How To Be Part Of The 1%.

It’s 2017, and despite what you’ve heard, things have never been better in the United States. It is so good, in fact, that even the poorest among us are in the top 1% of the entire world. According to the Global Rich List, a website that brings awareness to worldwide income disparities, an income of $32,400 per year will allow you to be part of the world’s top 1%.

With all of this talk of socialism and communism by late teens – early 20s college students, you would think that capitalism is a dud. The talk around college campuses almost suggests that capitalism is dying because of how terribly people are suffering under it. Let’s go ahead and compare the United States, a country that has espoused capitalism since it’s incarnation, to a socialist country. Let’s go one step further, in fact, and use a country that is now socialist that was once capitalist.

Venezuela, once a burgeoning free market economy, enjoying modern successes, became a country where eating your dog is now considered a good option. They adopted socialism under the watchful eye of Hugo Chavez beginning in 2000, and continued with Nicolas Maduro in 2013. For a few years, things were fine. In fact, literacy rates improved and income disparities became less pronounced. As time went on, however, Venezuela’s economy deteriorated, largely due to the lack of a free market and a lack of competition. Despite receiving over $1 trillion in oil revenues since 1999, the government had run out of cash and soon relied heavily on printing money to finance itself. The result? The highest inflation rate in the world. Into thousand 13, the inflation rate was 56%, though numbers suggest that the implied annual inflation rate was actually 330%.

You might say to yourself, America prints money, why don’t we experience the inflation rate that they experienced in Venezuela?

The US Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, has the responsibility of maintaining the money supply at the level that the US Federal Reserve considers best for the economy. Maintaining that level requires the US Federal Reserve to create or destroy several billion dollars every single day to ensure the balance.

Socialist countries don’t do this. There is never enough money to go around due to all of the welfare programs that are required to ensure that everyone has what the government deems them to deserve. In order to have the money to pay for all of these programs, the socialist country will simply print more. That sounds all well and good, right?

Sorry grasshopper, it’s not. While there is more money, the bigger pile still only has the value that the smaller pile had, meaning that each individual dollar is now worth less than it once was. These are simplistic terms, but that’s the point.

Now, imagine you have worked all of your life and saved up $1 million. Suddenly, your socialist country decides to print enough money that your $1 million is suddenly only worth $1000. It could turn even the most honest man into a criminal. Imagine then, what the criminals must be doing about all of this.

Venezuela experienced a horrific rise in crime. The country became one of the most dangerous places in the world with almost 25,000 homicides in 2013. A murder rate of 79 killings per 100,000 inhabitants. Videos online showed thieves simply shooting people and taking their backpacks or purses, rather than demanding them.

When things became this bad, the government cast aside any pretense that they had of being a democratic country. Maduro, once content with ruling by word of law, became dictatorial, making sure that all TV stations either belonged to the government or said and did what the government wanted. International networks were blocked from cable and satellite. Opposition radio stations would see their licenses revoked and the newspapers shut down from lack of currency with which to operate.

Bernie Sanders

In the United States, The election in 2016 was a close call. Bernie Sanders, a known socialist, had gained more votes than Hillary Clinton in the primary. Luckily, the DNC did not allow that to deny Hillary the primary win. Sanders, known for stealing from neighbors and having a criminalwife, would have, with the support of millions of inexperienced and naïve college students, steered this great country toward the black hole that is socialism. Many celebrities encouraged voting for Bernie, citing the success Venezuela has had with socialism.

If socialism ever found its grip on the United States, you could rest assured that you would never again be part of the top 1% of the planet.

Despite what suffering you may feel you have, despite what roadblocks might appear in your life, be happy that they are all surmountable. There are still countries in which your birth place might determine your chances of success. Take heed of history and pay attention to the fact that this Country has remained number one for hundreds of years, while giving all of its citizens, even the poorest, better living conditions than anywhere else on the planet.

GQ And Kap: A Minstrel Show.

So, GQ magazine has decided to name Collin Kaepernick their Citizen of The Year. I can understand why they would want to do that. Their sales figures are in the crapper compared to what they should be and what they have been in the past. They have no cultural relevance anymore. Grabbing a bit of controversy will get them some much-needed attention, and sell a few million issues. That being said, is it really GQ magazine’s place to be doing something like this? This is a deeply disingenuous action on their part.

It Gets The People Going

Colin Kaepernick has been a source of controversy since he began taking a knee during the national anthem at the beginning of each NFL football game. His reason for doing it was to protest the high number of black people being shot by cops. Years of FBI statistics and data will show that there is not a high number of black people being shot by cops, and in fact it is more likely that a white person will be shot by a cop then a black person. Statistically speaking, of course. That being said, Colin’s next move, after not being rehired in the NFL, was to attempt to sue his way into a job. That has, as yet, proved fruitless. And rightly so. His penchant for creating controversy, however, has not appeared to die down. From his racist girlfriend’s tweets to his friendship with the venomous Linda Sarsour, to advocating for the regime in Cuba, to applauding Marxist thug Che Guevara, to declaring American police officers are “pigs”, to supporting convicted terrorist Assata Shakur, to going 1-10 as a starter in 2016, and going 2-6 as a starter in 2015, he shows his proclivity towards being both controversial and relatively useless.

It seems an odd choice then, with so many better people on this planet such as Tom Hanks or Gary Sinise, or Larry Elder or a plethora of other more qualified individuals, that they would pick Colin Kaepernick as their Citizen of The Year.

The Minstrel Show

That is, until you realize, that while simply not liking Colin Kaepernick is, these days, considered an act of racism, parading him around as an Al Jolson-esque minstrel to get attention is not. The only reason GQ magazine or any other publication would want to put Colin Kaepernick in their front line would be simply for attention, which GQ desperately needs.

To further this, I’d like to do a little experiment. Let’s go ahead and Google GQ magazine’s key board members, and then go to images.

Interesting.

Even in group photos, where people are milling about in the background, not a single black person can be seen. It’s an interesting contrast to the virtue signaling that they are doing with their Citizen of The Year issue.

The Closer

I’m going to close this article abruptly, saying this: pay attention to what people are doing, not what they are saying. It has been my experience in the past few years to see and make a note of the fact that when people are virtue signaling, it is by and large and immediate sign that they are guilty of what they are talking about. It’s like the girlfriend who constantly accuses you of cheating, because she herself is cheating.

Don’t believe the hype.

What is American culture?

There has been talk over the past few years about the idea that America does not have any culture of its own. This argument is often used when it comes to the idea that American culture is better than any other culture on the planet.

The idea is always brought up that America is a melting pot of cultures, and that’s what makes it so great; which is also what makes it have no culture of its own. While it is true that America is a melting pot of cultures, it is completely untrue that this is a factor that ensures that America will have no culture of its own.

The American Bill of Rights is neither the smallest nor the largest bill of rights to exist on the planet. The Bill of Rights is missing things that many people believe makes it inferior to the bill of rights of other countries, but the American Bill of Rights has one thing that no other country has: the right to free speech.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Very few understand just how important and powerful the right to free speech is, and why, on its own, it makes America so much better than any other culture on the planet.

A person’s ability to even say that America has no culture is predicated on the right to free speech, unique to this country. In China, certain TV shows, like Doctor Who, are not allowed, because they offer the possibility of alternate timelines. The Chinese government does not want it to people to think that there could be an alternate timeline, In which possibly communism does not exist, or in which there are many small governments for their country instead of one large one held by one person. In Canada, a country touted by many Socialists, anarchists, and communists, as the best country in the world, does not even have the right to free speech. In fact, you can be fined or jailed for what you say in Canada.

It could be said that the laws against certain speech in Canada are simply to protect specific citizens. Hate speech laws, while good in a very simple sense, are not so when seen from a broader perspective. The definition of hate speech and the definition of racism are nebulous terms that don’t have a definite value. Certain words can flow in and out of a state of verboten on a whim. With the goal posts constantly changing, and the laws in a constant state of flux, there is no freedom. A person knows that even the most innocuous thing today can land them in jail tomorrow. This one thing is a hallmark of countries that lack human rights.

The mere fact that thousands of Americans every day criticize the president, and the fact that celebrities can put on miniature shows in which they kill the president, knowing full well that they will not mysteriously disappear in the middle of the night is a uniquely American thing.

It is almost cliche at this point to reference Tank Man as a sign of individual freedoms in other countries. This is a man that stood in front of a line of tanks, stopping them in their tracks, the ultimate sign of defiance in the face of authority. What people don’t mention, is that Tank Man has been neither seen nor heard from him since that incident. It is unlikely that he managed to leave the general area in which he stood up to the tanks so famously.

Okay, but free speech is just one thing!

Absolutely true. It is just one thing. A very big one thing, but still just one thing. Just like being alive is just one thing. It’s interesting, in fact, how different things would likely be if this one thing didn’t exist and wasn’t enforced.

So what is another thing?

Capitalism. The one system guaranteed to pull a nation and an individual out of poverty. Capitalism, when introduced to a former socialist or communist country, has proven to lift both of the country and the individual out of poverty. Formerly capitalist countries like Venezuela that adopt socialism, almost immediately fall into poverty. Capitalism ensures that an individual, no matter his station at birth, has the ability to attain any station he wishes in life.

Is there anything else?

Plenty of things. Take, for instance, The Second Amendment.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

While some other countries do give rights to fire arms to their citizens, The Second Amendment is uniquely American. No other country has it stated so specifically that they want their populace armed well enough to fight off a potentially tyrannical government. This doesn’t mean the government of some other country, either. The Second Amendment is talking specifically about the American government becoming tyrannical, and the need for the American citizenry to be able to fight back and wrest control away from the tyrant.

It is often argued that the Second Amendment was from a time when automatic weapons or high capacity weapons didn’t exist. This is patently untrue.

No other country on the planet has a failsafe for its citizens like America has.

In short, your ability to criticize and fight your own government, as well as criticize the government entities, such as by saying “fuck the police”, without immediately being arrested and disappearing forever, is a big deal, and uniquely American. The fact that the founding fathers wanted you armed as well as possible so that the government can not encroach upon your freedoms is uniquely American.

Citizens in other countries displaying values akin to those espoused in American culture are often jailed immediately, if not outright killed, for being “too westernized”.

Maybe we should be inclined to thank our founding fathers for giving us such uniquely American rights.

Lacking Lack

Kierkegaard said that there will come a time when the only thing we lack is lack. It appears as though we’ve reached that time right now. People in the United States are so privileged and so inundated with things to have in things to make their lives more comfortable, that they are now inventing problems.

Beyond that, when those invented problems are solved, they simply create new problems. The LGBT community is a prime example of this. It used to be that they wanted gay rights. They got them, and then it became about transgender people. OK, go ahead and be transgender. We’ll even make one of you woman of the year. Then, they wanted to pass laws, which were passed in Canada, that force you to change your child into a transgender person if they even mention feeling like the opposite sex. It is also considered hate speech(another made up problem) to misgender someone, even if they have a made up gender such as xir or ze.

It’s classic psychological maneuvering. If I want you to go a mile from where you are and you don’t want to, I’ll do my best to convince you to move an inch. Once I’ve succeeded, I’ll convince you to move another inch. It continues that way until one day you find yourself a mile away from where you started. That’s what’s going on right now with all of these social justice movements.

It seems as though the days are long gone when a person would count their blessings. In the United States, and most other westernized countries, even the poorest citizen is in the top one percent of the world. Americans live in a place that most other people on this earth would gladly give up everything to come to, and many have. There is no other country on earth as sought after as a home than the USA.

Maybe it’s time to count our blessings instead of creating new things to lack.

Why So Negative?

Image somewhat related.

It’s strange in this modern day that people take such pride in the negative things about humanity. There is that quote that people often attribute to Marilyn Monroe that goes “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. I understand, as do many people, the intention behind it. It’s trying to make it clear that people, as a whole, are flawed. The thing is, it’s unlikely that there has ever been a time when people didn’t know that. Everybody knows that every person that they encounter has their own set of problems, difficulties, and things that make them less than perfectly appealing to be around.

“I’m a bitch and I know it”

The problem that has become apparent,however, is that far too many people use that quote and others as an excuse to be lazy about their interactions with people, or to be less pleasant. Most people that are encountered on a daily basis are decent people. They’re willing to have a conversation with a complete stranger, and don’t at all put up a front that suggests that they might have misanthropic tendencies. There are, however, a very few people however, who believe it is their duty to show the world and everyone in it just how crazy or angry they are. They hold it close to their heart as part of their identity. They go so far as to tattoo it on their body. They take any opportunity they can to tell you how “Loco” they are. Facebook would suggest that these people are the majority. Reality makes it clear that this is simply not the case.

I Miss Mayberry

It used to be that people put on their best face when they left the house. No matter what was going on in their home, they wanted everyone to believe that everything was going perfectly. The term “fake it till you make it” seems to apply pretty well here. The glut of TV shows and other media that suggest that every family is a dysfunctional band of misanthropes that has become popular in the past decade or so is disheartening. The Cosby Show was a wholesome program that did not center on race, people’s various mental problems, or disgusting things that people do. Instead it focused on creating good habits and following good patterns. There was even an episode in which Cliff taught Rudy how to mop the floor. Real, actual parenting happened right on the screen in front of all of America.

Full House was another of these shows. Bad things would happen, and instead of succumbing to the difficulties found, the characters would find ways to overcome. Oddly enough, the show featured a family that was far from normal as well, yet they were not portrayed as dysfunctional.

With the advent of Netflix, the show Fuller House has shown that this sort of wholesome programming is not only still acceptable, but popular.

Why, then, do we focus on the negative so readily?

A popular argument that has been bandied about for years is that we crave things that make us feel better about our own selves without having to actually do anything. This is why people still have losers from high school as friends on Facebook, even though they wouldn’t be caught dead associating with them in real life. It’s also why reality TV is such a big deal: we love to watch awful people be awful to each other so that by comparison our somewhat dysfunctional normalcy looks like an example.

That’s great for most people, but what about the ones who actually do go around being awful in real life?

Short answer: some people are just naturally assholes.

The long answer is a little more entangled. Due to Asperger’s, high functioning autism, or simply having had a bad upbringing with useless parents, some people just don’t know how to function normally within society. The problem comes when an Internet and a media full of people like that try to make it look normal, and suggest that it’s actually normal people who are abnormal.

Suddenly, treating people like human beings instead of treating them like statistics is frowned upon. This point will be expanded upon in a future article.

So, what’s the takeaway? I’ve got shit to do.

In short, normalcy is being attacked, as is decency, because those who are incapable or simply too lazy to do it are trying to make their version of normal into everybody’s. It’s just like the Healthy At Every Size movement. They simply can’t or won’t take the effort, and so try to normalize it while stigmatizing anything else.

Oddly enough, they take a lot of effort in doing so.

 

Look For The Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

-Fred Rogers

It’s absolutely true. In the face of adversity, America comes together to help each other.

In the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas last night perpetrated by Stephen Paddock, people were found using their personal vehicles to transport victims to hospitals in Las Vegas. Lines can be seen around the block, of people waiting to donate blood to help the victims of the shooting. They do it unselfishly.

This is the America that I know and love.

God bless you all this day, and God Bless America.