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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-10-2005, 10:08 PM   #21
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by yakers
Now that sounds like a good idea for a book!
Yeah, what's up with that book?*

Last time I looked it said it was shipping in October, now it says end of November!

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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 07:18 AM   #22
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by ESRBob
So I guess ER could be described as a personal journey that some people will be fortunate enough to make -- you suck it up and play adroitly within the system to escape the system, all the while knowing that some people, who will never be able to escape, are the ones delivering the dividend on your stocks and the low-priced food to your supermarket.

Is it any wonder ERs are sometimes edgy about the morality of what we're doing?* *
Hmmm, I guess I don't think of it in those terms. I wish that there weren't grinding poverty and misery all over the world and even in my very backyard, but that is the sad state of the world. I can't change that, especally while the vast majority of my time and energy are going into my work. As such, I can only affect the things within my little circle of the world. I try hard to do right by my family; I give the best financial advice I can to my family and friends; I donate what I can affford to; I teach my child what I think is right; and I keep putting one foot in front of the other. If I do make it to FIRE, I expect to spend a certain amount of my time trying to make the world a beter place. By and large, I simply cannot do more than little bits of that here and there because I am too busy working.

Does this help the minimum wage worker? Nope. But I can't do anything about it right now.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 10:50 AM   #23
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Sheryl


Last time I looked it said it was shipping in October, now it says end of November!
Sheryl,
the publisher (Nolo) tells me the book will be in their offices/warehouse end of next week, (Oct 20/21) and therefore in stores and to the online selelrs around end of October. Not sure who (Amazon?) is saying end of November but that sounds like boilerplate CYA. I'll let you know if I hear any changes in that delivery status. Thanks.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 01:39 PM   #24
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by ESRBob
Sheryl,
the publisher (Nolo) tells me the book will be in their offices/warehouse end of next week, (Oct 20/21) and therefore in stores and to the online selelrs around end of October.* Not sure who (Amazon?) is saying end of November but that sounds like boilerplate CYA.* I'll let you know if I hear any changes in that delivery status.* Thanks.
Hey, thanks Bob - I was just giving you a little grief. The shipping date I quoted was from Amazon. It probably is a bit of CYA - I'll be sure to let you know when it actually ships. I just wanted to be among the first to get my order in!
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 04:08 PM   #25
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
I wish that there weren't grinding poverty and misery all over the world and even in my very backyard, but that is the sad state of the world. I can't change that, especally while the vast majority of my time and energy are going into my work. As such, I can only affect the things within my little circle of the world. I try hard to do right by my family; I give the best financial advice I can to my family and friends; I donate what I can affford to; I teach my child what I think is right; and I keep putting one foot in front of the other. If I do make it to FIRE, I expect to spend a certain amount of my time trying to make the world a beter place. By and large, I simply cannot do more than little bits of that here and there because I am too busy working.

Does this help the minimum wage worker? Nope. But I can't do anything about it right now.
I agree with this perspective. However, I'm going to take things a step further. Although it's probably very un-PC for me to say this, a substantial chunk of the poverty and misery experienced by people -- whether in this country or around the world -- is partially due to poor choices by the "victims" themselves. There's no question that people are taken advantage of by other people, but that doesn't make them "victims" per se. Rather, every bad experience can be taken as a hard lesson and learned from, instead of lamented.

Everyone on this board has had economic hardships in one form or another, bad bosses, poor work environments, low pay, etc... Did we look to the Government or other people to solve our problems? For the most part, I'm assuming we didn't. Perhaps we took advantage of temporary assistance, but that was only until we got back on our feet. We certainly didn't live on food stamps, welfare, etc...for years, and simultaneously complain about the lack of jobs. If jobs were not readily available where we lived, we fought like hell to get one of the few that was, or moved to another city where there were jobs. Likewise, when money was tight, we tightened our belts instead of racking up credit card debt to maintain a lifestyle that we couldn't or could no longer afford.

Perhaps Darwin's theory of evolution applies to human society as well as the animal kingdom?
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 04:37 PM   #26
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
I agree with this perspective.* However, I'm going to take things a step further.* Although it's probably very un-PC for me to say this, a substantial chunk of the poverty and misery experienced by people -- whether in this country or around the world -- is partially due to poor choices by the "victims" themselves.* There's no question that people are taken advantage of by other people, but that doesn't make them "victims" per se.* Rather, every bad experience can be taken as a hard lesson and learned from, instead of lamented.

Everyone on this board has had economic hardships in one form or another, bad bosses, poor work environments, low pay, etc...* Did we look to the Government or other people to solve our problems?* For the most part, I'm assuming we didn't.* Perhaps we took advantage of temporary assistance, but that was only until we got back on our feet.* We certainly didn't live on food stamps, welfare, etc...for years, and simultaneously complain about the lack of jobs.* If jobs were not readily available where we lived, we fought like hell to get one of the few that was, or moved to another city where there were jobs.* Likewise, when money was tight, we tightened our belts instead of racking up credit card debt to maintain a lifestyle that we couldn't or could no longer afford.

Perhaps Darwin's theory of evolution applies to human society as well as the animal kingdom?
I agree. If my government protects me from foreign invaders and domestic guerillas, I would say it's done the bulk of it's job, and for the most part, I can take care of the rest.

Too many people complain about what they don't have, what the government doesn't do for them, and endless reasons why they can't better themselves. It's mostly due to laziness and a lack of respect for themselves.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 04:42 PM   #27
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
I agree with this perspective.* However, I'm going to take things a step further.* Although it's probably very un-PC for me to say this, a substantial chunk of the poverty and misery experienced by people -- whether in this country or around the world -- is partially due to poor choices by the "victims" themselves.* There's no question that people are taken advantage of by other people, but that doesn't make them "victims" per se.* Rather, every bad experience can be taken as a hard lesson and learned from, instead of lamented.

Everyone on this board has had economic hardships in one form or another, bad bosses, poor work environments, low pay, etc...* Did we look to the Government or other people to solve our problems?* For the most part, I'm assuming we didn't.* Perhaps we took advantage of temporary assistance, but that was only until we got back on our feet.* We certainly didn't live on food stamps, welfare, etc...for years, and simultaneously complain about the lack of jobs.* If jobs were not readily available where we lived, we fought like hell to get one of the few that was, or moved to another city where there were jobs.* Likewise, when money was tight, we tightened our belts instead of racking up credit card debt to maintain a lifestyle that we couldn't or could no longer afford.

Perhaps Darwin's theory of evolution applies to human society as well as the animal kingdom?
I think you are letting your ego run away with itself here. How about luck? Any reason I had to be born to a caring family that was reasonably well-off in the wealthiest nation in the world? Was it my gumption and ability that allowed me to avoid impregnating a teenage girlfriend, getting involved with dope, not getting shot or stabbed, not getting into a car accident? Probably not.

Yes, many of us made the most of our opportunities, but we had those opportunities to begin with whereas many others did not.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 04:49 PM   #28
 
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Yes, many of us made the most of our opportunities, but we had those opportunities to begin with whereas many others did not.
Yup, I'm not sure who said it but someone commenting on Bush Sr. (who looks better every day, after watching Jr.)

Said "He woke up on third base and thought he hit a triple!"
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 04:58 PM   #29
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Probably running the wrong way...
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 05:05 PM   #30
 
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Yup, I'm not sure who said it but someone commenting on Bush Sr. (who looks better every day, after watching Jr.)

Said "He woke up on third base and thought he hit a triple!"
*I was thinking of exactly the same thing. *One time I made a remark to a colleague that I had been lucky to be so successful. *Being a properly dogmatic conservative, he responded that in his view both he and I had worked hard. *Although I didn't argue with him (believe it or not), I thought to myself that I was glad I hadn't had to work as hard as the Mexican guys who had just labored 12 hour days to put a roof on my house in North Carolina's August heat.

But really, the argument seems to be that many people simply make bad decisions. *So -- what is it that enables one person to make good decisions, and another not?

Is the answer is intelligence or upbringing? * I guess that the favored individuals were indeed lucky to be born smart, to good parents, without physical or mental handicap (and usually with white skin), in a rich country, with good schools, and so forth.

HH
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 05:40 PM   #31
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
. . .
Yes, many of us made the most of our opportunities, but we had those opportunities to begin with whereas many others did not.
Yep. I don't begrudge anyone of their good opportunities (finding yourself born on third base), but I am disturbed when they don't recognize their own good fortune and believe that they are better than those who did not get the same advantages.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 05:49 PM   #32
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Is the answer is intelligence or upbringing?
I calculated it once. It's 70% genetic, and 30% environmental. I've got the proof written in the margin of a notebook somewhere....
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 05:56 PM   #33
 
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by wab
I calculated it once.* *It's 70% genetic, and 30% environmental.* *I've got the proof written in the margin of a notebook somewhere....
And which one of these is under the control of a child?

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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 06:54 PM   #34
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
I think you are letting your ego run away with itself here. How about luck? Any reason I had to be born to a caring family that was reasonably well-off in the wealthiest nation in the world? Was it my gumption and ability that allowed me to avoid impregnating a teenage girlfriend, getting involved with dope, not getting shot or stabbed, not getting into a car accident? Probably not.

Yes, many of us made the most of our opportunities, but we had those opportunities to begin with whereas many others did not.
Ego has little to do with it, unless as CT put it so aptly, you wake up on third base and think you hit a triple. I wasn't adopting the foregoing attitude, but rather emphasizing that "luck" is often self-made. It's true that some people start off with more advantages than others, which is the case in any evolutionary system (see Darwin). However, even those not born with such advantages can meet or even exceed the success of those born with such advantages. Ask any immigrant who comes to America with nothing in his pocket and doesn't speak a word of English. With the right focus and determination, he can have a thriving business within a few years.

As for how your life turned out, much of it was the result of your choices. Perhaps those choices were facilitated by an upbringing that taught you the requisite wisdom to avoid making the wrong ones. On the other hand, it should come as no surprise that even people with the upbringing you had made the wrong ones. Thus, it ultimately comes down to personal decisions about success or failure.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-11-2005, 10:31 PM   #35
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

This discussion is actually starting to parallel reasoning and points of view from some of the eastern religions -- anybody looked into Hinduism/Buddhism's notions of reincarnation, karma, how your actions generate consequences or outcomes etc.?

They would agree more or less with what Gatsby is saying when it comes to how you got where you are today as a result of choices made, lessons learned etc. (adding that being born on third base is because of all the great things you did in previous lives) , but they all come down on Brewer's side in the end, too: it is all grace and blessings and the appropriate response to your good fortune is to have compassion for everyone else and help out any way you can, as often as you can.

Not trying to spoil a good argument, but both these lines of thinking may actually be able to happily coexist.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-12-2005, 04:30 AM   #36
 
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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As for how your life turned out, much of it was the result of your choices.* Perhaps those choices were facilitated by an upbringing that taught you the requisite wisdom to avoid making the wrong ones.* On the other hand, it should come as no surprise that even people with the upbringing you had made the wrong ones.* Thus, it ultimately comes down to personal decisions about success or failure.
I see -- but what is it that enables one person to make good choices, but not another person, even with the same upbringing? And what choice did you or I have re our upbringing?

HH
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-12-2005, 06:36 AM   #37
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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* I see -- but what is it that enables one person to make good choices, but not another person, even with the same upbringing?* And what choice did you or I have re our upbringing?

HH
That can be shown just by siblings, one ends up doing very well, the other a loser. Same parents and upbringing, why the difference? Did they make different choices in life? I see this in my own family, I've done well, my younger brother is not far behind me but our sister lives paycheck to paycheck and could fall off the edge any day now. She had all the same opportunities we did but never took advantage of them. Why she lives like that baffles me and my parents, I wish I could give them a reason but all we can do is shake our heads and try to steer her in the right direction.

Cj
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-12-2005, 07:22 AM   #38
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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I see -- but what is it that enables one person to make good choices, but not another person, even with the same upbringing? And what choice did you or I have re our upbringing?

HH
This is a fairly complex question that psychologists have yet to figure out. My personal opinion is that it ultimately comes down to a lack of self-discipline. People with the same or similar upbringings know the right decision to make in various situations, but the person who makes the wrong decision gives in to baser impulses and feelings, rather than the rationality encouraged by a positive upbringing.

Take smoking for example. Everyone knows its bad for you. Yet rather than acknowledge this scientific fact (and the economic consequences) teenagers often give into the baser desire of not wanting to seem "uncool" around their friends. The same rationale would apply to drugs, sex, etc... Teenagers know the right decision to make, but choose not to make it time and time again. It's only with the wisdom of years that many realize the error of their ways. Some will never learn.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-12-2005, 07:34 AM   #39
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Ego has little to do with it, unless as CT put it so aptly, you wake up on third base and think you hit a triple.* I wasn't adopting the foregoing attitude, but rather emphasizing that "luck" is often self-made.* It's true that some people start off with more advantages than others, which is the case in any evolutionary system (see Darwin).* However, even those not born with such advantages can meet or even exceed the success of those born with such advantages.* Ask any immigrant who comes to America with nothing in his pocket and doesn't speak a word of English.* With the right focus and determination, he can have a thriving business within a few years.

As for how your life turned out, much of it was the result of your choices.* Perhaps those choices were facilitated by an upbringing that taught you the requisite wisdom to avoid making the wrong ones.* On the other hand, it should come as no surprise that even people with the upbringing you had made the wrong ones.* Thus, it ultimately comes down to personal decisions about success or failure.
I don't disagree that personal choices affect the outcomes in one's life. Having said that, I believe that the effect of personal choices is massively outweighed by the range of choice a particular individual is confrinted with. You mention immigrants who become wildly successful. Sure, this happens, but what percentage of immigrants becomes wldly successful compared to white, native-born, college educated males who come from an upper middle class background? Are the immigrants who eke out a living doing so because of their personal choices to a greater degree than the average male described above who will have an easy time of being fat and happy (income-wise)? I doubt it.

I'm happy to take credit or responsibility for the outcomes of my decisions. At the same time, I am humbled by the gifts God chose for some reason to rain down on me.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-12-2005, 08:18 AM   #40
 
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
My personal opinion is that it ultimately comes down to a lack of self-discipline.* . . .
* Some will never learn.
But here's the thing -- why does one person have self discipline, and another not? Why does one person learn, and another not? It could be that the answer lies in native ability, or in the circumstances of upbringing, or, of course, in some combination. What else could it be? The point is that both of these are out of our control. Substitute the word "tall" for the concept of success. I believe that a lot of the self-congratulatory attitude of "the successful" is completely inappropriate, as would be a self-congratulatory attitude of the tall.

HH
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