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Sunday, October 10, 2010

How to Become Free From Debt

In the last post, I got a comment from Jayme, one of my vagabond Christian friends, urging me to write down and publish these ideas on debt that he, our friend Jesse, and I talked about when I last saw them.  I plan to put it as an essay on the website.  It's partly from a letter I wrote to a friend, and it probably needs more editing, simplifying, for the website.

I also just wrote My Answer to Ayn Rand in the website, responding to an email from a thoughtful challenger.  It also needs editing, but this computer won't let me edit my website now.  Somebody once told me my thoughts reminded of Ayn Rand.  There are a lot of things she says that jive with me, but some that totally don't, like her ideas on money, which she didn't think over very thoroughly.  She was genius in logical intelligence, but a total retard* in the greater intelligence of Intuition, which is usually, ironically, the domain of women. [*Note, added Oct 12, 2010: I'm admitting myself wrong in saying Ayn Rand was intuitively a "total retard", tacking a label on somebody--going against my own principles. Tacking labels on people is a tactic of politicians and is a lazy way of avoiding critical thinking.]

Okay, I've been putting this off for a long time because of the repurcussions it could have.  Gulp... here goes:


How to Become Free From Debt

To state the obvious, people all over the world are dealing with endless debt, slaves to banks, slaves to their own promises. I get lots of emails from folks wondering what they can do. Debt puts us asleep to reality and blinds us to gratitude, compassion, and abundance.

I could easily say, “I told you so. You shouldn’t have gotten in debt in the first place!” But I’m not faultless.

My Own Experience With Debt

Back in my money days I took out a loan to go to school. For years I was plagued by this debt, not making enough money to keep paying it. I had to keep applying for deferments. But the more I deferred it, the bigger it got, due to interest. When I slacked on my payments, the bank would send me notices, threatening my credit rating. I had forgotten that my parents had cosigned for my loan, and when I defaulted long enough, the bank started harassing my parents. I didn’t want my parents to bear my burden, so I decided to hunker down and pay off my loan. I gave up living in a house and camped out, so I wouldn’t have to pay rent, and I ate rice and beans and foraged produce. I became a total slave to the bank. I sent most all my paychecks to the bank until my debt was totally paid off.

At the time I thought paying off my loan was the responsible thing to do. Now I’m realizing that I did not do the responsible thing. I was not paying back my loan to those from whom it was taken.

Let me explain.

Is It Okay to Break Our Promises?

I’m a strong believer in holding to our word. This is why I don’t believe in making promises, because making promises is a guarantee that we will break our word and become liars. Making promises is boasting for tomorrow, the work of ego. When we make any kind of promise we put ourselves in debt.

If we make promises, we should keep them if it’s in our power. But sometimes we simply cannot keep our promises.

Are there situations in which it is not only okay, but mandatory, to break our promises?

Let’s use an extreme example to drive home a point. Sometimes people make promises in an irrational fit of vengeance to do something horrendous, like a gangster swearing vengeance upon somebody in a blood oath. If you promise to kill somebody, is it a “sin” to break your promise?

We in modern culture are making promises in an irrational fit of faithless anxiety and fear, faithlessness that everything we need is not in the present.

Is It Okay to Default on a Loan?

Until now, I've been reluctant to talk about walking away from debt, defaulting on loans, because I surely don't want to encourage anybody to shirk responsibility! But now I am sure that we have fooled ourselves into thinking we are responsible to banks, just as the gangster is fooled into thinking he is responsible to keeping his blood oaths to his peers!

But don’t get me wrong. We must be responsible and pay back our unforgiven debts. But we must pay back our unforgiven debts to whom they are due!

Again, I say, we must pay back our unforgiven debts to whom they are due!

Steps to Becoming Debt Free

1. We must establish that it was bad judgment to take out a loan in the first place. We desired what we didn’t have, or we got scared we wouldn't have enough. We lost faith that everything we needed was available in the present. We must acknowledge and confess, “I was wrong in ever taking out a loan.” Now that we’ve acknowledged and confessed this error, forgive ourselves and move on.

2. We must acknowledge that we made a promise to pay back our debt, and we want to be responsible and keep our promise.

3. We must also acknowledge and confess that our promise was more than a simple “yes” and “no," because we signed a contract promising we would pay back our debt. We must realize that going beyond a simple yes or no comes from a corrupt mind and reasoning. A lie is a lie, and to sign a contract is to water down Truth, to say that a simple yes is not a yes, that a promise or oath is somehow more worthy than our word. Both the mind that requires us to sign a contract and the mind that signs the contract are equally corrupt: both are lost in faulty, irrational thinking. Now that we've acknowledged this error, we forgive ourselves and move on.

4. We must now ask ourselves where our loan came from so we can pay it back. Every banker and economist knows that a bank does not lend us what belongs to the bank. The bank lends us an illusion it creates out of thin air with the stroke of a pen or a typing of a keyboard. This fiction is called fiat money. The bank wants you to think it is lending to you from its own reserves, but it is lending you nothingness, then has the audacity to charge you interest on this nothingness, creating more nothingness. Every banker knowingly practices this pure deception. But every bank justifies itself, not because it does not know that what it is doing is pure deception, but because what it does is tradition, and all of commercial civilization depends on this tradition! The bank, however, does deceive itself and us into thinking civilization will end if it does not practice this pure deception.  If you doubt what I'm saying, see the video, Money As Debt.

5. Now that we realize we have entered into a knowingly-deceptive contract, this invalidates the contract, and frees us from any responsibility to the maker of the contract. The fact that the whole world uses deceptive contracts does not validate any of those contracts. It is, in fact, irresponsible to hold to a corrupt contract in the same way it is irresponsible for a mafioso or gangster to hold to a blood oath to his peers!

6. We must not stray from our integrity, from our responsibility to pay back our debt! Thus we must continue to ask ourselves where on earth our loan really came from! When we step back and look at the world scene, it becomes clear. In the greater world economy, we see, obviously, that most money and goods flow from workers to non-workers, from the poor to the rich, from the creative to the non-creative, from those who are productive to those who produce only illusion, from the givers to the moochers. These who produce only illusion are called bankers. The bankers take, and do not borrow, from the world’s workers and creators, and they pay nothing back. By doing any business with the bank, you have become an accomplice to this theft and must reconcile it. You have taken money, which is not a real substance, but an illusion you borrowed from the bank, and used it to trade for actual goods created by the world’s poor. 

Ah, now you see who you must pay your loan back to, don’t you? If you find out you have stolen property, the only ethical and responsible thing is to return it, and it definitely must not be returned to the one who stole it! This is called redistributing the wealth.

The bank will probably turn you over to a collection agency. But if you have already returned your stolen goods to those from whom they were stolen, the bank has no more power over you.  Perhaps in many countries the bank can jail you.  This is where you must have faith in the Power of Persecution, as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Jesus demonstrated.

An Appeal to Your Own Faith Tradition

I have already appealed to your basic logic and to your heart, and that should suffice. But if you don’t trust your own judgment and want assurance from past prophets of your faith tradition, then I appeal to that:

Charging interest is considered criminal by the world’s religions and ancient philosophers (the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, the Buddha, Greek philosophers, all the early church fathers, etc).  [See Is Banking Criminal?  What The World's Ancient Philosophers and Religions Say in my website].

However, since everybody relies on banks, we think it's okay or unavoidable for this day and age, even though charging interest has ultimately never, ever caused anything but grief in the world. It is ironic that the followers of religions that most clearly condemn banking are banking's best supporters! Banking creates poverty, then throws a few bones to those from whom it stole, giving the appearance it is helping them. I wager that poverty would end if most everyone practiced their own religion and agreed to never use a bank again. That means default on loans and, instead, be truly responsible and pay what we owe back to those who actually need it. Yes, there probably will be chaos first, but everything good and worthwhile must "have a falling away first." A seed begins by falling to the ground and dying.  What do your prophets say?  "Babylon is fallen, is fallen." 

It is our responsibility and common sense to redistribute the wealth to those from whom it was stolen. History shows us this does not work by Marxist redistribution through government or organized programming, but through basic, instinctual, natural human conscience, expressed in truly conservative religious values especially forgotten by self-proclaimed "conservatives".

Stop Thinking We're Do-Gooders!

We who think we are do-gooders must finally stop fooling ourselves that we are giving charity to the poor, thinking we're righteous! Philanthropists do "good" because they think they are owners.  The Human Spirit just does what's natural. The poor widow puts her penny in the temple donation box and gives way more than the wealthiest philanthropist.  Nature's creatures do what's natural: be like the ant or rabbit or redwood tree, which don't do "good," because they possess nothing.  Instead we who have excess must realize we have to simply pay our debts to the poor we robbed from! We must wake up and realize that sharing is no act of goodness, nothing that deserves reward or praise, but simply a natural act like breathing free air in and out, or a natural act like the sun sharing its energy on ALL life forms, expecting nothing in return!  Working with no thought of reward or ownership is a constant theme of the Bible, the Baghavad Gita, the Quran, the Buddhist Sutras, the Tao Te Ching, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Bahai scriptures, the Book of Mormon, the Jain sutras, and the practiced philosophy of Native Peoples all over the world. Christians, what does Jesus say but to be like the servant who works because it is his duty, not even expecting thanks.  Only we who fool ourselves think we own anything to give!  Muslims and Mormons, your Quran and the Book of Mormon especially stress this fact.  See Here's the One Point We Know the World's Religions Agree Upon.

To Possess Nothing is to be Under No Earthly Power

We ourselves who realize we don't need anything must forgive those who "borrowed" or "stole" from us, erase all grudges, simply for our very own mental health, if anything! Everything I am saying is directly provable if you but look inside and find what brings you Peace.  Actually, when we finally realize we own no possessions, we have nothing to steal, and nobody to trespass against us, and nobody can have power over us!  In other words, to give up the idea of possession is Perfect Forgiveness, "forgive us our tresspasses (debts) as we forgive those who tresspass (are debtors) against us"

"Neither Borrower nor Lender Be"

Banks will starve if you have the faith to not use them.  And you will find mental and spiritual health if you live by faith.  The health of the individual is the health of the whole world.  That is Pure Selfishness Divine (This is where I sound like Ayn Rand ;-)  Again, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors," as Jesus prayed, and, as Muhammad stated, there is no difference of blame between lender and borrower.  There is no difference of blame between corporation and consumer, owner and owned, ower and owed. It's a bit comical to see consumers blame corporations, when consumers are corporations' life blood. And there is no difference between physical and spiritual debt (also called "sin").

What really would happen in the world if every follower of religion woke up and actually practiced his or her own religion?

Courage to Follow What You Know For Yourself to Be True

Of course this would mean taking on persecution, meaning courage. This is why the central message of Christianity is the Cross. To live and speak any truth in this world is to risk the Cross, to believe in the Cross, regardless of your religion. If we call ourselves Christian and can’t live and speak truth, perhaps because we're afraid of losing our jobs or losing the respect of our church peers or losing our comfy McMansions, all our talk of believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus, all our talk of "not being ashamed of the Gospel," all our talk of salvation by “grace”, is utter nonsense. By Grace, not our own egos, we will live and speak truth. If we don’t live and speak truth, whereever and whomever and whatever religion or science that truth comes from, we aren’t under the Power of Grace, we are not living by faith.

Faith is the realization that debt is not necessary, that everything will work out if we follow truth, that everything we need is forever in the present, which means, as basic Buddha teaches, abolishing all wants (debts), which means taking on happiness & abundance.

I don't know if these ideas are conservative or liberal. All I know is they are simple & natural instinct in all life.

Don’t take mine or anybody else’s word for it. I am asking every human being to act on what you know to be true in your heart, by both your reason and your intuition.

Do you have the Courage (the Faith, the Hope, the Love) to act on what you know to be true?

Waiting For Messiah

You can keep procrastinating and wait for zillions of years for Messiah to come to zap everything right. Or, you can realize what your own scriptures teach you, that Messiah is in you, your Hope of Glory. You are the Hands and Feet and Eyes and Mouth and Breath of Messiah. Wake up and realize that Messiah will never, ever, ever come, except through you.

Take Responsibility.

118 comments:

  1. Hi Suelo, I would say overall, excellent article! I disagree with the last point about Messiah never coming, but nevertheless I thought the rest of the article was fantastic. You made the point that money represents labor. If the true value of wealth is in fact labor and material resources, then it makes sense to pay back what we owe, first through our material goods, (Luke 12:33) and then with our labor and our time and like you say, not even expect anything in return! I personally most liked the point about being willing to take a stand in the face of oppression.

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  2. Thanks, Jesse. It makes me tingle knowing you get it. But I have to make clear I didn't say the Messiah was never coming. Messiah is never coming, except through us. How can the Head come apart from the Body? How can the Vine come apart from the Branches? This is most critical, because it throws responsibility directly into our laps.

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  3. Wow. Amazing post! Thanks Suelo. I really enjoyed it. As the years go by and the more I ponder upon it the more money reveals it's true "satanic" essence. The symbols of the ruling blue blood elites all over it. it's based on pure illusion as you've stated throughout this posting.

    Too bad Ayn Rand didn't think through this money thing as deeply as she was capable of doing. She was such a strong supporter of ab unregulated "free" market economy which is utter b.s. in and of itself. The idea that a small group of rich elitist men own over 90% of the earth's lands and resources is bad enough but the though that most of this "ownership" was passed down through inheritance is utterly nauseating. It's as if "royalty" is as alive now as ever before EXCEPT nowadays these ruling oligarchs are more covert about it. In the past they simply ruled out in the open.

    All we have to do is stop participating in this "beast" system and if enough people did this it would crumble in on itself and things would change.

    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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  4. We are 100% forgiven . There is not one thing you can do to be accepeted by god , He already loves you ! God loves us with an everlasting love. nothing can seperate us from his love ! Nothing ! I love you JESUS ! because you loved me first !

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  5. It's not about any gods or angels. It's about being forgiven from others for our debts and likewise forgiving our debtors. This man made system is corrupt. All Suelo is saying is that if the people of the various religious "faiths" would simply start living what their founders intended the world would be a much better place to live in. It certainly be more fair and people wouldn't be as overtaken by greed.

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  6. Greetings fellow earthling. Great post, it reminded me a great deal of my own problems with debt. Skhandas is one of the few who foreclosed on his house, a took a 2nd mortgage out to "finance his dreams". His dreams were delusional, but all he can do is hope the people will forgive him, and do his best to make things right in the world. Messiah may be coming, or might not, but with the latter being at least possible, skhandas thinks we agree that it is best to assume that messiah isn't coming, and bootstrap this earth. Good luck to you in your endeavors, and Godspeed.

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  7. seidos, I just noticed today is 10/10/10, and your comment is a minute short of 10:10pm 10/10/10
    ...My crazy numerologist is coming out

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  8. Bravo! This post is absolutely golden. It has said so many things I have preached over the years. At this point in our life we only have unpaid medical bills, not because the kids had a flu but because they were bleeding from the head or couldn't breath, and I found out health insurance for $500 a month was not only expensive, but worthless. I don't pay those loans back because I can't and because if it were my choice we would have socialized medicine. The way I see it if society refuses to give all humans the basic right of health care, I'm not paying their institutions for it either. That is my moral decision.

    People live in so much fear. In my experience I have never had wages garnished or been taken to jail for not paying a credit card bill or student loan (those were years ago btw). People also have to realize the statute of limitations. In different states after so many years they cannot legally attempt to collect the debt anymore.

    Best thing we've ever done though was to never get a mortgage. Never ever. We have a really old car and an older rv but the fact that they are both paid for is golden. The bank doesn't own them. I do...and that my friend is the ultimate freedoom.

    Your morality view on debt is just the icing on the cake and what it all boils down to is lifestyle choices. I envision a cash only economy bringing people together as there would not longer be false senses of wealth and class.

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  9. HI Little House. Nice post. It's great you've been able to stay mortgage free! One thing I've noticed (because I deal with a lot of college students) is that many people come out of university very idealistic and wanting to change the world. However, upon graduating, they quickly realize they're stuck with a huge debt and inevitably often times end up choosing whatever job they find that pays the most money, so they can pay back their debt. They drop their plans of travelling and say, oh maybe after I've paid back my debt I can go to Africa or do humanitarian work. But by that point, they've fallen in love and bought a house and now have a mortgage! They say debt is the slavery of the rich, and in many ways I do feel that's very true.

    Little House, although I would prefer a cash only society, there would still be rich and poor. All ancient civilizations (the ones that used money) were cash only, and there were still rich and poor in those countries. I think even a resource based economy would still leave room for a certain family or a certain elite group to gain control and access to the majority of the resources, at least the majority of what's in their immediate area. It just seems to be the way it works. It would be nice if more people could change their attitude towards wealth and realize that sharing is caring. Personally, I believe in an inward revolution which is then transferred outward, but if there's only an outward revolution, with no inner change, then we'll fall back into the same old cycle.

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  10. As far as messiah coming, some people use the excuse "Messiah is coming so I don't need to do anything" but other people use the excuse "There's no such thing as Messiah coming so we can do whatever we want, let's selfishly enjoy what we have now." Both reasons are abused by people to essentially not take responsibility for their planet and their people. I don't really think believing Messiah is coming in the flesh really means people are more likely to take less responsibility, it's just that many people have abused this belief for their own gain. It's like all belief systems, at some point, it can be twisted and abused for selfish gain.

    Personally, I think even atheists are waiting for a messiah, it certainly seemed that way in 2008 when Obama was being elected. He was heralded as a savior. It's not the same type of messiah I'm waiting for, but while I wait, I'm also trying to get my ass in gear so Messiah don't find me slacking! My Messiah already came once and told me what I need to be doing. No dilly dallying.

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  11. Jesse, I have heard that statement a lot. I don't think it is possible to have a society where there are no class divides at all. This world is full of light and dark, good and evil, which will always be. I am referring more to a false sense of wealth...one where we have a mass of people buying everything with credit catapulting themselves into a so called upper middle class, then becoming complacent about the struggles of less fortunate. If these folks were living by cash they would be forced to relate to those they always tell to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps." We would have fewer mcmansions and maybe more people building smaller, modest and sustainable housing if there was no such thing as a mortgage.

    Btw-I know lots of college graduates as you describe. It is a sad state of the world really.

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  12. Hey, Suelo, this is great. People often ask me about debt, as well. I never know how to answer, because I have never had to deal with debt, thanks to a combination of luck and personal choice.

    BTW, Jayme is here reading over my shoulder and he was greatly impressed by what he has read so far (he hasn't finished it) and is greatly appreciative.

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  13. I believe Suelo is thinking like Kant in pure idealist terms, while failing to understand we live in a real world, not a dream.


    Suelo says: "She was genius in logical intelligence, but a total retard in the greater intelligence of Intuition, which is usually, ironically, the domain of women."

    Seems a fair statement. I would add that Suelo is a modern saint (not a religious genius like Buddha) and a total retard regarding practical affairs (at least economical or political).

    But I believe Suelo is wrong. Rand was a women of great intuition, who challenged the dogmas of religion and socialism and created her own theories and systems of ideas.

    Rand's great failure was to be too closed minded to the possibility being wrong or the existence or other valid points of view. A consequence of this was her desire to be perfectly imitated by her followers. In other words, she didn't accept disciples who advanced original or different ideas to her's.

    In that sense, I don't see much difference between the fundamentalism of Suelo and the fundamentalism of Rand. Ignoring differences of views, of course.

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  14. "Rand was a women of great intuition"

    I believe Rand had the strenght of will of many women. She was a powerful person indeed.

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  15. I'd like to take a moment to share, again, my mantra and my highest goal in life, which I keep in mind even when I can't fully reach it yet:

    Take only what you need from what is freely offered, and offer what you no longer need to anyone who needs it.

    Which means that I do actually accept money when it is offered to me (though I still tend to have a habit of initially rejecting it, which is more of an irrational sort of thing, really) and I know that I can use it for something that will help me grow into a better person. And it means that I try not to be too judgmental when it comes to who I give my extra stuff to. I used to think that I should only give to those who "deserve" it, but then I realized that everyone deserves to be healthy so that they, too, can grow and be their best.

    This is my reflection of your beautifully stated idea of:

    "We ourselves who realize we don't need anything must forgive those who "borrowed" or "stole" from us, erase all grudges, simply for our very own mental health, if anything! Everything I am saying is directly provable if you but look inside and find what brings you Peace. Actually, when we finally realize we own no possessions, we have nothing to steal, and nobody to trespass against us, and nobody can have power over us!"

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  16. Oh, and one more note!

    We do have needs, and those are our needs to grow and be healthy, but in the end, literally, one of the universe's needs is for us to stop growing, and to die, so that we pass on the matter and energy that has been giving to us back into the rest of the universe, for it to be used again, in some new and interesting way!

    So while we need things, we also don't need things. :-)

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  17. Miguel said:

    "Rand's great failure was to be too closed minded to the possibility being wrong or the existence or other valid points of view. A consequence of this was her desire to be perfectly imitated by her followers. In other words, she didn't accept disciples who advanced original or different ideas to her's.

    In that sense, I don't see much difference between the fundamentalism of Suelo and the fundamentalism of Rand. "

    I have seen no evidence that Suelo has denied accepting 'disciples' because of differing ideas to his.

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  18. I'm not sure I agree with this. I think you should pay back your debt to the bank and then never get a loan again. We all should pay back to those less fortunate than ourselves because our consumer society makes us all beneficiaries of this screwed up banking system in an indirect way whether or not we buy anything on credit, pay cash or scavenge discards from the Dumpster.

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  19. I don't owe any imaginary debt but if I did then I'm not morally obligated to pay back a lie.

    Money is slavery. It's as simple as that. Hopefully mankind will grow out of this false "need" that it's been brainwashed to think is necessary.

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  20. I just started making my own wine . Total investment on used equipment $80.00 .

    This years cost to make all my own wine

    Yeast $2.40
    Sugar $4.00
    fruit Free
    used eqip.$80.00
    Total $86.40

    Yeald 24 gallons

    Next years cost to make all own wine
    yeast 2.40
    sugar 4.00
    corks 12.00
    fruit free
    total $18.40

    Yeald 24 gallons

    Just some fun stuff for you all

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  21. Money is a symbol of time and energy. Humans are symbolic thinkers. The NOVA documentary "What Makes Us Human?" showed how primates often cannot imagine things or events symbolically like we do easily.

    How could the effort be marshaled from humans to create very complex systems such as computing, the internet or space travel as easily without the symbol of money representing the exchange of information.

    Do you discount these things as not important? Do you think that money is not the root of all evil but how banks have gamed they system of symbols?

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  22. Yes, Michael, I see money as a useful symbol right up there with words. Our taking of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil has a reason (as the Book of Mormon states). But the symbol (image) has become more important than what it symbolizes, meaning the symbol has replaced Reality. When symbol replaces reality, this is called idolatry. Banking makes money replace Reality and most religion makes words replace Reality (you can see this in religious dogma, where what words you use matter but your actions do not). Money, like words, has been useful in making us human. But money, like grades in grade school, must become obsolete. When we mature, we learn for the sake of learning, not for the sake of getting grades or gold stars.

    *I'm admitting myself wrong in saying Ayn Rand was intuitively "totally retarded", tacking a label on somebody--going against my own principles. Tacking labels on people is easier than using critical thinking. So I'm adding a disclaimer above.

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  23. Hi Michael, I'm not sure what you're saying, but it sounds sort of like you're saying that complex human endeavors are not possible without the use of money. I'd like to site Wikipedia as one valuable resource, and an information exchanging hub, which was created, maintained, and used without money playing a central key. There's also lots of freeware, like Linux. More is possible.

    Many things are possible even if we stop making money the main incentive for doing them. Money is good for what it is, like you said, it's a symbol and therefore makes exchanging resources easier (i.e. instead of taking your apples, I can go buy oranges because I like those better) but money also more easily allows one to be greedier. Before there was money, it was harder to be so greedy. You can't really house a million chickens easily, and certainly keeping them from your neighbors would be extremely inconvenient, but it's much easier to house a million dollars and keep your neighbors from having access to it. IMO, banks are just one example of how this symbol has been misused, although they are probably the biggest example too.

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  24. Religion has been abused too, should we ban religions too?. Should be ban education?. Should we ban politics?.

    Also, according to who's standards are banks abusing the concept of money?. Are we using common sense ethical standards or some other idealistic ethics?.

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  25. Hi Miguel. I, personally, haven't advocated banning money. What I got from Suelo's post is: don't pay back your loan to the bank but pay it back to the poor. He didn't say whether or not that payment would involve money, but I definitely interpreted that it would involve money. At least until you run out of it, and then you just pay back to loan with your real resources, like time and labor.

    BTW, I think people like Suelo are anarchists, so 'banning' anything doesn't square with that understanding. Just because we don't agree with how money has been abused, doesn't mean we advocate banning it. That's the kind of thinking that tyrants have. What makes more sense, instead of enforcing harsh bans, is EXPOSING the illusion. If religion is being abused, lets expose it, if education is being abused, let's bring it to accountability and if the illusion of money is being worshiped, then that too should be exposed. Let's pull the veils off so people can make more informed decisions.

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  26. I believe money is more like a mutual or communal arrangement of sorts, rather than an illusion.

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  27. Money is an illusion that benefits the rich and hinders the poor.

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  28. Hi Miguel, money can be what you described. But Suelo was talking about how money becomes more important than the resource it represents, and THAT'S when it becomes an illusion. For example, it's not uncommon for people to destroy REAL resources (like crops) in order to increase the value of money, or the monetary representation of their product. They destroy real resources to increase the value of something that is only a SYMBOL. Why? Because those people believe more in the symbol than they do in a reality (like food).

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  29. "Money is an illusion that benefits the rich and hinders the poor."

    Actually, it does benefit the poor, because it allows them to satisfy their basic needs in exchange for their work.

    Besides, not all poor people hate their work, not are all employers abusive or corrupt. So, it's not as bad as the socialists say it is.

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  30. Not to mention most poor people have below average intelligence, so it's not a big waste if they have a hard life doing jobs nobody wants.

    Being poor doesn't mean having ethics, virtues or education. Most often, it means the opposite.

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  31. I forgot an important point...

    In the past, poor people were slaves or servants and were dependent on a single master. The master cared for their basic needs, but they had not protection against all kinds of abuse.

    Now, thanks to money they can switch employers, get an education if they want and even start their own companies. Not to mention they can now sue their employers if being abused or not paid.

    Unfortunately, many of them or most of them are too coward or lazy to do any of these things.

    ...So, things seem to have improved a lot, believe it or not. Unfortunately, human nature hardly changes.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Actually, it does benefit the poor, because it allows them to satisfy their basic needs in exchange for their work."

    The average low paying job today doesn't even pay a single person enough to pay rent and have three square meals a day much less a small family and a stay-at-home wife. That was the norm 50 some odd years (and more) ago. This money based system does NOT benefit the poor in any way,shape,and form.

    "Besides, not all poor people hate their work, not are all employers abusive or corrupt. So, it's not as bad as the socialists say it is."

    If an employer isn't paying his help enough feed and house themselves much less transportation and basic savings then he/she is indeed ABUSING their workers. Lets stop pretending. So most poor people have little ethics and virtues while the rich elite are the moralists and the "good" guys,eh? Sounds like a typical republican mantra to me. Do you happen to also subscribe to the prosperity doctrine?

    "Religion has been abused too, should we ban religions too?. Should be ban education?. Should we ban politics?."

    The banning of religions that preach that good people of other religions are Hell bound would be a great start. Enough is enough with the ridiculous bigotry.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "Unfortunately, many of them or most of them are too coward or lazy to do any of these things."

    You sound like a libertarian to me. Switching from one wage slave employer to the next is not having freedom. Likewise it's not cowardly to refrain from switching from one of these sub human wage jobs for another sub human wage job. You're out of touch. Try paying rent on minimum wage. You can't do it and eat too.

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  34. Freedom is only admirable if you have the courage and knowledge to use it. It's a fact that most people don't.

    However, they still have the freedom to do whathever they want, something they would lose under a dictatorship or tyrany.

    Why do you think Russia or China are moving away from socialism?. Because the common people, in other words the poor, are done with the deceptive utopias and the harsh realities of so called Marxism.

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  35. "Likewise it's not cowardly to refrain from switching from one of these sub human wage jobs for another sub human wage job."

    I thought you didn't have sub human wage jobs in North America. If you want to see real sub human jobs go to Africa, or even Cuba.

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  36. oh Ben you pussy ,
    You act like such a victim . Go live without money like daniel you cry baby . WAAHHH WAHHH . you pussy ! . Or take control of your life ! There are lots of opportunities out there for someone who thinks they are smart like you ! If you are so intelligent then why arn't you a doctor or scientist? Face the truth Ben, you are a nobody just like me .

    But wait ! you are someone !

    JESUS said- anyone who come to him is a child of god !

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  37. Daniel said ,

    " Somebody once told me my thoughts reminded of Ayn Rand. There are a lot of things she says that jive with me, but some that totally don't, like her ideas on money, which she didn't think over very thoroughly. She was genius in logical intelligence, but a total retard* in the greater intelligence of Intuition, which is usually, ironically, the domain of women."

    My opinion is that so called "intelligent" people are the whole problem with this world !

    Less intelligent people just live . They don't ask what ,when,why, and how .They just live ! they get food ,shelter and water when they need it .

    What a great world the so called "intelligent" people have made for the rest of us ! Flipping idiots !

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  38. Hey Ben, this sounds like a contradiction:

    "The banning of religions that preach that good people of other religions are Hell bound would be a great start. Enough is enough with the ridiculous bigotry."

    Isn't banning a religion on par of with bigotry?
    I believe in education, not in legislating bigotry.

    As far as what Miguel wrote:

    "Not to mention most poor people have below average intelligence, so it's not a big waste if they have a hard life doing jobs nobody wants"

    What?! Have you actually spent time with the poor? First of all, intelligence is hard to quantify, given that people can be intelligent in many different ways, but where is your evidence to support this claim? Where are the research papers and studies that have been done on this to back you up? And even if some people are less intelligent than others, it doesn't mean they should have a harder life. That's a horribly callous attitude. You basically see the poor as subhuman. All those people you made your shoes, your shirts, grew and harvested your food, and drove the vehicles to get that stuff to you. That's very ungrateful. Would you talk to your mama that way?

    Rich people like to think they're rich because they're smart. In some ways, that CAN be true, but in most cases it's because they were lucky. Lucky to be born into a wealthy neighborhood, lucky to attend good schools, lucky to have wealthy parents to help them, lucky to get a big break from someone they know.

    Here's a study which talks a little bit about how the wealthy stay wealthy: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

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  39. I'm a systems person, INTJ. I think it’s time to write a scenario in which complex endeavors can be organized without a symbol of exchange that can be gamed. I think everything philosophical has been covered. Any ideas?

    We must take into account our cognitive flaws as cited here:
    "How We Decide" by Jonah Lehrer © 2009

    68.2
    ... fluctuations of Wall Street?
    ... strong neural signal that seemed to be driving many of the investment decisions.
    ... dopamine-rich areas of the brain, such as the ventral caudate, and it was encoding fictive-error learning, or the ability to learn from what-if scenarios

    76.3
    mental defect — it's technical name is "loss aversion" demonstrated in the late 1970s by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

    77.1
    pain of loss was approximately twice as potent as the pleasure generated by gain.
    losses loom larger than gains

    79.5
    if a person invests on each and every round, there is a mere 13% chance he'll wind up with less

    intact emotional brains invested only about 60% of the time. Because humans are wired to dislike losses.

    MDS: I say this can also be attributed to an attachment theory which is based on how our minds stabilize information. Called Attachment = Stabilization Theory.

    81.2
    fixate on the highest monetary amount now possible. This is the potential gain you measure everything against, what economists call the reference point.

    81.4
    Loss Aversion is an innate flaw.
    part of a larger psychological phenomenon known as negativity bias, which means that, for the human mind, bad is stronger than good.

    in martial interactions it generally takes at least five kind comments to compensate for one critical comment.
    convicted murderer must perform at least 25 acts of "life saving heroism" in order to make up for his crime.

    The only way to avoid loss aversion is to know about the concept.

    85.3 - 84.1
    would you have bought if you paid cash? Most say no.

    86.2
    credit cards make the transaction abstract
    brain imaging suggests paying with credit cards actually reduces activity in the insula, a brain region associated with negative feelings.

    88
    During peak of housing boom 55% of all 2/28 mortgages were sold to homeowners who could have gotten prime mortgages.
    couldn't resist the allure of low initial payments.
    tricked them into making foolish financial decisions.

    89.3
    Jonathon Cohen, a neuroscientist at Princeton University
    subject contemplated a gift certificate in the future, brain areas associated with rational planning, such as the prefrontal crotex, were more active.

    However, when a subject thinking about gift right away, the brain areas associated with emotion — such as the midbrain dopamine system and nucleus accumbens — were turned on. These are the cells that tell a person to take out a mortgage he can't afford

    91.2
    George Loewenstien neuroeconomist thinks that understanding the errors of the emotional brain will help policy makers develop plans that encourage people to make better decisions: "Our emotions are like software programs that evolved to solve important and recurring problems in our distant past," he says. "They are not always well suited to the decisions we make in modern life. It's important to know know our emotions lead us astray so that we can find ways to compensate for these flaws."

    91.3
    Some economists are already working on that. They are using this brain-imaging data to support a new political philosophy known as asymmetric paternalism. That's a fancy name for a simple idea: creating policies and incentives that help people triumph over their irrational impulses and make better, more prudent decisions. Shlomo Benartzi and Richard Thaler, for example, designed a 401k that takes our irrationality into account. Their plan called Save More Tomorrow, neatly sidesteps the limbic system.

    Trial studies of this program show it's a resounding success: after three years, the average savings rate has gone from 3.5% to 13.6%.

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  40. "My opinion is that so called "intelligent" people are the whole problem with this world !"

    Good point, tell that to the Suelo's, Einstein's and Picasso's of the world.


    Jesse said: "What?! Have you actually spent time with the poor? First of all, intelligence is hard to quantify, given that people can be intelligent in many different ways, but where is your evidence to support this claim?"

    No, but you have a point, they can be actually smarter. My point is that just because a person is poor doesn't mean he is intelligent, educated or ethical.


    "And even if some people are less intelligent than others, it doesn't mean they should have a harder life. That's a horribly callous attitude."

    True, but then again someone has to do the hard work. Are you offering to do the mindless or high risk jobs for them?.


    "You basically see the poor as subhuman. All those people you made your shoes, your shirts, grew and harvested your food, and drove the vehicles to get that stuff to you."

    It's a realistic view, far better than the romantic view of the poor, as saints or innocent victims exposed by many left wingers.

    Besides, not all poor people are unethical or stupid, so I tend to treat them well. Sometimes I tend to be too magnanimous for my own good.


    "That's very ungrateful."

    No, actually it's fair.


    "Would you talk to your mama that way?"

    No, I tend to be very compassionate to those less fortunate than myself.

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  41. "Rich people like to think they're rich because they're smart. In some ways, that CAN be true, but in most cases it's because they were lucky."

    It depends if they made their own fortunes or inherited them.


    "Lucky to be born into a wealthy neighborhood, lucky to attend good schools, lucky to have wealthy parents to help them, lucky to get a big break from someone they know."

    Actually, it can be unlucky because it can make you rigid, old-fashioned and lazy and you will pay for that in our ever changing economic markets.


    "Here's a study which talks a little bit about how the wealthy stay wealthy: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html"

    Who are the richest people in the world today?. Answer: People who made their own fortunes.

    Those who inherited, on the contrary, tend to be on the decline, unless they are very smart business wise.

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  42. Daniel said this -

    Okay, I've been putting this off for a long time because of the repurcussions it could have. Gulp... here goes:

    LOL -I laugh so hard when I read this .

    I feel the same way when I comment here sometimes lol

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  43. Ben said:

    "Try paying rent on minimum wage. You can't do it and eat too."

    I think I can do it, in fact many people are doing it right now. You are thinking under the philosophy of spending more than what you earn.

    If you know how to manage money, you can live on any budget. Otherwise, no wage will be enough, even if you are a billionaire.

    Ask the Sultan of Brunei if you have doubts. His billions are not enought to mantain his excessive life style.

    Is this a matter of money or rather of money management?.

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  44. Ben said: "If an employer isn't paying his help enough feed and house themselves much less transportation and basic savings then he/she is indeed ABUSING their workers."

    Yes, but that doesn't happen in America. It's absurd and impossible to have eficient and reliable workers in those conditions you mention.

    No, not even the old slave owners did that, it was simply not a smart thing to do if they cared about their interests.


    Ben said: "Lets stop pretending."

    Are you going to stop pretending too?.


    Ben said: "So most poor people have little ethics and virtues while the rich elite are the moralists and the "good" guys,eh?"

    In a way, that's correct.


    "Sounds like a typical republican mantra to me."

    You sound like a typical democrat.


    "Do you happen to also subscribe to the prosperity doctrine?"

    I do.

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  45. Suelo,

    You talk about moneyless living without noticing how money is essential for your world. It's impossible to talk about living without money while living in a world that cares about money.

    Your position is reactionary, instead of original or revolutionary. So, it seems you are trapped in the duality of living for money and living moneyless.

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  46. Miguel= Official contrarian of the moneyless blog, you say blue, he says green, you say up, he says down. you say in, he says out. BORING! yawn I need a nap!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Do you only accept people who think exactly the same as you?

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  49. “Why do you think Russia or China are moving away from socialism?. Because the common people, in other words the poor, are done with the deceptive utopias and the harsh realities of so called Marxism. “

    A growing number of the poor (the majority) in Russia want to return to the old government because their standard of living is actually lower now than it was then.
    You might want to check this out >
    http://justsayknownow.blogspot.com/2009/08/fwd-fw-russian-state-newspaper.html?zx=936f6e8a185ac0e4

    “I thought you didn't have sub human wage jobs in North America. If you want to see real sub human jobs go to Africa, or even Cuba.”

    You thought wrong. Try working 40 plus hours a week on a minimum wage type job and try paying rent. You can’t do it. A grand a month ain’t gonna cut it when the cheapest rent available is over 800 bucks a month (on average) and groceries are over 300 bucks. Not to mention transportation and etc. Do the math. It doesn’t add up. Just because other countries might be worse off than the U.S. doesn’t discount the facts I’ve mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  50. “oh Ben you pussy ,
    You act like such a victim . Go live without money like daniel you cry baby . WAAHHH WAHHH . you pussy ! . Or take control of your life ! There are lots of opportunities out there for someone who thinks they are smart like you ! If you are so intelligent then why arn't you a doctor or scientist? Face the truth Ben, you are a nobody just like me .”

    Aren’t you full of the “love” of Christ? Calling people names is real “christ-like” eh? I don’t ever recall calling you names. Sadly, I live in the Bible Belt and the most snooty and judgmental people tend to be the evangelical Christians. Just calling a spade a spade.

    I never claimed to be smart. Besides, just because someone is a doctor or an engineer doesn’t make them any better than you or I. I don’t buy into that title of nobility crap. Besides, I was n’t speaking merely of my own personal experiences BUT on the experiences of many people I’m in contact with. It’s getting harder to make ends meet nowadays compared to yesteryear. We’re on the verge on major economic depression contrary to what the “experts” at Fox news say to the contrary.

    As for Suelo and Roy – I find their lifestyle highly respectful and I’m considering taking that direction in my life as well. When the time is right then it’ll happen. Perhaps you should do it too. It seems to resonate with you and it sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into it.

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  52. Ben,

    The first thing people always do is throw this in the face of christians who's behavior isnt"christ like "

    "Aren’t you full of the “love” of Christ? Calling people names is real “christ-like” eh?"

    I never claimed to be perfect . Iv'e said that from the start . Besides gods love for us is not based on behavior .

    We change as he changes us. The more we understand his love for us the more we love him and learn to love others . Christ is perfect im not . It takes time ,its a journey .

    At any rate Im sorry for calling you a pussy and judging you . I knew right away after I hit the post comment button that I shouldn't have made that comment . I had the same feelings as daniel -Gulp

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anonymous, I accept your apology.

    As for claiming you're not "perfect" - what exactly is perfect? Think about it. If we have no living role model for what perfect is then we have no way of knowing what it is - assuming it even exists. Know what I mean? Also, if your god is perfect then even though your flesh might be weak at times (as it's designed to have limits) then the essence of your being can't be imperfect if you're made in the image of one who is perfect. Even the devil would then be perfect since it's also made from perfection and ultimate good.

    ReplyDelete
  54. A wedge in the accepted realities of our day. I appreciate this. The largest problem with debt is that it is normalized, a "fact of life", and those who we are indebted to (who supplied the loans), collectively, the banks and large institutions, are some kind of Entity on their own. They're not even seen for what they are - we all violently denounce Walmart in the realm of big business, while the banks' scheme is, I would argue, a far greater evil.

    Yet I participate in a bank because I earn interest on my savings and thus, keep them alive and thriving, like those who are lured by the incredible sales of the Superstore. I am caught as a critical participant. Perhaps it is just that I am not courageous enough to opt out. But the conscience is planted. Who knows what this will grow into in my future....

    I once wanted a credit card which had a rewards package I was interested in. I am a credit card user the credit card companies despise: I pay off my entire balance, always on time, and reap the benefits of the rewards program they bank they will make up for in exorbitant late fees and interest rates should I default on my habitual ways. I never do. Anyways, I was denied. I inquired into this denial and was told I had "insufficient credit" to acquire the card (no loans will do that to you). What was the advice I recieved from the public on this dilemma (I really wanted the free coffee rewards)? USE YOUR EXISTING CREDIT CARD, PAYING ONLY THE MINIMUM BALANCE FOR ONE YEAR, THAT YOU WILL SLOWLY PAY BACK WITH INTEREST, THUS ACQUIRING CREDIT! Then I could get my card! This was my first awakening: a slap in the face with an awful smell of fish.

    Herein lies the problem: our common sense is infiltrated by notions of debt.

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  55. PS. In February of this year, I wrote my own entry on banks and would love feedback from you and your readers: http://toninmckelvey.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html
    Cheers!

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  56. Miguel, I would like to challenge your theories on the poor. My husband has an engineering degree and was highly revered, sought after in his profession for the past 25 yrs. Due to the economy however, he was laid off two years ago with glowing letters of recommendation. After two years of looking for work in his field as well as traveling to look for it elsewhere, he is now waiting tables, making $2 an hour and meager tips. What exactly did he do wrong Miguel? He is educated, has years of experience and contacts in his field but right now that is worthless if nobody is hiring. Companies have told him his resume is gold but they just don't have anything.

    Now. What exactly do you have to say to me? We have downsized our rent in half over the past several years. We have one paid for car, no tv, no luxuries to speak of (since you were speaking of mismanaging money). Nevertheless I can't afford healthcare for my kids (it was $700 a month btw through his work). I am content with our simple lifestyle and not ashamed. I don't call myself liberal or a victim. My priority to stay at home and educate my children is supreme to material goods while I shuttle them off to daycare.

    My husband would just like to know from you what he did wrong exactly since he played by all the rules and was in the good guy club just like you. Now he is barely making ends meet, yelled at by restaurant owners, treated subservient by those who come eat, leave little tip, and have no idea what his background is. They just think he is stupid uneducated poor like you do. Btw-he can't get another job. It has taken him two years just to get this one and nobody else is hiring, even for server positions.

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  57. The answer is, he did nothing wrong,but I can almost gaurantee Miguel will come up with some stream of scattagorical, unsubstantiated crap to support his "point". As Daniel and I have said before, his mission is to be contrary above all else. Critical thought is not his bag!

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  58. "The answer is, he did nothing wrong"

    I am impressed, is that what you call critical thought?.


    "but I can almost gaurantee Miguel will come up with some stream of scattagorical, unsubstantiated crap to support his 'point'."

    I tend to be a deep and careful thinker, but good try.


    "As Daniel and I have said before, his mission is to be contrary above all else."

    Yes, Daniel is not noticing that he looks as a contrarian to ordinary people. What's the difference?.

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  59. Wow Little House. Amazing story. It's good to hear you're pulling through okay. Hope everything works out for you. I guess you are somewhere in Kansas because I don't know of any other state which pays less than minimum wage for waiting tables.

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  60. "After two years of looking for work in his field as well as traveling to look for it elsewhere, he is now waiting tables, making $2 an hour and meager tips."

    I have known similar scenarios to the one you mention, and it's almost always the case we are dealing with a childish, narrominded and lazy individual. This is disguised with excellent grades and promising career perspectives...

    Does he come from a rich family?. Because he fits the bill...

    Yes, I am afraid he didn't look hard enough, nor does he has high standards. Come on, waiting tables for 2 dollars an hour, are you serious?.

    I mean, no matter how the "glowing" reviews claim how a brilliant engineer he is, for me he is showing narromindedness and short term thinking.

    Not a good trait for an engineer.


    "What exactly did he do wrong Miguel?"

    Thinking reality is fixed and static. And even worse is thinking that some company or boss is going to give him a job.



    Anyway, it's always easier to blame the system and read Suelo's blog to find an escape from reality.

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  61. "My husband would just like to know from you what he did wrong exactly since he played by all the rules and was in the good guy club just like you."

    Is he in the good "lazy" guy club?. Tell him to get out of it, because it's not going to pay his bills.


    "Now he is barely making ends meet, yelled at by restaurant owners, treated subservient by those who come eat, leave little tip, and have no idea what his background is."

    Sad, but well deserved. It's like betting on a losing horse, you got to pay for that.

    I bet Suelo would feel proud of this "proof" that the capitalist system doesn't work.

    On a positive note, his finantial failure can be useful for spiritual advancement. This is because many wise men are complete idiots when dealing with money. (Just ask Suelo).


    "They just think he is stupid uneducated poor like you do."

    Sad, because I tend to treat poor people in a good way. Not only that, but I can spot the degree of intelligence or education on almost anyone.


    "Btw-he can't get another job."

    Why don't you tell him to look for excelent but discrete companies?. Landing a job on the most popular companies is almost impossible because of the stiff competition.


    "It has taken him two years just to get this one and nobody else is hiring, even for server positions."

    I doubt that, tell him to look for places he usually disregards or looks down. He will find a pleasant surprise.

    Many times we look down on excelent oportunities because of prejudice or narrowmindedness.

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  62. Miguel said:

    "I have known similar scenarios to the one you mention, and it's almost always the case we are dealing with a childish, narrominded and lazy individual. This is disguised with excellent grades and promising career perspectives..."

    Man, I had to laugh out loud, in reality, when I read this. Miguel, you will never consider any other position other than saying the rich are blessed and smart and the poor are lazy, stupid or whatever other label you want to put on them to make you feel better about not helping them.

    This is the character of someone so biased in their position, they can't even consider anything wrong with it, or even realize they have such a strong prejudice.

    Here's the definition for delusion: (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    I must say, Miguel, I believe you are delusional! Get in touch with reality!

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  63. At the contrary, he has the traits of a rich person. Laziness, narrowmindedness and childishness.

    Poor people are more recursive and creative, in my view.

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  64. Jesse:

    Stop playing the label game, it doesn't work with me.

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  65. "Miguel, you will never consider any other position other than saying the rich are blessed and smart and the poor are lazy, stupid or whatever other label you want to put on them to make you feel better about not helping them."

    I have told you before about how rich can be rigid, old fashioned and out of touch with reality.

    Is that a blessing or a curse?.

    You tell me...

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  66. Your little house on wheels is a good idea. Sadly, your children should not exist. That's a huge drain on all our potential. Mistakes often persist for a very long time. Children are seen as an extension of our own body. If the child is hurt it's the same if we are hurt. So comments like this often sound very harsh to parents. According to UN statistics world population surpassed the Earth's carrying capacity in 1987.

    Our pre-frontal cortex has not yet evolved to intuitively grasp exponential growth. We can only hold 7 variables plus or minus 2 at a time. So most rely on their primitive mammalian or reptilian brain to structure their lives.

    Carl Sagan on Human Brain - Triune Brain
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SHc67Hep48

    "How We Decide" by Jonah Lehrer © 2009

    Another common response to comments like I've just made is a silent retreat with a noticeable tinge of repulsion. That's because our mammalian and reptilian brains are pre-verbal and can only signal us with intense wordless feelings designed for genetic survival.

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  67. Miguel, earlier, you were saying quite offensively, how the poor were stupid and lazy. Now you are saying the poor are creative and the rich are lazy! It's incredible you change to opposing positions just so you can argue against anyone who points out flaws in this economic system.

    Well, I have to say, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Some rich are lazy, some are hard workers, some poor are kind hearted, others are as greedy as the most corrupt CEO. People are people, no matter where you go or how much money you have. However, the poor generally have a nicer character about them, because they've learned humility and perseverance through their struggles. Also, they've often times learned the value of community.

    No one, is more out of touch with reality than the rich. The majority of the people on this planet are poor, and many live on $2 a day. Just enough money to buy some rice or some other starch to feed themselves and their family. That's reality. Most of them work very hard, mainly because it's dog eat dog. Sure some poor people in wealthy nations like the U.S. can afford to be lazy, because there are soup kitchens and all that. But they can't do that in many other countries. If they don't bust their ass for $2 for 14 hrs. then they'll starve and someone else will be waiting in line to take their position.

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  68. "Sadly, your children should not exist."

    That's cruel.


    "Our pre-frontal cortex has not yet evolved to intuitively grasp exponential growth."

    You are asking for the impossible, because the pre-fontal cortex is logical not intuitive.


    "We can only hold 7 variables plus or minus 2 at a time."

    Yes, what does that has to do with intuition?.

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  69. jesse said: "No one, is more out of touch with reality than the rich."

    I am afraid that education can give a broader view of reality, and this is something lacking on poor people.

    So, I don't agree completely with your view.

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  70. "It's incredible you change to opposing positions just so you can argue against anyone who points out flaws in this economic system."

    No, I just don't like rigid views. The poor and rich have both many advantages and disadvantages, so it's hard to generalize.

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  71. Michael, you said Little House should not have a child. What benefit do you suppose that contributes to her? I have made a personal choice not to have children, partly because of environmental reasons but also because of spiritual reasons. But I still would like to make this point. There's not too many people on this planet because there's too many people on this planet. There's too many people on this planet because greedy westeners went into the most lush lands, killed the natives, took their land for growing luxury crops (sugar, cotton, coffee, tea, and meat) and then enslaved them. Meanwhile many of the people that work those lush lands are malnutritioned because there's not enough food for them. Even though this is debatable, the sentiment in this is still true: "There's enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed." -Gandhi

    It's true that we're probably overpopulating our earth, but having too many people is just one side issue. WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE OVER CONSUMING AMERICANS?! And why are we exporting our consuming mentality to the third world?

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  72. Just for the record you guys, I only have two children. Geez, you're making it sound like I'm some welfare mom with five kids...and I'm not planning on having more either, I can tell you that. I don't disagree entirely with the population debate myself but there's not much to be done at this point. I can't shove my kids back into my womb now, can I? We live simply and I'm sure there are childless adults who use more resources than we do as a family of four.

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  73. Jesse said:

    "Man, I had to laugh out loud, in reality, when I read this. Miguel, you will never consider any other position other than saying the rich are blessed and smart and the poor are lazy, stupid or whatever other label you want to put on them to make you feel better about not helping them."

    Did you read the next paragraph?.

    Check your reading skills.

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  74. You only quoted the first paragraph without reading the rest of my response.

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  75. Little house:

    2 children to replace two adults seems fair to me.

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  76. Excellent writing and visuals on the blog Little House! : )

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  77. Michael said: "That's because our mammalian and reptilian brains are pre-verbal and can only signal us with intense wordless feelings designed for genetic survival."

    You have a very limited view of the reptilian and mammalian brains. In fact, they are responsible for pattern recognition and what you call intuition.

    Logical thinking can be imitated by computers, but not emotional or symbolic thinking.

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  78. Little House from your blog I think I know why your husband is not getting hired. Companies are looking for suckers who are weighed down by materialism. You little house on wheels reveals your not that kind of sucker. Years ago I had lunch with a long time friend who now owns a major film production company. He says once he can see that I can move he'll look for someone who can't. Decades ago I had my boss from a similar company visited my apartment under the guise of offering assistance when really he just wanted to see that I actually signed a lease and was settling in. So I think when they say you're husband's resume is golden they are really trying to deflect you from criticizing their true thought process.

    I'd rather not lie about my love for the nomadic life so I've don't look for full time work.

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  79. Miguel I know about that. I'm editing to make a short post and the point still stands. You're using a red herring #2 just to spar which I'm not interested in.

    The human mind or brain is not a truth-seeking engine, but a flawed formula-driven engine that relies on a few formal structures to decide truth based mostly on metaphor. The flaws often reveal themselves as red herrings.
    Cheat sheet to remember all the red herrings:
    1. Same form
    2. Some truth
    3. Similar words
    4. Unspoken
    5. Unverifiable

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  80. I don't believe it's flawed, in fact it's incredibly adaptative and recursive just because of the "problems" you mention.

    Your rigid logical thinking can only create dumb and lifeless machines, not complex lifeforms.

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  81. Little House:

    Tell your husband to look for companies that he tends to look down or ignore for different reasons. Also tell him to look for discrete or relatively obscure ones, because it's really difficult to land a job on the most popular companies.

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  82. I can't imagine why Miguel devotes so much time here. I suspect he's working for some republican-like think tank to keep everyone arguing rather than organizing a system like I suggested above in which banks are not part of the system.

    The American Dollar - Anything You Synthesize
    http://youtu.be/N81mSQKrSv4

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  83. Well, I am impressed of the arrogance of many people in here. They talk as if they know it all and as if there were no valid alternatives to their way of thinking.

    Anyway, good for you if you really know it all.

    *Grabs a copy of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities.*

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  84. Michael, thank you for your compliments. As for the road trip he actually tried to find work in our hometown for over a year before we even left stability behind. My honest opinion though is that he is just meant to leave that corporate life behind. Now he is working more on his photography and hanging it in a local gallery which he never could have done before.

    I feel bad for hijacking Suelo's blog like this so I think I'm going to back out now.

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  85. Michael:

    The reptilian brain is incredibly powerful and may account for a lot of ESP and other paranormal phenomena. Not to mention the powerful symbolic power of it, all religions is based on it.

    Primitive people rely more on the reptilian and mamalian brains than we do and this accounts for their high levels of intuition and deep connection with nature. Civilized people tend to rely on rational or logical thinking (prefrontal cortex) much more.

    So I believe we should learn to use those primitive brains, instead of using the prefrontal cortex for everything, as most modern people do.

    In a way, I am contradicting my political views, because Ayn Rand is a prime exponent of the later example. She only used logical thinking, i.e. prefrontal cortex.

    I only wanted to point out your ignorance of the subject... and as a side effect I may have supported Suelo's point of view.

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  86. *all religion is based on it*

    (reptilian brain)

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  87. "Wow Little House. Amazing story. It's good to hear you're pulling through okay. Hope everything works out for you. I guess you are somewhere in Kansas because I don't know of any other state which pays less than minimum wage for waiting tables."

    Texas pays $2.13 an hour for waiting tables. Most people are lucky to break even at $8.00 an hour nowadays once the "tips" have been factored in. It's horrible. Most of the Bible Belt states and the southern portions of the Mid West are like this. They're more on fire for the Lord so to speak and lack the most compassion for the poor at the same time. Today's "Christianity" falls short of anything decent and wholesome that's for sure.

    Little House,

    Your husband did nothing wrong. He's got the right education and has a solid work history. He's obviously been a great provider for his family up until he lost his middle class lifestyle but if the jobs aren't there then there's nothing he can do. That's what these prosperity doctrine "compassionate" conservatives "fail" to understand.

    "I can't imagine why Miguel devotes so much time here. I suspect he's working for some republican-like think tank to keep everyone arguing rather than organizing a system like I suggested above in which banks are not part of the system." - Michael

    Listening to him is like talking with the average Fox news watching Southern Baptist Bubba here in the Ark-La-Tex where I reside. It's like someone scratching a chalk board. EEK!

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  88. So much for critical thinking...

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  89. A funny thing is that I tend to take a leftist stance when discussing with right wingers and I am called all sorts of names, like hippie, terrorist...

    I am sorry to say the same lack of critical thinking is far too obvious with them as it is with you. Simplistic thinking, labeling, attacks, etc...

    It seems people just can't consider different points of views to their own. Sad but true.

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  90. The phantom of contrariness and contradiction feeds on argument and loves to get your goat. If folks want the phantom to continue and like going in circles, keep arguing with it.

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  91. you've properly seen thru the fiat money system, but i'm afraid you've confused the current world system as being a capitalist system and one ayn rand would agree with. however, once gold is replaced by fiat money, the same system morphs into a completely different system, with different results.

    in fact, ayn rand was very much opposed to fiat money, and stridently in favor of gold as money. more gold cannot just be printed up like fiat money can, and hence a bank loan would not be "fictional" money, but would represent the real savings (the foregone consumption) of other people, as mediated via the banks, to be invested in more efficient production, with the interest paid out of the increased efficiency. consumer loans don't make much sense in such a system.

    unfortunately, ayn rand's disciple, alan greenspan, became federal reserve chairman, and apparently forgot everything. or perhaps all he learned from ayn rand was not her philosophy, but how to run a personality cult. or else he intentionally rigged the system to collapse.

    --sgl

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  92. We are being gamed by the banks, no doubt. Also, nowadays, we constantly have to re-buy everything because nothing lasts very long.
    In 1952 my dad bought a leaf rake at the hardware store for $5.00, he still has it over 50 years later. I can still buy a China made leaf rake for $5.00, but it would not make it til spring. This is just one of the reasons people can't save like they used to. We pull the plow and the scammers line up to pick our pockets, and we come back for more of their crap.
    Not all of us can do what Daniel does, but we can all quit buying the crap they are selling.

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  93. sgl, thanks. It's nice to get a challenging comment that's not reactionary & irrational. I should learn more of Rand's philosophy if I'm going to be her critic. But, to quote my essay above, "If money today were just, it indeed would be as Ayn Rand describes it." Perhaps she described money in a more ideal world, but not today's money. I believe the very nature of interest banking, even if we begin using the gold standard, inevitably evolves into unjust money. Money mis-represented goods in ancient times, too, though not to the degree as it does today. Gold didn't make us any less insane, as Columbus, Cortez, & their riff-raff showed. My idealist side envisions us moving beyond all money. Meanwhile, we must make concessions while money is still in the world & those who use it must use it justly; maybe Rand describes how to do that. I admit I don't know enough of her philosophy to know this for sure. We shouldn't judge her by the actions of her "followers," (who are reeking havoc on the world) in the same way we shouldn't judge Jesus by his havoc-reeking "followers."

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  94. Good points, Suelo. I want to apologize for arguing so much with Miguel. I'm sure he'll continue to make his comments regardless of whether I comment on his, but I do tend to add fuel to the fire. Like I said before, I don't mind debates, but I do mind them when the goal posts shift to suit a counterargument.

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  95. "The phantom of contrariness and contradiction feeds on argument and loves to get your goat. If folks want the phantom to continue and like going in circles, keep arguing with it." - Suelo

    Ain't that the truth?! lol

    "We shouldn't judge her (Ayn Rand) by the actions of her "followers," (who are reeking havoc on the world) in the same way we shouldn't judge Jesus by his havoc-reeking "followers." - Suelo

    While I agree to a large extent I still find her views to be based on materialism and exploitation of the earth's resources while also lacking compassion for the less fortunate. That's not the sort of system we need in place. Still, I need to read more on her philosophies so I too can be a better critic of her.

    "In 1952 my dad bought a leaf rake at the hardware store for $5.00, he still has it over 50 years later. I can still buy a China made leaf rake for $5.00, but it would not make it til spring. This is just one of the reasons people can't save like they used to. We pull the plow and the scammers line up to pick our pockets, and we come back for more of their crap.
    Not all of us can do what Daniel does, but we can all quit buying the crap they are selling."

    That's a very good point. It cost more to live nowadays. Even the poorest of the poor back then could afford the luxury of a stay-at-home wife, children,a small home,spending and savings money. Not anymore. That's what these "compassionate" conservatives "fail" to realize. They're under the illusion that anyone can find a job and afford to live the way people did 50 years ago. They're sadly mistaken. With all that said - for those of us who are not burdened with the obligations of family and etc if we're willing to take the plunge as Daniel and Roy did we just might find that while it has it's challenges it also has it's benefits.

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  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  97. "You reap what you sow." - Anonymous

    It seems the oligarchs are above this karmic law.

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  98. I agree with you, Ben, about Rand. I've read some of her stuff & seen a couple interviews & thought her heart was pretty rock-hard & cold. But I still need to know more about her before critiquing her further. We really do need more compassion more than we need more ideas. I would sacrifice all of civilization for a little more compassion.

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  99. Suelo, I've read some of her articles and seen some of her interviews and it was very disturbing to say the least. Still, I need to further my education about her ideas before judging her too harshly. Otherwise, it only makes me out to look a fool.

    I have no qualms with civilization and technology BUT not at the expense of people's suffering. I just wish more people had a warmer heart in regards to the well being of others. The world would certainly be a better place if that was the case.

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  100. Would you believe it, if I could prove that this site is a hoax?

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  101. This site should be called "The Bitch and Moan" society!

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  102. suelo: "My idealist side envisions us moving beyond all money."

    how? the problem becomes how do you determine how much of each product to produce, without knowing how much people what which products? eg, how much of societies resources should be devoted to building washing machines, vs how much devoted to rock music, vs how much to opera and ballet, vs how much to building houses? and how much steel should be made, and what quality? how many people should train to be electrical engineers and how many nurses?

    the austrian economists showed that in a socialist economy, they'd have great difficulty being efficient, without having some sort of pricing mechanism to adjust the system with. they predicted these problems in the 1920's-1930's, long before the soviet union ultimately collapsed, for many of the reasons they predicted. i'd say there predictive power gives a strong justification for at least attempting to understand what they were talking about.

    --------------------
    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_School#Economic_calculation_problem
    or
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_calculation_problem

    The economic calculation problem is a criticism of central economic planning. It was first proposed by Ludwig von Mises in 1920 and later expounded by Friedrich Hayek.[1][2] The problem referred to is that of how to distribute resources rationally in an economy. The free market solution is the price mechanism, wherein people individually have the ability to decide how a good or service should be distributed based on their willingness to give money for it. The price conveys embedded information about the abundance of resources as well as their desirability which in turn allows, on the basis of individual consensual decisions, corrections that prevent shortages and surpluses; Mises and Hayek argued that this is the only possible solution, and without the information provided by market prices socialism lacks a method to rationally allocate resources.
    ----------

    and that assumes that the people making all the centralized decisions were not corrupt and greedy themselves. ie, who watches the watchers? who polices the police? again, as the soviet union demonstrated, the elites had special shops they could shop in, where the average people weren't allowed to shop.

    of course, our own current system has been corrupted as well, with the elites getting special privileges that others do not get. to me, *that* is the problem, not a free market itself.

    unfortunately, since so few people seem to understand that, we're likely to give up even more control to some set of elites (even if it's a new set of elites) to make decisions for us. with all the endemic corruption that entails.

    --sgl

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  103. How do the complex structures in nature work and organize themselves, without any overseers or rulers? Is the infinite universe outside our teeny tiny system a naive dream some idealist conjured up? The secret isn't figuring out "how?" but to stop asking "how?"

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  104. Yes, that's how the open economic markets work!.

    Spontaneous order!

    This doesn't happen in centralized economies...

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  105. Yes, I think this spontaneous order (uncontrolled "free market" idea) is where some folks have told me I sounded like an Ayn Randian or Republican or Libertarian. But I'm saying they don't go far enough, because the very nature of money itself is control, lack of faith in the "free market" of all of nature, the Self-Ordering principle that Chaos and Complexity theorists have been discovering. Funny thing is, you don't have to know all that jargon or theories for it to work. It just does.

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  106. Suelo, you could take the following (free) tests to determine your political orientation:


    World's Smallest Political Quiz

    http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz


    Or this one:

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/

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  107. Little House, you have not hijacked the blog. In fact, you're exactly what this blog needs, more people who have documented their lives. By doing so you've shown the courage to give practical, real-life examples of how progressive ideas can be lived.

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  108. People documenting their lives likes Suelo, Roy, Me, Little House and Ben are examples of people trying to show how it's applied rather than wandering circles in a philosophical ether.

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