Is there stock in your retirement account? Is it safe?

I’ve frequently heard that only the rich own a significant amount of stocks. But when I went to look up figures, actually about half of Americans own some stocks, and even the poorer half of the population own an average of $54,000 market value in stocks. Yikes! That’s a lot to lose if and when the stock market next crashes.

They tend not to own that stock directly, but instead, in retirement plans that someone else manages. This is ostensibly “for their own good”, because truth be told, most of them would not manage it very well. There are several pitfalls that tend to contribute to their losses:

  • buying into sales pitches
  • not understanding the risks
  • lack of risk-mitigation strategies
  • not realizing what they don’t know
  • a tendency to make decisions based on emotions like greed and fear

Unfortunately, though, having someone else manage their retirement investments creates “moral hazard” (an incentive to do the wrong thing) because it’s “other people’s money”. There are laws regarding “fiduciary responsibility”, but you can’t regulate away the incentive to sell to captive audiences what richer and more financially-sophisticated clients don’t want.

If you have a stock portfolio, either directly or indirectly, I can’t give you advice about what to do about it, because investment advice is regulated where I live, and because it would be impossible to give one-size-fits-all advice anyway. I can only give some general information.

When stocks do drop, most stocks, maybe 80%-90%, all tend go the same direction. But not all the same amount.

Some securities available in the stock market do go the opposite direction, because they’re designed to. The problem is without knowing exactly when or how much the market might decline, you can end up losing money getting in too early or too late. Timing is always difficult. You could buy the right security at just slightly the wrong time, then panic and sell it at just the wrong time, and lose on a bet that if you’d made it with just a little bit different timing, you would have made a lot of money on it.

Because of the difficulty in timing the market, a lot of stock portfolios end up somewhat random other than being what the hedge funds aren’t interested in (unless to short).

My daughter got into stocks during the big runup, indirectly through her 401(k) plan. She had no idea what she was invested in; she just randomly picked funds that had interesting-sounding names. Truth be told, though, it’s fairly normal for fund sponsors to intentionally give their funds vague names. Even when you read the prospectus, you can’t always tell exactly what’s in it. Realizing that the stock market was looking toppy, I advised her to cash out those gains. As a result, she locked them in before the big corrections earlier this month. I’m advising her to stay out for now.

I can’t tell you what to do with your retirement funds. I suggest at the very least, finding out what they’re invested in, and if possible, finding out what the risk is as market volatility increases. Ignorance isn’t really bliss.

Members feel free to ask questions in the forums. Answers subject to regulation, but I have plenty of information and no conflict-of-interest. I want you to prosper.

Peter Pan wasn’t raised by his parents

Peter Pan playing his pan-pipes

If you were never aware of something, you don’t notice when it’s missing

People who are color-blind don’t necessarily realize it. Until and unless they’ve been screened for it and someone breaks the news, they don’t necessarily realize that some people can distinguish colors they can’t.

People who are mentally-ill don’t necessarily realize it. Sometimes their point-of-view is that everyone else is crazy.

Children who grow up in a dysfunctional home don’t necessarily realize that anything is unusual about their up-bringing because they lack any reference experiences to compare to. That’s one reason that problems often propagate generation-to-generation. Abusers don’t necessarily realize the treatment they got was abuse. Negligent parents may have been imprinted with low standards of childcare.

Millenials have a reputation among adults my age for delayed adulthood. Millenials themselves will often argue this point, and claim that actually something is wrong with the preceding generations. In some respects, they’re right.

The generation that hasn’t grown up

American sociologist Kathleen Shaputis labeled millennials as the Boomerang Generation or Peter Pan generation, because of the members’ perceived tendency for delaying some rites of passage into adulthood for longer periods than most generations before them. These labels were also a reference to a trend toward members living with their parents for longer periods than previous generations.Millenials - Wikipedia

Contrary to the quote, Peter Pan didn’t live with his parents. And proximity is not what’s lacking; what’s lacking is involvement.

Some people my age or older are shocked that so many adult Millenials still live with their parents. I’m not, because I realize that jobs are scarce and wages are stagnating compared to the cost of living. That part doesn’t bother me; it’s better that young adults live with their parents, than fail to support themselves and end up in dire circumstances.

I have to admit other aspects of delayed adulthood do shock me even though I realize that there must be some reason for them. The complaints are ubiquitous and fairly consistent.

My wife has had similar experiences with nurses; the younger generation are more likely to show up late, or sometimes not at all, without any explanation. She’s also noticed that they are addicted to their mobile devices and will play with them right in the middle of meetings. Older generations consider this disrespectful and an impediment to finding out what they need to know to do their jobs.

I’ve heard Millenials claim that they’re actually far more productive than older employees, because they use their cell phones to get work done. This is just an excuse; you can’t really do nursing care with a cell phone! My son who is a Millenial computer programmer doesn’t think his peers are doing any programming on their phones, and he and his boss have noticed his colleagues being distracted by football games going off in a window on their desktop.

Distractibility by electronic devices seems to be the characteristic addictive drug of choice of Millenials.

Raised by daycare

My guess is that too many Millenials were raised by daycare, not their mothers, and that, for better or worse, prior to their absence, moms were the ones who transmit basic social behaviors to children. The transmission process is overwhelmingly unconscious; if you have to tell someone not to play with a mobile device in a meeting, some process already broke upstream. Once moms stopped raising their own kids, a lot of very basic social expectations fell by the wayside.

About half of Millenials are missing dads, and most of the dads in intact families were passive as parents. Dads used to be the ones to teach competence.

I can think of other reasons for delayed maturity too, like lack of enough playtime, fewer playmates, and fewer older siblings. Kids learn a lot from taking their own initiative and from older siblings and playmates.

Think you’re a child, act like a child

Some trends, like thinking of themselves as being younger than they actually are, they undoubtedly inherited from earlier generations. Many baby-boomers I know who grew up rich were starting to have delusions about their own youthfulness, like some Boomer women declaring themselves too young to have children well into their 40s when they were in fact too old, or Boomers of either sex oddly referring to themselves as “middle aged” when they were 55 (you’re planning to live to 110?! really?). Some of the age delusion was probably caused by wishful thinking as regards sexual value. The same Boomers I knew who had delusions of youthfulness also had what I would consider an unhealthy fear of death; not just a healthy will to live but an unhealthy terror of their own mortality. These were people who would freak out over their parents or grandparents dying, and were worried about their kids being traumatized by the movie “Bambi”.

I do not blame Millenials for these characteristics; they didn’t ask to be raised that way.

I’m referencing the following article just so I can comment on it. I’m not endorsing its assumptions.

Most Millennials Are Finding It Hard to Transition Into Adulthood: Report

By his twenties, Kyle Kaylor imagined he would be living on his own, nearing a college degree, and on his way to a job that fulfilled him.

Instead, at 21, he found himself out of school, living with his parents, and “stuck” working as a manager at a fast food restaurant scraping to make hand-to-mouth.

Launching into adulthood has been tricky, he said.

“It became too difficult financially to be in school and not working,” says Kaylor, who dropped out of Lincoln Christian University, in Illinois, after one semester because of a money crunch. “And without schooling, you can’t get a job that you can survive on, so I had to move back home,” he said.

What Kyle considers bad luck is undoubtedly a blessing in disguise: if he didn’t bail out sooner, he might have ended up with a massive amount of school debt, and no job to earn the money to pay it back!

The media tends to excessively advocate for college, because bureaucrats involved with labor statistics see a correlation between years of education and income, and infer a causal relationship between the two. It’s like assuming that rain is caused by the falling of mercury in the barometer.

Education doesn’t make people any smarter. It’s not like if you go to college, you’ll score any higher on an IQ test. Neither will you learn skills that are more marketable than, say, trade school.

While standards for entry into college have declined, competition for getting into specific majors and degree programs remains fierce. As a result, too many college students end up in unmarketable degree programs for lack of being able to compete for high-demand degrees, or in many cases, lack of good advice.

Meanwhile, they’re racking up debt on unmarketable degrees, with the risk of never having ANYTHING to show for the time and money they spent, if they flunk out, run out of money, or get too sick to complete their degrees.

The problem that remains is where to get training and how to pay for it. There’s a bootstrapping problem: no money to pay for training, no job without training. Keep reading my blog; I toss out tips from time to time.

“In 1975, only 25 percent of men aged 25 to 34 had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men,” according to the report.

“That is a product of a shrinking blue-collar economy,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce, a non-profit institute at Georgetown University.

Traditionally, men occupied most positions in industries such as manual labor and construction work. With those mostly gone, male wages have been hit harder than “women who started off behind” but excelled in school and college, Carnevale said.

I agree that the remaining blue-collar jobs don’t pay as well as what used to be available. But show me the data that white-collar jobs aren’t disappearing too, or that the wages they pay are keeping up with the cost of living.

The part about women excelling in school and college is inaccurate and somewhat irrelevant; most of them end up with unmarketable degrees, or in service professions like teaching and nursing, making lower wages than engineers & computer programmers, which is one of the main reasons for the so-called “wage gap”. One of the most popular majors for women, psychology, is a disaster for marketability, so the comparison to women is irrelevant.

The problem for young men is not that they’re not going to college; it’s that there are simply fewer high-paying jobs whether blue-collar or white collar. Men might have been impacted more than women because their blue-collar jobs paid more than pink-collar jobs, but going to college at rates that women do won’t help because there aren’t enough places for all of them to get into high-demand majors and degree programs. Even if they did, which they won’t, it would simply flood the market for engineers and programmers!

I advice against piling up credentials without a plan. Credentials are not usually enough by themselves to get a job and keep it. Sometimes they’re worthless. Below I will post a link to a book by Charles Hugh Smith about his concept of “self-credentialing”.

While 81 percent of those who live at home are either working or going to school, one in four between 25 to 34 are “idle, meaning they are not in school and do not work” the report stated.

These individuals may be temporarily not working or not in school, but that doesn’t mean they are permanently out of the workforce,” said Jessica McManus Warnell, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.

It would make more sense to tell us what it does mean. It means they’re not getting experience, have nothing to put on their resumés, and become ever less competitive with people who are working or getting credentials.

Further reading:

Unfortunately, the only good book I’ve ever read about how to relate well with others is long out of print, and used copies are hard to find. Here are some boosk about “self-credentialing” as an alternative to getting an expensive and possibly useless credential, mindfulness as a cure for “monkey-mind”, and a strategy for getting work done by training yourself to stay focused for manageable chunks of time:

Price: $13.44
Was: $16.95

Expecting a bear market? Here’s how to place a bet without unlimited liability

Shorting a security (like a stock) is when you borrow some to sell. Like if you thought the price of XYZ stock was likely to go down, you could borrow 500 shares of XYZ stock, and sell it. If the price goes down, you buy it back at a lower price, and pocket the difference….

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Capitalists will achieve communism before communists do.

Row of green rental bikes

Just to be clear, “capitalism” is not synonymous with “free markets”, much less “honest money”. It’s always been a nebulously-defined concept. It seems to have started out as an ideal of banks as aggregators and guardians of capital. The banks were supposed to aggregate little bits of capital from many clients, and lend it only to those with the best ideas for putting it to productive use. What happened instead is that the banks became creators of credit on-demand. The ability to literally print money on demand and bail out cronies created moral hazard. The banks ended up loaning it out to cronies to create networks of oligopolies and interlocking directorates, and also loaning it to the government to squander on wars, welfare, and boondoggles, the unproductive use of the money being a short-term advantage because it guarantees repeat business.

I’m opposed to the latter regardless of what you call it. Interestingly enough, it does have an actual historical tie to communism as we’ll get to shortly. You can read more about it in the book The Creature from Jekyll Island, regarding the origins of the Federal Reserve bank.

I’ve found a pilot project for radical changes the capitalists have in mind for our economy. There are numerous bicycles parked around this city, mostly lime-green but they also come in yellow and orange. If you have a specific app on your phone, you can rent them out for $1/hour by scanning the code on the bike.

I don’t think anybody’s making any money on these. My guess is that this venture is subsidized by someone with deep pockets—probably the city government, but only after being put up to it by someone much higher up the power hierarchy. The purpose of the project is to train us to get used to the idea of renting equipment as we need it, for only as long as we need it, rather than buying it and letting it sit unused most of the time.

Smart phones can be used to pay for goods, and they can be used to summon self-driving cabs to pick us up, drop us off, and drive off to the next customer. So you won’t need a bike, or a car.

This article was posted on the World Economic Forum. I strongly suggest reading it, to understand an economic trend that is being encouraged by the world’s central economic planners:

Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better

The system described should remind you of communism. The real points of communism, that the communists didn’t openly disclose to their dupes, were that

  • Prole’s don’t own property.
  • The prole’s ARE property.
  • They don’t get to decide what their own standard of living is; someone else makes that decision for them.
  • You can’t opt out. There are no alternatives anywhere on the planet. It’s a global system, ostensibly to prevent war, but more likely to prevent challenges to the power structure.

These are still the goals, communists just don’t call the plan “communism” anymore. This is the real reason communism was always bankrolled by big investment bankers and money-center bankers.

It’s a historical fact that the Bolsheviks were financed by big banks, and even Marx himself had a few friends in high places. In politics, everything is always a pretext for something else.
In our city we don’t pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.
This one was parked in front of a swamp where there is little pedestrian traffic. Might be a while before anyone rents it.

I’m skeptical of the free rent or for that matter, free anything else. If money is still flowing, then my guess is she still pays rent. All her expenses will be automatically deducted directly from her account. Regardless, the implication is that she doesn’t own her own home. It’s been “digitized” in a blockchain. That’s why she can’t decide whether or not to allow her living room to be used for business meetings. Ownership means that you get to make choices about your own property. If you own nothing, you don’t get to make choices.

This is very much the outcome that communists had in mind as regards abolition of property.

Once in awhile, I will choose to cook for myself. It is easy – the necessary kitchen equipment is delivered at my door within minutes. Since transport became free, we stopped having all those things stuffed into our home. Why keep a pasta-maker and a crepe cooker crammed into our cupboards? We can just order them when we need them.

This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. When products are turned into services, no one has an interest in things with a short life span. Everything is designed for durability, repairability and recyclability. The materials are flowing more quickly in our economy and can be transformed to new products pretty easily.

This part really is a benefit: there are no longer incentives in place for planned obsolescence, and resources don’t sit unused most of the time; they’re moving from user to user.

Choices: most of them are green but they come in orange and yellow too.

Unfortunately, tho, there’s a cost: since you don’t own them, you have no control over them. Your major appliances at least are spying on you. Of course, that has already started, even though you still nominally own your television, computer, and refrigerator. But already, the vendors of those devices are starting to insist that you really just own permission to use them. That’s because they’re insisting on controlling the appliances, or more precisely, the data about you and your habits that the appliances are collecting.

The title of the WEForum article even admits that you won’t have any privacy. It’s not a secret because they want you to get habituated to the idea like a frog to water slowly coming to a boil. You’re already getting used to the idea insofar as you’re probably aware that you’re constantly being spied on already. As long as it’s unobtrusive, you won’t think about it much and eventually will give up resisting if you haven’t already.

Someday, instead of paying a flat fee for permission to use appliances, you’ll be paying rent in perpetuity. The point is to move from an ownership model to a rental model.

An alternative model that’s already in place is when you rent out things you own so that other people can use them too, the “shared economy“. My guess though is that the current implementation of the shared economy is just a stepping-stone and will be replaced wholesale; prole’s will be discouraged from owning anything.

Shopping? I can’t really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.
So far this is the first one I’ve seen parked in a spot that suggests it’s actually been rented.

Prole’s will be encouraged to turn their choices over to an AI. They might not even have any other option or in other words, any choice. You just tell the AI what you need, and it will deliver what it decides you are allowed to have. If you’re lucky, maybe you get to rate its choice so it can do better next time.

She has claimed that she gets a lot of benefits like rent and transport for free. I already stated that my guess is that she pays for them, directly or indirectly (delivery might be included with the cost of the item), through automated deductions from her account. Another guess would be that the AI budgets for her, since she’s not consciously making choices for herself; since the money is deducted automatically from her account she probably loses track of how much money she’s spending. So the AI takes over. It decides what she can afford, and that probably has more to do with the item that shows up at her door than her own tastes, contrary to her unrealistic expectations.

The AI can manipulate her “choices” by controlling what information is shoved in front of her face when she turns on a computing device. This isn’t theoretical; manipulation of choices is already happening. This might be the plan to prevent her from over-consuming relative to her productive capacity. “From each according to her ability, to each according to her needs!” The AI will decide what your needs are.

If they can get the system to work as I suspect it’s intended, they might make her spending account invisible to her, so that from her point of view, it seems as if everything really is “free”, and that “money” has been abolished; the book-keeping will be hidden from view just like the real decision-making processes in our so-called “democracy”. At that point, the system will achieve the appearance of Star-Trek level Communism. My guess is that it will be just as big a nightmare as the original version of communism.

One more side-effect, probably the most sinister of all:

Making conscious choices is one of the most advanced functions of the human brain. It entails running simulations of the future in order to weigh as-yet unseen costs and benefits. To give that function up to a machine is to give up your humanity, and devolve into domesticated livestock.

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.
―Frank Herbert, Orange Catholic Bible, Dune

When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work that we do can be done at any time. I don’t really know if I would call it work anymore. It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.

What do you suppose happens to people who aren’t smart enough or creative enough to think, create, and develop? Collecting UBI and banished to virtual reality? I wouldn’t count on a happy ending.

Poverty & homelessness exploding in USA. Here’s the surprising thing you can do to help!

This is along the Santa Ana river trail in southern California. This is a recently uploaded video; you can find a similar one that was posted last year along the same trail. The situation is getting worse:

The largest number of homeless in the country is in Los Angeles, where the next video was recorded:

Notice the huge numbers of apparently un-used buildings. Those were built for businesses that no longer exist. It’s impossible for their owners to attract new tenants to rent them, because it would be impossible for the tenants to attract paying customers.

The worst homelessness problem relative to the population of a US city is reputedly in Portland, Oregon. I couldn’t find any video clips that didn’t have distracting commentary on them, but I can imagine the situation, having stumbled onto shattered streets with grass even shrubs sprouting in the gaps from long-term neglect, looking very much like in a 3rd world country.

Here’s a relatively modest camp in Tacoma, WA (“City of Destiny”, “All-America City”):

Seattle does not have any particularly gigantic camps, but they start at the urban core and spread for many miles. The chilly, damp winters discourage people from trying to live out in the open like they do in southern California, so they are scattered wherever overpasses and bridges provide shelter. The feature image in this article was taken just south of the downtown area. The next photo is adjacent to Chinatown.

In the USA, the problem is concentrated in the cities on the west coast, but it occurs in the southeastern states too, and is creeping up the east coast.

It’s also hitting Europe hard and fast. Here’s footage from Paris:

Here are a few results of this phenomenon:

  • Increasing crime. Some of the homeless are perpetrators, and some are victims. People living nearby or passing through are also getting victimized.
  • Brush fires in southern California being started by camp fires.
  • Increasing health hazard from lack of enough sanitation.
  • Businesses having to relocate or go out of business as the camps spread and scare away customers.
  • Higher taxes under the pretext of “doing something” about the problem.

Now for some friendly advice about what YOU can do about exploding homelessness and poverty:

If you’re a regular reader of this e-zine, you’ve probably been trained to be self-sacrificial, both economically, and in terms of military services, by people who do not have your best interests at heart.

“A viler evil than to murder a man, is to sell him suicide as an act of virtue. A viler evil than to throw a man into a sacrificial furnace, is to demand that he leap in, of his own will, and that he build the furnace, besides.”Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Here are some more tips:

  • Most people who tell you to sacrifice yourself are not sacrificing themselves; it’s empty virtue-signalling.
  • Some of the encouragement for you to sacrifice yourself starts with billionaires who live decadent, hedonistic lifestyles.
  • Some of them are upper-middle-class people, or people with “gravy train” employment, who have resources to take exotic vacations, drive nice cars, or live in “exclusive” suburban neighborhoods.
  • Some of them are losers who don’t contribute value to the rest of us, so they virtue-signal as a means of obtaining approval.
  • If someone tries to shame you into sacrificing yourself to save “the poor”, or “refugees” (most of whom aren’t really refugees), ask that person what’s stopping him or her from doing so.
The problem is completely out-of-control; there’s no point talking about “solving” it. Real unemployment continues its long-term rise. If you do not stay focused on staying employable, you could end up homeless too. That helps no-one; it would actually make the problem worse by spreading resources for the impoverished and homeless ever thinner.

Business slow? Here’s why.

Almost empty interior of convention center in downtown Seattle.

If you’re self-employed and have to look for your own business, you might be having a tough time right now. If you depend on wages, you might be having a hard time finding or keeping a job.

The feature photo for this article is the interior of the Washington State Convention Center early afternoon on a business day, while it was hosting the Seattle Home Expo. The convention center is located in what usually is a thriving downtown. Its corridors are lined with small meeting rooms and retail commercial space. My guess is that with the traffic flow as low as it is, the few shops and cafés it hosts aren’t going to be able to survive much longer.

My wife and I got free tickets in the mail to see the home expo, even though admission isn’t usually free. The expo is full of vendors who sell to home-owners. We frequently need repair services to maintain our rental properties, and our own home has some deferred maintenance that needs attention.

We were a little startled to arrive at the convention center and find it empty during peak business hours. Even without hosting any particularly big event, normally it would still have plenty of traffic through it. The home expo alone would be expected to draw a decent crowd. Most of the huge complex is in fact empty.

We passed through the empty corridors to find the expo. Even there traffic was sparse. I shot a photo over my shoulder to show how little traffic the booths are getting:

All of them are this sparsely-visited. Maybe a third of the booths were temporarily abandoned by bored or frustrated vendors out looking for a bite to eat.

It’s a symptom of a bigger problem for business. Roughly 75% of the US economy revolves around consumer sales. However, sales are down so much that the phenomenon has a name, and even its own wikipedia entry:

The retail apocalypse refers to the closing of a large number of American retail stores in 2015[5] and expected to peak in 2018.[6] Over 4,000 physical stores are affected…Major department stores such as J.C. Penney and Macy’s have announced hundreds of store closures, and well-known apparel brands such as J. Crew and Ralph Lauren are unprofitable.[8] Of the 1,200 shopping malls across the US, 50% are expected to close by 2023.[9] More than 12,000 stores are expected to close in 2018.[10] The retail apocalypse phenomenon is related to the middle-class squeeze, in which consumers experience a decrease in income while costs increase for education, healthcare, and housing. Bloomberg stated that the cause of the retail apocalypse “isn’t as simple as Amazon.com Inc. taking market share or twenty-somethings spending more on experiences than things. The root cause is that many of these long-standing chains are overloaded with debt—often from leveraged buyouts led by private equity firms.Wikipedia entry 'Retail Apocalypse'

The wikipedia article contained a claim that I omitted as distracting that internet sales have displaced brick-and-mortar sales. The degree to which that’s true would not account for the volume of lost business. It’s not just shopping malls; it’s the whole economy. If you run a business on the internet, it’s probably hurting too.

Real estate prices & rents are falling in a number of big markets. Apparently they started falling in New York and San Francisco over a year ago. Now they’re falling in London and Seattle.

As of December 2017, average rent for an apartment in Seattle, WA is $2071 which is a 1.45% decrease from last year when the average rent was $2101 , and a 0.43% decrease from last month when the average rent was $2080.Rent Jungle, Seattle

Falling rent implies rising unemployment.

The rate at which money changes hands is called “monetary velocity”. It’s been falling in Japan for a long time now, and in the USA since our last big investment cycle related to the rise of the computer and software business.

Data and chart from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Notice that it peaked in the late 1990s. There are reasons to expect it to get stuck in a long, downward trend. For one thing, we’ve probably hit “peak economy” as we’ve hit resource limits to expanding the global economy.

When business is bad, the first companies and individuals to go out of business are the ones with cash flow problems or lots of debt. To last longer, cut your own expenses as much as you can, and make a plan to improve cash flow.

I’m going to keep most of my rents where they are, and cut the asking rent on my best unit. We have no debt, just operating costs and need for income. We’ll have to keep our expenses as low as we can.

Look for business in lines of business that are still growing or at least thriving. Good luck; it’s easier to figure out which ones are in trouble. Even a lot of “hot” new businesses will find venture capital drying up. Do the best you can; doing something is usually better than doing nothing. If you’re clever and nimble, you can usually find economic niches created by the economic decline itself.

If you saw this coming (I did), you’re sitting on a lot of cash, and you might be able to buy up discounted productive assets at bargain prices when businesses go bankrupt.

There are ways to make money even when asset prices are falling instead of rising. Unfortunately they’re a little risky because of the possibility of counter-party default, but it’s probably still early enough in the game, and I’m only going to risk money that I can afford to lose. Good luck to all of us!

No good jobs, no good help

Most of you are younger than I am, so you might not have as much personal experience watching job opportunities dry up over time. I think most people are vaguely aware of the trend though, because I’ve seen internet “memes” like “Old Economy Steve/Steven”, which typically claim that the late baby boomers had an easy…

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Bitcoin bubble, or not?

What idiots don’t understand is that Bitcoin can’t be in a bubble, because it’s a whole new paradigm.Prominent Bitcoin celebrity

I don’t see where the explanation is. Someone just called it a “new paradigm” but never explained what makes the new paradigm bubble proof. At the moment, Bitcoin operates a lot like other markets, except it’s not regulated and as far as I am aware there are no mechanisms in place to keep it from crashing. Once derivatives and other financial instruments that create leverage come into play, it seems to me that players with deep pockets will control the game more than 20-somethings wagering their life-savings.

Crypto Chaos – Bitcoin Price Swings Signal Futures Fiasco Ahead Of Launch
Bill Blain: Bitcoin Futures Could Be “A Clusterf*ck Of Monumental Proportions”

DISCLAIMER: The following are only observations based on life experiences, and do not constitute advice to buy or sell securities, cryptocurrency, or any other type of asset; do your own due diligence after consulting with a qualified financial professional:

If Bitcoin goes up, when do you decide to take some profits off the table? Several people have said “NEVER! You just don’t understand!” They seem to have a belief that Bitcoin is money, or will be, despite it not being fungible at the moment (they’re certain it will be soon). The IRS, by the way, considers Bitcoin gains to be capital gains and wants you to pay taxes on them.

If you sell bitcoin to take some profit off the table, will you feel like a fool if it keeps going up? Will the thought of that possibility keep you from ever taking a profit off the table?

If Bitcoin goes down, what will you do? Hold it and wait for it (hope for it) to go back up? What if it goes down more? How do you know what it’s going to do next?

Bitcoin is going up at the moment because it’s gotten a lot of publicity, and a lot of people are rushing to buy “before they miss their chance.” I don’t have a survey of who is “investing” (speculating) in Bitcoin versus who isn’t, but anecdotally, none of my friends who are particularly sophisticated about investing are interested in “investing” in Bitcoin at the moment, whereas a lot of my younger, poorer, and financially unsophisticated acquaintances are lecturing me about why I’m an idiot for not “understanding” Bitcoin.

To me, it’s a red flag that someone who has no great financial successes in life, and has all the symptoms of “gambler’s fever”, is being dismissive of and condescending to someone who does have some successes under his belt, and understands something about how irrational emotions impact decision-making. Ironically, I’m trying to look out for the best interests of the very people telling me off. Some lessons in life are best learned from others, rather than having to pee on the electric fence yourself to find out what’s going to happen next.

What the article after the next link is about is volatility, or in other words, a price that is fluctuating a lot. You can make, or lose, money really fast when prices are volatile, and it’s usually more experienced people who make the money, and less experienced ones who lose it:

the Bitcoin blowout

All those rapid ups and downs require decisions to be made, without knowing whether it goes up or down next. Most people will react emotionally, and will lose money.

The rational way to speculate on Bitcoin would be to observe the following rules:

WAGER NO MORE THAN YOU CAN EASILY AFFORD TO LOSE! Only a small fraction of your SAVINGS (it’s usually a good idea not to gamble with borrowed money), which assumes that you have any. Most Americans have negligible savings if not negative net worth.

Take some profits off the table from time to time, and diversify them into something more tangible.

Something MORE REAL:

If you double your original investment in something—anything, not just Bitcoin—and then sell half, you have your original investment back, and so “can’t lose” holding the rest and letting it run. Of course, then you’ll still need a way of deciding when to take profits.

Fortuna imperiatrix mundi (Lady Luck, Empress of the world)

In case it’s not obvious, it’s a song about gambling.

Personally, I prefer to make investment profits by knowing something about cycles of credit expansion and contraction, and the effects that they have on economies and investments. Not as thrilling, I suppose, just slow but accelerating, somewhat predictable, accumulation of wealth.

Mainstream media is warning you about this threat to your job. Are you listening?

As a skeptic regarding the integrity of mainstream media news, I’m probably not the best man to ask why people believe the mainstream media’s lies about Syria, or who’s really behind terrorist attacks, or fabrications about Russia, but they don’t believe it when the media warns them that their jobs are on the line, which is one thing about which I actually DO believe them.

Robots Are Coming for Jobs of as Many as 800 Million Worldwide

The consulting company said Wednesday that both developed and emerging countries will be impacted.

It’s a global phenomenon. The USA was hit with job losses early, because of domestic economic policies that encouraged offshoring of jobs, but now the job losses are hitting countries like China and India that the jobs were offshored to. The USA will still get a lot more job losses, because unlike Germany and Japan, our industries have only just begun automating.

Machine operators, fast-food workers and back-office employees are among those who will be most affected if automation spreads quickly through the workplace.

My guess is that machine operators will be impacted because the machines will operate themselves! Fast food workers will be impacted because fast food is by nature relatively easy to standardize and therefor to automate. You’ll order from a kiosk. There might be one guy running around in the back taking care of the machines that prepare the food, though eventually one robot will feed supplies to another robot, and the robots will make their own service calls when they need service or maintenance. Your order will pop out the chute.

Another reason fast food jobs will be one of the first to disappear is because rising minimum wages are forcing franchises to pay higher labor costs despite market wage pressure going the opposite direction. I noticed a long time ago that wages have been stagnating for most professions, and in many cases not keeping up with rising costs of living, which is effectively the same thing as going down. But rising minimum wages mean that the jobs that contribute the least to profitability being forced up against the tide. That guarantees that minimum-wage jobs will be among the first to disappear.

Minimum-wage jobs won’t be the only ones to be automated, though. Jobs that require skill, but no creativity, can also be automated. That will take out a lot of what had been high-paying jobs.

The good news for those displaced is that there will be jobs for them to transition into, although in many cases they’re going to have to learn new skills to do the work. Those jobs will include health-care providers for aging populations, technology specialists and even gardeners, according to the report.

By “health-care providers”, they mean people doing routine care for elders. I wouldn’t count on that, since most elders will be broke! Gardening is hard to automate (gardens are too variable), but I would guess that as urbanization continues, and people become less interested in nature, and more interested in virtual realities, that gardening jobs will be sparse. I suspect there will be jobs for doing personal services for the rich, but I wouldn’t count on being one of those people; there won’t be enough openings, and seemingly modern rich seem to like to leave plenty of distance between themselves and the hired help. There was a reason that in the book Brave New World, 90% of the population are low-intelligence gammas, deltas, and epsilons.

By the way, I am NOT predicting that a highly-automated future, with mass unemployment, is going to happen. There’s another possibility that I think is rather more likely: system crash due to running out of resources, financial breakdown, and other problems all coming to a head. But it’s almost certainly one fate or the other.

Subscribers can talk about how to plan for either case.

Facing a life-threatening condition without despair

The problem is never the problem; the problem is your reaction to the problem.

If we had a big party just before we expired, with friends and family, all smiles and laughter to the end, and went out with a song in our hearts, then even death wouldn’t seem particularly tragic. It would just seem like the end of a mundane process.

It IS just the end of a process.

Death is not a problem; the problem is suffering as a result of pain and fear.

It’s not the end of any thing. As far as we’re aware, nothing comes into existence, nothing goes out of existence, things just change form. There is no self; it’s just a purposeful illusion that helps us to maintain biological integrity. When our life’s work is finished, nothing that’s real disappears!

तत् त्वम सि — Thou art that
You are the Kosmos looking back on itself. Not just part of it; you are the whole thing experiencing itself. Your sense of separateness is an illusion caused by thoughts localized around lots of different perspectives that don’t communicate directly.

There is no separate “self”; it’s an illusion. You needn’t fear losing something that doesn’t exist.

We are Awareness experiencing streams of sensory input. Sensory experiences come in and out of Awareness. But our true nature, Awareness, exists outside time and has no moving parts to wear out!

What happens is that we fall in love with individual streams of sensory input, start identifying with them, and develop an “ego”. The ego is a purposeful illusion, that helps us maintain biological boundaries and give us an incentive to fight for survival as long as possible. That part is good.

The only bad part is identifying with something that never did have any tangible existence, and then worrying about something going away, that never actually existed.

Ultimately, it’s all good. Suffering implies enjoyment. Death implies birth. Sickness implies health. We tend to think of all these conditions as “opposites”, but they are necessarily two sides of the same coin; only in your imagination, within conceptual boundaries that exist only in your mind, can you have one without the other. It’s mind-boggling, but if we never experienced suffering, we wouldn’t recognize bliss. As any artist can tell you, there’s no foreground without a background!

Without suffering there is no compassion. There wouldn’t even be love, because love implies feelings like care & loss that wouldn’t exist if there was no need for care and no possibility of loss.

Mindfulness of suffering reminds me to be compassionate to everyone, including even people I don’t like. I remember that they suffer too, and that their behaviors that cause me to suffer are a result of trying to avoid suffering themselves.

Without suffering, there would also be no compassion; we’d all be completely selfish. Some would argue “no loss”. Are they so sure about that? Would our experiences be that much less rich for not ever having experienced compassion?

What about courage? Is that worth experiencing?

If you can experience life from something closer to a God’s-eye point of view, you embrace it all, even the suffering. You kiss the wheel of Samsara, the cycle of birth, suffering and enjoyment, and death. Samsara is nothing more or less than the other side of Nirvana. Their dual nature is an illusion of your mind, which separates things out with conceptual boundaries that exist only in your mind so that it can process reality in workable chunks.

Ask for help handling pain

Pain is our friend; its purpose is to alert us to harm that needs our attention. If it’s chronic and associated with a condition you already know about, then it’s no longer needed. You can ask your doctor for help to at least take the edge off it.

Handle pain by handling suffering

I am myself in chronic pain. I don’t take any pain medications because I don’t feel any need. Maybe someday I will, but not today.

Suffering is not the same thing as pain; suffering is more like mental anguish. If you can reduce suffering, your tolerance of pain increases. This isn’t my opinion; it’s an experimentally-derived empirical fact. If people are in a good mood, their tolerance of pain is much higher than if they’re already miserable. This is how my own pain is quite tolerable to me. I am content, and happy most of the time.

You can reduce suffering by dissociating from the body. Sri Ramana Maharshi maintained peace of mind through the process of cancer. He would look at his aching arm, where the tumor was, and calmly remark “poor arm”. I do the same thing with my chronic pain. “My body is in pain. I’m OK. I enjoy life. I have work yet to accomplish (finishing raising a young daughter!), and I am grateful for the time I have left to work on it”.

  • Happiness solves all problems. Keep your spirits as high as you can.
  • Start noticing blessings. What you are grateful for, contributes to your happiness. What you take for granted, doesn’t.
  • Spend time with family and friends, doing things you enjoy, up to your ability. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Just a phone call will raise your spirits. If that isn’t possible, recall warm, happy memories. Think loving thoughts of them, and they will ease your own mind.
  • Mindfulness training can help reduce anxiety caused by over-thinking things you have no control over.
  • Exercise if you’re up to it, and just time outdoors, at least 10 minutes twice a day, can help keep your spirits up.

You are a part of the team that’s fighting for your life. Your immune system is working hard to destroy disease and heal your body. Enjoy the comfort of rest and relaxation when you need them. This fight is part of your divine purpose.

This post is dedicated with love to my wife, who has been living with stage 4 cancer for about 5 years now, and with the warm hand of friendship across the aether that connects us to Justin Raimondo who has been diagnosed with late-stage adeenocaricinoma cancer. Justin is the editor of Antiwar.com. He has dedicated his life to the causes of peace and freedom.

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Make sure it’s good as gold!

Gold coins

Owning precious metals that you have in your own possession is one of the best ways to protect yourself from financial crises involving either or both of default or inflation.

All bets are off if you “own” gold on paper but don’t actually have possession of it. In a crisis, which is precisely when gold is useful, there’s a big risk that whoever owes you the gold won’t be able to give it to you, because at any one time, there is more gold owed than actually exists. It’s a little like a game of musical chairs, except the odds are far worse!

One more hazard is fake gold. The element tungsten is close enough in atomic weight to gold that when cast into coins or bars and plated with gold, it’s hard to distinguish them from gold coins or bars non-destructively.

In a case that happened in Canada recently, a jewelry merchant discovered the gold bar he had just bought from the Royal Bank of Canada wasn’t gold after his goldsmith broke a tool trying to mill it for the jeweler.

The jeweler alerted the news-media when the RBC declined to do anything about the problem. First of all, the jeweler was out the money he spent on the bar. But second, he and his goldsmith realized that most customers don’t attempt to mill their gold into jewelry; they keep it in the original packaging and toss it into a safe for long-term storage. Nobody will realize they’ve been cheated until long after it’s too late to do anything about it.

Because of this risk, it’s up to the mints and the dealers to maintain high standards of quality control to keep fake gold out of their business transactions. Somewhere in the process one or two high-profile gold dealers that were assumed to be trustworthy failed to keep fake gold out of their system. Caveat emptor.


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Our global central planners say these are the skills you need to thrive.

The World Economic Forum works for the globalists to squeeze more flesh and blood out of the human livestock. They organize and communicate ideas for increasing economic output, and find ways of reducing the cost impact of social and demographic changes mandated by their bosses. I’ve discovered that it’s a good idea to listen to what they have to say, because they have the deep pockets and work with the right people to make things happen.

Some of their advice is good, and some of it horrible. My guess is that the better advice is the result of their brainstorming ways to run economies more efficiently, and the bad advice the result of trying to make their boss’es bad ideas work.

Here’s some of the better advice, along with my commentary:

These are the skills you should learn that will pay off forever

Here’s the short list:

Emotional intelligence (EQ): This is a bad name for a combination of good emotional self-management and empathy. Basically, if you manage your own emotions well, so that you have emotions that motivate you instead of causing trouble, that’s good, and if you can help people you work with (especially your boss!) manage their emotions, that’s even better. It’s called “EQ” in comparison to “IQ”, but for anyone of at least average intelligence, it contributes more to career success than IQ. Basically, if you’re smart enough to be competent, this is where the next biggest payoff will be.
Time management: Another misnomer. You can’t really “manage time” aside from allocating it, or wasting it. This is really about scheduling important tasks first, and making sure that your definition of “importance” covers future payoffs. What tends to happen instead is that people fall into habits (eg checking email too often), and work on routine matters instead of what’s really important. Another problem is when people find reasons to work on something other than that unpleasant, but important task.
Listening: The author already brought up the important part: keeping your attention focused on the other person, instead of what you’re going to say next.
Saying No: Oddly enough, sometimes you have to say “no” to avoid disappointing other people! Sometimes this one is hard for men, because saying “no” could be interpreted to mean that you’re lacking power or competence to do the task. Worse, that might even be true! But keeping the commitments you make is a much bigger payoff, and that means that sometimes you have to say “no” to commitments you can’t keep.
Asking for help: This is another hard one for men, because it violates the taboo on male vulnerability. You’re not supposed to let out anything that might be construed as a weakness, like, say, not knowing how to do something, or not being able to manage something alone. Women not only have no trouble with this, they often use it to their advantage (cue woman asking big, strong man to help her open jar as she bats her eyes at him). However, just like saying “no”, it’s a bigger win to keep your commitments, than to not ask for help, and then end up FAILING.
Getting high-quality sleep: This is mostly a matter of knowing when to call it quits for the day, and being able to wind down and clear your mind for the evening. Sounds simple but what most people do is they over-stimulate their brains with television, internet use, or texting late in the evening.
Knowing when to shut up: Judging from the author’s comments, this is about not needing other people to validate you. You can be right, and know you’re right, and not need for anyone else to admit being wrong. Sometimes its a matter of doing the right thing BUT letting other people who are wrong save face.
Taking initiative: This can be tricky on two counts. One is overcoming fear of taking initiative–or in some cases a habit of not taking initiative–if your childhood was over-controlled. Another problem can be when you’re in an over-controlled, bureaucratic work environment (in that case, you might consider finding a different job). One thing that helps is when you take initiative that makes your BOSS look good. Then (s)he’s more likely to back you up.
Staying positive: This can be a tricky one. It doesn’t mean only telling people what they want to hear. It also doesn’t mean being Mr. Optimist and then irritating and frustrating other people when they KNOW that things are going wrong. It means that when things do go wrong, you admit it but don’t catastrophize, don’t complain about it, and don’t blame other people over it. It’s more like “I see there’s a big problem here. I want to help solve it. Let’s figure out what went wrong, and cut our losses.” It’s also staying in a good mood so as to encourage other people who are already feeling under stress. To do this, you need to manage your own reactions to problems.

These are not skills you can learn in college, but you can learn them here. Subscribe!

Public schools: broken, or world-class?

I feel for this man:

“The System Is Broken”: Angry Baltimore Dad Lashes Out As 12th Grader Tests At 4th Grade Math Level

He says:

“They failed my son,” said Able. “Not just my son, a whole lot of kids. The system is broken. They need to stop and fix it.”

The school district says:

“We provide a unique environment that is designed to empower students, nurture a sense of belonging and gives teachers autonomy to establish a strong culture of learning. Our faculty and staff are dedicated professionals who work diligently to ensure that all students receive the best education and our best efforts.”

Which is it? Broken, or “the best education”? Well, first ask yourself what the standard is for  “the best education”. You’ll find that there isn’t one, and therefor the claim is meaningless.

The schools local to where I live use a lot of flattering superlatives to describe themselves. It wasn’t my idea, but my wife succumbed to social pressure to send one of our kids to a local public school for a few years. It was a catastrophe, and probably psychologically scarred him for life. I’m still working on undoing the damage.

Aside from the bullying and other horrors, I encountered:

  • Notes home from the teachers using “invented” (non-standard) spellings.
  • teachers who have no idea how to teach kids to read. They were doing bizarre practices like weekly word lists, where the whole class would go over a list of words every day for a week, hoping that they would learn to associate the written word with the spoken word. There were absolutely no decoding strategies, like “sound it out” taught. By mid 2nd-grade, most of the students were still profoundly illiterate. The minority of readers, like our son, were mostly the ones who learned to read from activities at home.
  • teachers who are profoundly innumerate. They can’t do arithmetic accurately or efficiently, and therefor they can’t teach it either.
  • teachers who are political and social radicals. The discovery that numerous Antifa members who were arrested for rioting turned out to be public school teachers should not have been a surprise to anyone who pays any attention to what’s been going on in the public school system for a long time now. We saw evidence of radical political activism decades ago. Even back then, the principal sent home notes reminding us not to refer to “my son” or “our daughter”; you were supposed to say “I am the caregiver of Suzy”. Xie was offended by references to biological relationships or gender. One of the teachers was a 300+ lb genderqueer who constantly wore a surgical mask and claimed to be allergic to men. I remember one poster on the wall had depictions of fatherless, “feminist” living arrangements (single mother, daughter-mother-grandmother, lesbian couple and children, multiple women and children in a “feminist” commune situation, etc), and a caption that said “Families come in all shapes and sizes”.
  • a principal who claimed that basing grades on test scores and homework completion was “racist” (sic) and “illegal” (sic). She claimed that grades were based on “ability versus effort”, which in effect meant grading students prejudicially judged to be smarter more harshly than students prejudicially judged to be less able. In other words, grades had nothing to do with actual performance.
  • a school superintendent who was profoundly incompetent and borderline illiterate. She was eventually fired not for incompetence, but because one of her cronies was caught defrauding the school system. The system is in fact plagued with chronic embezzlement.

To be clear I’m not claiming all teachers have these problems. In fact, some teachers are themselves victimized by their schools. Some common problems I have heard about:

  • Workplace bullying
  • Getting blamed for problems and performance gaps they didn’t create and have no control over
  • Being forced to comply with inane and cruel regulations, like limiting bathroom breaks for special-needs students whom it is unreasonable to expect to plan their potty breaks.
  • Rewards doled out for reasons other than actual merit. This is one way schools end up with incompetent teachers; the competent ones look for employers who will treat them better.

In some regards, even the administrators were bullied and harassed by bad policies, like holding them responsible for the performance of their students, but giving them no control over which ones they got. Another problem was that the administrators would be punished if certain protected classes of students were punished more often than other classes, without regard to actual commission of offenses. As a result, the whole schools end up plagued with violent incidents that administrators don’t know how to control without the possibility of getting into trouble themselves.

I don’t have a solution, because I don’t control the system. If I did, it wouldn’t be broken. If you happen to live in the USA or a few other countries, you have the option of opting out to either private school, or in some cases homeschooling. In some US states and most countries, homeschooling is not an option. In many districts, private schools are little better than public because the same government sets the standards for both and dominates the process for designing textbooks.

We opted out after the situation turned into constant harassment of our son. I have a lot of posts about homeschooling to share.

Millenial men, buck this trend…

Millennials Are Delaying Marriage Because Men Aren’t Earning Enough

Economists and social scientists have gathered multitudes of data about Millennials’ tendency to delay the traditional milestones of maturity (starting a career, getting married, buying a home, having kids) in favor of a prolonged adolescence.

But in a new study examining household formation patterns in the US, Pew Research Center has isolated the biggest factor behind the rise in those households without a partner or spouse: “The declining ability of men to earn a salary large enough to sustain a family.”

No surprise to me; “good jobs” are getting sparse, and the lack of enough to go around is probably impacting men more than women.

…men are more reluctant to marry and start families unless they’re earning above a threshold, which Pew identified as $40,000, the Hill reported.

I would bet a cookie that it’s more likely that women are more reluctant to marry them if it doesn’t look like they can support a family. In fact, I would bet it’s hard even to just get dates!

I don’t have a quick tip to pass along. My advice for the moment would simply be to make a plan to earn a “livable” income, and make it a high priority.

No good jobs, no good help

Most of you are younger than I am, so you might not have as much personal experience watching job opportunities dry up over time. I think most people are vaguely aware of the trend though, because I’ve seen internet “memes” like “Old Economy Steve/Steven”, which typically claim that the late baby boomers had an easy…

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Recollections of the future, part 1

Sally knew this was a bad idea before she even started out. Despite her misgivings, nothing was going wrong at the moment. She had just gotten off the bus downtown. It was a busy street, and business was good. On street level there was still shopping for items that were commonly-enough used to keep in…

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Student loan delinquency rate headed back up

Is The Bubble About To Burst? Student-Loan Delinquency Rates Rise For First Time In Years

Since the financial crisis, most market observers and economists have cheerfully ignored the aggregate student-debt load in the US, which recently swelled to an economy-threatening $1.4 trillion. Even as student-debt, which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy [emphasis added], grew to represent 10% of the total US debt burden, defenders of the status quo pointed to declining default rates as evidence that the government-backed student loan industry wasn’t in danger of imploding.

But that may soon change.

the student-loan default rate in the US ticked higher during the second quarter for the first time since 2013. …the share of Americans at least 31 days late on loans from the U.S. Department of Education ticked up to 18.8% as of June 30, up from 18.6% during the same period a year ago, according to new federal data. Meanwhile, about 3.3 million Americans have gone more than a month without making a required payment on their Education Department loans—up about 320,000 borrowers.

Actually, I’m surprised that the delinquencies ever went into decline for so long. The long-term trend is undoubtedly up, at least, until someone pulls the plug on the loan programs.

The problem with subsidizing loans, regardless of the intent, is that it results in the borrowers BIDDING UP the price of whatever the loan is being used to buy. In the case of student loans, there’s nothing tangible on the student’s side of the deal: all (s)he has is a credential that MIGHT make it possible to get a job, but then (s)he STILL has to work off the debt.

And then there’s the risk that (s)he WON’T find any job at all after graduation, or only one that doesn’t pay very well. That’s probably what’s happening, and why student loan delinquencies are turning into a major fiasco.

Young adults are pressured into getting the loans so that they can go to college, primarily to “prove” to themselves that they’re smart. It’s not really much of a ticket to financial success or a middle-class lifestyle. More likely, nowadays, they end up accumulating debt that will set them back for the rest of their lives.

That’s why it’s important to focus on exactly one thing: training for marketable skills for a price that “pencils out”.

Carve out the job you deserve!

Deep-pocketed corporate employment, the kind that used to be called “a good job”, as depicted in the Monster.com ad, will be increasingly out of your reach as the years go by. But don’t fret; there are other options, and you’d do well to aggressively pursue them.

That said, what if you could…

  • Not act like a wimp?
  • Compellingly negotiate with your boss so that he doesn’t want to waste your time and attention?
  • Not depend on how other people treat you to maintain a good mood and high energy level?
  • Go home in a great mood, even if the boss snapped his fingers at you?
  • Build rapport with the old boy?
  • Initiate change instead of just react to your experiences?

Then YOU could have that lady’s job after she miraculously finds one that revolves around HER needs! And you could find it a lot more satisfying than she ever did! Win⸺win! Subscribe today and I’ll tell you how!

Don’t think in terms of “getting” (sic) “the job you deserve”; if it was handed to you, YOU DON’T DESERVE IT. The message of passivity is reinforced by the monster having to rescue the damsel in distress.

Think more like an entrepreneur, EVEN IF YOU’RE WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE. What do I have to do to make a compelling offer to my boss, so that he thinks of me as a strategic partner, not as an organic and highly interchangeable (that is, replaceable) cog in his machine? How do I take initiative? Add value? Leave my boss and colleagues delighted customers? Keep coming up with new benefits that keep them coming back for more?

 

Harpy attack! Here’s what to do…

NB, foul language in the video! (there’s also one naughty word in my commentary below)

This video isn’t new but it’s recently been circulating among some of the people I follow on Twitter. The young woman in the video is apparently triggered by white males. “White” has become the trendy whipping boy but male is probably the key factor.

I ran into that kind of behavior in college even though that was a while ago. It wasn’t as common then as it is now, was tolerated more than condoned, and like most people I foolishly assumed that it would burn itself out, rather than turn into the conflagration it is now.

Actually, it goes back long before then. Misandric fixation has apparently always existed.

Contrary to what we might nowadays suppose to be the case, misandric fixation is not necessarily the result of subjection to ideological indoctrination. Historical cases reveal that the condition can take hold without the subject having been influenced by either Marxist or eugenics ideologies. Indoctrination can, obviously, exacerbate certain vulnerabilities in the subject – weaknesses of character which were pre-existent; yet indoctrination is not a necessary prerequisite to the misandric fixation condition.

Some things that changed over the years is that I grew up in the tail end of expectations of public behavior that no longer exist, and there were also taboos against talking about fringe elements, so these kinds of incidents got scrubbed from public awareness. There were no guerrilla youtube videos then either. You only knew about these incidents if one of them happened to you. As a result they came as nasty surprises.

A typical incident when I went to college was when I was working in the university cafeteria, and a woman dressed like a stereotypical terrorist came to order an espresso. As I was making it, she launched into a monolog about all the things she thought was wrong with me.

Her comments were extremely personal; she was talking about me as if she had know me for years, but we’d never met before. She was ripping into me with completely made-up accusations and insults right off the top of her head, one after another, on and on. She was calm but “creepy”.

Without knowing her life story, I could take a guess: it’s a mental illness such as “malignant paranoia”. Those are the ones who accuse other people of their own dark and hostile thoughts.

There were a few similar incidents, often involving minor contentions. One of them walked up to me out of the blue while I was using a public phone, and demanded that I end my call and turn the phone over to her. I had just started using it, and she hadn’t been waiting. I finished my call, and she launched into a barrage of insults. Another guess: narcissistic personality disorder, or something similar. Those are the ones who are self-obsessed to the point of not caring about anyone else’s rights or feelings.

In both of these incidents, what seemed to trigger the confrontation was running into a man and not wanting him to exist.

There were a lot of other incidents that were briefer and less dramatic. Middle fingers and a few foul words in passing, that sort of thing. Typically there was no warning and no provocation on my part that I could discern, or it didn’t make sense, like getting angry after I just did her a favor (that she interpreted in some twisted way to imagine malicious motives), just a sudden hostile confrontation, leaving me upset and wondering what I’d done wrong.

If I had to guess, there are some commonalities:

  1. failure to ever come to terms with their sexual orientation and, by extension, their feelings about men as sexual rivals.
  2. subclinical mental illnesses such as personality disorders. These are rarely professionally-diagnosed or treated, hence the expression “sub-clinical”.
  3. the politicization of their thought processes and feelings. In the old days, these women would have been isolated by high cost of travel and communication, but nowadays, they can easily find each other, convince themselves that they’re “normal” by way of “social proof”, and synergistically feed off each other.

The young man whose voice we can hear in the video is trying to reason with her. There’s no point; anything he says will actually make her dig in her heels all the deeper just because he’s saying it. Here are some tips for when you run into one of these:

  • Don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s something going on in her own head.
  • Don’t feel bad for not being approved of, and don’t grovel for approval. She has no incentive to give you any; on the contrary, the more you react, the more she’ll zoom in on whatever she figures out gets your goat. Remember, she wants you to feel bad (notice how the young woman in the video is grinning with delight as she hurls insults), so don’t give her any feedback that will tip her off.
  • No point getting angry either.
  • Disengage as soon as the behavior starts. There’s no point; you can’t help her, and you have better things to do with your life.
  • Say as little as possible to end the conversation. Be aware that this type often craves a good fight, might start following you to taunt you more, & might even try to stage an incident. Disengage and get out of the situation.
  • If you run into one of these at a business, take your business elsewhere, and write the management a polite letter regarding what happened. Keep calm, don’t exaggerate, and keep it objective. Don’t sound like you’re complaining, sound like you’re trying to alert a responsible person that there’s a problem he or she needs to know about.
  • Colleges are full of these, and often they get themselves into “gate-keeping” roles; beware! These are a good reason why it’s a bad idea for young men and especially white males to go to college anymore.
  • If you run into one of these in a workplace situation, document every incident, tell trusted 3rd parties who might later be witnesses if you need them, and get ready for the possibility of legal action. Bear in mind that she is likely to bring it against you, despite being the guilty party. And, using “pussy power”, she might very well get away with it! You might need to look for another job, but jobs are scarce, and these creatures are ubiquitous, so you might have to stand and fight a battle of law and persuasion. Be prepared to do so.

Someone else’s take on the post-employment economy

I’m not the only one who thinks you and your kids need to be prepared for a future that will be harsh and brutally-competitive. Here’s a documentary worth watching: Obsolete, on Amazon Video http://amzn.to/2kFn0qL If you have Amazon Prime, which is how I stumbled onto it, you can probably watch it for free. As of…

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