Archive for November, 2020

Every time Youtube or Twitter (“Big Tech”) decides to remove your content… Every time government promises you free money…

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Growing up as Americans, we were taught that we should fear the government–fear “Big Brother.” It was in our school books. Remember 1984?

Once we became adults, it became clear to some of us that government on all levels–local, state, or Federal is beyond incompetent, perhaps in part due to (rightful) Constitutional constraints. But most government is inept because people elected to office are nothing more than shiny idiots. Next time you hear about politicians bragging about their long history of experience, reflect on the Peter Principle.

Meanwhile, “Big Tech” is hampered neither by the Constitution nor by incompetence. The leaders of the corporate world tend to be competent and able to organize with effect. Think of it as a converse ratio of shiny idiots to actual do-ers between government and private business: Governments have a high ratio of shiny idiots and large businesses have a high ratio of do-ers. Having Big Tech in a situation where they control speech, and thereby opinion, by fiat, presents a far greater threat to individual liberties than the US government ever did. It’s a brave new world.

But Muuuhhh Universal Basic Income and Minimum Wage!

In our Brave New World, our Big-Tech-propped leaders quell the masses by printing money, thereby inflating fiat currency and pushing up asset prices. In layman’s terms, when you have more of something (i.e. the money), then it’s worth less. Meanwhile, assets like real estate or equities are finite (relatively scarce), so their prices get inflated as money becomes less and less valuable.

Enter universal basic income and minimum wage increases–don’t they just sound great? Well, they’re not.

If you increase the minimum wage (or provide a universal basic income), the cost of all goods just adjusts up to make sure that you stay broke as shit and the corporations get more. There is no “free” way out of poverty. You can dig your way out, or get comfy in it. There is never going to be a policy that “tricks” the economy so everyone has a great apartment, a nice car, utilities, healthcare, education and the lot–and everyone gets to just sit home and count leaves falling from the trees.

If you, your family, your culture, your city, and your country are a collective entity that does not support growth, productivity, and initiative, then you will have little in life but that moment in the day you shove your hand in your pants to briefly smile.

If you want something different, remove yourself from the environment that you dislike. Hang out with the people that have what you want, or are doing what you wish to do. Watch. Learn. See what they do, and emulate those habits. The better you get at emulating those habits, the closer you will get to the people to better learn what you didn’t realize you needed to do to beat the system. Instead of blaming whoever is president or questioning why the economy isn’t working for you, work on improving yourself. Get up earlier, show up to work every day, volunteer to take on more responsibility, even if you don’t get paid for it right away. If it doesn’t help you where you are, it’s still something you can put on your resume and take with you.

The cost of a fast-food meal is always going to be about an hour’s take-home pay for the people that work there. The technology in phones is keeping with the times, but the top tier of those phones are edging slower while the prices climb faster. The price of both new and used vehicles (reliable ones, not those pieces of junk that have intolerably high maintenance costs) is climbing faster and faster. Jobs, financing, and lower insurance prices are offered to those with good/great credit scores. During the pandemic, credit scores climbed because people spent less on dining out, shopping in malls, and partaking in excesses, which meant people in general improved their debt to income ratio. In order to keep the gap, the standards for credit scores climbed even higher, alienating those in the middle/bottom even more.

Every time the bottom shifts “up,” the gap between the bottom and the top grows exponentially greater.

For decades the single greatest indicator for the earning potential of an individual was their proficiency in math. Today that still holds some truth but is beginning to take a back seat to programming proficiency, which largely hinges on math proficiency. Posting pictures of your ass on Instagram hoping to become a star has about the same success probability as playing basketball with your brother to get in the NBA.

Your life is both longer and shorter than you realize. Spend the time now to develop yourself so that the rest of your life is easier, more comfortable, more predictable, and as a result, less stressful. And, if there’s a minimum pay (which will be reduced to a pittance with inflation), then you can kiss an already declining assistance in social security when you’re older, most vulnerable, and in greatest need of assistance. People exist today who have had to move away from their families to Puerto Rico, Belize, or Thailand in order to live on Social Security income. Technology makes this more tolerable, but most will not make that move and will instead live in crushing poverty here in the United States.

In conclusion…

If you’re looking for something or someone to blame, we should probably shift our focus to Big Tech. Today, they shape our world and our government far more than was ever thought possible. But really, take some personal responsibility and stop waiting for the socialist utopia where all student loans are forgiven and everyone thrives on free money. It’s been tried before, and no, it won’t be any different this time around. Sorry.

(Or… it might happen in 100 years when AI is fully autonomous and technological singularity is more than just science fiction. But you’ll be dead by then.)