Student Loan forgiveness

So if you pay attention to the news you know the President of the U.S. has issued an executive order to forgive up to 10K of student loan debt for U.S. tax payers who make less than 125K annually. This blog isn’t overtly political so we aren’t going down that rabbit hole here. I do however devote a portion of my blog to finance. I am a finance professional, and the finance posts I make on this blog are my opinion only, they are not financial advice.

So that out of the way, let’s say this off the bat. Reducing individual debt is the quickest way to wealth. When you aren’t sending your money to other people, you get to keep it and accumulate wealth. So that’s a net positive. There are however several issues with the loan forgiveness as announced. The first one is, the President does not have the ability to forgive debt, only congress can do that.

What that means is this will inevitably be challenged in court. A republican somewhere will file a lawsuit and if it goes to the supreme court, which it may it would likely be overturned. The other thing announced was another freeze on payments until the end of the year. Meaning you do not have to make your federal student loan payments until 2023. This has been in effect since covid lockdowns and its likely this will be extended again.

The fastest way to wealth, is being debt free

To be clear the President DOES have the authority to do this via executive order. There are all sorts of views on this issue. Some will say “why should they get a hand out and I don’t?” others will say “education is a right and it should all be free”.  The biggest issue I see here is the notion of loaning teenagers thousands of dollars in the first place. Who benefits from that exactly? An 18-year-old takes out loans to go to school, to obtain a job to pay off the loan?

I don’t want to be flippant here, education is fantastic you should pursue it. But doesn’t it seem dubious in the first place that the institutions giving the loans decides to forgive them later? Why give them in the first place? Some of these college kids are staring down hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. They were railroaded into the education industry and now sit on a pile of debt. Sure they will have a degree at the back end but how bitter must it be to go to work every day?

I worked full time and went to college, I cashed flowed both of my degrees. My kids each got 30K set aside for them to go to college, everything else they have to cover on their own. They chose state schools and are making it. I got the 30K for each by working, inheriting etc. and I am happy to do it. If they take a loan I expect them to pay it back. However, I would caution them both before ever taking a loan at such a young age.

Student loan forgiveness is a net positive if you are one of the lucky ones who qualify. Don’t be fooled here, this is political. The problem is all the people out there who don’t get it will be pissed off, and then there is the uncomfortable situation of “where does the debt go”? it just doesn’t evaporate, someone will have to pay it. Guess who? All of us, yes, you get to help pay off someone else’s debt.

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Justice

Politics & Anxiety: More is coming

This blog isn’t a political blog, so have no fear I am not going to go on a political rant here. We do however cover Anxiety issues a lot and in the U.S. we are entering a new political season. You could argue that politics is always in season in the U.S. As an example in the community I live in, we have people with signs in their yards regarding politics, it comes up in conversation regularly. For my non U.S. readers a quick aside so you have a more accurate picture of the political climate in the U.S.

The narrative of political divide, the splintering of the culture etc. is partially true. People here are more galvanized then ever politically but we are not at each other’s throats. The overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens are normal, quiet people who go about their business and take care of their family and friends. They aren’t light flags on fire, at protests, storming the capital. Those are the exceptions not the rule, but if you were watching news on the U.S. that’s what you would see. The U.S. is in a transition period; this has happened many times before.

Back to the anxiety. So what is happening now is you are seeing the political apparatus in the U.S. “Heat Up”. You will see more arrests, more investigations, more foreign policy moves, more scandals. This is par for the course really, our mid-term elections are coming soon and the heat will be turned way up. Soon we will know if Trump is running for President or not and that will likely make things even hotter.

Vote
Liberty is paramount

I wish I had great news for you. I wish I could say there is a remarkable candidate who will unite American’s under one platform and a reconciliation and rebirth is to follow. If I did say that I would be lying to you. I think things are going to get more stressful and anxiety is going to spike. This won’t resolve until the presidential election of 2024 and even then one side will be unhappy. Expect viral protests, some violence, gas lighting, fear mongering… Everything will be on the table.

How you deal with all of the noise is really subjective. I stopped listening myself. After 52 years on the planet I have lived through Democrat and Republican regimes neither have been great. I would encourage you to invest your time into those who are important to you first. Your civic energies should be focused on your locale. Get involved in your town or city politics, this is the most effective way to steer changes that immediately impact the people you know. National politics is theatre; dangerous theatre I concede but it’s designed to anger you to affect a specific outcome. Once that outcome is achieved, they don’t want to hear from you anymore.

You are going to be fine, things will heat up. Things will look dyer for a time. Large scale upheaval is highly unlikely its only happened a few times in U.S. history. I realize this post isn’t painting a particularly rosy picture but knowing what is coming is at least one advantage. Hopefully it helps you prepare for the inevitable. The political season in the U.S. is on its way, buckle up.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Justice

Politics & Anxiety: More is coming

This blog isn’t a political blog, so have no fear I am not going to go on a political rant here. We do however cover Anxiety issues a lot and in the U.S. we are entering a new political season. You could argue that politics is always in season in the U.S. As an example in the community I live in, we have people with signs in their yards regarding politics, it comes up in conversation regularly. For my non U.S. readers a quick aside so you have a more accurate picture of the political climate in the U.S.

The narrative of political divide, the splintering of the culture etc. is partially true. People here are more galvanized then ever politically but we are not at each other’s throats. The overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens are normal, quiet people who go about their business and take care of their family and friends. They aren’t light flags on fire, at protests, storming the capital. Those are the exceptions not the rule, but if you were watching news on the U.S. that’s what you would see. The U.S. is in a transition period; this has happened many times before.

Back to the anxiety. So what is happening now is you are seeing the political apparatus in the U.S. “Heat Up”. You will see more arrests, more investigations, more foreign policy moves, more scandals. This is par for the course really, our mid-term elections are coming soon and the heat will be turned way up. Soon we will know if Trump is running for President or not and that will likely make things even hotter.

Vote
Liberty is paramount

I wish I had great news for you. I wish I could say there is a remarkable candidate who will unite American’s under one platform and a reconciliation and rebirth is to follow. If I did say that I would be lying to you. I think things are going to get more stressful and anxiety is going to spike. This won’t resolve until the presidential election of 2024 and even then one side will be unhappy. Expect viral protests, some violence, gas lighting, fear mongering… Everything will be on the table.

How you deal with all of the noise is really subjective. I stopped listening myself. After 52 years on the planet I have lived through Democrat and Republican regimes neither have been great. I would encourage you to invest your time into those who are important to you first. Your civic energies should be focused on your locale. Get involved in your town or city politics, this is the most effective way to steer changes that immediately impact the people you know. National politics is theatre; dangerous theatre I concede but it’s designed to anger you to affect a specific outcome. Once that outcome is achieved, they don’t want to hear from you anymore.

You are going to be fine, things will heat up. Things will look dyer for a time. Large scale upheaval is highly unlikely its only happened a few times in U.S. history. I realize this post isn’t painting a particularly rosy picture but knowing what is coming is at least one advantage. Hopefully it helps you prepare for the inevitable. The political season in the U.S. is on its way, buckle up.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Vaccine Anxiety

So the next phase is upon us, a vaccine. Its great news for millions of vulnerable people who are susceptible to covid and its complications. It’s also great news for those who chose to live in fear for the last near year. I am not trying to minimalize the impact of covid but to say that it’s been driven by fear I don’t think is going too far out on a limb. People are free to believe whatever they want, I encourage people to question conventional narratives. I don’t think it’s ever prudent to follow blindly, I believe strongly you should always trust your instinct. My instinct? I don’t trust government and I certainly don’t trust the media.

What about you? I concede fully just because I feel a certain way that doesn’t mean I am necessarily right. Or more accurately what is good for me might not be good for you. I’m cool with that, lets meet in the middle. So we are at the great spot in this pandemic where we have a vaccine. Yes, it’s because of the government push that we are here, Trumps government to be specific. Presidents rightfully or wrongly get credit when things are good and things are bad.

I know you probably don’t want to hear that, it’s just like my conservative friends don’t want to hear that Obama is largely responsible for the U.S. increasing energy independence. I am getting side tracked here though…. So a vaccine is here, produced in record time and approved in an equally speedy way. Can you trust it? Can you trust a process funded and pushed by a government you might not believe in and a process expedited that normally takes years?

Am I contagious?
Answer = I don’t know.

How anticlimactic I know. We don’t really know what side effects (if any) might occur with this vaccine. Will we be required to take it? How will this requirement be enforced? Where will you fall in to the line of recipients? There are still a lot of unknowns and that can drive anxiety through the roof. I know some people have been feeding on the fear and anxiety for months now. Logging on every day to get their hour by hour update on covid cases, sanitizing their hands because they touched a key board that brought them to a site that discussed covid (I know its hyperbolic, forgive me….)

You are going to be fine, you will survive this and in time, if you want a vaccine you will be able to get it. It’s likely that annually you will be getting this vaccine now. Hang in there, even if you have been consumed with fear over covid, anger at others for not taking it as seriously as you do, relief is on the horizon. This should be a time for you to reflect on what you want the next 6 months of your life to look like. How will you personally come back from the covid crisis? Will this be a battle cry for you? Maybe you will start a blog about some aspect of your experience?

The vaccine is here, don’t succumb to more fear and anxiety about its availability or how many people can get it when. You can’t control that yet, and in time it will be widely available and you will be able to get it if you chose. You’ll then be in a great position to take up the banner for the next fight, should it be mandatory or not? Rest up, the covid wars aren’t over yet. The business of fear is to profitable.

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Ben Franklin

Wisdom from the past – Benjamin Franklin

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics…derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.” Benjamin Franklin

If you are actively trying to silence/cancel other people’s ability to speak freely you are a tyrant or the tool of a tyrant. You are without question one of the most dangerous people on the planet. You are willing to shut down others because you don’t like them, or don’t like what they have to say. I actually pity you, and when the day comes when YOU are the one silenced/canceled you will receive no quarter.

Even if you don’t like what you are hearing or reading the ability to say or write it is paramount. When we silence others, we create the conditions by which dissent festers and breeds revolt and violence. History is littered with examples of this, you shouldn’t have to be reminded.

Don’t become worse than those you dislike, you will not be able to live with yourself and no one will want to live with you.

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Vote

The other 5% – A Politics piece

As many of you know I don’t do politics often on this blog. I think this is my 5 post on politics in 2 years. I’m not going to go on and on about how bad one person is, or if another has cognitive decline or who is better etc. I am going to go talk about the other 5%. What is that? That is the average % of voters who don’t vote for Democrats or Republicans every year.

In the U.S. we have a two party system. It is corrupt and rotting in my opinion. Both the main parties have been infiltrated by corporate interests and those who do not necessarily have the voter’s interest in mind. It’s such a mess and the marketing around both parties has created an us vs them mentality to drive sentiment either way and push the consumption of the mouth pieces for either or side. I know that’s cynical, but things are bad and anyone telling you “IT’S THEM” is part of the problem, in my opinion.

The alternatives? Well there aren’t many. You see the two corporate corrupt parties have created the conditions by which they dominate election processes. Ballot access, as an example is a perplexing maze of red tape that takes decades to navigate. We have only one other party, the libertarians, that are on the ballot on all 50 states. Really? A country with 300 million + has a choice of 3 parties? The main two parties are multibillion dollar operations, good luck getting equal time with that kind of money in play.

Just Vote
Remember to Vote !

In the U.S. there are 2 major parties as discussed, a viable 3rd party that does have ballot access in all 50 states the libertarians. We also have “4th” parties that have ballot access in some states not others. They do not have enough access to win enough Electoral College votes for their candidates to win the presidency outright. Those are The Green Party, The Independent party, and The Constitution Party to name a few. The Green party has the best shot of getting ballot access to all 50 states next, we’ll see.

There are of course many other small local and state parties, but they don’t have ballot access nationally. The 3 main “4th” parties mentioned above, might have ballot access in 1-5 states. These “other” parties take approx. 5% of the vote every year (give or take). The purpose of the post today is to let you know there are alternatives. You do not have to vote for the candidates for the corporate parties. You do not have to “chose a side”, you do not have to fall in line and be a part of the “us vs them” narrative. You can chose to vote for someone else in another party.

They have ideas too, they have platforms they stand for things. Are they perfect? No but look at the mess we are in now because of the two party system. Maybe it’s time to have a 5 party system where all ideas have to be considered and discourse has to be civil because voters have viable choices outside of the multibillion dollar corporate parties currently dominating.

Okay rant over…. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

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Just Vote

A brief indulgence on politics

I don’t normally wade into politics on this blog, for a good reason. Many people get very ugly very fast when you don’t agree with their point of view. Otherwise reasonable people lose their poop over politics, they become very unkind and have citations of “well they do this” or “he says that” as if the rest of us are supposed to believe that two wrongs make a right. Mini rant over…

AS some of you may or may not know I am a libertarian. I have voted libertarian nearly exclusively since the late 90’s. In the U.S. we have two dominate political parties and it is my belief that a 3rd viable party will help reign in some of the partisanship and angst we see year after year.

It just so happens that I do identify pretty closely with libertarian ideals as well. You can read about those here if you are interested. Last week the Libertarian Party nominated its candidate for president, her name is Dr. Jo Jorgensen. You can read more about her here

I think its great news that she has gotten the nomination. She has been in the front lines of the libertarian party for a long time and has definitely earned it. Much will be made by the fact she is a woman and while that is absolutely noteworthy, more should be made of the fact she is qualified to hold the office. Many Libertarians like myself are very realistic about the prospects of our party.

We understand the two dominate parties have built massive entertainment and news industries around the political process to support their agenda. Places like CNN and FOX news are mouth pieces for politicians. While that might be cynical to say, it’s imperative to look at politics with a critical eye. Politics is a road to power and power corrupts.

I understand the likelihood of Jo winning the presidency is nearly zero. That doesn’t mean that she can’t garner enough support to impact the U.S. political scene. 5-10% of the vote would do that. You would have a lot of news outlets cover this, and they would all be asking why. Voters in the U.S. are tired of “Democrat vs Republican” it’s been this way for decades and decades.

We just want politicians who will do a good job and get things done. Is Jo Jorgensen the answer? I don’t know, I do know that if we keep doing the same thing over and over again (voting democrat or republican) and expect a different result we are fools. In the end the most important thing we have to do as Americans is vote. November will be here before you know it, no one vote is inconsequential, your vote matters. Consider an alternative approach, maybe we will get a different outcome other than the tired status quo.