Economics

Heckle sketching: why I paint instead of innovate

I am an artist and serial entrepreneur, and I, like many, have been pillaged and plundered by the United States government. Heckle Sketch is my latest means of satirically venting frustration while communicating important messages about freedom and free market capitalism that are lost to the majority. The majority includes a government which was founded on such principles.

I have been involved in creating successful, innovative businesses for the past 16 years. I have lofty, but also realistic, visions for the advancement of mankind through biotechnology, space colonization, energy efficiency, etc. I have believed I can make a contribution toward these advancements through free market business creation and relevant investment. I am now realizing that I have been duped.

My latest venture, Tangerine Wellness, is a free market solution to rising health care costs, which the U.S. government cannot successfully address. The solution offers financial incentives to employees of large corporations for weight-loss and maintenance – lose weight, earn money is the motto. It is a solution that makes people healthier and has decreased healthcare costs for our clients.

Tangerine is solving the healthcare cost problem, yet we are being hindered from continuing to do so. In addition to the mountains of bureaucracy added to prospective clients’ operations because of massive healthcare reform, the changes have instilled uncertainty about their approach to employee wellness and about offering healthcare coverage at all. Prospective clients are not making market-driven decisions about the health of their employees, nor their healthcare coverage. They are basing their decisions on government coercion, which will result in continued rising healthcare costs.

When you spend over seven years putting your energy, heart and soul into a profitable endeavour that actually solves a major problem only to have the concept dismissed on government whim, you begin to question whether continuing to innovate is worth it. It is one thing to deal with natural free market forces; it is another to deal with free market forces as a secondary factor to unpredictable government intervention. Tangerine continues to be profitable and is wisely shifting toward a consumer-direct approach, but that is no cause for excitement when around the corner could be any new bulldozing regulation.

My nutshell story of Tangerine cuts to the point I am trying to make while leaving out many other similar painful, government-related experiences both in this and past endeavours. Driven by a need to understand the nature of the beast that threatens my survival, I have dug deeply into the landscape of economic theories and schools of thought. I see clearly why government is harming my businesses and others, why it is the core cause of our massive economic crisis, why it is stifling innovation and the advancement of mankind, and why it is so hopeless to expect the system to repair itself.

So, what does one do when one’s dreams are shattered by government injustice and there is no hope to fix the root causes through the current system? Well, if you’re also an artist with a sense of humour, you make fun of the injustice through art while trying to make it a form of education toward a brighter future. “Ben and the Fat Cat Banksters” is my first painting to do this by humorously exposing the harm the Fed produces through fiat money printing and bailouts. Do not be fooled – so long as I can put a brush to a canvas, or commission others to do so, every perpetrator of freedom and free market capitalism that exists will be…HECKLE SKETCHED!