Permission to Think There exists a perceived malaise across the country that has become a part of our culture and overtaken every aspect of our lives the past 20 years (perhaps longer). We have gone from innovative survivors of two world wars, a depression, near collapse of our economy in the 1970s and early 1980s, to a fat and happy populace. Our recent complacency, expectations, and even arrogance seem to scream entitlement to the rest of the world. Indeed we have shifted from being prepared for what may come to telling the world that we will not allow an early arrival because we are Americans. Where else in the world can you unilaterally declare a war over, a disease abated, or a job saved? We have gone from hardware, technology, and Internet innovators (all demanded by the world) to illusory financial instrument creators (so complex and illusive not even the creators knew their value add or use). We have shifted from wealth creation through innovation to bail-out suppliers and revenue assessors. Rather than creating wealth the old fashioned way, we legislate or borrow it and assume it will all work out in the end. The subject of this book deals broadly with the need to shift our paradigm as Americans. We need to look at some of the fundamental economic principles that have been lost along the way (i.e. as prices go up, demand for a product goes down, so why would we guarantee labor unions higher salaries and promise greater demand for their products, with the assumption it will all work out in the end ?). We can no longer seek only upside benefits without assuming downside risk, thinking that we can always shift our challenges (blame) along the way to other countries, governments, or people. As a country, too often we feel entitled to economic success. If that is the case, we must earn such reverence through innovation and production, rather than spending and indebtedness. To do this, we must first learn to embrace what is real (not just what we are told), act on what we can, and change what we must. This book should help the reader say, "this makes a lot of sense. I get it and now I know what to do."