Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Can Be Done Now?

With the debt ceiling inevitably being raised this week (probably tomorrow at around 5:30 PM EST just before the primetime news talking heads come on), I think it is time that we all reflect on what we can do instead of responding with open hostility toward or moronic leaders.  This exercise is mostly for my benefit, as it would allow me to reflect on what I have and what I can do versus what is completely out of my control.  I have no problem with anger, provided it is directed in a proper manner and not in a destructive manner akin to Jared Loughner did.  Anger is, after all, our emotional response to situations out of our control.

For one thing, I am almost completely debt free.  My wife and I just have one student loan left to pay off and then we will never be in financial debt again, provided we can help it.  Given that most emergencies which cause bankruptcy are usually either a combination of many big things going wrong at the same time or just improper financial planning (good insurance, money set aside for emergencies, etc.), I think there is a good chance we will be able to live a life without debt bondage.

The best thing anyone can do to become content financially is to become debt free and remain so.  I know that there is this thinking that you have to have debt in order to be prosperous, but besides a few popular rich celebrities, most rich people have little to no debt to their name.  Microsoft, for example, operates as a debt free company last I heard.  And they could easily get low-interest loans of considerable amounts given their reputation and sales history.  But they do not and I am sure that it provides them a lot of flexibility with their business endeavors.  After all, the last thing a company executive needs is some banker telling him or her what they can or cannot do with their business.  It is bad enough that the government is constantly breathing down their necks.

Another thing that can be done is to live without as much government involvement as possible.  There are a surprising number of things you can do to circumvent government involvement in your life, the first thing you can do is to never talk to police or call for anything short of serious crime (as in murder, burglary, or property destruction).  Right now, the state of the police force in the United States is one of hostility toward non-police officers.  And while they are hostile to the rest of us, they routinely protect their own, even the ones who openly commit wanton acts of unnecessary violence.

Keeping the government out also involves not disclosing information about yourself to third parties as well.  For example, if you have no debt to your name, you have not credit history, which is something that the government is allowed to look at without a warrant as it is data collected by an external party.  Credit reporting agencies tend to keep a lot of information and often work in conjunction with law enforcement and other various government agencies at all levels in come capacity.  I guess this makes it another advantage to becoming debt free and staying that way.

If you are single and considering getting married, I would recommend that you do not get a marriage license from the state.  Such a thing serves no purpose other than turn what is usually considered sacred into a legal contract.  There is no advantage to it, other than avoiding the fees for changing your name, considering that you still have to set up a Will and a Living Will despite being legally married.  Every legal advantage to being married can easily be obtained without getting the license.  By all means, go ahead and have a church service or some special ceremony in accordance with your beliefs in front of witnesses.  But do not get a marriage license.

This is probably better advice for men than for women as men are much more screwed when they get a divorce.  You see, if you have a legal contract that is being dissolved, the State will get involved and because of the state of affairs right now, men do not fair well in divorce.  Women are allowed to lie, cheat, and steal from their ex-husbands and many of them do so without remorse or shame.  And this is the celebrated culture of feminism which is enforced by the Second Set of Books.  So do yourself a favor and do not get a marriage license.  On a side note, I do have one myself, but I was much more na├»ve about these things back then.  These days, I do not consider people in long-term relationships without a marriage license to be living in sin solely because they lack a certificate from the State.

Decades ago, Murray Rothbard wrote about working for the State.  While he said it was all right, provided there was no private sector alternative and that you did something that was morally upstanding, these days I would have to disagree with him.  Today, we need to stop working for the government while we still can.  Part of the problem with big government is that there are a lot of people working for them.  And many of these people are not people who I would consider to be intelligent and well-meaning.  Most of them are grunts whose job prospects before government might have been loading boxes or taking restaurant orders from behind a cashier’s counter.  Sure at the top you have some of the most intelligent (and dangerous) people in the world, but when it comes to governance, a ruler needs a bunch of myrmidons in order to carry out all those wonderful ideas.

Also, stay off welfare entirely.  And what I mean by that is to never let the government pay for anything, be it college, medical care, or retirement because once you let them do that, you will be in their pocket.  And once you are in their pocket, they can count on you to support them no matter what happens.

The last thing you can do is to never let divisions defined by any politician or pundit cloud your judgment.  They will constantly bemoan about the unfairness of this situation or that situation and how the government is there to promote equality and justice.  Unfortunately, life is full of unfairness, inequality, and injustice with or without the government.  If the government was treated like a business, where people voluntarily gave them money in exchange for their services, I dare say they would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.  No, there is no such thing as equality in so far as humanity is concerned.  The extent to which equality should exist is how the government treats people accused of crimes, but even that falls short so many times.  So do not believe their mantras about justice being blind or that we are occupying that nation in order to help them or that drugs made by Latinos are bad but drugs made by European companies are good.  When you read a statement written by anyone, always consider the source to be a selfish individual looking out for his or her own sorry ass.  The difference between me and the government is that I am honest and upfront about my intentions.

So please, I urge everyone to live your life free from the government as much as possible, no matter what they try to do.  Owe nothing to anyone and live your life as you see fit, provided you do not harm others in any physical or intentionally financial way.  Find the joy in your work and in your daily routines, as boring as they may be, and do not rely on others for your needs and desires.  You will find that if we as a people had done so more often than not over the past century, then perhaps we would not have been in this mess today.