David L. Bahnsen is not your typical financial advisor, even though he spends 12 to 14 hours a day as the Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, where he manages $1.5B with a
20 person team.
Bahnsen's primary passion is serving his clients and manages to fill up the rest of his time juggling several weekly appearances on Fox Business, Bloomberg, and CNBC, writing columns for Forbes and National Review, sitting on multiple non-profit boards, and finishing his second book, this one on dividend growth investing. He also writes two popular investment blogs, The Dividend Café, and Market Epicurean, which focus on markets, politics, culture, and their effects on investors at large.
Bahnsen's television appearances and writings are often related to his direct role as an investment manager, but others delve into deep topics of culture, theology, philosophy, and the creation of a free and virtuous society.
He published his first book last year, Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It, with Post Hill Press, where he argues passionately that our society's instinctive reaction to blame others is the problem itself.
The LA Times ran a headline in May saying, "David L. Bahnsen takes on the blame game in Crisis of Responsibility," adding that "it is refreshing to read a book by a conservative who by and large avoids the pratfalls so many other members of his tribe have succumbed to."
"I am a limited-government advocate who has long believed that the size of government is in direct, inverse correlation to the responsibility of the people," Bahnsen said in Crisis of Responsibility. "My concern is that behind much of the cultural angst today is a narrative that blames great and powerful forces, not unlike the mysterious, unknowable wizard behind the screen in Oz. These forces become the scapegoats, almost always with some level of legitimacy, while individual people are indemnified."
Nearly two years after he started writing the book, the tendency on both sides in our society to blame others has reached a critical mass. Fox News' Tucker Carlson made global headlines with his now infamous monologue, where he argued: "One of the biggest lies our leaders tell is that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, those are personal matters. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories." Bahnsen wasted no time with a critical response in National Review, where he called out Carlson for being "on the wrong side of the Crisis of Responsibility."
"Parts of Carlson's monologue capture the things I have been wanting someone with a microphone to say for years," Bahnsen said in National Review. "Yet other parts struck at the very heart of why I wrote my book, Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It, last year."
Randian advocates of a free market do not understand that the freedom of our system is wholly dependent on virtue," Bahnsen argues. "The secular, libertarian view of markets that Tucker rightly condemns does indeed fail. Yet Carlson wrongly chooses to assign blame for the decisions people make to macroeconomic forces, instead of focusing on the decisions people make and the microeconomic consequences people absorb. Tucker does a wonderful job decrying the silliness that says consumption is the be-all and end-all of life. This 20th-century economic maxim is not only the source of great economic destruction; it is at the heart of what is wrong existentially as well. At the heart of the 'happiness' problem that both Tucker and I want to see solved is a lack of focus on production — not merely economically, but inherent to our being.
"Trade, immigration, capital markets, big media, and other global realities are key issues to be addressed," Bahnsen concluded. "However, the key to American prosperity is not to feed our cultural addiction to blame, but to begin—right here, with both you and me—to make responsibility matter again."
For more information: