at those three political sphere questions and apply them, for example, to the national $15 minimum wage, being proposed right now.
With question one, do you have the right to force your neighbor to pay a particular wage to his employees? You can suggest. You can use peer pressure. But you don’t have that right. Nor does he have the right to impose that on you. So we, the people, do not have that power to grant to the government.
And the second question, do you have a God-given right to make an exchange with your neighbor for goods and services? Yes, assuming the exchange does not break a duly legal law (written by the legislature, signed into law, and not breaking the overriding law of the Constitution, which supports our natural rights). Do you have the right to prevent such a free exchange between your neighbor and someone else? No. Even when you think your interference is for someone’s own good? No. Nor does he have the right to prevent you from making an exchange of your choice. The exchange is a representation of the work you have done—the wealth you have created. Money is just an easy way of exchanging that representation of your spent life. To interfere with a free exchange is to interfere with your life, your liberty, and your property.
And the third question, does the government protect your life, liberty, and/or property by either limiting or forcing an exchange against the will of the participants? No, it interferes or limits those things. Government's job is to protect those things, not infringe on them.
Here’s something we say here often:
Whenever government attempts something beyond the proper role of government (protection of life, liberty, and property), it causes unintended consequences—usually exactly opposite to the stated goals of the interference.
So, if the goal of a minimum wage is to prevent people from being taken advantage of and give them a minimum living amount in exchange for their work, let’s see if it does that.
A business exists to create wealth. It does this by providing goods and services that others are willing to pay for. The price is set by the market—by the customers’ willingness to pay. If the cost is too high, the customer won’t pay it. If the cost is too low, there may be too much buying and the supply won’t keep up. So the business owner isn't setting the price; the market is.
If the market sets a particular price for, say, a sandwich at a fast-food restaurant, and the revenue brings in enough for the business to pay a worker $8.50 an hour, but not $15.00 and hour, what happens when the minimum wage is imposed? The business cannot afford to pay the workers that. The alternative is to let go any workers who cannot bring in the needed revenue to meet their $15.00/hour pay and hope the remaining employees can work even harder than they've been doing. In other words, entry-level workers, who are building up their skills, are not legal to hire. They can’t gain the experience needed to get a $15.00/hour job. Instead, they get no pay. They are worse off.
The law has not only made it illegal for a business to pay less than $15.00 and hour; it has made it illegal for a worker to work for less than $15.00 an hour even when it’s to his advantage to do so.
If you’re looking at fairness as the goal, do you think it’s fair to enforce a $15.00/hour minimum on a small town in the Midwest—where that’s about the median income and can get you a decent home—and also in Los Angeles where it might buy your groceries but wouldn’t begin to make a dent in the rent on a one-bedroom apartment? Such a law actually imposes unfairness.
You can see how the political and economic spheres are interconnected here. We know what the northern prosperity zone would look like: healthy, prosperous economy, with each worker benefiting from his own labors, and having the opportunities to meet his financial needs and build up wealth. There would be no guarantees of the success of every single person, but there would be better opportunities than in any other system in any country at any time in history.
Maybe you can also picture how the economic sphere ties into the social sphere: wherever there are needs that a person cannot meet with their own efforts, caring people step in to fill the need. If it’s an economic need, they do that by charitable giving, or philanthropy.
However, when government takes from one person to give to another, the government isn’t charitable or generous. It is simply thieving. That’s a southern hemisphere policy, and it makes for tyranny, poverty, and savagery. An honest look at data bears that out.
While the Spherical Model is new—and still obscure a decade later—the principles are what our founders tried to design our US Constitution to adhere to. What I believe we’d find, if we had an honest look at the historical data, is that every time the principles are met, we get the desired outcomes of freedom, prosperity, and civilization. But mostly we have experienced people in power insisting they’re “helping” us by limiting our freedom, limiting our use of the fruits of our labors, and leading us away from a thriving civilization—and then saying they’re there to solve those problems for us if we just turn over power to them.
I’m hoping the Spherical Model gives us a better way to think about ideas, and a better way to talk about them.
If you’d like a better look at the Spherical Model concept, here are some resources:
The long version is at the website SphericalModel.com. This contains an introduction and four longish articles:
The short version is available in print form in this blog:
· The Political Sphere Is Round. December 29, 2014
· Spherical Model Review, December 31, 2015
· What the Spherical Model Is All About, December 31, 2020.
Since the concept is three dimensional, maybe you’ll understand it better visually, with this very low-tech video of me explaining it in under ten minutes: