Meet the Author: John Herbstreith
John grew up in Hastings, Michigan. He enlisted in the United States Air Force after Graduating from Hastings High School. And, after graduating Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB, he would study electronics as a Satellite and Wideband Communications technician at Keesler AFB in Mississippi. Following his technical training he would transfer to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. From there John would travel to Colombia and Korea, were he began working on obtaining a degree in Electrical Sciences from the UMUC and the CCAF. After an honorable discharge from the military, he moved to the United Kingdom to assist the USAF with an ongoing satellite communications program.
John moved back to Michigan to be closer to his family where he began working as a Metrological Field Service and Applications Engineer. During this time he met hundreds of wonderful people with just as many economic and political opinions. Additionally, during this time he also earned a BBA and MBA from SHU and SAU respectively. His studies focusing on economics forced him to take a harder look at his own beliefs, and attempt to understand the bigger picture. After years of study and introspection, he began to consider what he might write to help others understand what he had learned.
Join him as he illustrates the dangerous encroachment of socialism on our economy and freedom, while he uncovers the hypocrisy inherent in those that pretend to adore socialism. He explains why socialism is eclipsed morally and economically by capitalism, while failing to lift the human condition.
John Herbstreith grew up in the town of Hastings, Michigan. He spent nearly his entire childhood there. His family wasn’t rich or poor. A pretty typical childhood. But he had something that a lot of other kids didn’t have. His parents acted as solid role models, worked hard to provide the necessities, and provided a stable environment for him to grow. While he didn’t have everything he wanted, he had everything he really needed. After graduating high school, he took a job as an electrical apprentice with a small family owned company. As the US entered a recession, he lost this job. He turned down another job offer as an electrical apprentice to go into the United States Air Force; following in the footsteps of his three sisters.
John joined the USAF under the Air Force Specialty Code as a Satellite and Wideband Communications Technician. Being his first time away from his family and friends, he recalls setting in his dark hotel room, alone, staring at the ceiling. He wondered if he had made the right choice, and was scared of what the future held. Soon he would enter Basic Military training, which was about his first-time away from Michigan. It turns out it was the right decision. While he was in the Air Force, the fears subsided, his confidence and knowledge grew, and he earned an Electrical Science degree by taking courses through the Community College of the Air Force and the University of Maryland University College while he was stationed in Korea. He had the chance to defend his country, meet amazing people, and acquire some of his fondest memories and closest friendships. He also gained perspective by living in different areas throughout the US, and in Colombia, Korea and England.
Colombia was the very first country John visited outside of the United States. It was a completely new experience for him. The people were amazingly friendly, inviting you to their home and practically dragging you off the street to have conversations neither could understand. In fact, John would meet his wife during this time; though he wouldn’t marry her until several years later. Unfortunately, there was also an enormous amount of danger in Colombia. This was especially true for members of the military. So, his interactions were sometimes restricted. The time he spent there was eye opening. He observed cultural differences he’d never heard of or imagined previous to witnessing them. Most subtle, but it helped him realize that culture plays an important role in how we perceive and interact with our world. Because this was his first time out of the country, and because he returns every couple of years with his family, he really began to appreciate the importance that Colombians place on the family unit, and how close families are. He could understand that wealth could be measured by more than just dollars and cents.
John’s final year in the USAF was spent in Korea. This was another major eye opener for him. Sometimes he would go out with a small group of friends, heading to establishments that weren’t often frequented by other military members; one time singing happy birthday to a surprised, laughing table of patrons! He was able to experience some of the differences between our Western Philosophy, and the Korean’s Eastern Philosophy. But perhaps his biggest takeaway was the observation of the different attitudes that the younger and older generations had regarding communism. Most South Korean’s hope to one day reunite with their brothers and sisters of the north. The older generation, having lived, or at least heard stories of the hell that is communism, embraced those men and women allied with their ROK military forces. They saw them as a bulwark of freedom from a tyranny. But the younger generation envisioned embracing their kinsmen in a utopian fashion. They saw the military as little more than an impediment to this utopia. As the generations slowly moved away from the history and the reality of communism, a utopian vision had taken its place. Now when he looks at America, he sees a young generation doing something very similar to this; taking the gains brought by capitalism for granted and unable to comprehend the reality of a socialist state.
At the end of his time in Korea John began looking for a new position. He actually wanted to try living in a new country. When he was offered a Job in the United Kingdom, he snatched it up. Again, there was culture shock. The difference was that he hadn’t expect there to be much difference between the US and the UK. They’re both Westernized countries that speak English as their primary language. But he wasn’t in a large city. He lived in a small town called Pickering. His window sill covered with coal dust from the Thomas The Train steam engine across the street. But the biggest shock came from a universal health care system. His former wife fell while he was at work, and required a surgery. She broke her elbow right at the joint. The botched surgery, overall horrendous treatment and medical care she received quickly convinced them to leave the country. It wasn’t one problem, but the entire system had failed during each step of the process. Though they had no medical insurance upon their return, John’s wife was able to receive a surgery from a medical school. The surgery wasn’t free, taking years to pay off. But his wife could once again use her arm. It was after this that he would hear people talk about the wonders of the UK healthcare system, and his frustration began to grow as the perception of another utopian system eclipsed the reality of a loathsome nightmare.
After John returned from England, he endeavored to move back to Michigan to be closer to his family. First, he moved to a town south of Detroit called Riverview. A few years later he moved to Pontiac. His family would move a few times around Michigan before settling down to their current home. But they’ve stayed close to family, and began one family of their own (Which offers its own life lessons).
During the last decade John’s focused on academics and work, earning a BBA and MBA, studying economics and history, while working as an engineer in the metrology field. John and his wife own a small marketing business. While John provides strategic guidance for the company, his wife provides nearly all of the personal interaction required for the small company. He’s behind the scenes, and she’s in front of the camera. They also love spending time with their two amazing children.
Over the last couple of years, John’s focused on writing his book because he wanted to halt the spread of misinformation associated with capitalism and socialism. And that’s a lot of misinformation. Having lived around the world, in multiple cultures, and being a student of economics and history, he knows how good we have it, how we got here, and how far we can fall! But this is a reality rarely shared. So, he decided to write about why socialism is wrong for America, and why free markets are the best engine for true economic gain. While socialists scramble for utopia, free markets have already made the world a far better place. John explains through current events, personal stories, statistics, economics, and a bit of history, why free markets provide better outcomes, and why it is actually morally superior to socialism. At its core that is what the book focuses on. Because without it we are not only poorer materially, but morally.