1. First question I must ask is how’s the decline going? What are you filling your days with?
The decline is going good and bad. “Good” in the sense there is unlimited freedom and I do pack my days in with stuff I truly enjoy. My sleep has been not only improving, but increasing. I’m averaging around 9 hours of sleep a night. I run and work out every day and feel much better health wise. I play/blog on the internet and get paid. Have taken the occasional trip south to avoid the cold. And once it stops snowing here in Minnesota I’ll be able to head out on a couple motorcycle treks I’ve been planning.
The “bad” part is that having such freedom and liberty is the excess of time you have. You really need to work at keeping occupied and if you don’t, your mind will atrophy and you WILL get down. Nobody else is around as most of your friends are working 9-5 gigs and stuck in traffic till 7. And even then, when people get back from work they’re tired and don’t feel like going out. You are on a completely different time schedule than they are and must adapt. It is very much like what older people experience when they retire. After 50 years (in my case 15) of a day in, day out schedule, it takes a while for your brain to deprogram and adjust to a retirement-esque lifestyle.
2. Recently the big news was how Cyprus savers were going to have 10% of their money confiscated to bail out their failings banks. What advice do you have for Americans who hold savings accounts? If things get rough here, which assets do you think they will go after first?
My advice to people with savings accounts, checking accounts, and any kind of retirement fund is to diversify, diversify, diversify. You need to prepare for the chance that the government will come in and confiscate you bank and retirement accounts. At the same time you cannot convert all the money in your checking account into silver bullion. And as it just so happens I believe 401k’s and IRA’s (since they ultimately derive their value from the future earnings of the underlying stocks that compose them) are naturally hedged against hyper-inflation, so I wouldn’t liquidate those either.
What you want to do is have some “non-traditional” investments such as silver bullion, gold bullion, guns, skills and trades AND you want them in physical possession. The reason is two fold. First, such investments would dramatically increase should the government opt to nationalize your various savings and investment accounts. Second, in PHYSICALLY possessing them, the government cannot merely with a flick of a switch, transfer your electronically stored retirement account to the US Treasury’s coffers. A lot of people recommend owning “paper” silver or gold (meaning mutual funds that invest in gold or silver mining companies), but again, if that is on electronic record, you will be helpless to stop the feds from taking your investments electronically. You don’t need a ton (because if that happens prices of physical commodities will skyrocket), but you at least need SOME.
3. In my review of your book, there were many critical comments about libertarianism (I remember one saying that libertarians should move to Somalia). Why do you think there is such a knee-jerk reaction to this ideology?
You got me. The libertarian ideology is what America was founded on. Both SOCIAL and ECONOMIC freedom. You leave me alone, let me practice whatever religion, marry who I want, smoke whatever I want, and let me keep the vast majority of the fruits of my labor – as long as I’m not hurting anybody, it’s all good. How you can argue against a system like that, I don’t know because it is the most adult and successful political model ever devised. I believe it is either people who are too lazy to read up on basic libertarianism or libertarians themselves who speak poorly and give the rest of us a bad reputation.
4. I gave my 16-year-old brother your book Worthless, where you advise against picking a liberal arts major that will not lead to a good job. You advise students to pick a STEM major instead, but with the economy going the way it is, do you still think STEM is safe? What advice would you give my brother today?
You are absolutely correct and I do try to address that in one of the chapters about how not all STEM degrees are safe depending on economic circumstances. For example computer programming was the cat’s meow back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s until somebody realized Punjab in India can do it for a fraction of the cost than somebody in Palo Alto. There was a bio-medical bubble that (though outshone by the Dotcom bubble) left more than a handful of biology majors high and dry. And petroleum engineering (considered the highest earning field) can suffer as oil booms and busts occur.
A good bit of advice when considering a STEM field is to ask “does the job require a physical presence or can it be outsourced over the internet?” This makes even a trade like being an electrician a much more lucrative and stable field than computer programming. However, overall STEM majors are a better bet than liberal arts even if you choose one that is not in demand in that you can re-purpose your original degree into another STEM field that is in demand.
5. Your newest book has sold well and your profile has risen. How do you see your role in the next five years as a critic of liberalism and feminism? What do you hope to accomplish?
Mockery, ridicule and “I-told-you-so-ism.” There really isn’t much I can do to stop the overall educational, demographic, sociological and political trends in the United States and Western societies. This IS a democracy, and if people prefer to watch “Teen Idol” rather than educate themselves about government finances then it is a fool’s errand to try to break through to these people. My life is too short for that.
Instead I will continue to point out the absurdity of both religions (leftism and feminism) not just to increase the blood pressure of their adherents, but do what I can to help the younger generations avoid the fate that most leftists and feminists suffer. I also plan on living my life to it’s maximum level of enjoyment and fun. Not just for my sake, but to lead by example and provide people not so much “hope” as much as it is some general guidelines or advice that will make their lives easier. Besides, nothing angers a feminist or a socialist more than a bachelor who refuses to work, refuses to pay taxes, refuses to have children, refuses to “work for the commune,” and instead lives life solely for himself, achieving things they never will.
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