Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.William A. Ward
Around Christmas time of last year I shifted my attention to books that dealt with how to make money and become wealthy. Some of the novels that I read included Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, The Laptop Millionaire by Mark Anastasi and The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris. Each novel taught me something about creating wealth and managing your time:
Robert Kiyosaki taught me that the wealthy individuals in society don’t tend to accumulate great wealth by working for others – they create businesses and put their money into assets like real estate and commodities (gold/silver/bitcoin); he also taught me that central banks are continuously devaluing our fiat money in almost every country with inflation of the money supplies and that saving “money” is actually a bad idea because of this. Assets grow in value alongside inflation and that’s why they tend to increase in value over time against fiat currencies. This helps you to retain your purchasing power. Also, it’s pretty important to be savvy with avoiding as much tax as legally possible if you really want to protect and grow your wealth – the ultra rich do, so why shouldn’t you? Mainly, they use their businesses as a way to bypass a lot of taxes because businesses are able to spend first and pay tax later, whereas the average Joe has tax deducted on every paycheck. This is significant because it means you can just increase business purchases on things like company vehicles, other goods and travel expenses on your taxes so that there’s less taxable income available at the end of the year. This is why the working class who makes the least amount of money are usually paying the most in taxes. Essentially, the system is sort of rigged to favor the capitalists.
Mark Anastasi taught me that the internet is a great place to start a small business capable of providing you with passive income if you’re savvy enough to get started. He also taught me that our wealth can be thought of as a representation of how much value we provide to the world, and that by leveraging the power of the internet we are able to provide more value to more people than ever before – meaning a greater accumulation of wealth in the long term. Certain products that can be created and sold online, such as E-books cost very little to produce and they cost essentially nothing to sell to new customers. The products do still need contain good information which will help others with some issue or another: tutorials, research, solutions etc. And then these digital products can be sold on sites like Clickbank.com where you can pay affiliate marketers 50-75% of your sale price in order for them to attracts customers to your product. Basically this means once you’ve created this digital product, it can provide you with a steady stream of income for the rest of your life and others will spend their time marketing it for you. Pretty interesting stuff. Podcasts, and other things work too, there were a lot of great ideas in there which made me think and the idea of wealth representing value that you’ve given to others really resonated with me.
Timothy Ferris taught me that most of us are really inefficient at what we do for a living and that we can spend less time working with better results if we are strict with our time. If we can spend less time on the stuff that gives us no results and spend more time on stuff that gives us our best results, then we really only need to put in a fraction of the effort and that can give us more free time. The best wisdom that I took from his book had to do with the 80-20 rule discovered by an Italian man in the 19th century which states that 20% of what we do creates 80% of our best results and vice versa, 20% of what we do causes 80% of our problems. This rule actually applies to all sorts of things in life, like gardening, 20% of your tomato plants may produce 80% of your harvest – hence why breeding the best plants has become common practice for horticulturalists and farmers for centuries. If we can identify what in our life causes 80% of our progress and 80% of our problems then it becomes much easier to focus on what’s good for us and to minimize the bad and the time-wasters.
I found many of these ideas to be profound and they opened my eyes to economics in a different way. Admittedly, I’ve always been a lower-middle income type of person and I’ve had to struggle financially year in and year out. Last year I finally decided that I’ve had enough of struggling and I didn’t want to wait any longer to start making changes to my life and to the way I handle my finances. I’ve read books on investing, technical analysis and I’ve been increasing my human capital by acquiring new skills like learning to program etc. I’d love to tell you that I’m bringing in the big money now, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In all honesty, I’m currently unemployed and pretty stressed out by my current situation, but I have hope and some plans for the future in the works. I am hoping to escape the typical 9 to 5 rat race that most of us are all too familiar with, but that’s going to take some time, I imagine.
If I spent as much time creating entertainment for others as I spend consuming entertainment created by others than I would probably be a very comfortable man right now! This is something that I do try to remind myself of regularly. So many of us are consumers through and through, and we lack the drive to create and contribute to society in a meaningful way. We work a dead end job to provide value to a company which leaves us feeling unfulfilled and exploits us in exchange for a paycheck that we immediately spend on materialistic goods and entertainment which distracts us from the emptiness of our existence. The creative parts of our souls die in mundane repetitive industrial jobs for capitalistic pigs. Humans were never meant to live in such a way and its only been made worse in the past 400 years or so since the means of production were taken from the common man and woman.
If you really want to know more about that feel free to read Karl Marx’s philosophical and economical masterpieces, Capital or The Communist Manifesto. Contrary to what mainstream media may want you to believe, he was actually a hero of the working class people and he wanted to change the world by exposing this capitalistic exploitation. Unfortunately, he faced exile and poverty because of his noble pursuit and died in his early 60s without any recognition for his great accomplishments. Communist parties in Russia and China took many of his ideas but also corrupted them and gave Marx a bad name.
Also, here’s a quick funny video of Bo Burnham and his puppet Socko explaining Marxist themes in a fun and humorous way. The song’s called How the World Works. I highly recommend all of Bo Burnham’s stuff!
Anyways, perhaps I’ve wandered off while writing this quick piece as I’m currently reading Capital by Karl Marx in my leisure time. If you want to know more on any of these subjects, then I will leave some links below to the relevant literature I’ve mentioned. As always, by using any of these links to purchase this material you will be supporting myself and my blog. So thank you in advance, but of course it is not necessary. Just happy to have you around, wolf cubs! ❤
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
The Laptop Millionaire: How Anyone Can Escape the 9 to 5 and Make Money Online
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy
Also, check out Inside by Bo Burnham if you liked that little video above. It’s on Netflix and it was created in isolation. It’s really fun and sometimes emotional. That’s all from me. Talk to you soon!
How do you feel about your job? Money? The current system? Are you fulfilled?
2 thoughts on “Providing Value to Society, Capitalism, and Karl Marx”
Where sits the wealth, sits the power. The power to keep the impoverished too hungry and scared to revolt. As always, an informative and enlightening post, my friend.
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Your comments are always insightful. Thanks Brad. You’re right about that. Let’s hope we can do something about that in the next decade.
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