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Society is Fragile
#1
Society is fragile.
It just is. I think I first understood this on September 11, 2001 when a handful of underachievers with box cutters brought the most powerful nation on earth to a standstill. Their actions led to laws and changes in policing and behavior that has forever shaped our culture for the worse, and we just accept it. More on that later.
My second lesson in societal fragility came in 2006. While working as a freelancer for a major accounting/consulting firm I noticed the tenor in large scale real estate investing was changing. By mid 2007 it was clear why. By the end of 2007, with access to many documents the public cannot imagine are real, I began to understand why. This is when I really realized it is all fake. When the media talks about the economy they generally only refer to the stock market or the official unemployment numbers. Both of these things as indicators are inherently flawed. So much so as to be laughably bad. I have said a lot about this topic on this forum in the past. So, I’ll refrain now. Let’s talk Covid-19 instead.
 
When in January the Covid -19 topic began to gain some international press attention I immediately perked up. I had to. My wife works for an airline and I needed product out of china before Chinese New Year. I read nothing about it, but I did move to get things done before CNY because my fear was that if I didn’t and this COVID-19 was a thing we’d be screwed. My wife continued googling articles and reading everything. I begged her not to. I plead with please don’t read that crap and encourage everyone you know not to. My reasoning was that I know politicians look at what is trending online before they make decisions. If they perceive that the populace or the press is demanding a response they will respond, and their response will infringe on your rights in unprecedented unimagined ways. Everyone thought I was the tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist. I said just wait. There will come a point when the people will rebel, and the lockdown will end with blood in the streets. Congratulations to the people you lasted much longer than I had anticipated I thought 2-3 weeks would be the breaking point you made it 8.  Then the first cracks appeared. I personally couldn’t understand the lack of uniform outrage over arresting people for going to the beach, but I guess I’m more sensitive to first amendment rights than most. It took the George Floyd killing to spark the powder keg created by weeks of shelter at home orders. You might be wondering how I made that leap. I think it is simple and obvious and quite frankly undeniable. The covid-19 government response has openly been both the most incompetent and dishonest and most draconian ever in the history of western society. And then just to prove that our government officials have lost any sense of humanity they killed an unarmed handcuffed man slowly in broad daylight while on-lookers filmed. And for what? For a fake 20 dollar bill. I saw the video and said there is the spark.
 
I mentioned that 9/11 reshaped our society for the worse. Let’s talk about that for a moment. My teenage sons do not know a world without the intrusive searches at airports. Terrorism is just something they have grown up with. The US has been at war in some capacity for the duration of their lives. I work hard to challenge them to understand the bill of rights and encourage them to read the federalist papers to try and understand the philosophical underpinnings of a modern free society. But what if I didn’t? What if I left them to be molded by the youtuber social media influencer of the day and their poorly educated barely middle of the road intellect? My guess is they’d be downtown throwing bricks through shoe store windows. What is worse, I wouldn’t blame them.
 
My generation, Generation X was sold a BS narrative of go to college and get a degree and the world is your oyster. Unfortunately, it was also my generation that saw the rise of the grievance studies coupled with the begin of the tuition inflation that would enslave the next 2 generations. I know many of my high school classmates who learned trades and went to work for mines. Those that were prudent with their time and money entered their 30s with hundreds of thousands in assets. Many of their top classmates left elite universities with hundreds of thousands in debt, their only asset a piece of paper that said they are knowledgeable and their intellect. The real world is hard and sometimes hard work and perseverance are vastly more valuable than superior intellect and credentials. Guidance counselors, teacher, leaders, parents failed to share that message. There are also plenty who aimed high and worked hard and spent the next 20 years after college just trying to get out of debt. Working your butt off earning an upper middle class income just to keep your head above water seems like a bizarre form of slavery.
 
However, before one of the local socialists chimes in with some comment about how Europe is better because the universities are free, it ain’t that simple over here either. The EU on average pays less for the same jobs and we tax more at every turn (not just income tax). How do you save for your retirement when there are no more fixed income instruments that outpace inflation? Do the math! The government retirement system is likely going to fail and isn’t enough to begin with and the market only generates enough return on more volatile investments that may or not be in a slump when you need them. My solution is/was real estate I need a paid for roof over my head, then maybe I have a fighting chance. However, I underestimated the deep seeded European view of land owners as the “haves”, as the endless supply of further tax revenue. But it gets worse…
 
The immigration problem. Holy sh!t did Germany mess this up. We have “refugee” families 2 parents and 3 kids taking home 3500 a month plus having their apartment paid for. Let’s reconstruct that. That means the family nets more than someone making 6700 a month or 80k a year, for doing nothing. Now add in that their apartment probably would go for at least 1000 a month plus utilities of 200 a month. Boosting their net income to 4700 a month. That means the comparable productive family would need to earn 8500 to 9000 a month to net the same amount. Once again for doing nothing. You don’t think things are bubbling below the surface? There are so many other things I could go on about. We have let the ruling class of politicians and large corporations so pollute and convolute the system it is simmering everywhere. I don’t understand how so many couldn’t see it.
 
I begged with everyone to speak out against the lockdown as it was being discussed and no one would. When the lockdown was ordered in Germany I wrote something to the effect of “buckle up you don’t know what you have signed up for”. I was derided and argued with. 8 weeks later everyone agrees, but somehow forgets I saw this coming. Not a single question about how I knew, or why I was more afraid of the lockdown than corona. I’m torn between feelings of "please let the rational people with the courage to fight for what is right stand -up" and "I guess this is the society we deserve."


How's that for my second post after a 7 year layoff... S3
"And down through the centuries the robes have never failed to keep the public at a respectful distance, inspire a decent awe for the professions, and impart an air of solemnity and mystery that has been as good as money in the bank. The four faculties of theology, philosophy, medicine, and law have been the perennial seedbeds, not only of professional wisdom, but of the quackery and venality so generously exposed to public view by Plato, Rabelais, Molière, Swift, Gibbon, A. E. Housman, H. L. Mencken, and others. What took place in the Greco-Roman as in the Christian world was that fatal shift from leadership to management that marks the decline and fall of civilizations." - taken from a speech by Hugh Nibley
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