Adulting: A Massive Failure You Must Correct

Adulting: A Massive Failure You Must Correct

By Karl Denninger

Adulting is, simply put, the process of being an adult.

It appears to be deceptively simple: Get a job, pay rent or a mortgage, meet your utility bills so the power and water stay on, and have enough left for transportation and groceries.

Too bad it’s not that simple.

See, adulting also includes anticipating likely or worse, mathematically or physically certain — or highly likely — events.

For example your car will wear out.  Your house will require a new roof.  Your refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer and coffee maker will fail.  They’re mechanical things and most require some sort of maintenance — but even if not it is a certainty that at some point all will require replacement.  You had better budget for these events in advance lest you not have the money when they turn turtle on you.

If you allow yourself to become overweight you are much more likely to require medical attention.  If you allow yourself to become obese then your odds go way up for a whole host of really nasty problems: Heart attack, stroke, diabetes, the destruction of your hip and knee joints and more.  In fact it is virtually certain you will have weight-related medical problems serious enough to impair your enjoyment of life and cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now add to this the facts in this post I authored, particularly relating to the economic scamjob aimed directly at you in the form of the medical system.

Six years ago, approximately, I decided that the people of this nation would not, as a group, “adult.”

I therefore decided that the only way to reduce the risk to myself of finding myself severely disabled, broke, dead or probably all three within a relatively short period of time (a decade or two) was to get rid of the spare tire I was carrying around on a permanent basis.

That required not a diet but a lifestyle change.

So I did it.

No healthy grains {for you, at least}

Let’s talk about what you put in the pie-hole for a minute.  What part of being an adult with an allegedly functional brain allows you to believe that if you eat what farmers feed pigs, cows and other animals to make them fat on purpose you will become and remain thin and healthy?  Isn’t it far more likely that if you eat grains you will get fat exactly as does said cow or sow right before they’re slaughtered?

By changing what I ate because I decided to adult in that regard (and thus dropping 60lbs) I made it far less likely that I will run into said medical scamjob.  I also, at the same time, came to terms with acceptance of my mortality if I did face that anyway — in other words, no, they’re not going to get all of my resources; I’m going to dispose of them as I wish instead to those who I wish and if that means I die earlier than I otherwise would then so be it.

But what’s adult about allowing the fantasy-land crap to be sold to you without consequence not only by food producers but so-called “experts” in the form of “dieticians” and “doctors” who we now know were and are peddling factual falsehoods?  Low fat? That means high-carb, because it has to; you have to replace the fats with something.  The original “7 nations” study was riven through with fraud, and that’s been known for a couple of decades.  There are multiple populations in the northern latitudes (e.g. Arctic) which had historical zero obesity rates and introduced modern “foods” — all of them blow up like balloons.  What were they eating before?  Animal flesh, almost-exclusively — for obvious reasons (plants don’t do so good up there for a huge part of the year!)  If saturated fat is so bad then explain the zero obesity rates among a population that almost-exclusively eats venison and fish — right up until they add pasta to the mix, at which point they turn into fatties.

Now continue by explaining how adult it is for you to silently allow this garbage to be peddled not only to you but also to your children, with utterly-predictable outcomes?  Let me remind you: Over half of all adults are either overweight or obese.

People NEED to be “fat-shamed” or they will just die

fat shaming YESWhile we’re on this subject let’s talk about how adult it is for you, or anyone else, to scream about “fat-shaming.”  You’re really going to tell me that someone pointing out that you’re killing yourself is “abusive”?  Since when does that constitute anything other than telling you the truth?  Do you like being lied to? Do you like being coddled all the way into a box 6′ under ground?  That’s exactly what arguing against “fat-shaming” is!  You ought to thank those who make you feel uncomfortable in this fashion because they just might, if their criticism jolts you into adulting, save your life!

You cell phone / gadget service provider is ripping you off

Now let’s talk about some of the other things you deal with daily.  Why are you on either Verizon or AT&T?  Unless you have some sort of negotiated business account, that is, in which case it might make sense.  If you need Verizon’s coverage buy it via Straight Talk!  The exception: If you need tethering, which these days is a lot less likely with free WiFi damn near everywhere.  Are Sprint and T-Mobile worth considering?  Maybe, but not on their “unlimited” plans, which are insanely expensive unless you have three or four heavily-used lines.  Might they make sense if you have two teens?  Maybe, if you force the teens to pay their part of the bill — which means they need a job!  Otherwise, no: $90 gets you a 5Gb data allowance on two lines from Straight Talk and you pick the carrier — T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon (depending on what your phone is compatible with) and if you’re single there’s no penalty since it’s $45/line, period.

Are those “cheap on-contract phones” worth it?  No.  They’re not cheap; multiply the additional cost per month times the contract term and tell me how “cheap” that iPhone is.  Here’s the answer: About $1,000 or more than if you just paid cash for it!  Are you nuts?

Social media is {literally} killing you from the inside out

On social media?  Why? So you can preen for the camera and brag about your smug, smiling face and how “beautiful” you are? I hope you realize that the cost of doing so is that thousands of entities get to build a detailed, down-to-the-minute database on you both through your actions and those of your so-called “friends” which they inextricably and immediately link to you personally.  This allows them to hose you and that’s exactly what they do with all that information — use it to extract money from you without you being directly aware of it.  What part of being an adult meshes with playing egomaniac on Facesucker?  That’s the sort of thing an emotional child does — “look at me, how pretty I am.”  Please explain to me how posting a picture of the fabulous view you have while eating a nice meal enhances your personal experience.  It doesn’t — the mere act of drawing your phone to take the picture detracts from your immersion in the moment itself. You’re not posting that picture because it pleases you you’re doing at the cost of your pleasure because you are trying to impress others.

A personal anecdote on this point: Recently I drove some 14 hours to attend a live music performance.  There were a lot of people with their phones out for most of it.  I did snap a couple of pictures, one of them before the performance began – but the rest of the time my phone was in my pocket and on complete silence (including no vibrate.)  Why?  Because just the act of drawing it to take a single picture that one time broke the zen-like state I was enjoying immensely by taking in the music — not just sound, but sight and all other senses as well.  You cannot do that with a camera in your hand no matter how small or easy it is to grab it.  You do an insane amount of damage to experiencing life around you when you start snapping and posting to social media.  I noticed a couple of people other than myself in that theater who just went into the zone and did the frisson thing — but most had their phones out snapping away which is an utterly-certain way to immediately lose that state.  If you don’t let yourself get there you have no idea what you’re missing, by the way: It’s an experience that’s nearly as good as sex.

Now let’s take analysis of this “paradigm shift” a step further: This behavior is insanely destructive to your real-world interpersonal relationships.  You see, there is always someone with more “-er” no matter who you are.  Pick an attribute — skinnier, prettier, faster, richer, etc.  Social media is all about trying to show off your -er — which means you and your partner both see all the other -ers.  Guess what: As soon as a relationship becomes competitive in that fashion whatever you had built up until that point is destroyed and can never be recovered as it was.

It only takes one of you to fall into that trap just once and the damage done to your relationship is mortal. If you want to know why all the “good ones” appear to be gone that’s the reason and you’re a willing and voluntary part of it.  Your friends don’t have to call you and actually spend time talking with you on a regular basis to keep contact any more; they simply post on some social media site instead. By being a part of this you personally lose twice in a fashion far beyond and worse than the data mining and exploitation that organizations and people serve upon you: First by deleting from your life the more-intimate and close personal interactions you used to have but no longer do the depth of your associations is essentially destroyed and then you compound the damage when you destroy the fundamental character of your closest interpersonal relationship by allowing a competitive angle to enter into it.  You’ll find out real fast if you delete (not just “walk off”, but actually delete) those social profiles exactly who gives enough of a damn about you to call and arrange to spend some time face-to-face.  Hint: There’s nowhere near as many people who give a **** about you as you think there are; your “friends” social media postings are really all about them, not you.

Stop making poor vehicle choices! No need to be trendy!

Do you drive an SUV or big pickup?  Why?  Those are the vehicles with both the worst fuel economy and the highest profit margin for the car companies!

You’re insane to own one unless you have a solid need.  If you regularly haul plywood sheets or similar for work then a pickup makes sense — of course.  If you have more than two kids then you can probably justify an SUV.  If you own a boat on a trailer or a travel camper you need a vehicle that can pull it.  But these are 10% situations — most people drive these things and pay in excess of $40,000 for one yet they have none of these actual needs.

 I bought my Mazda 6 for just over half that much, it returns nearly 38mpg on the highway, and in the low to mid 30s around town.  Oh, and it runs on regular gas — no premium or mid-grade required.  I’ve now got almost 100,000 miles on it with nothing more than oil and filter changes, couple of sets of spark plugs plus a set of tires and brakes — and everything in it works perfectly.  My cost per mile is less than half that of the nice lady next to me in her “midsized” SUV, and probably a quarter of that of the dude in the lifted pickup on the other side!  Oh, and it’s cheaper to insure too since it’s less car to replace if I get in a wreck.

Have, or can find, an older car in decent shape?  Keep it running with good maintenance. My ’03 Jetta TDI is still on the road, the kid has it (she got the title on her 18th birthday), it’s got over 200,000 miles on it and I just put a set of back brakes in it for $80 and an hour and a half of my time (which, incidentally, she got to help with and now she knows how to do it.)  It drives better now with that 200k on the clock than a lot of new cars.  It needs a temperature sender (the current one is leaking a bit of coolant) which is $35 and sitting on my counter to be put in as soon as the kid has a day off where the car will be completely cold so I can drain the coolant before I pull it.  It burns nearly zero oil between 10,000 mile changes and long ago I put a CAT fuel filter head in it so a $20 CAT common-rail rated fuel filter, running at something like a sixth of its design flow rate, lasts for close to 100,000 miles — basically, it’s a “change it once every few years thing now with vastly superior protection for the pump and injectors than the car came with originally.  Sure, it’s a bit less-refined, a bit louder, the interior is somewhat worn and such compared against a new car but it gets damn near 50mpg all day long, everything works in it and it has a good shot at making it to the point that’s legal to order a drink!  Cheap to insure? You bet. Collision? Why? Wreck it, it’s gone; it’s way off the end of the depreciation curve. Cheap to operate?  Oh hell yeah.  800 miles between fills on the highway, if you can keep your foot off the loud pedal.  I might have done something right raising her because she loves the car; in fact, she’s said she prefers it to mine!

Screw college {and the deadly loans!}

Got a kid or two?

Did you or will you sign papers so they can get “student loans”?  Did you “support” them in taking said loans in any way, shape or form?

You’re either insane, abusive or both.

Do you think such a decision is “good” or “helps” them?  Do you realize that nine out of ten jobs created since the bank blowup in 2008 do not require a college degree?  That’s not a stat I had to dig for, it’s right there if you bother to look — but nobody does, or talks about it.

Is college a good investment if you have to finance it?  Almost never!  Why?  Because you cannot control for risk (you get sick before you graduate, you graduate but there are no jobs in-field that pay enough to cover the payments comfortably, you flunk out outright, you get a job when you graduate but then lose it and cannot find another that pays enough, H1b visa holders decimate the salaries in your field, etc) and yet if any of those bad things happen you are ruined.  If you spend already-acquired capital (savings) then the worst thing that can happen is that the effort you put in previously is dissipated.  If you take a loan since it cannot be discharged they will chase you relentlessly, even to the point of garnishing your Social Security payments if it takes that long, penalties will be immediately added if you default which cannot be removed (by law) and interest will continue to accumulate until you pay it off.  What’s even worse is that half the snowflakes in college think the government will let them off the hook — which means what they really believe is they can steal their education from everyone else in America!  Is it ever sane — or adult — to put yourself in a position where just one piece of bad luck leaves you with your “best option” being stuffing a gun in your mouth?  NO!  Never mind that if you do manage to steal those funds someone might take sufficient umbrage at your thieving ways to kill you outright and perhaps even eat you.

While we’re on your kids and school let’s talk for a moment about your silence while the local High Schools and Junior Highs all got rid of shop class.  You know, where you learn the basics of how to run a lathe, use a drill press, wire something, maybe do a bit of work on a car?  The so-called “modern” 18 year old doesn’t know how to change the oil on his or her car or put the spare tire on if they get a flat!

Waking up should be a priority

Look folks, rough stuff — maybe very rough — is coming.  I don’t know if it’s going to happen right now or a few years from now but it is coming.  It always does.  Always.  We’ve had an extraordinary period over the last 30 or so years where the “pain points” have been relatively benign.  We’ve not had really any ugly wars involving the United States, we’ve not had really ugly economic dislocations and generally-speaking the US has been pretty calm.  The odds of that holding up given the internals of federal spending which are easily visible to anyone who cares to look are slim and none — and Slim just left with your sister and a bottle of Jack Daniels.  It’s a fair bet he’s gonna get some and you’re gotta get it up the back door.

Wake up.  We’ve chosen as a nation to stick our collective heads in the sand and pay attention to the dog whistles on the left and right instead of demanding a stop to the scams.  Those scams are in the process of overcoming our economic environment — like it or not, believe it or not.

Either figure out your path to reduce your footprint and dependencies in all related respects or accept that when it comes, and it will soon enough, likely within the next couple of years, you’re going to be completely screwed at best.

It’s called adulting and you’re running out of time to start doing it.

adulting time to wake up denninger

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