The Smart Way and Dumb Way of coping with inflation

Inflation is coming! We’ll all be rooned!

Go long on wheelbarrows because people are gunna need ’em to carry their cash down to the grocery.

Nah, it probably won’t be that bad. Hyperinflation (1000%+ per year) only occurs under extreme conditions like war or long-term, deliberate overvaluation. Present circumstances are not that bad. US money printing so far is no where near the level of Venezuela or Zimbabwe.

Some of the inflation we’re seeing really does appear to be caused by overreactions to Covid, with borders sealed, cargo crates sitting in the wrong countries and factories closed or unwilling to invest for increased output given that demand will soon return to normal, etc.

Also consider Japan, where monetary policy has been extremely loose for twenty years and the central bank owns 80% of ETFs. Their main problem is battling deflation.

I also can’t let this article pass without a good-natured snark at right-wing commenters like Zman and Michael Malice (luv yez) who complain that the price of a sandwich, soda and bag of chips has gone up. Boo hoo, there’s too much air in the bag and less soda in the bottle! Shrinkflation I tells ya!

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On monarchy

Some members of the Dark Enlightenment challenge the idea of democracy.

They point out that a monarchy is more effective and that historically, most Western monarchies afforded the average man more freedom and less tax than he has today.

Mencius Moldbug expounds on his pet topic in a recent post and is surprisingly convincing:

O, what to do? When you are solving an engineering problem and see the answer at last, it hits you like a thunderbolt. The conservatives, the normal people, the grill-Americans, must accept their own low energy. They must cease their futile reaching for passionate intensity . . . They must fight the shark on land.

Conservatives don’t care [about politics] —at least not enough. Yet they want to matter. Yet they live in a political system where mattering is a function of caring—not just voting. Therefore, there are two potential solutions: (a) make them care more; (b) make systems that let them matter more, without caring more.

You’ll have to read the whole article to get the point, and it’s overlong as usual. I think he does this deliberately to shake off the unworthy but comments under the line suggest his efforts are not entirely successful.

Anyway, here I am reading his article and becoming a little bit convinced.

Then I start thinking, wait a minute. What if the other side did it first?

Then I came to this:

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Word from the Dark Side – this year’s advice for the young, a yucky yachter yarn, Yanks yield Dong denial and yeah, youse win the Weirdolympics, Japan

Maggie by Foster and Allen, 1983. Like most Irish folk songs, this one isn’t Irish either, having been written as a poem by a Canadian in 1864 and put to music by an English-born American in 1866. “They say we have outlived our time, Maggie / as dated as the songs we’ve sung”. A favourite of my grandma’s.

What advice would you give to a kid in 2021?

The best advice I’d give today is this:

– Be adaptable.

– Be useful.

– Be optimistic.

– Learn skills, and understand that learning never stops.

There are more suggestions in the article and comments. As for money, I’ll stick with what I’ve said before. Things rich people invest in will be the last to collapse.

My additional piece of advice to a young person would be: spend a couple of years living and working in a Third World country. The things you’ll learn about thriving in a low-trust society will be perfect for surviving the decline of the West.

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Friday Finance: the eighth wonder of the world

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

The Magic of Compounding

So far we’ve explained the main investment categories, and in a moment we’ll look at how much you should invest in each category, and how to go about doing so.  But before we do that, it is essential for you to understand what Einstein supposedly called ‘the eighth wonder of the world’: compounding returns.

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Surviving the other decline

Last week I declared we have officially arrived at Dystopia.

It’s not the first time.

Countless civilizations have declined and collapsed over history, the most notable for us being the fall of the West Roman Empire.

Some people focus too much on that epoch, trying to draw parallels from each Emperor to each President, for example. Others dismiss it too easily.

Here we’ll look at how various people coped with the fall of 1,500 years ago. There might be relevant options to consider, or perhaps not.

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Sign of the times

A person in a brown jacket against a tree smiles in a profile photograph.

This recent article caught my attention:

The general manager of infection control at the agency running Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has been stood down after allegedly breaching their own protocols twice in the past two months.

You might have to read that twice.

It’s yet another case of one of our rulers breaking their own rules because they don’t really believe in them, instead considering restrictions as control mechanisms for the plebs.

As for the other thing, here’s a quote from the Minister of Government Services (I guess that’s like the Minister for Administrative Affairs) given in the same ABC article:

Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson said he became aware of the reports last night and had stood aside COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria’s (CQV) general manager of infection prevention and control, Matiu Bush, pending a review into their conduct and behaviour.

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Word from the Dark Side – woke church, what’s happening to BA pilots, watch out for cancellers and a weird morning in Sapporo

This Is Not The Way Home by the Cruel Sea, 1993. Australian band with American singer. You can’t really get lost that easily in the outback – there are so few roads that directions can be as simple as, ‘Go straight, turn left on Wednesday.’

The Anglican Church in Sydney makes a few changes:

The conservative Sydney Anglicans will encourage ministers to call gender diverse parishioners by their preferred names, provide unisex bathrooms and avoid gendered language such as “ladies and gentlemen”.

The Auckland chapter of New Zealand’s School Strike 4 Climate group decides it is too racist to exist and disbands.

Four healthy British Airways pilots die in one week – airline says no link to Covid-19 vaccine.

A minor high school kerfuffle turns into a national crisis because race is involved.

Nixon intervention saved China from Soviet nuclear attack. I have no idea if a word of this is true.

Woman Who Threatened to Blow Up School Bus Full of Kids Now Running for Office.

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Where’s Dong?

Dong Jingwei is kind of a big deal. He’s a vice minister of State Security, essentially China’s head spy catcher, and he’s also said to be close to Pooh Bear, having assisted in his rise to the top.

RedState and Chinese-language blogs are reporting that in February this year he defected to the United States’ Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and handed over a treasure trove of material. Some mainstream sites have now picked up the story.

Here’s what he’s said to have provided, via RedState:

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Friday Finance: how to diversify your cash and bonds

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

Diversify Within Investment Classes

So far we have looked at diversifying between defensive and growth assets in order to set an appropriate level of risk.

To further spread that risk, it is essential to diversify within each category, as well.  For example, it would be madness to hold only one share.  The company might go bankrupt.  It is much safer to invest across many shares.

In this section we’ll go through each class of investments and show how to diversify within it in order to manage risk.

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We’ve reached dystopia.

I first became familiar with the concept of the declining West in the early days of the manosphere, reading Roissy, Captain Capitalism and co. I found their gloomy thinking overwrought – it’s too easy to imagine the end of the world is nigh when society is moving away from your own values or when a candidate you particularly dislike wins an election.

I became increasingly convinced that our civilization was teetering from 2013 on due to the Great Awokening. Still, I thought there’d eventually be a pendulum swing-back or some natural correction. Trees don’t grow to the sky.

I remember a commenter saying, get offline and look outside. People are going about their business, leading normal lives. In the real world, everything’s fine.

In 2020 I became a believer.

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Ever have to deal with a naughty kid?

Adult: Toby! I told you to put those toys away.

Kid: I am putting them away.

Adult: No you’re not, you’re playing with that truck. Put them away now.

Kid: Okay, okay. (Continues to play)

Adult: Toby, I’m going to stand right here and watch you put those toys away.

(Kid begins picking up the smallest toys and putting them away at a glacial pace, waiting for the adult to turn his back.)

Adult: Ten. Nine. Eight. (Toby will finish right on zero. Occasionally slightly after to test the boundary.)

This power play increases the cost of enforcement.

The more resistance, the more resources have to be put into compelling people to follow the rules.

Right now there’s yet another lockdown and we’re not allowed to go to the beach. First we feigned ignorance and got shoed away. We gave some cheek to the enforcers. Not enough to get arrested; just enough to annoy them and make them sick of telling people off for swimming at the beach. Enough that they’ll ask to be reassigned or reconsider their line of work. Demoralize them. Make it clear that, while they didn’t make the rules, they’re going to feel our ire for enforcing them.

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Word from the Dark Side – the right to party, crypto revelations, restricting efficacious meds and riding the (mall) lightning

Fight for Your Right by The Beastie Boys, 1986.

I had a request to explain the 80s for the kids via another video clip. This one is as good as any but I can’t be bothered pulling it apart scene by scene. I think you’ll get it. Drink every time something politically incorrect happens.

We no longer fight for our right to paaartay, do we?

All parties are banned across the Philippines until further notice. The rule is not being consistently enforced. After fifteen months, there has yet to be any public health campaign warning people not to share the same cup of rum as traditionally happens at these parties.

They always attempt the hard or impossible but ignore the easy things. ‘Give grandpa his own cup.’ Much as I’d like to chalk this up as yet another piece of Third World incompetence and stupidity, rich countries are doing little better.

I feel like a broken record. Let’s move on.

I was going to do a story about the Indian Miracle: infection rates are plummeting there like no where else in the world. However, I found that Phil Ebersole has already written what I was going to say: ivermectin very likely has something to do with it.

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Friday Finance: Past performance is no guarantee of future performance

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

Past performance is no guarantee of future performance

Here’s a common rookie investing error: you see that Acme Corp. goes up 14% in 2018.  Then it goes up another 16% in 2019.  You think, I must buy Acme shares, and quickly!  You buy . . . and then in 2020 the share price falls by 22%.  : (

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A have a half-baked idea. Maybe quarter-baked.

The trouble with cryptocurrencies is that few are actually being used as currency. Instead they’re being used for speculation. Transactions that are made, are often transferred immediately back into fiat.

The original inspiration for bitcoin is yet to be realized – unimpeded trade across borders using a stable currency subject to no government control or manipulation.

Perhaps we could get things moving by making a gentlemen’s agreement to use a particular coin or token for trade within the dissident sphere.

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Stone the crows and gas the Aussies

There is a trend to describe new culture battles in terms of ‘public health’ in an attempt to piggyback various agendas on the shoulders of Covid panic.

BLM protests are okay amid Covid lockdowns because racism is a public health threat. Calling someone by the wrong pronouns is a public health risk because it causes suicide. Climate change is a public health risk. That sort of thing.

Got one more for you:

The Climate Council warns the use of gas in homes is exposing Australian children to a higher risk of asthma, as well as driving climate change . . .

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Word from the Dark Side – venal drug companies, vibrating tanks, vanishing P2P lenders and virus-laced footballs

Winter Solstice by The Tea Party. Bigger wankers the music world has rarely seen, but I like them.

What’s Fauci been up to? Remember, (a) no one is too big to be cancelled and (b) getting enemies cancelled is a fool’s game because there are millions more overeducated twits languishing in casual work desperate to take their places.

Anyway, Fauci still doesn’t win the prize for the world’s dumbest public health officer.

A plane carrying vaccines from Dubai to Taiwan quietly skirted Chinese airspace and Flight Information Region (most of the South China Sea), adding two hours to the flight.

Covid and the “crime of the century“:

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Friday Finance: weird and wonderful investment ideas

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual for Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income.

Growth Assets 3: Alternatives to Shares and Real Estate

Most people trying to build wealth content themselves with simply investing in shares, or in shares plus their own home.  A few purchase an investment property.  Such conventional options are fine.

However, there are alternatives.  Here I list a few for the more adventurous or unconventional investor.  Like enlightenment, there are different paths to financial freedom.  If the Roman Catholicism of shares and real estate is not for you, perhaps these Hare Krishna options might be of interest.

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Third World solutions

As the West declines, solutions from the Third World become applicable. And not just generators and pre-filled barrels for when the water stops.

Eritrea is the most repressive dictatorship in Africa. But did you know, on the Red Sea coast opposite Saudi Arabia there live a Muslim minority group called the Rashaida (search: ‘Madote Rashaida’ for more information. I can’t link directly for secret reasons.)

Despite the oppressive government, they pretty much do whatever they want and are left alone. They are not enslaved under the open-ended National Service program that ruins the lives of most other groups. How do they get away with it? And is it not interesting that they were also left alone by the Italian colonists?

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