The Trillion Dollar Lies

I feel bad. I feel like a sucker. Like one by one I fell for every lie. I talk about “don’t do this”, “don’t do that”, and yet I fell for all of them. I’ve been in everything from a cult to the cult of homeownership, the cult of college, the cult of sex, the cult of drugs, every cult imaginable, the cult of corporate safety, the cult of money. Why couldn’t I just be smart from the beginning? Why does it take stupidity to become smart? Or maybe I’m still stupid. Who knows?

Let’s do one of those psychology tests where I ask you something and you say the first word that comes to mind. Here’s the usual responses I get after years of doing this:

  • Me: Home ownership.  Other: “Roots”
  • Me: College:  Other: “Good job”
  • Me: Good war. Other: “World War II”
  • Me: Success. Other: “Fame and money”
  • Me: Iran. Other: “They want to kill all the jews”. 
  • Me: Voting. Other: “Doing something for your country”. 

Home ownership – think about why you want to own a home. Just really take a step back and forget about all your biases. You think “renting is flushing money down the toilet”. You might think “home ownership is ‘roots’ for your family”. Why do you think these things? Isn’t it suspicious to you that everyone else says the same slogans? That I just wrote down the exact things that are you in your head when you try to justify buying a home?

Does it make sense at all that there is a trillion dollar industry (over 20 trillion to be exact when you add in mortgages plus the part of the economy that is dependent on home building) that wants you to own a home? Banks, the government, home builders, furniture makers, real estate agents, etc are all the priests and ministers of that religion. Don’t you think a small part of that 20 trillion goes into hammering again and again the marketing message that you need to own a home?

Just do the basic math on home ownership. It does not work. It will NEVER work. Maybe if home prices go down another 80% but that’s it.

But this isn’t about home ownership. I’ve bought and sold two homes. And I lost money on both. So maybe I’m just bitter. Who knows.

This is about hypnosis. Why we believe, at the bottom of our hearts, the things that are told to us that have such obvious trillion dollar agendas.

Like college. Here is what everyone says: “You won’t get a good job if you don’t go to college”. I’ve proved countless times how this is a lie. Yes, you won’t get a 90 hour a week job at Goldman Sachs if you don’t go to college. And yes, there is no chance in hell you can be a proctologist (although I have known people to start a private practice in this without any degree at all) if you don’t have a medical degree. Ok, you win. On those jobs.

But don’t you think this trillion dollar industry (where costs have gone up ten times faster than inflation, three times faster than the scam healthcare industry) might have an agenda when they put out these “statistical” studies.

What else happens in college? Well, one in four women are raped in college. But because college campuses are one of the few places in the country (Indian reservations maybe being the only other) that provide their own security, you never hear about this. Campus security is not there to protect you. It’s there to hide things from you.

So you can get a job at Goldman Sachs, but you’re more likely to be raped. Or, I guess, be the raper. You choose.

But “don’t you learn how to think” in college? I don’t know, do you? Did you really learn how to think there? Does it really cost $200,000 to think? And what is so great about thinking. Since 1950, when college started becoming almost a pre-requirement for success, incidence of depression has gone up 50 times. How come colleges don’t report on this statistic?

Again, ask yourself where you got these slogans. Even my ten year old repeats the slogans. They are marketing slogans created by, again, a trillion dollar industry.

Insurance. “Everyone must be insured”. “Insurance companies can’t deny you because of pre-existing conditions.” Everyone says this. Again, why does everyone say the exact same thing. Again, this is a trillion dollar industry. They are telling you what to think.

Let’s think about this for a second. Let’s say you have a pre-existing condition. Do you really think they are going to charge you the same amount that someone without a pre-existing condition is charged? Of course not. Your prices are going to go up. A lot! And everyone’s prices are going to go up. Do you think the insurance companies are going to lose money? Of course not. And if you don’t sign up, you have to now pay a fine (a “tax”) to the government. So who wins in this? Do you win? And then the other side tries to go to the other extreme. “Death panels”. Oh my god! Someone’s going to decide who lives or dies?

Of course not. The other side of a lie is not the truth. It”s just another lie.

“The War against Terrorism”. Terrorism is horrible. I lived five blocks from ground zero and watched the first plane go into the towers. Then watched the bodies jump off the top of the building. Now, 11 years later, we’re still at war in two countries. Someone the other day was upset at me and said, “we pulled out of Iraq.” Why did he say that? Because the government told him. We have more soldiers in Iraq now than when the statue of Hussein was toppled. And we are still at war in Afganistan. And everywhere we go we kill civilians and babies. Millions of them. Not to mention our own 18 year olds. And everyone gets upset. “We have to protect our way of life”. “The muslims are going to kill us”. Really? Well, then go fight them. Whenever I say that, everyone shuts up. We don’t need 18 year olds to fight people. 50 year olds can do it. Everyone gets quiet.

I was for the war in Iraq. I listened to Colin Powell in the UN. He said they had nukes or weapons of mass destruction aimed right at Israel. Oh no! I thought. We have to get them. And I believed him. And now millions are dead. And what was the result? The only country that kept Iran in check was Iraq. And now Iraq is pretty much a colony of Iran. We not only killed millions of people, we destroyed the balance of power in the entire region. Now the only way to restore balance, and its our own fault, is to become friends with Iran.

“We need to invade Iran before they invade Israel!” This was said to me the other day. By a guy who quoted statistic after statistic. But who couldn’t explain to me how it will happen. There’s 70 million people in Iran and Iran is completely surrounded by mountains. How are you going to get in there other than nuking tens of millions of civilians. You can’t get in there by ground or boat. Or even aircraft. You have to nuke. And, by the way, most of Iran hates their leadership – as demonstrated by the protests after the last election. Most of the people in Iran are people just like you and me, terrified of being invaded by the US. And Israel has nuclear weapons. Is any country going to really risk Israel, a country that has won every war it’s been in, nuking them?

(everybody eager for war should take a geography class first)

“I won’t be happy unless I’m successful or famous”. Look up Ozymandias for the veracity of this one. And yet, it’s the American dream. So it must be true. Right?

I get many emails: “I need to find my passion.” My question is: why? Passion is like a bridge between your current unhappiness and some mysterious future happiness. Guess what – you might be dead then. Passion is also a trillion dollar myth. First, check to see if your breathing. Are you? That’s pretty good. You’re ahead of most of the other people who have ever lived on this planet.

And finally, we can throw in the massive food industry. Bigger, better, more filling, more nutritious. I have yet to see a food product that doesn’t have a lie on its packaging. Look around your supermarket. 80% of a grocery store is filled with processed sugars that are proven again and again to be bad for you but the lobbyists in charge of the food pyramid (the “FDA recommended daily value” on every box) want you to BELIEVE the religion they propose.

Marketing is not just about clothes or facial products or vacuum cleaners. It’s about the very ideas that you dress up in to lead your daily existence. It’s the lies that trillions of dollars are spent fabricating that are repeated to you over and over again like mantras until they appear to be baked into your soul. Every lie is one step further from you being calm and happy.

You wake up every morning with a clean slate. But within seconds your mind dresses you up in all the lies for the day. Must aim for promotion at the job, must kiss ass to customers, must send my kids to school, must stay with my wife forever, must write a blog post, must go to war to defend American values, must vote, must eat organic (the irony being that if everyone ate organic the world would starve), must must must MUST.

The real you is always there. Before the thoughts enter it. Before the lies obscure it. Before you are convinced you are either one of “us” or one of “them”.

The real you is neither. Test every thought you have. Your thoughts are not you. They are your children. But we forget that children often need to be disciplined. Else they will test your boundaries and slowly take over the sense of what the “real you” is. You will forget the real Self that has always been there. Don’t let that happen.

Most people live in the dark. Do you think the sun ever sees the dark? The sun is outside. But the dark is by itself, with the shades closed, the door locked, afraid to take a peek, afraid to look into an infinite sky.

Read More: How To Be The Luckiest Guy On the Planet in 4 Easy Steps. 

 

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  • Bob

    Lie: Free will

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Explain

      • mindctrl

        Free will does not exist in a model where one derives his rights from another. If human right is not private, freedom cannot exist. Society is anti-freedom.

        • Stack

          To completely dismiss the influence of the environment is narcissistic. Free Will implies our parents, siblings, geographical location, teachers, friends, coaches, classmates are irrelevant in our decisions.

          Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions, or the Butterfly Effect says a small change in one location can result in large differences in another location. A Butterfly flaps its wings in Texas, one molecule is disturbed, which disturbs another. Two disturb four and so on until enough molecules are disturbed to produce a hurricane in China.

          Free Will is the biggest idol we worship. It’s a myth.

      • Bob

        I work in the behavioral health field and it’s my job to change kids’ behaviors. They think they have free will but ultimately they are subject to their environment as we all are. If I can change their environment I can change their behavior. Things that affect their behavior that I can’t change are their past and their biology. However, these things are not within the individual’s control either. My point is that every thing we do is to survive and or replicate. We didn’t choose these desires or any others. Our biology and environment chose them for us. Where is the free will in that?

        • Jon Clark

          I saw this interview of Steve Jobs the other day. And I would say the opposite is true. Once you discover that life is man made, you can make your own world and life:

          http://youtu.be/kYfNvmF0Bqw

          • Bob

            The fact is that this new perception or discovery was not willingly decided by your will but by the environment which showed it to you and your environment which primed you to make that choice.

          • Novan Leon

            I look at things a little differently. In my eyes our environment is a collective term for everything around us, living and non-living. This “environment” isn’t some conscious being capable of making decisions for us, it is merely the framework of sensory input by which we process and make our own decisions.

            EVERYTHING is an influence, but NOTHING is deterministic; we are the ultimate arbiters of our being. We can be physically controlled by our environment, and we can be mentally influenced, but at our core we are still the sole determiners of our being. Even those with brain damage or mental illness are capable of making decisions, however flawed, and those decisions may be affected by their circumstances, but their decisions are ultimately their own to make.

          • Bob

            I think an example might help my case. I decide I want cereal for breakfast. The “me” that is deciding is making that choice based on my past. My past has shown a) cereal is tasty. B) if I haven’t tried it but Jim tells me it is good, and in the past listening to Jim has led to me feeling good about doing so , then I will try cereal. But my choice is not a real time decision like the illusion of free will makes me think. It’s 100% based on my history. And if I was a computer program that could somehow account for my specific biology and all of my experiences, you could predict my every move at any given time.

          • http://www.kindredroad.com/ Mike Cook

            But you can also choose to *not* eat the cereal. And you can be cognizant of that choice.

            And you can also choose to purposefully change your environment.

            You’re not in control of everything–and you’re certainly subject to your past and biology, as you say–but we *can* make choices.

            How about we don’t say “free will.” Let’s just say we can choose, although our choices and motivations for making them might be flawed–probably based on our pasts and biology.

            :-)

          • Novan Leon

            But you could just as easily decide to try something different, either just to be spontaneous, or for some other reason. You could also decide to skip breakfast altogether. Yes, your history definitely has an influence on the decisions you make (such as in your example), but they aren’t deterministic. There are a potentially infinite number of choices you could make about your breakfast this morning, only limited by your physical ability and your imagination (limitless free will), but the probability of you choosing among a smaller subset of options is influenced by your environment and history (you know you like a certain brand of cereal, for example). No matter the limited subset of options you’re presented with, though, we still are the ones making the final decision.

            Take art, for example. With the infinite possible variations of paint on a canvas, in your world, it would be inevitable that the paint will fall a certain way based on my environment and my history. I just find this difficult to swallow. In my world, the paint falls based on my personal whim, and the result is nothing less than a manifestation of my whimsy, however influenced by the world around me. I personally find this model explains reality much more accurately than the pre-determined model.

      • http://twitter.com/youaredeathless michael deathless

        Your friend Ramana Maharshi also says that everything is predetermined.

  • Steve Tylock

    That sugars and carbs are ok and fats are bad…

    That’s right – let’s all be scared of eating any fat. You know what they add to make low-fat food palatable? Sugars. Not just one – no because then sugar would be most of the product. When you add both sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), you get to list two ingredients, one of which isn’t named sugar.

    What do Lions eat – meat – including animal fat.

    What do Hippos eat – plants.

    Again, the politics swirl around this issue – check into Lustig’s work.

    Best,
    steve

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Totally agree. I will check Lustig’s work.

      • Chuck

        Here’s an amazing talk by Lustig where he nails the financial factors behind the proliferation of fructose: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

        • Jeffrey

          Thanks for sharing that, Chuck. Listened to it twice at work this afternoon. It’s a lot to digest; no pun intended. But very convincing and spot on.

    • James

      Gary Taubes synthesized a huge amount of research on this in his book (Why We’re Fat) and it’s also excellent.

  • http://twitter.com/spmaniato Spyros Maniatopoulos

    Lie: Romance will get you the girl.

    By romance I mean expensive dinners, gifts, slow courtship etc
    I blame Hollywood and Disney for this one!

  • Adam

    James, great work, as always. I own my own home. In the part of the country I live, to rent a home would put me in undesirable parts of town. We don’t want to leave because all of our family is here. How does one rent somewhere in a pleasant area? Seems like renting your home isn’t “accepted” in the “nicer” parts of town.

    • Susan

      Agree. I go through facing that mentality where I live in Atlanta. We found one of the few, if only, rental houses in our neighborhood of choice that wasn’t also for sale. That meant all the ‘nice’ houses for rent were expensive to cover their mortgage. People in this neighborhood look down on renting, and assume you’re just doing it until you find a house to buy. We have no intention of buying, but get asked all the time.

      We also have 1 car and rarely drive. We’re lucky enough to live in an urban area, but in a residential neighborhood. We can walk to what we need and enjoy doing so. People also look down on choosing walking and public transportation over a nice car.

      I think buying can easily make sense if a comparable rental isn’t available. But that’s a bit different than doing so without financial mindfulness or mortgaging yourself to the hilt to live in a McMansion. It doesn’t sound like you’re just blindly falling into the home ownership myth.

      • Davidus Romanus

        Buying isn’t bad if you can afford it. My wife paid cash for our house and we have zero debt. Sure we put money into it on a regular basis, but it’s ours, free and clear, and we didn’t buy it as a status symbol.

        • Steve

          Do you pay property taxes? If so, then it is not yours free and clear.

          We are all renters to the government.

    • eSJaBe

      The “renting put us in an undesirable area” reality is due to the homeownership myth. If homeownership were considered a pariah, then rental units would be in the best parts of town.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.verrastro.3 Michael Verrastro

    the lies the political industry feeds us. Millions, maybe billions, spent telling us to vote one way or the other.

  • George

    It seems to me that the enforcement mechanism to all these myths is shame. If you resist these myths then you must contend with the feeling of shame and that is too much for most people to endure. Awareness of this process helps to deal with it I supose. In Eden before Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of good and evil they were “without shame”. Once they learned what is good and bad (societal values?) they became embarassed of their nakedness (their true selves?) and covered themselves. I think the author of Genesis knew what you were talking about.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, yes, yes. You are right. Awareness of the shame is the bridge that takes you out of the myth world.

      • tbarrelier

        And after awareness of shame/guilt, patient investigation of the source of guilt. Christianity has ratified guilt by calling it “original sin” and justified this rationalization with a patently absurd myth. If one just asked how the Perfect could create imperfection, one could go a long way to seeing the little man behind the curtain of lies in all his powerlessness. I urge anyone who wants to radically question guilt in all its forms to become familiar with A Course In Miracles. Though it is not the only way to truth, I have found it to be uncompromisingly, brutally direct in its approach. The Course is not fun or entertaining. I have studied it for over 16 years and though I know it is true, there is something in me that holds on to illusion ferociously. At least I am starting to see the depth of my resistance.

      • Mavis Mae

        When is shame useful? Is there anything created or reinforced by shame that is inherently bad?

  • Jon Clark

    401(k) – Tie your money up until you’re 65, but you have to do it else you’ll run out of money when you’re old and you’ll never be able to retire! – Trillion Dollar Lie

    • Stack

      THIS. Your retirement has to be a 401k. I don’t have a 401k (cashed out, paid the penalty, well worth it) for many reasons. I don’t want any favors from the govt, tax deferred being one.

      My children are my, our (my wife and I) 401k. I tell my children they’re our retirement. We invest heavily in our children. We teach them to think. Teach them to observe. To listen. To have an educated opinion. To take risks. Go experience life. We teach them to value their local community. Family being the most important community. It’s your community (family and neighbors) that will take care of you when disaster strikes. Proof… Katrina.

      My local community is my 401k. Gave $12000 to a 24yr old mechanic to open a garage on the weekends because, in my city, auto repair on Saturdays has vanished. Good guy. Know him well. Works 40-50 hours for a dealership as a mechanic. Now I get great service from a person I trust at a reasonable price, instead of Growth At a Reasonable Price.

      That is my 2.141592 cents.

      All of the money locked up in retirement. Waiting for what, to share when one dies.

    • Stack

      THIS. Retirement has to be a 401k or some other tax deferred account invested in mutual funds or bonds. I, 42 and no longer have a 401k (cashed out, paid penalty, well worth it). The 401k or taxed deferred retirement benefits the financial industry and no one else, or at least that is how I see it. I don’t know why people save and die with hundreds of thousands of dollars to their name… now the account owner does not get to witness the joy from helping people, the joy of making a difference or changing a life.

      My kids are now my 401k. I tell them they are my retirement. My wife and I invest heavily in our children. Always have. We teach them to think. To listen. To observe. Ask questions. To form an educated opinion. We teach them to take risks. To lead an interesting life choosing the experience because money follows experience. Chasing money leads to a boring life. We teach them to lead an interesting life.

      My community is my 401k. We teach our kids to value their community. To invest in their community. We teach them our family is their most important community. We teach them to give to their community because when disaster strikes, it will be your local community who will come to help.

      Gave a 24yr old mechanic $12,000 to open an auto repair garage only on weekends for now, because, in my community, auto repair on weekends has vanished. I know him. Good guy. Works for a dealership as a licensed mechanic. I get Great Service at a Reasonable Price… I traded GARP for GSRP. I receive an income stream to boot.

  • Bob

    Lie: Adults are smarter than children.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Haha. funny.

    • liberranter

      Lie: “Adults” are more mature than children.

  • http://prettygraph.com/ Hrishi Mittal

    “You wake up every morning with a clean slate. …The real you is always there. Before the thoughts enter it. Before the lies obscure it. Before you are convinced you are either one of “us” or one of “them”.”

    What evidence do you have for this innocent untouched “real you”? Sounds more like angst against the trillion dollar industries or just another set of lies sold by the new age spiritual beliefs industry.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      The fact that I am alive. The fact that I know I am not the thoughts I think, just like I’m not the body I wear. The fact that there is always something deeper, no matter how deep you go. I don’t know if that’s new age or not, but you can find out through direct experience rather than through a book.

      • http://prettygraph.com/ Hrishi Mittal

        That’s a circular argument. If you’re going to write about questioning everything and not just believing what the world tells you, then maybe you should also be a bit more rigorous with what you’re preaching.

        Lies with trillion dollars attached to them are not necessarily worse than smaller lies with smaller amounts attached to them.

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Not circular. I say “the buck stops here”. I only write from my personal experience.

    • http://www.jamesecornell.com/ Jamie

      Direct experience is the only way to touch the real you. It is cannot be conceptualized through thinking or logic.

  • Martin

    Facebook will respect your private data.

    I laugh everytime I hear that.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      The truth is even scarier than people realize.

      • aposer

        So, that’s how those new car ads keep following me on every
        website I visit. Seriously, I’ve never been on Facebook, but, I always assume
        that my demographic and web browsing history is available, no matter how many different
        browsers and email accounts I use. What’s the scary part, who sees it?

        • David

          There are browser extensions available to prevent this. I use one titled “Do Not Track Plus” for Google Chrome. Works well so far.

          • Bob

            Also adblock plus…its free

      • damnedchou

        why don’t you do a post about that :)

  • Nick

    Lie: Corporate America offers a comfortable, risk-free adulthood.
    Lie: You have to see things thru to the end, even if they’re pointless and unpleasant. Otherwise you look like a flake.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Very much agree with both of those. The first, people are starting to realize as fact. The second is more subtle but just as much a lie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=718531636 Brett Stubbs

    Lie: Conspiracy theorists are crazy, and if you believe anything they say, you too are crazy… though with the advent of the internet, access to information says otherwise. The smallest amount of research will tell you that there are many trillion dollar lies, and that those believing them are the real “crazies” or rather “zombies” that need some shaking to wake up.

  • http://www.preemptiveplacebo.com Preemptive Placebo

    Human beings are different from one another. It is the thing that makes humanity wonderful. Despite our obvious differences we are constantly told the lie that we are all fundamentally the same. We are not.

    Vedic philosophy worked very well for Bronze-Age South Asians. Many modern first-worlders look to the ancient Sanskrit texts as the answer to all of our problems. The separation of both time and culture forces those seekers into painful contortions to prove their point. Contorting themselves into the poseur image of a twenty-five-hundred-year-old Indian sage explains why so many who spend so much time on flexibility and balance are so inflexible and unbalanced. But that’s just a billion dollar lie.

    The trillion-dollar lie is that we can export our own version of Vedic philosophy to the world. Another trillion-dollar lie is that we can export our version of what it means to be crazy.

    http://fora.tv/2010/02/04/Ethan_Watters_The_Globalization_of_the_American_Psyche

  • Jim N
  • Nick

    Lie: unhappiness is always best dealt with by medication. Try to avoid thinking of it as a spiritual problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30303728 Gerald Gjini

    But i feel like the system is designed that way, you dont get to college your screwed yeah i guess you can start a biz, but maye you cant, maybe you dont have any connections, maybe no one can help you out. What then? you still need to provide?! eat?

  • Bob

    Lie: Facts

  • Galaxier

    You are a realist. I like your way of thinking, you should contest for congress.

    • Carol

      I think you shouldmrunmfor Congress also, but you’ll lose.

  • Matt

    Lie: Pharmaceutical Industry. “Oh, you can’t get it up because you have diabetes and high blood pressure? Take this pill. Do not change your life in any other way, especially your terrible diet, lack of exercise, etc.”

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Agree

  • Chuck

    Marriage = relationship security. There is a huge industry around what is clearly a broken institution. What else would you call a >50% failure rate?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      just read that 3rd marriages have a 74% divorce rate. Unbelievable.

      • Chuck

        Wow, thats huge.I believe marriage has always been broken, it was previously just impossible or unacceptable to divorce. There needs to be a recognition that people change and it’s not always feasible to assume a couple will stay together forever.

        • Jeffrey

          That’s easy to correct … and by Freewill, no less. Know yourself and if you are prone to change, and intolerant of change in a partner as well … don’t get married.

    • TheOfficialJustMe

      Lie: “50% of marriages end in divorce.”
      This is a similar lie like the college/no college long term income difference that James talks about. That 50% statistic is grouping everyone together. I read that less than 30% of couples from the same socioeconomic level (middle class and above) get divorced.

  • Chuck

    Tobacco and alcohol = legal and accepted.
    Psychedelics = schedule 1 prohibited and damaging.
    So much to say here, suffice to say the financial impacts of tobacco and alcohol are well documented despite the adverse effects on society. Psychedelics often provide alternate perspective on the world leading people to question everything they have been taught.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/petrd1 Peter D

    Job Creators. A smoke screen title rather than the root. Self Interest.

  • Frank

    ‘The Good Old Days” – Everyone constantly references a mythical glorifed past… that never existed. With a glow in their eyes, they talk about how great things used to be. Probably no bigger lie than that.
    Go back 100 years when everything was wonderful. Ok how about surgery with no anesthetic? Nobody used to get cancer. Sure, cause they all died 20 or 30 years sooner. Put the 10 commandments in all the schools and courtrooms. Sure. How about we stone you to death for your last divorce? America has lost its way since our founding. OK, shall we go back to the days of putting people in stocks? Hanging people for being witches? Slaughtering each other by the 100s of thousands over ‘states rights’? Plus a few thousand more ‘good ole days’ myths people like to pretend existed… Ever notice utopian cults glorify some non-existant mythical past?

  • yousteps

    The myth that we somehow get more done by working long hours. Chill.

    • liberranter

      Myth indeed. From firsthand observation, most people in a white-collar, corporate working environments who “work long hours” (i.e., come in before the sun rises and leave at midnight), especially those in “management” positions, aren’t working at all. They are merely occupying space, feigning productivity, hoping that people above them who are doing the same thing (and being equally unproductive) will take notice. In short, it’s a game, an exercise in office politics, “brown-nosing,” if you will. The goal is to get promoted, get a salary bump, and then try to “delegate” (read: shirk off) as much of your new responsibilities as possible while what little work getting done is completed entirely by lowly worker bees who get little, if any credit for their productivity.

  • MW

    You’re so wrong on homeownership. It’s true, we have a large mortgage industry. Do you know what you have in a society of landlords and renters? And ungodly-huge landlord industry. The endless accumulation of capital among the landlord class. Slums. Aristocracy. It sucks. People, on average, take better care of a home they own then a place they rent. That’s not a cliche because the super-human mortgage brokers (ha!) have brainwashed us. It’s cliche because it’s elementary human psychology. Even with Section 8, rental-heavy neighborhoods tend to suck. That’s not a coincidence,that’s a direct and obvious consequence. That’s not the way you want your society as a whole to go. The alternatives have been tried. For centuries. The landlord-renter paradigm is ultimately the root of the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution – landlord classes leading to ridiculous concentrations of wealth. Sure, if you’re wealthy by other means, then it doesn’t matter. Rent, own, pay others to keep your home nice. Whatever. Widespread homeownership, while far from perfect, is simply much, much better than a society of serfs.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      yes, but when you “own”, who is the landlord and who is the serf? it’s a myth that you are the land-owner and people now know that.

      • MW

        How is it a myth that you are the land-owner?

        • http://twitter.com/socrates1998 socrates

          You have a “mortgage”. For me, ownership means that no can take it from me. You don’t own a home until it is paid off.

        • Jon Clark

          It takes 30 years to pay off the true owner, the bank. plus the taxes that you have to pay for the “services” that your town offers. Plus the opportunity costs missed by capital tied in home. In a lot of respects it’s like the home owns you.

          • Andrew

            You still pay the taxes and the opportunity cost of capital when you rent. It’s built into your rent payment. It’s true, when you own a house via a mortgage, you can lose it. But when you rent, you can be kicked out. Or the rent can go way up. Nothing is risk-free.

          • susan

            That’s actually a myth. At least in any area that has significant taxes. If you break it down, rent is almost always cheaper than buying a comparable property – even with taxes, etc.

            Even if you own your home completely free and clear, it can be taken away from you anyway. The government can decide to come in and “buy you out” which is really forcing you out for a road expansion, airport development, etc.

            No one ‘owns’ their home. Not really. I’d rather rent. Unlike my friends, I have two year’s salary in an account that’s gaining interest that I can use for emergencies, a trip, self-development, to move across the country, take time off or anything else. I like owning my own life. That’s what I like owning.

            If any of them sold their house tomorrow, most would maybe come out a few thousand ahead, but unless they’re going to downsize or rent themselves, it’s not like that money benefits them. They’ll just buy something bigger with a bigger mortgage.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Todd-Haugen/668927570 Todd Haugen

            Of course this is a point in time argument. Yes if you compare buying a home today vs renting a home today, renting is almost always cheaper. If I have owned my home for 10 years this often is not the case. If I were to attempt to rent now I would have to pay more for less. My homes value is up 50% since 1999 and as a result it would be impossible for me to rent a comparable for the same or lower cost, all expenses included. Additionally, for some people a mortgage is a forced savings account, see my mother, and it has provided for her retirement in many ways. As with anything both sides are lies and only a real understanding of your life can help you avoid the lies. You have to ask yourself, are James statements lies themselves simply aimed at getting more readers? You have to figure out your own path and all James can do is make you think, don’t belive him or disbelieve him, ask yourself, how will home ownership effect my life, how will college effect my life, how will insurance effect my life? Then decide if these are right for you or not.

          • Alan

            If this were true (that it’s cheaper to rent than buy), then all landlords would be broke. Obviously, landlords make money out of the deal or they wouldn’t be landlords any more. Besides, James isn’t talking just about the financial aspect of ownership – he’s talking about freedom from the responsibility of it.

        • Zach

          Owning something means having possession which cannot be taken away from you. If you have to continue paying in perpetuity in order to “own” something, you don’t truly own it. With that in mind, stop paying your property taxes and see if you’re still the land-owner.

        • Anarcho_Capitalist

          the government owns ‘your’ land. you pay a tax to use it but the government can take ‘your’ land from you against your will and with force if it wants to.

          your land is not yours. you are a serf and the government is the owner.

          • mikeyhell

            AnCap is right. When you buy a home you’re actually buying the privilege to rent land from the gubmint.

      • Farmer

        Land that can feed you or is zoned for livestock is a great investment for the common man. Nicely mowed yards with picket fences will be valued less.
        Once the true financial reality of America swings into full gear. Land that feeds you will truly be valuable. Turn off you TV it is controlled by 6 corporations who push their agenda. War with Iran included. Peace.

      • Susan

        I love renting, though briefly went through a panic attack that we needed to own a few years ago. When we looked at houses around 2008/09, we were told real estate prices in the area would never get lower, nor mortgage rates. Both proved wildly untrue. So glad we didn’t buy.

        My in-laws seem to think we don’t have a down payment or can’t find a an affordable house. This is directly after I tell them how we love our neighborhood, could afford a house but choose not to, and easily have enough for a 20% down payment. They keep insisting it’s an investment, but can’t really tell me how unless I stay in it until I die. I guess they think I’ll be taking that money with me.

        • Jamie

          Remember when all the radio commercials were dominated by lenders saying that you must get locked into a rate of a life time RIGHT NOW and that rates are about to go up? They have only gone down since…LOL..

      • http://twitter.com/runningdmc Dawn Casey-Rowe

        Question: The rental market never really softened–prices are still very, very high and predicted to go higher as people get gunshy about buying. How does this factor into the equation when evaluating it against getting a good buy on a house now at a time when rates are the lowest in history?

  • Farmer

    You hit the bullseye with this. Truth telling in a time of deceit is revolutionary.
    Really just asking some questions and thinking for yourself is revolutionary.

    • liberranter

      … and often dangerous. I have be involved in discussions where the other person LITERALLY flies into a violent rage when one of their cherished lies is exposed for what it is.

  • Frank

    “Buy and Hold” Ok, maybe more in keeping with ‘trillion dollar lies’ Here is a 10 trillion dollar lie. Buy and hold. Unless you’re lucky and happen to get the one stock that seemingly goes up for a decade like apple, ‘Buy and hold’ is a myth promoted by the financial industry… Works fine as a ponzi scheme if the company doesn’t dilute. Meaning, there is an ever increasing price for an ever decreasing share structure/float as people keep buying and holding. But all companies dilute. And beyond that, while you’re happy at work socking away part of your earnings in a 401k, and not watching it, those shares you keep buying and holding are sitting ducks for the hedgefunds. They go and borrow your shares on margin, and sell em short to zero. Guess what? You aren’t allowed to short them in your 401k. So its been a way for the hedgefunds to obliterate your retirement, and profit from selling your shares, that you thought you were buying and holding til you retire like they told you to. [The new democratization here finally, is inverse ETFs (stick to non-leveraged, unless you’re a daytrading maniac, that’s a whole nuther story) that now finally let you profit from a downtrend in a sector, in your retirement plan without having to use margin, by going long in a ticker that goes up when the underlying sector goes down.]

    • Andrew

      You should never buy individual stocks in your 401k or any other account. But buying and holding a very diversified collection of stocks is still the best way for most people to protect the purchasing power of their savings over long periods of time.

    • Zach

      Actually, buy and hold isn’t truly a myth, but it’s badly misunderstood. Buy and hold works great when you’re in a secular bull market, such as 1949-1965, or 1982-2000. But that strategy must be abandoned during secular bear markets, such as 1965-1982, or 2000-present (est. 2020), in favor of more active cyclical investing.

      • mikeyhell

        All of course understood after the fact, not a priori.

        • Zach

          Only if you don’t know how to recognize when the economy and markets are transitioning from a secular bull to bear or vice versa.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1296301372 Wil Stahl

    There’s an invisible man … living in the sky. Who
    watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible
    man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if
    you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of
    burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live
    forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of
    time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you… and he needs money.

    • http://mefrain.blogspot.com/ Efrain

      George!

    • Wendy Day

      You sooooo rock!

    • Fred

      I think of all the people killed in the name of God. Next I think of all the people killed in the name of the state. I’ll take my chances with God.

  • susan

    Myth – Children make you happy and are required for fulfillment. I knew this wasn’t true before I had my daughter, and I’m so glad we won’t put that kind of ridiculous pressure on her to complete us.

    Also, that you should have more than one child or they’ll be ‘weird’. Or that your child “needs” a sibling because when the parents die, that’s all the have. From what I’ve seen with my own parents, having siblings makes it far worse when trying to decide on care and responsibility for aging parents.

    We get crap about only wanting one child. And thinking about homeschooling her to boot. People assume she’ll be a reclusive nut job. No one asks if we might prefer giving her our attention, resources, life experiences and a customized education – both in traditional classroom type settings and non.

    • http://twitter.com/mirellatrimboli Mirella Trimboli

      Absolutely! I’ve been telling people for years that I don’t want children but everyone buys into this notion that my biological urges will somehow take over my brain and I’ll change my mind. We don’t bother to tell people that my husband has already had a vasectomy, it’s too fun to watch these people try and explain to us why children are necessary and inevitably fail because the propaganda doesn’t provide rational reasons and reasoning.

      • Prat

        But… But… But… Oh, alright. Live like you want and not have somebody to carry over your awesome genes. ;)

        • rockymtn9

          My 2 cents but I feel a satisfaction that I never had before I had a daughter. There’s nothing like it…but it also can add to worrying about money

          • Pandemonium

            For those without children, the wonder of it cannot be explained. It’s like trying to explain how an orgasm feels to someone who never had one.

      • Wendy Day

        I turn 50 this week. I have no children. I do not feel I’ve missed anything until I go to a “family environment”. And it’s not because I see kids and go “Awwwww”…quite the opposite!! It’s because parents are in some kind of cult where they look at folks without kids like they are crazy. I’m thankful I had no kids and fight “convention” everyday because of it. LoL

      • InnerCynic

        Swings both ways. There are the childless who rub it in your face even though you’ve done nothing to deserve it. Or those who bitch and moan about some child crying in a very public forum. They don’t want to be bothered by any irritation or the sight of kids. Makes you wonder why their own parents bothered raising these ungrateful louts.

        • MC1171611

          I don’t get mad at whining kids: they’re only doing what their worthless parents trained them to do. It’s the pathetic parents that I want to smack in the face.

          All behavior is learned behavior.

          • Pandemonium

            “All behavior is learned behavior”. Tell a geneticist that!! Read THE MINNESOTA TWINS STUDIES. Very little behavior is learned. What liberal crap!!

          • MC1171611

            No, what is liberal crap is blaming genetics for your lousy parenting.

          • Pandemonium

            My children were not whiners. And I am not “blaming” anything. Try reading something besides comic books. Then try to understand what you read.

          • MC1171611

            Actually, I don’t read comic books. I am currently reading Mises’ “Human Action,” though. You should try it sometime. It may be a little too big for your tastes, though.

          • liberranter

            SPOT ON!

          • InnerCynic

            Maybe I needed to clarify. Those “whiny” kids were infants and thus there isn’t any “learned” behavior. Now with regards to kids who run wild, screaming and yelling while their doltish parents blithely ignore them, I have to say you are correct. There is a difference between the two and I didn’t make it clear.

          • MC1171611

            Understood.

          • GraueKatze

            MC1171611… you are so right. I have 5 children and they never misbehaved in public. They knew better. I hate screaming kids in a public place, parents have NO right to make other people miserable just because they can’t control their children.
            I love the idea of some restaurants not allowing children to come into their business. About time. Maybe parents will learn to teach their children how to behave in public.

      • http://www.facebook.com/vince.daliessio Vince Daliessio

        I have kids, and I love them to death. But sometimes, they are a giant pain in the ass. Of course there is a biological urge to procreate, but so what? We have abandoned the purely biological quite a while now, as you no doubt observed the last time you didn’t get smallpox. It is a personal decision, period.

        • Davidus Romanus

          Speaking of smallpox, it is now said that it was not eradicated by vaccines, but by cleanliness. Smallpox used to be spread by bed bugs. Once people started to wash bedding in bug killing stuff, smallpox went away. Don’t know the truth of the matter for sure, but with all the other lies about vaccines, it might be true.

    • http://twitter.com/priteshdesai Pritesh Desai

      But isn’t it biology? At certain age, certain things kick in?

    • MC1171611

      While I don’t agree with having just one kid (and I’m the first of five), I couldn’t possibly be more in favor of home schooling. I was home schooled all twelve years, and the only thing that I would change about it is my own lack of effort. Even beside that, I can confidently say that my education is vastly superior to that of the majority of my peers.

    • George.

      You need a son.

    • Adam

      The biggest natural urge, instinct, and incentive in your life is to reproduce. If you call sex nature’s incentive for you to reproduce, then almost every decision we make is based on it. We work at our jobs so we can have the money it takes to make us as attractive as possible. Anything that is an effort to be attractive, either on the surface, or implied, is an effort to gain a better mate, which in turn leads to sex, which leads to children (as nature would see it). When we have kids, we work to put them through school, etc, for what? So they will get a good job. Why? So they will make more money. For what? So they can be attractive to society and an eventual mate. Why? so they can have sex and make more babies (as nature would see it). And the cycle repeats itself infinitely. Unfortunately it is very, very simple.

      So not having kids goes against the entire grain of what you are hard wired to do. I am not condemning it, I am just saying that having children and grooming them to have children is likely the entire meaning of our existence.

      • Adam

        And to reiterate, the urge for sex is nature’s calling, while the urge for babies is not necessarily present in many people (just look at the gay community. They still want sex)

        • Pandemonium

          That’s why the “gay” community has always been seen as odd. The biological imperative is just that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruun-olsen-Ken/100000592834459 Bruun-olsen Ken

      Good for YOU and your child. I was sent to Strict Religious Private schools and upon reaching High School still had no clue. And upon reaching HS my educational benefits went right down the crapper. I beleive in Home Schooling and support your efforts 100%. What I think you learn in Public Schools is ‘THEIR’ History and ‘THEIR Status Quo’, NOT Real events. Thanks to the Internet now you have the world literally at your Key Pad. Actually there should be More Homeschoolin and probably would be if everyone weren’t stressed to death about hanging on to the ‘Staus Quo’. Peace.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dreznik1 Dan Reznik

    Religion. many folks are basically proud of their religious heritage, and yes, there is a lot of good that can be distilled from every religion. But to what extent is religion an outgrowth of some sort of pact between dominant classes (nobility, feudal masters, etc) and an industry of “appeasement software” (priesthood, temples, vatican, etc) — this way feudal masters ensure they can continue to tax and exploit the masses while priests with staffs and sitting on high chairs mesmerize us with promises for the after life.

    • liberranter

      Religion = institutionalized dogma
      Faith = the life practice of one’s core spiritual beliefs

  • Christian

    Lie: Beauty/cosmetic industry. It’s an industry built around looking better/younger/sexier/whatever. If you just had a smaller nose, he would love you. Wrinkles are bad, take this botox to look younger. It’s an entire industry built around lying about who you really are.

  • Duuuuuuuude

    On the teevee there’s now a commercial touting the benefits of home ownership as being better for one’s children and community.

    You know someone’s desperate when they try to sell something based on “the children” or “the community” — because obviously the investment potential will no longer sell.

    I’m not really sure if “mortgaging” is better than renting, but I know I like living in a detached unit better than in something that shares walls, if for no other reason that it allows me to play (more like bang on) my guitar without as much risk of having the cops dispatched to my domicile.

    Keep ’em coming James. 3200!

    • mikeyhell

      Whenever someone says that their idea/program/scheme is “For the Children”, grab your children and run the other way!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.kaufhold Chris Kaufhold

    Orange juice. It’s sugar and water and has some vitamin C.

    Much better for you is a glass of water and a red bell pepper. You get 2.5x as much vitamin C and 1/4 of the sugars.

    • Capn_Mike

      I was shocked to find out the sugar/carb content of O.J.!
      I’m drinking V8 now, which is not perfect but a hell of a lot better.
      I’d be better off drinking BEER for breakfast than O.J. That’s why I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years!

  • http://twitter.com/MainStInvesting Adam Keeling

    I’ve seen a bunch of individuals comment on the 401k myth or something related to “retail or average people can’t manage their own money” type of lie. I am in the boat that if one wishes to understand any topic, there is an endless amount of information to sort through to learn a trade – and learning by yourself and surrounding yourself with people that create value in your life is the first major step in stomping out the “need college” lies or the “can’t manage investing by yourself” lies. For those interested in seeing how this can be true, visit a couple links:

    http://mainstinvesting.blogspot.com/

    http://mainstinvesting.blogspot.com/p/resources.html

    The second is a compilation of the best tools I’ve found to learn the markets/economy (I update it about once every week or two). No one has to be a trader or watch every tick, but having the right resources available can help people understand the lies out there and make it easier to ignore the shit spewed from news stations about how terrible the US is.

  • James Rollaston

    The complexity of work. Most people think that their work/profession is extremely complex. When in reality it is a simple repetitive task once broken down. This is true for all ‘so called’ respected professions. Once you have been in the field a few years you realise this. The only thing that can change is how people emotional interact with their customers/clients/co-workers. These are the so called ‘soft skills’ that are not appreciated or tested for in our current educational system. My work is considered extremely complex. But I have trained people who were failed by the education system to perform my role better than I ever could. This people now earn massive incomes. I am a college graduate, but have never been more sure that college is a waste of time for most people in society. The skills that truly govern your success in life are not learnt in our current system. The funny thing is that this is viewed as new age hippy thinking. But it is so true.

    • mikeyhell

      Conventional medicine, for example, is really not that complex. When I take my aged parents to the doctor nowadays I can predict nearly every word that will come out of the doctor’s mouth. All it takes is a little bit of technical knowledge and a very strong intuition. Humility is a good trait to have too.

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

        I agree with this. Its amazing that doctors need degrees. I feel it would take me a few weeks of reading and maybe six months of internship and I can be as good as any general practitioner.

        • mikeyhell

          And surgery may take a few years of working as an apprentice but that’s about it. The medical degree and subsequent licensing is just the MDs way creating a state-protected guild to shield them from market competition.

        • http://www.bennesvig.com Ben Nesvig

          John Taylor Gatto has a really good example of this in one of his books. He was in a foreign country, got into an accident, and the “doctor” saved his life by learning how to do the procedure step by step from a book when everyone else in the hospital thought that he was going to die.

        • mypaisa

          I disagree with you in regards to all doctors, but I agree more when it comes to GPs. I think a lot of them only do what you could learn in a short time, and refer on to specialists for the rest (which is good). I just know that if/when I need to see a doctor for something serious, I wont choose to see someone (if i even get a choice) who wasnt put through the wringer and trained extensively. Sure in many cases, they follow a protocol, but its important to choose the right protocol and change it based on the synthesis of a lot of other knowledge.

          • Bill Mathers

            The main problem with the medical field is the consumers view doctors as mechanics. Once they are sick or have an injury they show up at the clinic and say “fix” me or I’m suing. Many medical issues are related to years of bad health and habits people bring upon themselves but ignore until it is too late. James next time you get shanked go see a homeopath or read a book
            and see how that works out for you!

          • Davidus Romanus

            So right! My orthopedic surgeon told a woman he could operate on her knee, but it wouldn’t fix the problem, which was that she weighed too much and the knee would not support all the extra weight. She was insulted and miffed that her “mechanic” could not “fix her knee”.

          • Puzzled

            I worked at a doctor’s office for a year. My conclusion, based on that and 8 years as a paramedic, was that I could treat 95% of his patients successfully. I’d kill the other 5% if I tried. But I’d never be able to tell which 5% needed to be referred.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sam.thebutcher.10 Sam TheButcher

        When my father was stricken with cancer, I spent an entire year with him at the top two cancer centers in the country – Sloan Kettering and M.D. Anderson. The job of the oncologist seemed pretty routine and straightforward. You administer a protocol based on a certain set of parameters and that’s about it. From there, the nurses handle all of the hands on stuff. A reasonably intelligent, conscientious person could probably have the entire skill-set they needed to do this job by following around an oncologist for two years or less.

        • Growupfolks

          And then after undergoing the treatment prescribed by this schooled doctor, the patient dies anyway.

      • http://twitter.com/K0JEG Eric

        Let’s not forget that hospitals, in constant fear of lawyers, have started using “expert systems” to diagnose you. The “doctor” enters your symptoms into a web page and it spits out the treatment. This is the whole point of IBM’s Watson program.

        Those of you who have watched “Idiocracy” will recognize the next generation of this device.

      • MC1171611

        I self-diagnosed an inguinal hernia and another connected ailment, but it wasn’t until they actually opened me up for surgery that they found out that my self-diagnosis was correct. The general practitioner, the urologist, and the ultrasound tech all diagnosed me differently. And then charged me for the ultrasound misdiagnosis. And prescribed me antibiotics for a birth defect.

        I’ve actually had doctors ask me if I’ve been to medical school. That’s scary, since I’ve never had a day of secondary “education.”

    • http://twitter.com/priteshdesai Pritesh Desai

      I’ve heard about this uneducated guy, who knows all the laws of court.
      He learned them all just by sitting with lawyers from a young age.

      • eSJaBe

        Your last sentance does not qualify him as uneducated.

        • http://twitter.com/priteshdesai Pritesh Desai

          Well, he didn’t have a formal education and couldn’t read or write. Illiterate’s the word. :P

    • OGuillory

      ..I did a lot of work with ergonomics..time and motion..that is what real-good-high-volume fast food management is about…and you are most correct about work being a mostly repetitive thing…that once accomplished or acquired…but,if you are tasked with managing people…I think that is where the real skill sets need to be developed…good communication skills…listening, empathizing..etc..I never went to college, but I ended up travelling the world, getting paid pretty well…good pension…lots of experiences…golfing in a dormant volcano, climbing Mt. Fuij…
      …a personal tour of Air Force One…..all because I was exceptional at managing
      McDonalds and Burger Kings that would do $25,000.00 a day in sales….

      …I was once put in charge of the Beer tent at the LSA in Hungary…Taszar,…we opened at six pm, closed at ten pm…4 hours of sales and we’d do $20,000.00 a night in sales…managing that was a lot of fun…but it didn’t require me to go to college…plus, my government employer paid for a boatload of develop opportunities for me…EEO Investigator, Diversity Instructor, Sanitation Instructor, etc, etc…so you are most correct..!

      Now I’m dying, so I am glad I got to do all those things…

      Regards,

      RJ O’Guillory
      Author-
      Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

  • topdown93

    when i was divorced and my ex-wife got the house, that was the most free i had felt in years. rented a very nice 1100 sq. ft. 2BR apartment in the city’s nicest complex. no fucking yard work, no crushing property taxes or insurance, no maintenance, an idyllic existence to say the least. did i mention no fucking yard work? fast forward 11 years, i am, again, married and a homeowner. jesus, i haven’t learned a thing. where i live, if you are married and don’t own your home, there must be something wrong with you or you are poor. sad but true.

    • A-Ron

      Don’t beat yourself up. It’s hard to fight the system when everyone you know and love are “plugged in.”

    • Jamie

      It’s because we fall in love and have this grand image in our mind that it will be different the next time. The mind is very strong, and we are pumped with endless ads and messages that make us believe its what we are supposed to do. The only way I have lessened the grip of the mind is meditation, reading books about buddhism and doing yoga.

    • liberranter

      fast forward 11 years, i am, again, married and a homeowner.

      It’s almost unavoidable. Marriage, for a man = obligatory home ownership. I’ve been trying to convince the wife of the wisdom, in all of its forms, of renting (no maintenance overhead, flexibility to move in the event of economic changes, etc.), points that should be self-evident to her, given the fact that we’ve owned and sold three houses in the last twenty years, with each sale being a more miserable experience than the previous one.

      No such luck. It’s all about “but it’s OUR HOUSE.” Then I bring up the property tax issue. Eyes glaze over, arms fold, back turns, end of discussion.

    • Roper

      I read some version of this “no crushing property taxes or insurance” all the time and I don’t get it. Renter-commenters sometimes have this strange superiority about not paying insurance, property taxes, mortgage, maintenance fees, etc. I own several rental homes and all of those costs are built into the rent the tenants pay me. So, they don’t write individual checks for those components, but their rent surely covers those costs for me as the owner, plus markup to cover my profit and future repairs. I’ve read this line so many times that I wonder if I just happen to have the only units where rent covers actual costs??? Renting may certainly be better in some situations, but those costs still exist, they just appear in a different form. Or do I live in an alternate universe?

  • http://twitter.com/cashflowrules Philip Campbell

    Here’s a good one: “student loans are financial aid”. And “student loans help make college more affordable”.

    • dkonstructed

      I graduated grad school a few years ago with around 40K so I feel lucky compared to 80K+ that students today are coming out with.

      Here is something that really boggled my mind lately: art school (like Art Center in Pasadena,Ca ) costs around 48K per semester which is 3,000 more dollars than Harvard Medical. The thing is that Harvard MD’s actually have a ghost’s chance in Hell of paying off their loans. A REALLY lucky illustration grad who lands a dream job working for a big AAA movie studio will be lucky to make over 50K a year.

  • TheOfficialJustMe

    Lie: You need to lift weights to become an attractive man.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Phew!

    • mikeyhell

      Just think of the pain that this lie has caused: Men must have a career; men cannot stay at home and raise a family while the wife earns the income. Ugh.

      oops, misplaced comment here but no matter.

  • Laura

    Here’s a lie by the liberal machine, and probably the “go to college” crowd and big business: Having a baby when you’re young will ruin your life and get in the way of following your “dreams.”

    I think it’s related to the trillion dollar “find your passion” lie.

  • kazoo

    “Since 1950, when college started becoming almost a pre-requirement for success, incidence of depression has gone up 50 times”

    I think this might be one good reason to go to college. Correlation does not indicate causation. In this case, it doesn’t really even correlate..

  • Daniel gueriera

    The war on drugs…so many lies that weave into the other topics that you have already outlined, primarily healthcare and education.

  • George

    Lie : Republicans are any better on national defense and fiscal responsibility than Democrats.

    • TheOfficialJustMe

      Ok. And Democrats aren’t really for the common worker either, otherwise Bill Clinton wouldn’t have signed on to NAFTA and allowed outsourcing to China.

    • Jamie

      Yes this is a giant lie. When I hear people say fiscally I am a conservative, on social issues I am liberal my head want to explode.

  • TheOfficialJustMe

    Lie: Third party diplomacy and foreign aid can help resolve a conflict where at least one side wants to keep fighting until victory.

  • Jeff

    Add buy and hold stocks to the list!

  • Kevin R. Roberts

    College and home ownership are the two that are the hardest to explain to the shallow thinkers. Few Americans possess the power of critical analysis and that, my friends, explains why we continue to elect GOP wimps and Dimocrat crooks.

  • TheOfficialJustMe

    Lie: You need to seek out status in life. By all means, don’t become a plumber.

    • dkonstructed

      lol… Where I live, there is a shortage of plumbers because no one wants to do the job (social stigma?). So the few plumbers that are practicing their trade are covered up in work and able to charge commercial rates to residential consumers. Dirty jobs can pay! :)

      • liberranter

        Yep. Try getting an MBA to fix your clogged toilet – or do anything else useful, for that matter.

  • clayton

    The biggest Trillion Dollar Lie: The “PC” movement. #walkoneggshells I also find it amusing that even in the comments pointing out the lies we still pick sides.

  • Amy

    One of your best posts, James. Free your mind! Question everything.

  • http://www.bennesvig.com Ben Nesvig

    I thought for sure you would have put:

    Me: School Other: Education

    So many people just assume a correlation between the two when an education almost always comes from life.

  • Jill

    I’d say Love, big lie, from a female perspective. I like what the comedian Wanda Sykes said in one of her routines, “I wish I could leave my pussy at home and bring it out only when I want to, I would have a lot more fun”. I am an attractive sexy female in my 50’s now and have yet to find this elusive “Love”. I only get assistance from a man if he thinks he’ll get some, otherwise I have to pay for it and then he’ll rip me off with the price. Can’t have a guy friend..obvious A girlfriend…well she is too busy looking for a “husband” to complete her sorry dependent ass.

    Marriage what a crock, a legal business contract, the govt. gives you perks and money so you can have kids and you have arrived boy. “Furnished company, furnished life” I cannot even enjoy a pleasant conversation with a random guy because his semi prompts him to bring up his wife or girlfriend…dead in the water. I got fired once for no good reason because the married loser got tired of getting a hard on every time he had to speak with me, then he hired a Lawyer so I couldn’t get unemployment. No employer has ever taken me seriously because of my sexy beautifulness, oh, except for that short stint as a bartender in a gentlemen’s club, the owner always got a semi when he saw me and respected me for it.
    I don’t like owning real estate or renting real estate. I need a place to live but I freaking want something else! They are both rip offs, especially for single female like me who is barely scraping by because I never went along with the bullshit.

    I fantasize about going off-the-grid, but after some research I find that shit is expensive and not easy to do…ALONE. Love…big lie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TraderGang Trader Gang

      Get at me…

    • http://www.facebook.com/Dresden0010 Ivan Azymov

      To have had that wisdom earlier on in life would have been delightful. Marriage, in my opinion, is indeed a lie which most of us are conditioned to believe, a system perpetuated by a government and religious institutions which benefit the most from it (in the form of a stable tax base for governments, in the form of a stable flow of sheeple whom contribute for churches, and other).

      Nevertheless, I would not trade the wisdom I have now for anything if it meant I would have to forfeit said knowledge.

      In all fairness, the writing has always been on the wall. Admitedly, by our ignorance, the masses chose to believe the lie. (Any tradition or subject matter which can employ words, ‘Institution’, ‘Committed’, and ‘Forever’–in the same sentence, notheless–to present an accurate description of its function should be suspect.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/TraderGang Trader Gang

    DEA. CIA. FDA. Those aren’t stock quotes. 401k. Roth IRA. …I can go on. I’m an angry version of you. 9/11 was the only thing that wasn’t outsourced. And tell google to pay vringo ASAP!

  • Jim

    Lie: The Pope is closer to God than you are

  • Jim

    Lie: The Pope is closer to God than you are

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derek-Morgan/572727958 Derek Morgan

    Lie: Your lower back is not a muscle, and using it to pick things up is extremely dangerous.

    Ok that’s probably not a trillion dollar one, but today my boss told me off about picking up a box the wrong way and it really annoyed me. I should probably go do one of the ten techniques to release oxycontin into my body.

  • DrewM

    Amazing post…we have been so brainwashed that people have stopped questioning things…have just accepted everything presented to them. We need to wake up

    • Jamie

      yep, the very few make trillions off people set on auto pilot.

  • Bobby G.

    I’m a college graduate (graduated in 1981 – 4 year degree at a state university costing a total of $12K, room and board included). While I was there I realized it was mostly a waste of time. I came to the conclusion that college graduates make more money because employers recognize that people who complete a degree can put up with a massive amount of BS, which is probably a pre-requisite for succeeding in corporate America.

    BTW, I’m in agreement with nearly 100% of what you say and it’s uncanny because it is almost like reading something I’d write.

    • liberranter

      I came to the conclusion that college graduates make more money because
      employers recognize that people who complete a degree can put up with a
      massive amount of BS, which is probably a pre-requisite for succeeding
      in corporate America.

      Well said! Remove the “probably” from in front of “a prerequisite.” It IS a prerequisite, which is why the corporatocracy considers a piece of paper from one of these institutions to be so essential. Since “college” has become over the last three quarters of a century little more than advanced indoctrination, a continuation of that which takes place in grades K-12, the corporate PTB see it as an essential conclusion to the process of creating a nation of obedient, conformist, non-thinking worker drones.

  • http://twitter.com/mirellatrimboli Mirella Trimboli

    The top two I’d add:
    Work is a lie: The idea that we have to go to work, preferably 5 days a week and 48 weeks a year (in Australia) during daylight hours is an obvious fabrication and you don’t have to look too far back in history to see that our current system hasn’t always existed. If we wanted to (and I do and will) we can exit this system (at least partially) and find other ways to live our lives and still live comfortably. We still need to live within the monetary system (I don’t see myself being able to topple it on my own) but it takes a lot less money than we are led to believe to lead a comfortable life. The working world system might have started out as a great means of control but it is unraveling.

    Religion and God: The biggest thing holding back our evolution is religion and in particular the way in which it detracts from the spiritual. To be religious you must compartmentalise sections of your mind and this results in otherwise intelligent people stunting their own growth. We can only imagine the sort of world we’d have if Constantine hadn’t chosen Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. Religion is all about being right and the need to be right holds back all progress.

    • jamie

      You are 100% correct religion is a giant hinderance of evolution.

    • liberranter

      We can only imagine the sort of world we’d have if Constantine hadn’t
      chosen Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire.

      If Constantine hadn’t chosen “Christianity” as the official religion of the Roman Empire (any time you see or hear the term “official religion,” be afraid, very afraid – and run like hell!), true, New Testament Christianity would have survived, rather than the co-opted, murderous, statist cult that has completely taken its place over the last 1,700 years. Rome, for its part, would have remained the overtly pagan empire that it always had been and that it continued to be until the day that it collapsed. (Compare the behavior of the pagan, “pre-Christian” Constantine and that of all of his equally pagan predecessors with the behavior of the “converted” Constantine and tell me with a straight face that you can find any difference whatsoever between the two.)

      But that’s all fodder for a whole ‘nother thread…

  • standard analysis

    I’m a fan of reading your blog in between hum drum work stuff that I have to read and I’ve actually heard you write a couple times about the waste of time of college and…I humbly disagree. You make more well developed arguments in other places but I’ll just riff some off-the-top-of-my-head stuff here:

    I think what caught me off guard what the stat you provided, “one in four women are raped in college.” That stat makes college sound like a rape and raper minefield. Just because it is after all a boring friday, I decided to look into the statistic and it took about 7 minutes of googling to find the actual study that this quotation refers to, the original source reporting the statistic as such was an abc article from like 2010 and there was a date line on this topic but here is the actual study http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/e03021472.pdf

    Interestingly – and this is one of the cases where soundbites are definitely misleading – the actual quote from the document is

    “Women ages 16 to 24 experience rape at rates four times
    higher than the assault rate of all women,”2 making the
    college (and high school) years the most vulnerable for
    women. College women are more at risk for rape and other
    forms of sexual assault than women the same age but not
    in college.3 It is estimated that almost 25 percent of college
    women have been victims of rape or attempted rape since
    the age of 14.4′
    continuing to to

    The most recent large-scale study, including students at
    both two- and four-year colleges, found 35 rapes per 1,000
    female students over seven months8 (rape was defined as
    “unwanted completed penetration by force or threat of
    force”). Based on this study, a college with 10,000 women
    students could experience 350 rapes a year.
    the document also stipulates that

    Rape rates vary to some extent by school, type of school
    and region, suggesting that certain schools and certain
    places within schools are more rape-prone than others.††
    Some features of the college environment–frequent
    unsupervised parties, easy access to alcohol, single students
    living on their own, and the availability of private rooms–
    may contribute to high rape rates of women college
    students.

    As such, I claim that the statistic asserted in your post is not really the full picture and it is definitionally reductionistic of the term “college” [i.e limited definition, there is online school, community college, in while most students commute, etc] . Also, I believe that the statistic provided is not a fair representation of the study, if I understood this article correctly, the assertion is that 1 in 4 girls 16 to 24 will experience sexual assault.

    but I’m not here to totally dispute your argument but just illustrate even the smartest people (me included) and be victims of our sound bite culture….

    But that’s a details but it seems that this was a big reason why college is a lie.

    The ” learn how to think ” stuff…I don’t know about that, I never heard that slogan.

    Call me a starry-eyed idealist but I really thing there is a big value to college. I think that if you treat it right, you can learn and do a lot of fascinating things..you need to major in what is fun to you and not to get an education for a specific job (people in college don’t really have a concept of what work life is really like, that’s why everyone wants to be a lawyer, and that’s why that industry is SO flooded.

    Not to be a corn ball but I took the steve jobs mentality toward college…I majored in what I loved….and believe me, people who majored in pre-med, pre law, business, and other boring crap definitely looked at me weird and fully expected that I would end up living in a box. I’m paying for college myself and I guess that is the difference…I was not gonna spend a shit ton of money on something that I didn’t believe in.

    I think if you go into college or are forced by your parents to go into to college with a mentality of you’ve gotta go out there and get a job yada yada yada…then you will not have the opportunity to really have a personally fulfilling experience from it and you’ll just do drunk college student stuff the whole time but if you approach if from a perspective of “what do I want to do” you are suddenly free to do what ever you want and really have a great experience because guess what, when you graduate and you go into the real world, there is very little time to sit down and enjoy stuff like sociology of science and politics of marijuana (real class at my university) or calligraphy (like Steve Jobs did) ….

    I guess you’re from the former camp where someone forced you into an unfufilling college experience.

    you probably don’t read these comments but ..i’m curious what you think of my theory your college experience is a product of your intent and mentality about college….

    • standard analysis

      sidebar: I don’t think steve jobs finished college but I did…shouldn’t write this late -_- …I always say something silly

    • http://www.facebook.com/TraderGang Trader Gang

      I read two sentences and formed a conclusion. Don’t worry…no one wants to rape you…you basically majored in Poor.

  • Barfinger

    I read “A Canticle for Lebowitz” when I was 16, and it literally changed my life. A simple version of the message is don’t look closely at given truth, no matter how ridiculous. From that moment forward, I have always enjoyed looking for the lie. I was a self-taught computer programmer and got the chance to design a system for the hospital I worked for, something that would simply not happen today. After I left that job, nobody would hire me. Although I had two college degrees, I did not study computer programming. So, I started my own company, hiring myself in the process.

    College is required (and the exactly right course of study) for most jobs that are interesting. A degree is not NECESSARY, but it is required.

    Buying a house is not a good move unless you want to have control over how long you live there. Think about all the renters that were displaced during the condo conversion years?

    Let me add another Big Lie: debt is bad. One must own a house and pay in lots and lots of equity. You should carry as little equity as they will let you get away with, and actually, the older you get, the more correct that statement is. They are only right if you are one of those people who borrow lots of money and spend it. That’s worse than having equity.

    Think about the movie “The Matrix”. There’s electrifying truth in there, after you get through being amazed by the effects.

    Wonderful article, and some really interesting comments.

  • dorrietamespowell

    “the irony being that if everyone ate organic the world would starve” might just be part of the lie told by large agri-business. There is some evidence to the contrary. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4060

  • Debra

    Healthcare is only expensive if you want it to be. I work in the industry and know where the massive pools of unproductivity are and how avoid them. Planning to share this info with everyone.

  • Roy

    Big Lie 1: A glass of red wine a day is good for your heart. Thats a lie perpetuated by the wine industry. What they dont tell you is that while red wine may have some good in it, it actually does more harm than good. What they dont tell you is that there are fruits and vegetables which are 100 times better for your heart with ZERO side effects.

    Big Lie 2: “You were created in God’s Image. You are Divine. You are God. You are a creator”. This lie has been perpetuated by the New Age community to sell their books. Why? Because it makes people feel special and warm and fuzzy inside. What they dont realise is that we had even an ounce of divinity we wouldnt commit all the evils that we are committing like killing, lying, stealing, spreading hate etc.

    If people believe they are god or are divine then they have not really understood who God is. Its the height of our arrogance to believe we were created in his image or that we are god or divine. (ps…I believe in God..I am not an athiest.)

    • Jamie

      What you are missing here is that the ego is what keeps people in the cycle of killing and spreading hate. Your true nature is your divine self. That could be your life mission, allowing your divine self direct your life and expressing it. Life is the perfect place to understand ego. Arrogance is just part of the ego expressing itself. Everything we see around us and in the sky is God’s conscious. We are all expressing God, it/she/he is not something separate.

  • Roy

    Where do thoughts come from?

  • Roy

    Big Lie: “Weed is totally harmless man.”

    If its so safe then why do we feel uncomfortable in giving it to kids.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TraderGang Trader Gang

      Hey retard..your correlation skills are pathetic. Don’t ever breed. Smoking hinders growth and planning skills. Harmless means no deaths. Like stupid means Roy

      • http://mefrain.blogspot.com/ Efrain

        Why do you have to be an asshole?

      • Bobby D

        @Trader Gang: You say you are angry, but that doesnt mean you should dump on others. Learn some manners.

      • Jane

        Harmless means no deaths? hahahaha

        If we pour acid on your face….you wont die either, but im sure you would agree it would be harmful to you

        Listen boy…you seem to have not been hugged or loved enough in your life so you lash out to others. Learn to fill you emotional cup…love yourself first.

        • http://www.facebook.com/TraderGang Trader Gang

          Shut up

  • Zardoz123

    “You learn…and when you know better…you do better” Maya Angelou. I’m learning…Thanks for this post James.

  • colinmontreal

    I generally like your posts but I disagree about home ownership – how can you extrapolate your experience into a general truth for all people in all countries, circumstances? I live in Montreal and I made a lot on the sale of my condo.. it doubled in price over 10 years. If you set up the financing correctly, the interest cost of the mortgage, plus the taxes and condo fees etc. is less than renting. And if you pick the right location, it’s pretty much guaranteed to keep its value, and likely to increase in value. Other advantages include home swapping, the joys of home improvement/interior decorating..I love design activities..plus it’s an investment if you do it right.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      but what if you did include the taxes and the maintenance? And then (and you dont have to do this) the time spent on that maintenance (if you believe that “time = money”). Or the lack of flexibility you have in job choices because you are stuck in one place presumably. This might not have a monetary value. But for many, it does.

      • colinmontreal

        Incidentally, I think the fact that you didn’t read my post accurately is a clear demonstration of how one’s beliefs affect how one perceives reality. Think about how your beliefs are coloring/filtering your reality in other areas. I think most people set up their financing so that if they want to move they can rent out their place and more than cover all the costs. And if this is the case, when you subtract the paying down of the principal, you are paying less than it would cost to rent. There is very little maintenance to be done for the condo-owner – the building maintenance is covered in condo fees and the buyer needs to make sure that the management and the condo fees are a good situation before they buy. And lastly, location, location, location. A property in a prime location is not subject to the same economic dynamics as one that isn’t.

  • http://www.jamesecornell.com/ Jamie

    Here is a lie. People say they support the troops by drinking beer for the troops or putting a magnet on their car to support the troops. How is that supporting the troops? Go to a VA hospital and spend some time with wounded soldiers or go help a disabled vet at home a couple times a week. Some beer company has a drinking campaign for the troops, what a joke.

    • Fred

      Related lies. “The troops are defending our freedom.” “Fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.”
      I’m always able to quiet the chickenhawks by telling them if they think Iran needs regime change, they should buy a rifle themselves and get over there and change it!

  • Bladimir Mercedes

    Fantastic article! Another lie is how people are preconditioned to believe that they need their credit for everything. You need good credit to buy a house, you need good credit to buy a car, you need good credit to get credit. I repair credit for a living and I’ll be the first one to tell you that..”no man’s credit is as good as his money”. Focus on saving money and becoming debt free, avoid the credit lies.

  • http://twitter.com/ryanpflynn Ryan P. Flynn

    The multitude of lies pushed by the health and fitness industries: Giving us an unrealistic image of the ideal body, the over-complicating of what it actually takes to get results, millions of competing workout routines, supplements, fad diets, personal training, ad nauseum. It is a sad reality that so many people walk away from health and fitness injured, misguided, frustrated, and ashamed because of the trillion dollar lies pushed by these industries that make this all seem so complex and unattainable.

    • http://twitter.com/ryanpflynn Ryan P. Flynn

      Also, what I’m currently doing/thinking/going-through is important/profound/unique enough that all of Facebook needs to know about it.

      • eSJaBe

        [nodding head in pleasurable agreement]

  • Capitalistic

    Awesome.
    Most people are unhappy because they see themselves through the eyes of other, which never turns out quite as they pictured.
    Like the great griot said, “I wake up, stare at the ceiling. I’m alive. What a beautiful feeling.”

  • nofuntown

    James is hitting me where I live as usual

  • Dorky

    Human species is the ONLY animal species (yes, animal species) that have inherent tendency to kill and destroy each others embedded in the genes, persistently for milleniums. Humans, other than being able to express communication in words, are generally inferior to other animal species. I am speaking after much observation and as much unbiased mind as I can. Human reason is a fallacy. What is right or wrong if it is not based on personal selfish interest? If you are a human, you should by now be familiar with the prevalent behavior of “If I beat you, it’s okay. But if you beat me, it’s not.” among your fellow humans. Human empathy is also a fallacy. Ever witness an accident and people around will just be doing nothing but staring with apathy? Yes, you may argue of cases where people help around the victim. But give yourself a break and go compare the number of cases involving apathy to the number of cases involving empathy. I can argue more but hey, this is not an opportunity to write an essay.

  • Dorky

    The human world is a world where everyone will continue to dominate and kill every others until there is nobody left. The human world is the only animal world that is so extremely needy that it needs God’s prophets once every several hundreds of years to bring in spiritual wisdom and STILL war and chaos continue to persist, compared to other animal worlds like the dogs, the cows, the horses, the elephants, the dolphins, etc where they don’t need any prophet and still lead quite a peaceful life if not for human interference. Yeah, the animals will still be hunted by the lions. But lions kill only for food. Humans kill for ego, pride, power, dominance, sex, money, revenge, etc. Yeah, humans have “intelligence” as if other animal species are brain-dead. If you have intelligence, then how come you can’t use your intelligence for good and positive progress? If you’re powerless, of course you will say things differently than if you’re in power, as absolute power corrupt absolutely. How come those in power never do the right thing, as we can all observe from generations to generations? Or is there something that we really cannot control despite having “intelligence” (as if every other animal species are brain-dead)?

  • http://twitter.com/AprilJudson FindingMyMuse

    If you have a nice (insert material possession here – car, house, jet ski, cottage) you will be happier and envied by others. HUGE LIE. The less I have and the more I consciously give away, the more peaceful I become. Less clutter = more happiness.

    • tbarrelier

      This is the Great Hypothesis: “If I have ________, then I will be happy.” I have run this experiment for 62 years and being a good scientist (not a politician), I have found the hypothesis to be faulty. I have observed Joy to come on Its own, unbidden and in the “smallest” things: a bluejay, the way the cat looks at the door when she wants to go out, the lovely Payne’s gray of the sky when it is going to thunder, how that old hydrangea exploded into blossoms after I thought it was dead. All the ‘fillings in of the blank’ provide experiences that are fleeting, at best. Joy is in the moment with no past or future to burden it.

    • don lucas

      My friend, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been downsizing i.e getting rid of a house and garage full of stuff. Trying to have less and less. The less I have, the more peaceful and uncluttered my life is. “Do not lay up treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and thieves break in and steal.” Jesus. All of the excess wealth and toys are a snare to your soul. It’s not worth it, get rid of it. Get a smaller house or a mobile home. Get out of the US if you can, too. You’ll be glad you did.
      don dlucasgringo@gmail.com

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruun-olsen-Ken/100000592834459 Bruun-olsen Ken

        American Ex Pat in Norway I am, and I couldn’t agree more. I lost EVERYTHING to my last X and am dellighted for it. It’s HER crap now and I don’t need it. I have limited myself to 2 suitcases of apparel entirely and a couple of boxes of crap in general. When I receoive gifts of ‘Things’ I quickly give it away and I can move myself within a half hours time. I AM FREE. Glad to hear so many others are figuring this out as well. Peace. Ken Bruun-Olsen. Google Me

  • http://adingintheuniverse.com/ Emily Merkle

    perception is reality.

  • Rollin Crittendon

    Some of the comments here suggest an apprenticeship could replace medical school and its rigors. I am personally not so sure of that. Here is my take on it, note I have NO medical training.

    I think generations ago people did become doctors in a relatively brief fashion. Part of that was because our understanding of physiology etc was relatively shallow back then. As each area of medicine gains greater knowledge a challenge occurred. A balance needed to be found between breadth and depth in that field.

    As a result I think many doctors have to complete a rigorous breadth-based training, and then often have depth-based training/internships etc. Our own life is the most irreplaceable/valuable thing we own, and I want someone well-trained when dealing with my own. Their training is not for the 90% day-to-day stuff but to know all the peculiarities that can pop-up. I would be surprised if there is a quick fix for that, though Dr. Watson-based things might help a doctor in the future winnow things.

    My hunch is many of us in the workplace deal with many breadth-based components or depth-based. I think doctors have a unique place in that they deal with both, need to re-prove themselves with license renewals etc.

    In summary, I love this blog but disagree on this one item.

  • jigsaw

    I just found one more thing to fear in my life. Fear of poverty. Well.. I was already afraid of poverty and financial ruin but my wife is pregnant now and poverty is staring us right in the eye. We are so happy and excited about the baby. Yet, when I do the math, I can see that kids cost way too much. $1k for day care alone!!! We are screwed. We won’t ever retire.

    • liberranter

      We are screwed. We won’t ever retire.

      No one else will either. The fiat U.S. dollar, upon which almost all retirement plans are based, is toast. Most people, unfortunately, aren’t willing to recognize that painful fact.

  • http://www.pointsandfigures.com pointsnfigures

    Millions are not dead in Iraq, but I am empathetic to your point. I listened to Powell too, and that’s when my opinion changed. BTW, Good War-Other should be saying “There never is a good war but some wars are worth fighting.” WW2 was one of those.

  • http://www.pointsandfigures.com pointsnfigures

    Here is a lie: If you work out like a maniac you will lose weight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Connor/100000284561197 Peter Connor

    “Your vote matters.” Not in any State, e.g. Illinois, that has a large city with a democratic machine.

    • EdD

      “with a democratic machine.” By that I assume you mean the so-called ‘two party’ electoral system, in which case I agree with your statement. I’ve come to think that the electoral system we have in place precludes the possibility of voting having any meaning whatsoever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Connor/100000284561197 Peter Connor

    “It’s for the children.” Never, ever true–children can’t vote or make campaign contributions–it’s always for the adults.

    • Amy

      So funny! How many times have we heard that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brendan.teeley Brendan Teeley

    James, I love you posts. Some of them very near and dear to me. Others, well they get a little crazy. This may be one of those. You have some great stories that I think a lot of people can learn a lot from. Thanks for continuing to write.

  • Mehran

    James, what exactly did Iraq keep Iran in check from? This might be one of those thought children implanted in your head that needs to be disciplined!

    • Reza

      I am Iranian like you

      What James says is partly true….

      Look at the 1980 to 1988 war….

      That was essentially Americas war against Iran through Iraq

      Saddam was a puppet regime installed to do the U.S’s bidding

      • liberranter


        Look at the 1980 to 1988 war….

        That was essentially Americas war against Iran through Iraq

        Saddam was a puppet regime installed to do the U.S’s bidding

        Exactly. The dots are so easy to connect that it’s laughable. Yet when you try to explain this to the average Amoricon (who, by the way, couldn’t locate either Iran or Iraq on a map even if a gun were pointed at their temple), the eyes glaze over, the hands clap tightly over the ears, the ad hominem attacks start (“you America-hater!”), and the sheer futility of trying to reason with a moron suddenly sets in.

        Count on this ignorance to play a very big role in allowing the warmongering Amerikan power elite to wage war against Iran.

  • Seki

    Two reasons for owning a home: Pets and Gardening. If having pets or gardening are of high importance to you, homeownership can make sense. If not, renting makes more sense.

  • vengh

    well said, James. always appreciate your clarity and candor. until we practice critical thinking we are doomed to wallow in darkness.
    Another lie: in order to be happy you must marry (and the more extravagant the wedding, the better) – a promotion by the marital industrial complex (to borrow a phrase). nothing against marriage (I’m married) but this huge financial outlay in order to embark on a fairy tale life is based on delusion. those of us who are married know that a successful marriage entails effort, honesty and unselfishness – traits that are glossed over and in serious shortage in society’s “role models” today. Just sayin’…

  • InnerCynic

    Truth in labeling! Hahahahaha… (wipes tears of cynicism from eyes). That’s got to be the biggest crock of all. Case in point. Ocean Spray 100% Juice with the word Cranberry prominently sitting below the oh so obvious 100% Juice. But is it really? Nope! Off to the lower left corner in a black typeface, so as to obscure the lie, you’re presented with the words to the effect that it’s a “blend” of four juices. So what percentage of this blend IS cranberry? Hell, who knows! It doesn’t say anywhere.

  • Malibu

    All,you have to do is work hard . BS

    • http://www.facebook.com/cjr.udek Cjr Udek

      Not hard work. Smart work. My hardest work was in the first job: Door-to-door flyer delivery at 2 cents per. Next hardest was at minimum wage: Dishwasher. Today, I sit at a desk and give opinions and earn a decent amount. Easy work, but not many known how to do it. Folks need to understand that simple truth. It’s not the work’s difficulty that determines the appropriate pay. It’s the scarcity of those who can do it at the desired level.

  • Austrian anarchist

    So you agree that the U.S. should attack Iran? Or that Iran is a threat to others? You think they are a serious threat?

    Why? Iran hasn’t attacked anybody in over 200 years. They have been attacked, but Iran hasn’t initiated any wars in 200+ years. If you can prove otherwise, let me have it. I’m not saying they won’t make the first step, but if they do… it’s because of the United States. It’s because the U.S. tied their hands and left them no other choice. Japan and WW2 all over again. The U.S. should stop messing with other countries.

    Further, take a look at this map:
    http://www.oneangryman.com/ken/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/military-spending.jpg

    Each one of those stars represents a U.S. military base. And Iran is a threat here? Seriously? Looking at this map I can only conclude that Iran should quad-triple its military spending. Every month! After all, how would the U.S. feel if China, Russia or Iran had 10-20 military bases all around the United States? In Canada, Mexico, Cuba, etc etc. Wouldn’t you feel uneasy about your own protection? I bet the Iranians do… especially considering the history of your wars. You had no business being involved in the WW1 or WW2. No business being in Vietnam. You have no right to have military bases in 200 countries or so. Get the hell out of those countries. Go home! Stop policing the world. We don’t need your government help. They only cause problems – bin Laden and Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, Mubarak, etc. They were all supported by your tax payers money. The U.S. government gave them weapons. And look at the results.

    PS: I’m not an Iranian. I’m not living in the Middle East. I’m just an European tired of wars. Tired of countries who think they can run the world. In fact, I’m tired of countries altogether. We should dissolve them all…

    • MC1171611

      I don’t think that’s at all what he meant. After all, he listed that as one of the lies.

    • Stacy

      Huh? This reminds me of people who write reviews of books they never read.

      Yes, the article does say: “We need to invade Iran before they invade Israel!”

      The author then immediately explains that someone else said this to him. It is not his position.

      I agree with what you said about ending wars and occupations but next time please take the time to read the article.

    • Lars Olfen

      GREAT POST – One of the biggest lies perpetrated on the US sheeple for nearly 100+ years. This is why the US has ALWAYS had a bogey man that was/is out to get us. Unfortunately, and as history teaches us, an expansionist military with perpetual war leads ultimately to tyranny at home. War is big money for lots of people, largely psychopaths and sociopaths in Congress, Fed Agencies, Military, corporations and banks. Young men volunteers are dupes in this horrible scheme.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruun-olsen-Ken/100000592834459 Bruun-olsen Ken

        US Soldiers are Bank Employees, nothing more. I’m always surprised to see all the Crosses at Arlington Cemetary when in fact the should be Dollar Signs.

    • NonApologist

      Hahaha, You’re right about US not belonging in WW1 or WW2. If US soldiers hadn’t come maybe less of those annoying Jews/homosexuals/gypsies/political dissidents you obviously wish you could rid the “Eastern Kingdom” of would be around. Or maybe you’re embittered that you didn’t flourish under Soviet rule for 50 years; living with bread lines, and wondering which of your acquaintances or family members was next in line for service to the motherland in the Gulag? Yeah, the US really did you a disservice showing up.
      Then there’s examples of upstanding Japanese imperialism like the “incidents” at Nanking, or the human experimentation in the puppet Manchukuo. Surely the Soviets and Americans should have let that genocide continue because they “had no business” being there. I seriously hope, personally, when and if you are faced with annihilation, that you get your isolationist/anarchist wish and NOBODY comes to your aid. Every Austrian for themselves!
      You do make a great point, though, we’d all be better off if the US hadn’t joined battle. You probably wouldn’t exist and the American public wouldn’t be bled dry whilst bureaucrats try to enforce unsustainable and impractical morality the world over. BTW, Pay back your war debts, Osterreicher. You’re country (which you’re so tired of that you tie your name/identity intrinsically with it, “Austrian Anarchist”) was complicit in the Nazi agenda, forcing Nazi values and rules on the vast populations of Europe at large. You owe the Czechs, Poles, Norwegians, etc. an apology just as much as the current state of the US should be sorry about the past.
      Speaking of the past, should we discuss the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I think that involved some impositions on unwilling subjects as well. Pull the rafter out of your eye.

      • bruce shand

        How’d we stop the genocide? With more genocide. The bomb twice in Japan. Carpet bombing in Germany. Way to go!

      • GraueKatze

        NonApologist
        How about YOU looking at everything the US has done over the last few hundred years. You list everybody’s wrong doing but not your own. Oh I forgot the US empire is perfect. Just like Rome was perfect when it was an empire, just like Britain was perfect when it was an empire. Now the US is writing the history the way it sees it, not the way it actually happens. Every empire does that, the victor writes the history. And you are gullible enough to buy into it.
        By the way I “flourished” under Soviet rule, and came to the US hoping to find freedom. What a joke.

    • GraueKatze

      To Austrian anarchist;
      I agree with you 100%. I am a European living in the US and I am sick and tired of the interference of this country. Get the heck out of the Middle East. Let Israel defend itself, the West is not its protector. Leave Iran alone!!
      Who are these government people who think they have the right to control my life, tell me what to do for my own good? They are all idiots.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mick-Price/100000748385088 Mick Price

    ‘But “don’t you learn how to think” in college?’
    This is perhaps the stupidest thing people could say in defence of college. The government has had 12 years to teach most college entrants how to think, why would another 4 be more effective? Even if it were true that primary and secondary education had completely falled to teach someone how to think, (at a cost of $100K I might add). why would he become a good thinker it college? Almost every racing car driver started as a go-kart racer because if your child to be excellent at something you teach them young. You don’t spend 12 years of your childhod in an environment without effective negotiation or social skills, spend 3-4 years reading books about negotiation and then become a go-between in Middle Eastern peace talks.
    If it were true that college graduates learnt how to think they would teach their children to think well before college age. Hell before primary school. Consider how much easier it would be to raise a thinking child, how much less help they would need both in adolescence and adulthood, how much more help they could be in their adulthood to me. Consider how much happier they and you would be (because bad thinking leads to unhappiness both in the bad thinker and his associates). So if college graduates really learnt to think why do the children of college graduates need to go to college? Why aren’t college graduates telling people that they should teach their children to think pre-college and even pre-primary school? Because they aren’t taught to think, they’re taught to conform even more.

  • onebornfree

    ” I lived five blocks from ground zero and watched the first plane go
    into the towers. Then watched the bodies jump off the top of the
    building.”

    Hi, James, if you have time, could you please describe _exactly_ where you were standing [i.e. exact location] and exactly what you both heard and saw when you personally witnessed Fl.11 crash into the N. Tower?

    And also exactly where you were standing [i.e. exact location] when you witnessed the jumpers?

    Regards, onebornfree

  • Pat

    James, I sent a similar version of this many months ago, but never saw it in print. So here is a shortened, updated version:

    I agree with you about all but two of these. Here’s why.

    HOME OWNERSHIP:
    Owning a house provides necessary benefits
    that renting cannot provide.

    For example, we grow a big garden every
    year full of healthy organic vegetables. I harvest vegetables into January in the NC mountains. It is a huge investment in both
    time and money to get it all going and sustain it — raised cedar beds, row covers, cold frames, growing lights, dirt, fertilizer, mulch,
    irrigation systems, heat strips — well you get the picture. Expensive and mostly not
    transportable to the next house. It would be entirely cost-prohibitive to garden
    seriously in a rental property where even if you get a five year lease, tearing
    it out and rebuilding the garden every five years is not feasible.
    I’ve tried it!

    Ditto for the dog fence, the bookshelves to hold the 3000 books my
    husband uses in his work, and any other improvements that need to be done like
    replacing the worn out basement carpet or the rickety shed door. Landlords are
    notorious for not wanting to spend any money on these types of “unnecessary”
    improvements.

    Now you might suggest getting a longer term lease but I can tell you from experience, they do not want to give
    up that much control over their property, especially in this market — they want
    to be able to sell it if they need money and if a buyer comes along. Sure,
    they’re always happy to agree to a one or two year lease with “possible
    extensions” but any extensions are to be decided on a year to year basis, which
    makes it impossible to plan for anything or justify any investment on long-term
    improvements.

    It’s worth a premium to own your own house– if only for
    the above reasons.

    COLLEGE EDUCATION:
    A perfect example of why one should get a college education arises regularly at our weekly chess meet. The group consists of about 20 adults with limited levels of education –community college at best — and 20 young teens. One of the kids named Alex is a good player. Chess being a game of strategy — someone made reference to Alexander the Great. The kid asked the next obvious question, i.e. who was Alexander the Great, considered one of history’s greatest military commanders. And predictably, no one except the philosophy Ph.D among the group could answer the kid’s question. Sure everyone — uneducated — had the superficial knowledge, i.e., they had heard the name Alexander the Great, but no one knew anything about a historical figure that had created one of the largest empires in the world. The Ph.D gave the group a history tutorial on Alexander the great. I’ve seen this over and over in similar groups. The difference is superficial knowledge vs. in-depth knowledge, which goes into making for rich experiences in many areas.

    And no, it doesn’t “cost $200K to think”, but unfortunately, it does cost $200K to have enough discipline and organization imposed upon you, so you are able to think :-) Of course, over-achievers like you can go it alone and still become educated. Most people cannot.

    I agree wholeheartedly about the other lies!

    • Papa John

      got it. Join a chess club and get an education

    • MC1171611

      James is right about college. What you missed is the poor education provided by the State. I was blessed to have parents that sacrificed and scraped by on Aldi food to provide my siblings and I with a home education. Thus, I know well who Alexander was, I’m familiar with his conquests and the extent of his empire, and I can even show you in the Bible where God foretold the end of the Greek empire!

      No college necessary: all that is needed is a desire to learn and be intelligent.

      • Pandemonium

        “provide my siblings and I…” You must have missed the home-school class on grammar. The correct way is: “provide my siblings and me…”

        • Redneck Joe

          Thank you. Good grief. Using “I” as an object is worse than the typical blunders (your and you’re, their and there) because it is done with the pretense of lofty grammar – “I” is seen as fancier and more proper than “me,” which is actually correct.

        • MC1171611

          Perhaps I was typing a bit too quickly, or perhaps I didn’t investigate all the minutiae of my post before I submitted it. Please accept my most profound apologies for insulting your impeccable taste and skill in grammar.

    • Dutch

      $200Grand to know who Alexander the Great is? That’s your pitch? Seems to me that this is the epitome of superficial knowledge. Not surprisingly it was provided by a man living off the productivity of others. Fail.

      Oh, and by the way, you can lease/rent farmland. I didn’t learn that in college, but know it to be true and have done it myself. I rented a 2200s/f 3/2 home with 2 barns and 75 acres of farmland for $800 a month. No taxes, no maintenance and it had free gas and water from well sources. 20 minutes from a major metropolitan downtown too. They even prepped the fields for us in the spring. Are you sure your deal is better than this one? I bet not…

      • liberranter

        A perfect example of why one should get a college education arises regularly at our weekly chess meet.

        Um, ok. How about this: Take a stroll down to the nearest state-subsidized four-year post-secondary indoctrination center and ask any ten random, passing students who Alexander the Great was, when he lived, where he came from, and what he is famous for. Heck, don’t even limit it to Alexander the Great. Ask any general knowledge or current events question you can come up with. I gurantee you that at least six out of ten of “students” you ask won’t have a clue what you’re talking about, even after having spent twelve years in “the finest school system in the world” (as any statist will insist on calling it) and at least a year in a post-secondary institution entrance into which is supposedly contingent upon being able to demonstrate an ability to think critically and have at least a solid grasp of general knowledge.

        Small wonder that Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” segments are so popular. They put on full display the extent to which the lies have been absorbed and the degree into which the masses have been brainwashed and enstupidated.

        • liberranter

          Correction: guarantee

        • Pat

          I didn’t think James’ question was about public vs. private schools, but about all schools. It was a question about the value of a college education anywhere, and my argument is that across both public and private colleges, people with higher degrees have a broader range of knowledge and more in-depth knowledge which contributes to a richer life.

          • liberranter

            y argument is that across both public and private colleges, people with
            higher degrees have a broader range of knowledge and more in-depth
            knowledge which contributes to a richer life.

            If you say so. I simply find that assertion to be completely unsupported by any observable evidence whatsoever. My contact with recent college graduates (LOTS of them), both in the workplace and in general, shows most of them to be the inevitable by-products of the failed primary education system through which they passed. Few are capable of critical thought and the “education” most received can best be characterized as “fifty miles wide and five centimeters deep.”

          • Pat

            Here’s the article I saw today about how Texas GOP is trying to eliminate critical thinking courses from the school curricula. They say they oppose the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” because it
            believes the purpose is to challenge a student’s “fixed beliefs” and
            undermine “parental authority.” “It also sees ‘critical thinking’ as something subversive. Scary stuff.”

            http://goo.gl/wDxS1

      • Barbados Dagny

        can you tell me where you are renting a house, barn and 75 acres? that’s our dream place to live.

        • Pat

          Hi,

          I live in rural NC — Andres/Hayesville/Murphy and you can rent nice farmhouses on acreage all over the place for $600-800 month.

      • Pat

        You seemed to have missed the point. The college education makes life richer because you know about things in depth, not just Alexander the Great. That was just an example of many many similar examples. I’ve seen it repeatedly.

        And as I said about renting, I have never been able to lease anything for a long enough time to make it cost effective to do all the improvements to grow gardens long term, build dog fences, etc. Three year lease was the most I could get. Yes, I’ve leased 50 acres farmland with beautiful 2400 sq. ft. house, free water, for $650./mo. rural NC. Still not cost-effective. Spend $3000 on garden prep and then have to move — you may as well pay taxes and maintenance on your own house.

        • Pat

          This is an addition to my post above: In the above mentioned farmhouse that we leased for 3 years, we considered moving our BR to the basement because there was more room, so we did a radon check since basements are the worst. We discovered very elevated radon levels (off the charts) and the landlords refused to mitigate. it would have cost us $2000 to pay for it ourselves which is really not our responsibility. So we were forced to move after being there only 6 months. We incurred moving expenses again, not to mention the pain of moving, and we lost the money we had invested in our garden and fence. If we had owned the house, we could have just mitigated the radon. Yes, you’re tied to a mortgage company but the freedom of owning your house shows itself in numerous ways every day.

        • Dee

          “The college education makes life richer because you know about things in depth”

          I have read that those with a college education live longer and have lower rates of Alzheimer’s. I believe that self learning on a college level is not only possible, but it has been done. A good example is Ray Bradbury. The number of people who have the tenacity to meet the challenge, however, is limited. Some jobs are simply not available to those who wish to be self educated, but there are ways to get around some of the educational “requirements” if one works at it. It takes hard work and dedication. In addition, I have met too many “college educated” people who stopped learning and growing when they graduated. Sad. Some majors are useless. I will agree, however, that those who have not continued their education past high school, either through an institution or as an autodidact, are typically not very knowledgeable or well rounded. The sad part is that they find no value in further education.

          As an older adult, I decided to learn a difficult orchestral instrument. It was not possible to learn this skill on my own. I needed lessons. It took a lot of time, hard work, and money. It still does! I currently play with two local orchestras. When I first started playing, I was surprised that both groups had a number of doctors (MDs and DVM) as well as a good representation of PhDs. Almost everyone else had a Bachelors or Masters.

          All the rules have changed. A college degree is certainly not worth what it was 30 years ago. Most majors are a waste of time. There is no excuse, however, not to strive to be a well rounded, educated person!

      • joe

        Is this guy serious?

        • joe

          I’m referring to Pat, of course. Besides, James already talked similarly about this using “Charlemagne” as an example. Your argument is weak.

  • Ana R

    It is a lie that grains are good for you. Conventional wisdom at it’s best. Grains cause systemic inflammation which leads to chronic illness. I quit grains 6 months ago. I’ve lost 55 lbs since then and feel better than I’ve ever felt.
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/#axzz22ljRgHVF

    It is a lie that the fluoride added to tap water is anything but irradiated industrial waste:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/036680_fluoride_bottled_water_children.html#ixzz22liAwTZi

    It is a lie that mammograms are a necessity…
    http://www.naturalnews.com/036711_Komen_for_the_Cure_mammography_fraud.html

    The list is endless. I could go on all day.

  • http://twitter.com/Gypsymtnkat Katherine Tomsich

    We bought a house ,and our kids bought a house, because it is cheaper than rent for the same size place and you don’t have to allow some snoopy landlord in at any hour. We can smoke in it, though admittedly none of us smokes- you get the idea,we can have pets. For independent people, owning a house can be a good decision. We don’t live in an urban area, but we are still paying for those who think they are ‘lucky’ to do so. Even this antipathy towards people who own a house or go to college is programmed by those who think the collective is the be all and end all. Think for yourself!

  • Ron

    Here are two trillion dollar lies!

    Banks loan money! Banks do not loan money. They create it out of thin air. More correctly they “monetize” that promissory note you sign by depositing it into their bank! Then they write a check on that deposit. This trillion dollar lie is the foundation of 98% of all our problems.There are variations of this lie that affects one sense of moral responsibility.. “I must pay the banker “back!” or “I borrowed the money, so I must pay it back”!

    Jesus sacrificed his life to save all the sinners. Horse pucky. Jesus was murdered by the sinners. And those sinners were not much different than the sinners in religion and in politics today. In fact, the sinners in religion and politics of today would murder Jesus in a heartbeat.

    • http://www.facebook.com/puddin.tame.92 Puddin Tame

      You were doing great until your blasphemy, Sparky. Jesus willingly laid down his life to save sinners, like you, and like me. He chose to be murdered by sinners. He is the Son of the Living God! You dont think He couldnt have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set him free? He could have…and we would all have eternity in Hell to look forward to. But He doesnt want mankind to be eternally separated from Him and the Father because of our sin. So He chose to die for us, and rise again to conquer death so that we can also live when we die.
      Your faith, or not, in these facts above, will be what determines your eternal destiny. SO think twice about calling Christ sacrifice ‘horse pucky’. You will be judged. Not to mention the number of Christians you have offended with your blasphemy.

      • TNGirl

        Of course, we wouldn’t want to offend the Christians. Do you honestly think Jesus would be proud of his modern-day Christian flock?
        Throughout history, Christianity (pick your denomination) has been used as a tool of the powerful to “lead” others down whatever “path of righteousness” that would best serve their own interests. And we followed – with our voices proclaiming the mercy and goodness of the Lord, while we prayed for him to smite our enemies.
        Religion is the real trillion dollar lie.

        • GraueKatze

          TNGirl
          Couldn’t have said it any better.
          In the name of God we kill and kill and kill.

        • Pandemonium

          Wait….wasn’t that Osiris???

    • GraueKatze

      Ron…. I agree…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeb-Stuart/100003734510370 Jeb Stuart

    I can agree with at least 2/3 of what you have here, maybe more but I can’t get myself to reread it to be sure. Some of it is nonsense but I still like it.

  • James

    The Entire Financial Industry:
    Stocks should always go up. Buy Treasury Bills. Gold is for crazy people. You don’t need to save. Get another credit card. Your money is always safe. You deserve to be paid 20 years after you stop working. Trust the banks.

  • Jain Daugh

    I vote (with feet & bucks) but I don’t ballot. I realized that in the case of one’s home you either owN it or owE it. War is ALWAYS a fight over resources with the ‘bonus’ (for so called leaders) of retroactive abortion.

    The scariest part of what this article brings to light (for those who have their eyes wrapped in something like a flag) is that intrahuman trust and MUTUAL (as in 2 way) respect is at a low that has been witnessed before but apparently not acknowledged as possible ‘now’. Ownership, like money, is a human concept which only functions if humans understand it and use these as intended.

    A re-set is inevitable. The question each of us must ask ourselves is are we ready and able to survive for that experience?

  • ingracewetrust

    This article should be called: “First world problems with a side of ego and a total lack of social awareness”. These are the facts:
    1. People can’t “own” land. People can borrow it for a time and allow loved ones to visit over time. That is all. People “own” land rather than share it due to ego issues.
    2.College and vocational training are two entirely different things.College was supposed to be a period of learning proper social acclimation and job skills, now it’s extended high school with far more drugs, lack of responsibility, sex, and abuse.
    3. War is just another way to say that adults are too selfish and greedy to solve their problems with nonviolence. Justifying it in any way absolves people from having to say they chose to have someone they’ve never met murdered for reasons they are unsure of.
    4. Success now means how much money one has rather than how much true benefit they’ve given to society so of course the author has no idea where he stands in society now.
    5. Waging war with different cultures like Iran is a way of saying that somehow you are a better or more necessary human. Wrong. All are equal. Currents events show that no one culture could fix any of the global issues now facing us.
    6. Formalized political voting means nothing if people never follow through in making sure that their votes are heard.
    The author wrote this because he deliberately turned away from important issues in life and justifying it by “being busy” and is now trying to find the reason why his economic and social worlds are about to collapse. In other words: the author only cared when the money started going away.
    There were no trillion dollar lies. There was just another author turning away from corporate and political abuses to other citizens because he was fat and happy in his career. Now he wants everyone to join him in his angst.
    Evolve people. Everyone knows that life is more than sex, addiction, malice to neighbors, and gluttony.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjr.udek Cjr Udek

    You missed a whopper: Man-made Global Warming. We don’t know if the Earth is warming. We don’t know what the effect will be. We don’t know the cause. We don’t know how to stop it. We don’t know that we should. But we’re proceeding as if we do. Nearly every year since Katrina we’ve read that it’s going to be another bad hurricane year, and the track record on the predictions by the weather “experts” (at NOAA and elsewhere) is now ZERO for SEVEN. We don’t know if it’s going to rain in Virginia tomorrow. But we’re going to bankrupt the world fighting global warming? It’s insane. For those who haven’t figured it out, Global Warming is the left’s version of the right’s War On Terror.

  • eSjaBe

    Not sure it’s a trillion $ industry, but the revolving door of the prison system is a huge lie. Trying to convince ourselves that career criminals can somehow be “cured” by our lock and talk model is laughable. Once could be a bad decision… Twice is purposeful. Three times should invoke euthanization the same as you would a mad dog.

  • http://www.marketmentat.com GT

    I have always said “That Altucher kid is a bright one – even though he clings a tad too hard to the Jew-chess-player schtick (which belongs more in a Woody Allen angst-fest than IRL).”

    Well, I may not have said it, but I thought it.

    And ‘pon my Sam, JA uncorks and proves me right (by eventually coming to rest at *my position on everything that matters*).

    Except one, young Bubbelah… when will you download and read the course notes from a decent course in Public Finance and – by noticing à la Bastiat “That Which Is Not Taught” – conclude that the only defensible political position is voluntaryism/anarcho-capitalism?

    You’re young yet, JA – and you’re bright. Bright enough to drop the Zoidberg-schtick, even.

    Maybe you haven’t read Rothbard (most people haven’t) but really you ought to. That guy teaches you how to properly frame your expectations of the vermin who seek to rule us.

    Digression over: this is the best thing you ever wrote.

    If you want chapter and verse regarding the actual embedded theory as to why the insurance industry is a scam (even if utility functionals are “Bernoulli” in income), just hollah-atcha-boy. I can also do “Why WAR undoes all of government’s peacetime Harberger Triangles… and then some” and “Minarchism: Gateway Drug to Tyranny”.

  • The__Bobster

    More lies:
    The Hollowhoax.
    AGW.
    The movie “Roots”.
    Matthew Sheppard.
    White serial killers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjr.udek Cjr Udek

    I guess the “lie” I posted conflicted with your religious views even though we both know there are a LOT of people who don’t buy the pro-government position on global warming, James. Thanks heaps for the censorship. That’s your right. Mine is . . . goodbye.

  • http://twitter.com/DoktorJeep DoktorJeep

    How about that lie involving the need to “build credit”? You know that spiel everybody gets around college age with those “beginner” credit cards and how we are told that being good at paying credit card bills gives us “good credit” that will help get a house later on. It’s a big pile of crap and it’s akin to giving kids free cocain to get them hooked. Funny thing is, you are still going to get screwed when you buy that first car when they tell you that there are different kinds of credit.
    All that trouble just to be a credit slave.

  • Cartah

    Couldn’t disagree more with this. Total half-assed over assumptions based on ignorance.

    I spent a grand total of $12,000 on my Engineer degree. My hourly wage went from $16/hour to $40/hour.
    I bought a house, which is a duplex. I rent the bottom unit for $800/month, the mortgage is $1050/month on the unit. Total cost to me in $700/month for everything, cheaper than rent and I can do what I want and grow a garden. 100% tax write off too.

    Israel/Iran, Israel needs land/resources and calls pretty much any arab state terrorists and uses the US to invade them. Israel has an expansionist agenda, so if you are in a country that has something they covet, look the fuck out. They will false flag your country and get there Golem the US to ‘liberate’ your country.

    • Ayzee

      Have you ever looked at a map of the middle east? Can you find Israel…keep zooming in….it’s tiny. Israel has never invaded any country. The West Bank and Gaza Strip were formerly part of the British Mandate. Jordan (which occupied the West Bank), Egypt (which occupied the Gaza Strip) and Syria (which occupied the Golan Heights) attacked Israel in 1967. In that War, Israel re-captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for Peace. Israel has always offered to exchange land for Peace. The Arabs simply want to wipe Israel off the face of the world map. And don’t begin with stories about Israel occupying Palestinian territories. Prior to 1948 Palestine was under British rule and included Jews and Arabs. Most Palestinians became Israelis (Jews or Arabs), the people that currently call themselves Palestinians were mostly Egyptians, Jordanians or Syrians. Or, in many cases they were Arabs that rejected the formation of the state of Israel and evacuated the country expecting Israel to be immediately destroyed upon it’s formation in 1948.

      • craig

        The israelis and arabs both deserve land……but right now…..israel is oppressing the palstinians……..have u seen those huge walls they have erected….shooting of innocent kids….the strip searches……its inhumane

  • thestein51

    The Biggest and Bestest Lie is that the 16th Amendment allowed a direct income tax without apportionment. This lie had first been posited by Prof. ERA Seligman, of the German Historical School, in 1910 to influence the debate over the proposed 16th Amendment. Mr. Brushaber and his lawyers were taken in by this lie and sued to enjoin the withholding entity from paying his portion of the income tax of 1913. CJ White politely dismissed this lie saying that to embrace it would disrupt the harmony of the constitution by putting the two apportionment clauses in conflict with the amendment. He went on to say that the purpose of the amendment was to overturn the Pollack case and once again allow an excise income tax that Congress had always assumed it had the power to lay. See Blackstone for his description of the various excises with emphasis on #9. As an excise on the exercise of federal privilege it functioned to tax those who were using government to their personal gain. Graduation in such a case is understandable if it is desirable to limit government as a vehicle to the acquisition of wealth. But by the time that WWII ended such thinking was detrimental to the continuance of big government, the military industrial complex and inflationary monetary policy. Empire was not possible unless the enlightenment understanding of the income tax was wiped out and the BIG LIE inserted instead. The law, the subject matter, has not changed though, it is still an excise on the exercise of federal privilege measured by the income that the privilege produces and is enforced as such. What had to change was the conventional wisdom understanding of it. Propaganda is always successful at first if backed up with violence no matter how audacious the lie. The recycling of Seligman’s erroneous argument that has been repeatedly dispelled by the SCOTUS is certainly audacious. It follows both Hitler’s and Hayek’s prescription for successful implementation of a big lie.

  • pacific_waters

    Can you read Austrian Anarchist?

  • http://www.facebook.com/marinogarym Gary M. Marino

    Israel is America’s DOWNFALL. Our Jewish-Run Media continuously drive home the Ridiculous Notion that “Israel is our Friend”… The fact of the Matter is that Israel is a PARASITE. They do Absolutely NOTHING for Us… If they want our support and protection, they can move here and pay our taxes.:

  • Mr. Perfidy

    I love your commentary and recommend to it any fellow skeptic, but I do not recall ever seeing you write about the Imperial Orthodox (my label for the psychology that is conditioned by force in “respectable” society) perspective on drug use. You strike me as someone with blunt-rolling friends at the very least.

    Common arguments straights make to me against smoking pot, for example, are,
    “It kills brain cells.”
    So does being alive; eating kills stomach cells. Breathing kills blood cells. Being alive kills you; no one has ever been able to do anything about this.
    “It messes with your mind.”
    This is usually in a context that presupposes some magical, default, perfectly unmoved individual state, some self-hood that is totally unconditioned and purely its own, without influence from other things. When I point out that any bio-chemical interaction with objects beyond your body affects your mind and body, I hear crickets. Peoples’ eyes glaze over or they make angry faces. I tell them to not get any water for 2 days, and then tell me that water isn’t a drug that is warping their mind. Or any food.

    I wager that you Mr. Altucher understand that the root of all of these misconceptions is in force-conditioning; the human animal is largely a timid beast just bright enough to see beneath the surface of his thought what assumptions will make the alpha beasts give him treats, and which ones will make them bite. Their critical thinking apparatus is not broken or inadequate, it is just not interested in ethics and scientific reasoning or veracity; it exists so that the animal can best navigate an environment of greedy, horny apes that will hurt it if it does not display the appropriate ritual humiliations.

    never commented before- this was fun. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • OGuillory

    Report Fraud, Waste & Abuse…!

    I worked for the US department of Defense for over twenty years…Japan, Germany, Bosnia, Hungary, Korea..all over the US…and in every building, elevator and flat spot on a wall is a poster for reporting FRAUD, WASTE & ABUSE!

    Ha!

    …very early in my career…while living in Misawa Japan…members of my chain-of-command ordered me to repackage out-of-date Burger King Whopper Patties into salable packs of 12 and 24…then to sell them (black-market) through the Air Base Burger King to local nationals..

    …when I refused to participate, I was abused…when someone else turned them all in, I gave a statement..and was targeted for abuse…I secretly tape-recorded my boss telling me what would happen to me now that I’d crossed the system…transfers, lack of promotion…disciplinary actions…etc…

    I won an official sounding “Federal Whistle-Blower” designation…and had my ass handed to me for over twenty years…

    …so my big-lie (in addition to the others you’ve mentioned)…believing that the government, my government…any government…really cares about truth,ethics, morals or “doing right”….they only believe in getting theirs, keeping theirs and perpetuating the idea that government is “good”…

    …not always…not most of the time…in fact, hardly ever..!

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory
    Author-
    Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

    • Hose Again

      The lesson here is that being a rat is far worse. Ethics and morals are the noise of the rat but not their real motivation. You stayed in this den of scoundrels for over twenty years…nuff said.

      I’ll take a guess that the burgers weren’t harmful if consumed. It was just an issue of the date on the package. The gov gets a little coin and the locals have a tasty burger. Then to rat out your colleagues…much, much worse.

      It’s surprising they let you live after such stool pigeonry and secret recordings. Maybe there was mercy because so little was at stake. You should consider yourself fortunate.

      • OGuillory

        Hoser..

        …now…keep in mind…Dipship….I didn’t write those rules…or make up any of those laws that I was directly ordered to break…those rules and laws were made up by the same people who control the US Government
        …in fact, it was the US Government…!

        But you think…as long as a “little” coin is made, everyone should be okay..?

        Do you people not see the connection between the lack of expected ethics and the reality? Do you not know that billions of tax dollars are spent every year by Generals who want to be God and upcoming officers who want to be Generals?

        How about they were trying to cover up their own incompetence, because the year before they had to go out and dig a hole to throw $30,000.00 worth of expired Burger King product away…they buried it on base…just so they did not have to admit that they did not know what they were doing….or…how about the millions of dollars of overtime that I forced the government pay after they systemically tried to deny thousands of employees around the world…the right to their legally entitled overtime?

        “ethics and morals are the noise of the rat”…

        Man…I feel sorry for your now or future children…having to live their
        lives knowing that their Dad has no morals or ethics…anything or nothing to believe in that is “right”…but if you think making sure that upper-management abusers didn’t pay for their violations of law, ethics or decent conduct…man,..how do you raise kids?

        I almost feel sorry for you…

        But until you work for the government, in a capacity to personally
        witness all of the theft, abuse and misconduct…then you really do not have anything intelligent to say…thank god we still live in a portion of America where even idiots like yourself get to have a say…it tells me a lot about the state of our country and our liberties…(not good)

        …again, if you think breaking the rules that you, yourself
        set for the group…then I think that is the height of hypocrisy…

        …ass-clown..

        Regards,

        RJ O’Guillory
        Author-Webster groves-The Life of an Insane Family

        • Hose Again

          Let us observe the rat in an agitated state. His mind hijacked by a stranger on the innerwebs. The outpour of anger.

          The full misfortune here is that your colleagues didn’t have the sand for proper followthrough.

          We can agree that in some circumstances there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.

          bit.ly/P6AF3G

          • OGuillory

            …man you are right! Ha!…

            If I had any respect for you… I’d admire your comment and find it funny…as it is I realize it was the only response you could brew in the poisoned atmosphere of your mind…and since I eventually won solid retirement, a monetary settlement…and an apology from the corrupt organization for their conduct….,I think I’ll settle in to my retirement just fine….btw…it turned out that at 49 I was diagnosed as being genetically epileptic…I drove seven miles through the Sierra Mountains and off a two hundred foot cliff at 70mph…
            …broken back, ribs, neck…19 staple gash in my head…three years of multiple tonic-clonic seizures…no memory…and yet I am still capable of identifying that you wouldn’t know proper “follow-through” if it bit you in the ass…..
            Retired, damaged….dying….and I am still sharper than the corrupt idiots in government…and people like you… a man who would use his time in life…on the planet…to boast about his lack of ethics…or his missing personal standards…I’d almost like to go off on you……but you seem to be a sad lot…and you are hysterically funny about the “high-jacked thing”…ha,ha,ha!
            Also, I noticed you did not answer my question about how you would answer to your responsibility towards your children, family,…ethics.etc..

            …try to get some therapy

            Regards,

            RJ O’Guillory
            Author-
            Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

          • Hose Again

            I”m not sure whose point your making here.

            But maybe you can help me/us understand the type better:

            I’ve had occasion to wonder if people who grew up with overbearing parents and resort to severe interpretations of one set of rules or another (and end up in academics or the military where they can be relatively sheltered from some of the nuance and complexity of the world) are angry because the world never seems to conform to their expectations or because they realize as time passes that they’ve missed out on some of the more satisfying aspects of life (good food, sex, genuinely satisfying relationships, etc.)

            Does the anger temporarily sooth the hurts that are never really healed?

            The rat has no ethic or code. They are just words for him to hide behind.

      • OGuillory

        TO: Whomever censored my last post…I took out the child-ego-state stuff….not that it is really fair to leave this idiots ramblings up…butit is your site…Regards…RJ
        ——————————————
        Hoser…

        Not an unexpected response…

        I’m sorry you missed the “reading comprehension” part of your education, but in my post I specifically stated that I did not initiate the investigation, but when asked about the illegal aspects of what the CoC wanted me to do…I gave a truthful statement.

        Putting your vast insights into “being a rat” aside, you are right I made them employee me for a full career. Japan, Germany, Bosnia, Hungary, Korea…all over the US…the world…I witnessed the same thing…Chain-of-Command decisions to knowingly break the rules or law…

        …now…keep in mind…I didn’t write those rules…or make up any of those laws that I was directly ordered to break…those rules and laws were made up by the same people who control the US Government…
        …in fact, it was the US Government…!

        But you think…as long as a “little” coin is made, everyone should be okay..?

        Do you people not see the connection between the lack of expected ethics and the reality? Do you not know that billions of tax dollars are spent every year by Generals who want to be God and upcoming officers who want to be Generals?

        How do you raise your kids..”if ethics and morals are the noise of a rat”?

        You have no idea how corrupt hey are….I feel sorry for your uninformed viewpoint…it is embarrassing…and sad..

        Regards,

        RJ O’Guillory
        Author-
        Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

  • http://iperpetualtraveler.com/ Charles Lamm

    Lie: If we don’t intervene around the world, we are responsible for innocent lives lost.

    Fact: Murderous, power hungry killers and gangs are responsible for innocent deaths.

    No matter what we do, the weak are preyed upon by the strong. We retain guilt about the Holocaust during WWII, but we seem to have selective guilt. Think Cambodia. That massive killing field was eventually stopped by the Vietnamese.

    For all the Americans who want to intervene militarily in Iran, oust dictators in Africa, and involve ourselves in a civil war in Syria, who gives you the authority to send other Americans children to be killed in a foreign land who poses no threat to us.

  • Dr. Dave

    Home ownership. I agree. There is no fiscal reason to own a home. It doesn’t add up. You may rent and bank the difference. [ The problem is what to do with the money so that it doesn’t disappear ] You will wind up a zillionaire. However, there is one reason to own your home—–if it adds “meaning and value to your life.” You make up the reasons.

  • Iconoclast

    You saw a plane on 9/11? The ultimate media hoax Septemberclues.info. Really, musterbation is affecting your eyesight LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gordon-Johnson/1374212093 Gordon Johnson

    I dunno about the homes.

    “Roots” seems like it is not the right reason. I think “security” and “reduced living expenses when paid off” and “rural home with acreage = low-cost emergency income production” (lease part of the property to a local farmer).

    Basically, it comes down to this: Do I believe that Inflation is more likely than Deflation? In inflation my rents go up but my mortgage doesn’t. In deflation my rent and salary goes down but my mortgage doesn’t.

    Since the creation of the Federal Reserve there has never been deflation for more than 4 years at a time…and that time was under a gold-exchange standard.

    How likely is deflation with no restraint on money printing? How likely is Congress to say, “You know… sorry about that whole Social Security and Medicare thing. We know we told you there was a real trust fund and personal accounts… but really, we just used your savings to buy votes as soon as it came in, and replaced it with an IOU. So… the thing is… we don’t have the money.”

    How likely is Congress to say, “The Full Faith and Credit of the United States must be maintained beyond question and we have a monetary responsibility to ensure the public credit.”

    Bernanke doesn’t have the last say. Congress does. They can always run the printing press themselves.

    So I am not sure about the housing thing…as long as the property has the proper qualities.

    And what about rental properties? It seems there is are right reasons and wrong reasons to buy a home…

  • Skeptic

    Global warming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liberum-Paine/100000930582654 Liberum Paine

    Beat you to the awakening!!!!

  • Curious George Ashton

    James, where do I learn these skills and from whom do I learn these skills?
    Seriously.

  • scoopkeefe

    Billion dollar lie……We need to spend billions of dollars for the Military, Homeland Security, CIA, NSA, FBI, etc to protect us from Muslims who want to attack us because they” hate our freedom”.

  • Vicki

    This ranks as one of my favorite blog posts by you. Thank you! I especially enjoyed your comments on home ownership. I am a renter by choice and wouldn’t have it any other way. I had to laugh, as just a few minutes ago a commercial came on t.v. (just after I finished reading today’s blog post), sponsored by none other than the National Association of Realtors, which proclaimed that home ownership results in higher self-esteem and test scores for children (showing happy children playing in the yard, and coloring at the kitchen table). That’s quite a claim! I have 2 kids, teen girls, and they are quite self-assured young ladies and they even do well on standardized testing for our school district. We are surrounded by messages that tell us we “must must must MUST” (borrowing your words). Not so! Thanks again for an enjoyable blog post.

  • gellero

    “one in 4 raped…..”……..oh come on….don’t repeat the leftist AgitProp skewed stats…

  • Doctor MD

    Vaccines are good for health by injecting foreign antgens containing other additives directly into your blood stream by passing the rest of the immune system annualy with un proven flu Vaccines

  • Dee

    HOME OWNERSHIP. We have owned a home since we were married. We were not beholden to the landlords. We were, and are, responsible for ourselves. We do not regret this decision, but it did have side effects. So does renting. The home ownership/renting argument has been around a long time. What works for one person may not work for another.

    COLLEGE. Five of our six children went to college. Number six is going another route. The rules have changed. They went to college specifically for their jobs, and could not have been employed in their major of choice without it. I fully believe in being an autodidact, and have walked the talk. In our family having skills and being self taught is considered equal to, or greater than getting a college degree. No silly majors!

    Success. We have walked the talk. Family values, personal faith, money in proper perspective, independent thinking, and self-sufficiency skills, are only a few things we consider necessary for success in our family.

    IRAN. Politics are staged. It is disgusting.

    VOTING. See above.

    CHILDREN. While I think everyone should have a choice to have a child or not, the rabid anti-child rhetoric is a lie that has eugenics roots. We worked hard raising our children. They are doing well. If I said more you wouldn’t believe me anyway.

    REALITY. Most people are happy being mind controlled by the media. Health care is not about keeping you healthy. Education is not about becoming an independent thinker. Movies are not for entertainment, but indoctrination. “Music” is designed for a purpose. There are a lot more lies out there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monroejamison Monroe Jamison

    I thought this article was brilliant! Thank you for opening my eyes a little bit more, each one was insightful, funny and definitely thought provoking. I am walking away thinking more in the mindset of “What the hell is really going on in this country?” — and how can we all change it. Thank you so much for trying to make a difference, please keep it up – because I am now hooked on to your blog! :) <3

  • Jim

    Credit Score is good and important. It is worth depriving yourself in hard times to send needed money to a bank. The truth is your credit score is not what they say, the one that goes to you is different than the one that goes to potential creditors. Paying your bills on time will only improve your credit score so much, fitting the profile and charging / paying 20% and up of you pay is what gets a high credit score. It is really a profitability rating, how much you profit the banks. A high credit score is only good for acquiring more debt, which is a very bad thing.

  • Mavis Mae

    “How the USA sees things is how the world sees things”.
    Imagine you’re an Australian like me. We have a very different social history (not cleaner or better, different – and BTW did you just imagine the Caucasian social history or the indigenous social history?). Government and regulation are generally acceptable to us, but from the outside they seem to unsettle the USA. Then of course there’s the really important things like coffee and chocolate: Aussie and USA tastebuds must be different at the molecular level!

  • Kate

    WORD.

  • mlk12

    Bank loans and interest charges. all interest is money paid that someone will end up being short in their payment in the end since interest is never “created” like the “money” a loan is magically created by. The result is the amount of “money” in the system is less than the amount needed to repay all the loans in the system. This is the musical chairs scenario where it is guaranteed that someone somewhere will default and lose everything including all that equity and prior paid “money”. All a zillion dollar lie since this covers all the money in the world. Except for gold which is now not considered as money by the money changers.

  • John Illinois

    I have a only a couple bones to pick with this. HOME OWNERSHIP: You either make your own house payments, or those of someone else who does own the place, plus a little for keeping the place up, and his interest,and a little for the pain the ass that tenants are. Then, maybe, he can put some in his pocket. Would a landlord allow me to install an invisible fend to let my little dogs roam my 3 acres without being on a chain, but they do not go down to the street to bother people out there? I have some rather large toys. I store them here, on my property, in a large barn. Part of that barn is an air conditioned shop. Just how easy do you think it would be to rent a place like mine?
    Since you need a place to live, you have the choice of renting, where you pay all of the bills the owner must pay, plus a dime of so , for his trouble. Under current law, interest and taxes are a deductible item. Rent is not. Unless our capital gains for your property
    exceed $500,000, they are not taxable, either. Unless you bought a house at the top of the market within the last 8 years, and unless you took out one of those liar loans, where there was nothing out front but the street, the worst you are is breaking even.

    COLLEGE

    Yes College is a problem. I actually have a degree. I have never actually used the training I received to earn that degree, but the fact that I did have the degree opened the door. The employer only cared that I had been willing to spend a specific amount of time, doing to at least 70% of what someone told me to do, and stick around to finish it. I do have questions about the sanity of those who will expend the amount of money it takes to buy your first 2 houses, for a piece of parchment, even to the point of going into debt to the point that it prevents you from even buying a house.

    THE WAR ON TERRORISM AND IRAN

    The last time the USA actually was on the winning side of a war was 1945. The politicians, bureaucrats, and Diplomats succeeded in squandering that victory. Where have we been since then? Korea, there was some screwing around in the Domician Republic, and the Suez, Viet Nam, here and there in scattered little scermioshes, all over the Middle East. So what have we won for all those billions, I’d say Trillions we have squandered? The government admits that they have no idea what happened to billions blown in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those are just rebuilding funds, not anything to do with what we spent to destroy the place.

    FAMOUS

    I am afraid that is a rant I can’t even address. I want to be rich. I want to be left alone. Get off my case, go bother someone else.

  • rjlaws


    And everywhere we go we kill civilians and babies. Millions of them. ” Millions of them????!! As soon as you go to that kind of an extreme in print you lose credibility in a similar fashion to those concepts you bash.

  • johnnydude

    For an education it all starts with logic, the science of the mind. Try such works by Isaac watts, sir Hamilton, dr. Brown, and yoda–the master who teaches that one must unlearn all one has learned. One must question all one knows about ALL the systems in his life: family, education, government, love, life, and most importantly meaning. Because all of those things have been commercialized by the state and it’s corporate partners.

  • Tiredofthebull

    After reading many comments, I see people still want to blame everything but what is, for all the woes in the world. It’s simple, take responsibility for what you do, and be aware that everything you do affects everyone around you. Their reaction to you is based upon how you treat them. Most people are selfish and lazy, so they want everything they can get for nothing, and that includes people believing all their bull and fluff.

  • David – IsAnythingLeft

    I HAVE FOLLOWED ALL THE SHEEP, ALL THE WAY THROUGH CASTRATION TO SHEARING, AN I NOW HAVE AN ARTICLE THAT HAS A SENSE OF PURPOSE, A PASSION FOR SURVIVAL, AND IF ENOUGH PEOPLE READ/BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU SO ELOQUENTLY WROTE, MAYBE WE HAVE A FUTURE OF OUR OWN, TO PASS ON TO THOSE THAT FOLLOW US AND TRUST US (AT LEAST INITIALLY) FOR GUIDANCE. GREAT WORK GUY – SHOULD BE SINDICATED, FRONT PAGE ALL REINT MEDIA , AND ALL FORMS AUDIO/VIDEO AS A POP-UP THAT CANNOT BE REMOVED

  • Dave

    The real myth is believing you or someone else can change

    Patterns are almost always repeated…history for example:)

    You are gonna do what you want to do regardless …so just be who you are