Life Partner Choice

I am lucky beyond my wildest dreams to be married to Laurel. Her example has made me much kinder, her stability has helped me become healthier, and her support has helped me to build my company.

I have kept a spreadsheet for several years now tracking my happiness every day. The last twelve months of my happiness has averaged a 7.4 rating. The last twelve months of my last relationship was only a 5.5 average for my happiness.

Nothing in my life has ever impacted my life as much as my decision of who I married.

If I was to apply a 10 point scale to things that have most affected my happiness it would be as follows:

  • Life Partner – 10
  • Building my company – 6
  • Exercise and eating healthy – 4
  • Financial success – 2
  • Everything else

This is a pretty sloppy scale to be honest.

In the past, there have been times when I was around very bad people (my parents when I was a kid) or drank way too much booze (young adulthood) or felt purposeless. I have considered suicide or violence in those periods and I have gotten very down.

The last few years have been incredibly good, and stopping drinking a little under a year ago was a big part of that too.

Laurel has helped me become steadily happier and more stable every year we have spent together. We both agree that the last six months have been the best we’ve ever had – and for me it is the best of my life for sure.

Riverworld Book Series

I just finished the first two books of the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer. The basic premise is that all of humanity – ranging from people who lived in 100,000 BC to 2000 AD all are resurrected on a terraformed planet criss-crossed by an enormous twenty million mile long river. Many people are resurrected near people they know, but many more are resurrected randomly. Every time someone dies on this world, they are reincarnated the next day next to a Grailstone. Grailstones are huge rocks that provide food and supplies for people every day all along the river. People no longer have to work for food.

I think this is one of the most fantastic world ideas, but isn’t that well executed (though Farmer won a Hugo). The author has character options ranging from Julius Caesar to Einstein to Shakespeare. The author chose to follow Sam Clemens (who’s pen name is Mark Twain)… I think this could have been a good choice had the author been better able to mimic Clemens style. “A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court” was one of the best books ever written – dark, and bitter funny. I don’t think Farmer was able to capture Clemens sense of humor properly though.

I was happy to hear that Farmer opened up the world and invited other authors to write books inside his universe. I might actually have a little fun trying my hand at fan fiction once I finish the series and write a short story here on my blog.

The next book was written seven years after the first – my hope is that Farmer has improved his style over time. We will see.

 

Google Project Fi Discount Link Code- Best Cell Phone Provider

I am a HUGE fan of Google’s new Project Fi. I wanted to share my discount link that will give people who sign up a $20 credit (and I get one too, but $20 makes zero difference to me).

I have never referred people to my previous cell phone providers (Verizon and AT&T) because I hated them. I constantly got scammy overcharges from them and their customer service was terrible.

Google Fi is less than HALF the price I was paying for Verizon and works much better. My last bill from Verizon three months ago was for $130 for unlimited calls and text and only a few gigabytes of data. My last bill from Google Project Fi was $53 (unlimited calls and texts for $20, and 2.5 GB at $10 per GB).

I am using the Google Pixel 2XL phone which is the best phone I have ever had by far as well. The Samsung S8 had tons of bloatware crap on it, especially their useless Bixby assistant that every time you held the phone you would accidentally touch the button and this annoying AI would start up.

My phone service is perfect, the phone will make calls on Wifi, and my price is less than half what I used to pay. Awesome.

 

Tax Wealth Not Income

Generations of Americans have had the hope that they have a chance to build a fortune if they work hard. The American Dream is a fundamental to our country’s self image.

Taxing income undermines the American Dream. Income taxes take from those who are currently working hard and investing to grow our country. We should completely remove income taxes.

We should tax wealth instead. The children of wealthy people are often recognized to be lazy, scummy, and entitled. These are the people who should be taxed – not hard working entrepreneurs and the general workforce. Wealth is just money that is not doing any work. If you own wealth, you should invest it and try to earn returns. If you don’t invest wisely, that money should be taxed and reinvested elsewhere.

A tax of only 1.5% on financial assets like stocks and real estate and vehicles would more than replace the revenue generated by all income taxes.

The vast majority of American families would receive a MASSIVE tax cut from this. Most would pay nothing. Instead, useless people like Alice Walton (daughter of Sam Walton who drove drunk and also killed a pedestrian while speeding) would pay taxes.

The toughest part of this tax would be liquidity (some people couldn’t easily sell part of their wealth to pay the tax) and valuation (how do you value an item that has not been sold in 30 years?).

I did a Google search and here are some articles that also advocate this idea:

Did Capitalism and Oil End Slavery?

I was listening to my Audible course recommended by Jeremy, “The other side of History: The Daily Life In the Ancient World” about what life was like for average people in Rome.

The professor pointed out that not a single citizen in ancient Rome or Greece to our knowledge ever opposed slavery. None of the great philosophers or statesmen, nor any other person ever wrote that they opposed slavery. Why is this? Why would there have been no abolitionists amongst any of the great Greek or Roman philosophers and thinkers?

Modern day people forget about how much work it takes to stay alive. Nearly 80% of people up until a few hundred years ago spent their entire lives working in agriculture. The other crafts such as making clothes, building shelter, blacksmiths, toolmakers, barbers, and others would have consumed all the rest of human productivity. Most people would have lived in abject poverty with barely enough food and other materials to survive.

Without the innovation of capitalism, how were people motivated to work in the ancient world? Clearly the answer was through forced labor. Without capitalism, no one had much incentive to innovate – or if they did innovate they had no way to get their new idea out to the masses and their innovations probably died with them.

In today’s world, people don’t need to be forced to work hard and long hours. They are actually excited to do so in the hopes of improving their lot in our world. No one needs to get out a whip and chains to make me get up each day to work – I do so willingly. No one else is enslaved in American society either – even people in the lowest income brackets willingly get up each day and go to Walmart or wherever and do their jobs. There are no slavemasters who crucify those who disobey like there were in the Roman world. You may jokingly call your boss a slavemaster but your boss does not have the right to beat, rape, torture, or murder you for not working hard enough.

Another major factor is oil. In today’s modern world, less than 1.5% of people work in agriculture. How did we move 78% of humanity out of farming? Through the innovations brought by capitalism, and the energy to power those innovations brought by oil.

Remember – all work requires units of energy called “calories”. The average human typically consumes 2,000 calories a day or a bit more depending on their physical activity. A single gallon of oil has 35,000 calories – and this energy can be released very quickly. Large scale farming equipment can burn this in minutes, and do the work that it used to take dozens or hundreds of people to do.

The Soviet Union also had oil, but it’s people lived in horrifying poverty because they lacked capitalism. No one was motivated to work, so no one did. The only workable systems for motivating humans mankind has found so far are either forced labor or capitalism.

I think people who oppose capitalism should suggest an alternative system of motivation for humans at a scale beyond just a few people… I don’t think I’ve seen one that works.

Capitalism and oil freed humanity from slavery.

Why Work?

Every morning I wake up thinking about revenues and expenses. I fall asleep planning some new hare-brained idea to try out in the business. Betweentimes I grind through piles of high priority tasks.

I started my career wanting to work to earn money to have freedom to party and to do fun things. The odd thing is that to truly earn money you need to give up the day to day focus on money. You need to look at other things or you will fail when you reach artificial summits in the foothills of wealth. Money for me is no longer a means to purchase goods and services for my happiness. Money is now a scoreboard on life’s video game.

I have been financially independent for several years and could stop working to do anything I wish. But what other game could I play?

I am now working and making many other people wealthy – my employees, my clients, and those I mentor. This is a positive side effect, but still just a side effect of my competitive drive to move my company up the grand scoreboard of economics.

There is nothing else in life I do as well as this. My basketball skills are questionable, my writing is passable, but anything having to do with business has been honed through painful fires. Recruiting, negotiating, marketing, sales, operations, the law, programming, training all are world class.

People don’t know you for your inner world. They generally don’t care if you’re a nice guy, or that you have good intentions. They remember you for what you do; if you volunteer for the Red Cross every day they think of you as a charitable person. If you are like Laurel’s dad and will help anyone with anything they ask, they will remember you as a kind person. If you work in writing, you are an author.

In the world of economics, I am surrounded by titans thousands of times larger than I am. I am so small as to be invisible. To others, I am a hundred times larger than they are. I’d like my business to join the titans one day.

Even my business failures are grander than my wins elsewhere. The enemies I made in romance hate me more for what I did in business than in the home.