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Huh? "Not necessarily untrue" does NOT mean "both true and untrue". It means possibly true, or possibly untrue. I believe my post to be true as I am not in the habit of posting untruths.

You have been hanging out too much with those Epistemologists again.

Maybe it's time for me to go semantical with you.

--Brant

it's a dance

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The cost of labour is, of course, the largest cost borne by employers. It is also the cost that is easiest for them to cut, as it is the only factor in the economic equation of their business which is in their control. But it is not the only factor in a business failure, and it is often a lose-lose solution when used to help a failing business survive.

Nothing you are saying here is necessarily true. You seem to be arguing out of a philosophy unleavened by experience; I can't tell.

--Brant

Nor is it necessarily untrue.

What you said means "It could also be true in some situations."

Which does not contradict what Brant said.

But you're wrong if you think labor is an easy cost to cut. If it was nobody would have a job.

Wages seem high to employers right now because of extra costs involved in running a business--taxes and regulations. To employees wages seem low right now because of the rapidly increasing cost of living.

Government employees make more than private sector workers and that is obviously unsustainable, because the government employees don't give money any value. If all the government jobs disappeared over night, save police, money would still be useful. If all the private sector workers disappeared nobody would have any use for the USD...

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I will start school next month as a freshman. My financial aid package comes from the federal government, the state government, and the Army. I'm conflicted with the morality of accepting government aid, and I would prefer to only use private loans, but the current market just isn't set up for this kind of loan shopping. Every single student who attends university will use some form of government-subsidized financial aid (unless the student attends a private university and pays all tuition and fees personally).

Is it moral to accept government-subsidized financial aid as a student? It seems literally impossible to pay for school without it, since students are *expected* to either pay for everything out of their pockets or accept government aid. I don't want to have to accept government aid, but it seems like the only available option whether I had more money or not.

What are you going to study and why do you want to study it?

--Brant

I'm going to earn two bachelor's degrees: in Economics and Finance. Firstly, I think these two degrees will maximize my career potential and income, because we can't all be Art History or Clarinet majors.

I want to study economics because I'm fascinated by the science of our choices and how we decide different courses of action based on scarcity. I The Wealth of Nations, Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose," Atlas Shrugged, and other random books on economics/business ethics in high school.

I want to study finance because I want to apply my economics education in an investment banking-related career. Investment (or making money by making other people money, as I often simplify it), interests me and I can't think of anything more virtuous.

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I'm impressed with all the discussion on this thread! I almost forgot about this thread I posted. I read through every page, and I'm going to accept the government loans. HOWEVER, I declined 2 loans that were offered to me based on my ethnicity.

I'm 25% German, 25% Italian (maternally; mom's dad is Italian, mom's mom is German) and 38% black, 12% Native American (paternally; dad's dad is black, dad's mom is half NA, half black).

I suppose there's no solid reason for me declining those loans if I'm just going to accept the other ones anyway, but my soft rationale is that

(1) I think it's insulting for the government to offer me more money than other people because I'm a minority (implying that minorities are collectivistically inferior or can't make it by themselves) and

(2) I don't want my acceptance of these race-based loans to come back and haunt me when I rail against affirmative action programs if people accuse me of benefiting from them.

My high school classmates frequently told me (like I wasn't aware) that I would have more opportunities for money because I'm a minority. I declared no response to my ethnicity on my university application, but I was required to declare at least one before applying for scholarships/loans.

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I will start school next month as a freshman. My financial aid package comes from the federal government, the state government, and the Army. I'm conflicted with the morality of accepting government aid, and I would prefer to only use private loans, but the current market just isn't set up for this kind of loan shopping. Every single student who attends university will use some form of government-subsidized financial aid (unless the student attends a private university and pays all tuition and fees personally).

Is it moral to accept government-subsidized financial aid as a student? It seems literally impossible to pay for school without it, since students are *expected* to either pay for everything out of their pockets or accept government aid. I don't want to have to accept government aid, but it seems like the only available option whether I had more money or not.

What are you going to study and why do you want to study it?

--Brant

I'm going to earn two bachelor's degrees: in Economics and Finance. Firstly, I think these two degrees will maximize my career potential and income, because we can't all be Art History or Clarinet majors.

I want to study economics because I'm fascinated by the science of our choices and how we decide different courses of action based on scarcity. I The Wealth of Nations, Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose," Atlas Shrugged, and other random books on economics/business ethics in high school.

I want to study finance because I want to apply my economics education in an investment banking-related career. Investment (or making money by making other people money, as I often simplify it), interests me and I can't think of anything more virtuous.

Finance will probably be alright. I'm dubious of the quality of college economic teaching.

Investment banking tends to be inter-companies. If James Taggart were to be representative of investment banking, and that would be accurate, you would be Cherryl with stars still in her eyes and I, Dagny.

Money doesn't make money. Money takes money. Money used as capital creates wealth.

I'm not going to give you any advice or suggestions, except there is one book you need to read right now: Choose Yourself, by James Altucher.

--Brant

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I'm impressed with all the discussion on this thread! I almost forgot about this thread I posted. I read through every page, and I'm going to accept the government loans. HOWEVER, I declined 2 loans that were offered to me based on my ethnicity.

I'm 25% German, 25% Italian (maternally; mom's dad is Italian, mom's mom is German) and 38% black, 12% Native American (paternally; dad's dad is black, dad's mom is half NA, half black).

I suppose there's no solid reason for me declining those loans if I'm just going to accept the other ones anyway, but my soft rationale is that

(1) I think it's insulting for the government to offer me more money than other people because I'm a minority (implying that minorities are collectivistically inferior or can't make it by themselves) and

(2) I don't want my acceptance of these race-based loans to come back and haunt me when I rail against affirmative action programs if people accuse me of benefiting from them.

My high school classmates frequently told me (like I wasn't aware) that I would have more opportunities for money because I'm a minority. I declared no response to my ethnicity on my university application, but I was required to declare at least one before applying for scholarships/loans.

I think your reasoning is sound on this.

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My high school classmates frequently told me (like I wasn't aware) that I would have more opportunities for money because I'm a minority. I declared no response to my ethnicity on my university application, but I was required to declare at least one before applying for scholarships/loans.

I think your reasoning is sound on this.

In all forms and questionnaires I fill out, I almost always respond to the question race(?) with "human". One exception. In medical questionnaires where my genetic background is relevant to diagnosis or treatment I will respond with "Caucasian". There are some situations where one's genetic background does matter.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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"

lol... the balance of power in the workplace is heavily in favor of the worker.

And for that reason the consumer is fucked (also the worker).

"So to his boss he walked, and said,

Look here, the answer's No

And let me know Bill, on this day,

If from here I must go."

-John Rearden

reproduced without permission

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lol... the balance of power in the workplace is heavily in favor of the worker.

And for that reason the consumer is fucked (also the worker).

Alright, you lost me here.

Offering someone money to do a job is not power. They can say no. An employee can legally quit at any time without any legal ramifications (unless they are under contract which would have outlined a specific cost to them for leaving early).

However, an employer cannot just stop paying an employee. And even if they do everything right, the ex-employee can make a number of false claims against the employer (he didn't let me have breaks, he wouldn't accommodate my disability etc.) that can cause a lot of problems.

It's simple... legally, employers have no power, which is good. Employees though, do have power, which is not good.

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I'm not going to give you any advice or suggestions, except there is one book you need to read right now: Choose Yourself, by James Altucher.

--Brant

I'm inherently skeptical of self-help books of this type, but if somebody strongly recommends one, I'm generallly willing to take a look. I do like some of the classics in the genre, like How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I read some extended excerpts from the book online and people's reviews of it. Once we strip away all the filler material ("don't eat junkfood" "write two hours a day" etc.) the author seems to be basically advocating a high-risk/high-reward lifestyle and shunning more traditional options that have the potential for phenomenal success or failure removed. After 17 business failures and a couple of notable successes that worked out well for him in the end, I can see why he's an advocate of try-try-again. But I'm left wondering how many hundreds of people did essentially the same thing and ended up dead, in prison, or perpetually bankrupt - they're not going to be writing or selling a book anytime soon, so there's a risk of selection bias there. To personalize a bit, I'm starting up a family and earning good money as a "wage slave," so it's not obvious to me that I should throw my life savings into a bunch of speculative start-ups and bet the farm at the moment. I don't think that would be responsible to my wife or (future) children. Although not 100% fulfilled (who is?), I can afford everything I need right now, and most of the things I "want." If given the option of potentially going bust and losing it all in exchange for a chance to triple my salary, I'd probably decline.

I'm not going to condemn a book I haven't read, but I'm still left... skeptical. I'd be interested in hearing how this book helped you in a concrete way (if it did). I like a few of the suggestions I saw quoted, like writing down some different ideas every day.

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I'm not going to give you any advice or suggestions, except there is one book you need to read right now: Choose Yourself, by James Altucher.

--Brant

I'm inherently skeptical of self-help books of this type, but if somebody strongly recommends one, I'm generallly willing to take a look. I do like some of the classics in the genre, like How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I read some extended excerpts from the book online and people's reviews of it. Once we strip away all the filler material ("don't eat junkfood" "write two hours a day" etc.) the author seems to be basically advocating a high-risk/high-reward lifestyle and shunning more traditional options that have the potential for phenomenal success or failure removed. After 17 business failures and a couple of notable successes that worked out well for him in the end, I can see why he's an advocate of try-try-again. But I'm left wondering how many hundreds of people did essentially the same thing and ended up dead, in prison, or perpetually bankrupt - they're not going to be writing or selling a book anytime soon, so there's a risk of selection bias there. To personalize a bit, I'm starting up a family and earning good money as a "wage slave," so it's not obvious to me that I should throw my life savings into a bunch of speculative start-ups and bet the farm at the moment. I don't think that would be responsible to my wife or (future) children. Although not 100% fulfilled (who is?), I can afford everything I need right now, and most of the things I "want." If given the option of potentially going bust and losing it all in exchange for a chance to triple my salary, I'd probably decline.

I'm not going to condemn a book I haven't read, but I'm still left... skeptical. I'd be interested in hearing how this book helped you in a concrete way (if it did). I like a few of the suggestions I saw quoted, like writing down some different ideas every day.

It is an interesting trick of the brain that--because I can't help but associate you with your avatar picture--I would have never guessed that you were a young man about to start a family.

And, as a fellow wage slave, I pretty much agree with everything you wrote.

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Because of this discussion, I looked at some of the Amazon reader reviews for Choose Yourself!.

The following one-star bash is almost a recommendation for O-Land:

I found nothing worthwhile in this book. The saddest thing is that this book was recommended by someone I thought had similar thoughts and values that I did. He was wild about it! So, if he was wild about it, I conclude that he and I have nothing in common. I know that I have nothing in common with James Altucher. I read over 170 pages assuming it would get better, but I was wrong! I finally quit reading to write this product review. I was offended by the many uses of slang and obscene words that added nothing to the topic. The title says it all --- there is nothing about altruistic values in this book. It is a sad commentary on the moral degradation that is so common now.


No altruistic values?

Heh.

Michael

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In one of the videos I've watched of Altucher he talks about the difference between trying to achieve goals and trying to achieve a theme for your life. A goal, obviously, is done once you achieve it; a theme must be maintained.

I strongly agree with him when he said that rather than trying to make money (or anything that could be thought of as a reward), it's better to try to think of ways you can provide value--which is the only aspect of the money making process you can control--and then just let the rewards come as they do, without trying to control that side of things.

This ties in with my belief that benevolence is at the core of happiness, though it obviously needs to be supported by positive feedback from reality.

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I like Nassim Taleb's concept of "antifragility" - that individuals should expose themselves to positive Black Swan events (unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence) while at the same time protecting themselves from ruinous situations that could occur from adopting too much risk.

In other words, instead of throwing all your money into an idea, crashing, rebuilding, throwing money into another idea, crashing, rebuilding, and so on until you strike it rich (or die trying) - the Altucher method - Taleb would say hold a steady salaried job not subject to large shocks and live comfortably while throwing your spare money into extremely speculative stocks and projects that could make it big but won't affect you much if they fail totally.

Taleb's approach is less likely to make you a millionaire, but it's even less likely to leave you homeless, destitute, and potentially ruined, as Altucher claims he was at multiple points in his life (and apparently considers a selling point).

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In other words, instead of throwing all your money into an idea, crashing, rebuilding, throwing money into another idea, crashing, rebuilding, and so on until you strike it rich (or die trying) - the Altucher method -

I don't think this is his method. He argues that people should not own houses because it's such a huge, non-liquid investment, and suggests we should think of houses as any other investment. You wouldn't put 80% of your money into a stock, so why put it into a house? Now you can't move around (jobs you can take are now limited), you have all sorts of other expenses associated with owning a house, and you can't sell it quickly if you're ever in trouble. I don't think he would recommend anyone bet it all on a business idea, either.

But most of what I've heard him talk about is how to spend your time and effort, not so much financial and career advice. He thinks every corporation will eventually fire all their employees and replace them with temp workers who they can pay less and not give benefits--meaning everyone else will be an entrepreneur or an artist of some kind.

If you don't want to be a temp worker, or just have a job you don't care about, you better be exercising your "idea muscle", as he calls it. And he insists that the idea muscle atrophies just like your legs would if you didn't walk on them for two weeks.

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The book rec. was for a young man going to college. If you want to become a rich wage slave, I can clue you on there too, if you have enough time for that ahead of you*. And please read the whole book and understand most of what the author describes he would not do again knowing what he knows and knowing what he knows--now--is the whole point. I call it skip (over a bunch of crap) learning.

--Brant

*not talking about the actual work one does

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