Wednesday, February 22, 2017

10 mini adventures (the key to being alone)

I've been asked how to keep my sanity with all the chaos in my life. Often, my response is a shrug and the simple truth that I am in fact a VERY stubborn person. Recently, I realized a big part of my sanity is my ability to be alone.

Being alone isn't alienating yourself from the world or becoming a hermit. It's the confidence and joy that comes from being about to hang out with yourself. It is the ability to hear yourself, comfort yourself, and ultimately live joyfully within your own world.

A key feature of this practice is what I dub; the mini-adventure. 

Here are ten ideas for personal mini-adventures.
  1. Sign up for a course or class.
  2. People watch at a cafe or coffee shop.
  3. Find a new museum or gallery to wander through.
  4. Go to a bookstore and read a magazine you normally wouldn't read.
  5. Go to a farmers market, flea market, or antique store.
  6. Take a train ride, bike ride, or drive somewhere random and explore.
  7. Find a local taste testing.
  8. Take yourself on a full date or picnic.
  9. Go to the thrift store, buy something you are afraid to wear, and then wear it all day.
  10. Walk from your house with no particular direction and take notice of your surroundings. You'd be surprised on what you've never noticed. *This works the best when you walk so long and far that you have to call a ride to get home

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

having no political representation and economics

Economics is one of the ways that I am conservative. There was a time that economics were discussed within politics. I just don't really see that being true in the last ten to twenty years; outside of vague tax plan "talking points" and promises of "more jobs". I often find myself questioning if Enron or the subprime mortgage crisis would have happened if laymen were more engaged in economic discourse.

Trump recently has unveiled his tax plan (and other economic plans) or what I would call it; a tax disaster (and other economic disasters) .

In the following article, Seth Klarman is quoted as saying, “President Trump may be able to temporarily hold off the sweep of automation and globalization by cajoling companies to keep jobs at home, but bolstering inefficient and uncompetitive enterprises is likely to only temporarily stave off market forces,” he continued. “While they might be popular, the reason the U.S. long ago abandoned protectionist trade policies is because they not only don’t work, they actually leave society worse off.”

Klarman is probably the most famous investors I can think of and his ideas are sought after around the world. His methods of investing are so revered that his books (written decades ago) are sold for  $600 used (Example: Margin of Safety). So, it is not some rando off the streets that is telling us to be wary.

I have already been imagining that his plan is even worse than the Bush tax plan that fueled an economic recession in the early 2000s. Klarman confirmed this notion by writing, “The Trump tax cuts could drive government deficits considerably higher. The large 2001 Bush tax cuts, for example, fueled income inequality while triggering huge federal budget deficits. Rising interest rates alone would balloon the federal deficit, because interest payments on the massive outstanding government debt would skyrocket from today’s artificially low levels.”

I personally know a number of wealthy people who are already pulling their money out of risky investments and hunkering down for the Trump Administration. The consensuses is that Trump's public image actually hurts his acceptance rate globally and that this will hurt the American dollar.

It is definitely food for thought.

Side note: After some light Googling, it is mind boggling that Klarman's books can sell upwards of thousands of dollars.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

on current immigration debacle

If you want to watch a simple cliff-notes video on the Executive Order on Immigration, this one is clean-cut with citations and sources (found in the youtube info box).

My personal opinion: Ambiguous declarations of power lead to confusion and abuse. There is nothing partisan about implementing governing structures that aren't well crafted. The order is too vague and seemingly has little benefit to us. This is not about foreigners getting their feelings hurt because they can't come to America, this is about executive orders going against American principles (and most importantly) going against our current law.

After hearing about this, I spent some time on the phone with a friend of mine knowing that her mother travels to India frequently. My friend was born here and her parents were born in India. She obviously of Indian heritage but is also one hundred percent American. Even so, she lives in terror at what orders like this might mean for her future.

The thing that we tend to forget is that most of us are immigrants in America. For some reason,  a group of overly opinionated (and narrow-minded) people decided that Caucasian is the "real" American. People like my friend have a hard time fighting that. She has already been harassed and told to go home.

She is home.
Don't make her move away.