(Debated between putting this in Political Topics and Sundry Chitchat, mods can move it if they want… Felt like there was more political content than business/self promotion by a wide enough margin, but the conversation may be more likely to skew toward the latter.)
Hey everyone, I’ve been kicking around the idea of making a post or not… I decided to do it. I’m not “back” per se, and I still don’t plan on posting too much. I actually want to encourage everyone to take breaks, too. I’m much happier overall, and while I’m a little less informed about politics (which is, of course, why I’m happier), I’m still probably in the 99th percentile in that regard. The only thing crazier than how insanely informed we all are is how absurdly uninformed everyone else is. The gap between like the 99th, 95th, and 80th percentile is absolutely bonkers. You can take a couple months off, pay minimal attention, come back and still be in the 99th percentile.
The title of the post is a little tongue in cheek, obviously, as I wouldn’t consider myself a capitalist pig, although some here might. I believe in very well-regulated capitalism with strong guardrails and a strong social safety net. I still plan on voting for Bernie, which is where the shitty part comes in. What kind of self-respecting capitalist pig votes against their own financial interests to vote for the democratic socialist??? Obviously I’m a shitty one!
Anyway, I still skim the forum ~once a week, and maybe if I go a long time without seeing any rhetoric that bothers me, I’ll poke my head back in and post more… But leaving really opened my eyes to just what a drain on my mental well being and happiness being that informed and wrapped up in all of it was, so I’m not really looking too hard for reasons to come back and post all the time like I was before.
Anyway, yeah, WAAF, but also not really. If you pay attention and care, WAAF. But if you tune it out for a couple weeks, take a wide angle lens and look again, WAAF with Biden, Pelosi and Schumer running the show anyway - most of you get that. We’d separate less families and bomb less people and foment less racial discord, and those are all ABSOLUTELY HUGELY important things so we should all vote/volunteer/donate to the less bad guys, but damn if there’s much point to being in the top 1/10 of one percent of knowing just how absurdly fucking depressing the state of American politics is in the Donald Trump era, when the most realistic “good” outcome is being slightly less fucked. And of course, donating/volunteering/voting for Bernie is probably the purest thing we can do in the mean time – because the big picture problem is that at the end of the day, Biden vs. Trump is still going to leave us with a choice between two versions of America that are both oligarchies in which our corporate overlords suck most of the value out of our economy and leave us to fight over the scraps… It’s just a matter of whether we pretend everything is hunky dory (Biden) or let a fascist blame the minorities (Trump) and do horrible things to them.
Again, huge difference between the two, and the last thing I want anyone to do is sit out the general election in any way. It’s just that, at the end of the day, being informed enough to understand that is a great way to be constantly stressed out and miserable. If you pay attention, you’ve gotta be pretty naïve to think that we’re going to spend any less than the next four years, and likely more, having the “BUT HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR IT???” argument about every piece of legislation that would possibly help the working/middle class, while also having the “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, DO YOU HATE AMERICA???” attack if we question spending so much money on bombs. Hopefully, we can all volunteer/donate/vote and have that mind-numbing argument without separating families, banning people from the USA based on religion, detaining immigrants, etc… Those are noble causes, but so is giving the middle class a fighting chance… and politically, barring a Sanders presidency, that’s not happening.
Now thankfully for most of us here, WAAF politically and not in terms of stuff like having running water, abundant food, reasonable economic opportunities, etc. Logically, as long as WAANF in that regard, WAAF in the first regard, it’s just a matter of degrees. People aren’t going to pay more attention until they can’t plop down on the couch and watch television while microwaving their pizza. So until the status quo changes in a big way (either the voting public becomes very well informed or it expands significantly), we aren’t likely to overcome this situation… We’ve got maybe the 10% chance of a Bernie presidency right now, and that’s even assuming there’s a 100% chance he fixes everything, which isn’t the case. Healthcare would be a nice start, though.
I do see a couple ways the status quo could change in a huge way, and they currently all involve AOC or a similar level rock star type candidate in 2024 who can expand the voting population AND inform a lot of them. Sadly, most progressive priorities are damn near a pipe dream until that time… maybe a 5-10% chance of anything major and meaningful being enacted in the next four years. Maybe a 30% chance of getting a watered down public option.
So, anyway, what’s the point of knowing how fucked we all are if it makes that the only thing we can care about and that makes everyone else we know/meet think we’re totally fucking bonkers and/or total killjoys? No matter how miserable we are, humanity is still likely to continue to fuck up climate change, Donald Trump is still a favorite to get re-elected, etc, etc… So if being a miserable killjoy who always wants to have deep conversations about the problems of our time and how to fix them isn’t really doing much to win anyone over, what’s the point?
Ultimately, my advice: do more (volunteer, donate, etc) and consume less about politics, post less about politics, think less about politics. It’s morally better if you’re doing more and it’s psychologically better if you’re thinking about it less. Be a happy soldier for X hours rather than a miserable news consumer for 10X or 100X hours.
That’s what I’ve decided to do. I’ll still volunteer for candidates, probably donate to a few candidates, and have a better idea than most what’s going on in the world. I’ll do more volunteering than I’ve ever done, for obvious reasons. But otherwise, I’m going to use my time more productively both in terms of my happiness and my finances. I’m starting a business and a vlog, which you’re all welcome to check out.
I suspect there will be some heat from some people here over what a capitalist pig I’m going to be (see, the title does tie back in), but I’m actually hoping to create a lot of content that helps people in the lower or middle class turn the exploitation back on corporations to even the small degree it’s possible, and accrue some wealth of their own. Granted, some of what I’m doing will be in ethical gray areas like flipping items (which I’m fine with) or using Amazon to sell a product line (bothers me somewhat, but there’s not much of an option here), but I think the good ultimately outweighs the bad. I think teaching people and showing people how it can be done is putting power in the hands of the average person to get out of the corporate rat race or stop being exploited for $10/hr if they don’t want that lifestyle. For me, it’s a chance to significantly change my financial situation and maybe go from top 20% overall to top 5%, or a little better for my age bracket… But most importantly, to be able to generate significant revenue (hopefully) and put it all into investments for the long-term, while giving myself actual peace of mind.
That’s important, because the other thing stressing me out aside from politics was my financial future. In some ways it’s funny, because my net worth for my age is still in the top 20%… But given that I don’t have a steady income, and you never know when the poker world might REALLY go down the drains, I still feel stressed. It’s also hard not to think about how I’m Trump’s re-election (a coin flip), one piece of legislation (or a court order) tearing down protections for pre-existing conditions (50% or better equity in a second term), and one significant injury or illness away from bankruptcy. So basically there’s like a 25% chance that in the next four years I’m just hoping and praying not to get seriously hurt/sick. That at least 80-90% of people under the age of, I don’t know, 40? are in this situation is absolutely nuts. It’s just insane, but it’s a reality. I guess for most it just means that you HAVE to work a full-time job with benefits, which is of course the entire fucking point of it, which is infuriating to me and terrifying because I am not cut out for that shit in a number of ways.
Meanwhile, I went years without being able to afford to put money into my Roth IRA while I was in broadcasting, so I feel way behind in that regard. My goal is to make top 5% money for a few years, live to the same standard I am now, and put the rest away in investment accounts so that I have my retirement taken care of… So that no matter what, I know I’m taken care of from 60 on, preferably from 50 on, and that all I need to make in the next 20-30 years is enough money to get by. So in a way I view this project as being a HUGE push for that peace of mind. Grinding my ass off for a few years to hopefully be able to put away a significant nest egg that puts my mind at ease.
With that in mind, here’s the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdfihxBIsKHf8FqLPRnkamA
and the first video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7B9nu8taAM
The second one should be out in a few days…
I’d genuinely enjoy and appreciate any feedback from people here on the concept, the YouTube channel, the quality of the content, my overall views on political information consumption, and whatever else comes to mind. I was planning on waiting until I put Vlog 002 up to post here about it, because I was going to include some PredictIt content, but I got smoked during the last debate and didn’t really want to show myself getting my teeth kicked in while also promoting the gambling aspect. Hey kids, don’t try this at home, hey look, on that note, I got crushed!
It also may be of some interest to people here that I was seriously considering a vlog/business idea that was basically a left wing version of Prager U. So basically, Robert Reich videos, but better done… which really means properly using social media to push them outside the echo chamber and improving the diversity of the presentation. Unfortunately, there were major monetization challenges with that as a business idea, and to do it right requires a TON of time and realistically capital as well. Given the monetization issues, it’s not something I felt like I could bootstrap for a year or two, then save up some of the money to improve the operation.
So I decided to do the one with more potential financial payoff now, and leave the other one for the future (potentially). Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been thinking about lately… Thought it might be of some interest to people here.