Who Benefits?

Cui bono?  Lawyers should not be the only ones asking this.  Everyone should.

Now there’s a question that gets little respect. Who benefits if I read this article and believe every word?  Who benefits if I don’t believe anything?

What are the crowds of commenters saying? If almost everybody else is saying some version of A, then A must be correct – right?  Wrong.  “Most people” are wrong more often than you’d think.  “Most people” on the internet comment boards are idiots.

Just look at what “most people” believed about a hundred years ago:

Cocaine was the miracle drug.  It cured everything.  Not only did “most people” believe it, but one of the very smartest subsets of “most people” believed it:  Doctors.

“Most people” or even “Most very very smart science kind of people” should not influence your opinion at all.

Ask me why I always question “mainstream medical science.”  Especially when there is fortune unimaginable to the doctors of a hundred years ago available to insurance and pharmaceutical companies today.  Statins, I’m looking at you kid.  I love cholesterol, and want more of it.  Yummy.

Just look at these comment sections and Twitter feeds.  I’ve never been on Twitter, but I have read the feeds from my colleagues.  They look exactly like internet comments but somehow – even dumber.

How can I say most people are idiots?  How dare I say such things!

For one thing, almost nobody knows how to handle money.  Yet almost everyone likes money, and seems to want more of it.  The majority of people will blow every dollar they make and then some.  This applies if they make $8,000 a year, $80,000 a year, or even $800,000 a year.  Your 401k isn’t going to cut it.  You need to save past this.

See my first post below.  I’m sure you have a very sad story as justification for why you can’t save anything.  I can guarantee you there is a story twice as sad as yours, but somehow, this person did manage to save money.  Above that, there is a story twice as sad as that person’s, and even they managed to save money.  And look, over here – there is a story twice as sad as even that person’s, and still they managed to save.

So in a quick search, you can find a person with a story eight times as sad as yours, but this person made it.

Everybody is trying to sell you something.  You don’t need the vast majority it.  You don’t need almost any of it.  It is not going to make you happier, despite how happy and beautiful the people paid to sell it to you look.  And they do look happy and beautiful don’t they?  It is not going to make your life that much more convenient, despite how gosh darn convenient the happy beautiful people paid to sell it to you make it look.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have no issue with people aspiring to have nice things.  I aspire to have nice things.  Heck, I even have some nice things.  And who wouldn’t want to be happy and beautiful.

Have you noticed that new cars prices are rarely advertised? Just monthly payments.  Ever wonder why?

If you have ever said to yourself:  “Wow, I don’t know how I’m going to pay this bill this month!” then you should never, ever, ever buy a new car.

This is coming from someone employed in the auto industry.  My bread is buttered there.  I make a good living.

New cars are financial suicide.  All of them.  They don’t need to be, but that is the subject of another post.

This is going to shock you, so you might want to sit down:

There are – gasp – more than 2 sides to every story.  Both teams have ulterior motives to keep you perpetually afraid.  Team red has things their members are supposed to be afraid of – above all members of team blue.  Team blue has things their members are supposed to be afraid of – above all members of team red.

Meanwhile, while everybody is giving the other team serious side-eye, team purple is ripping everybody off.

Give it up. It is hopeless.  If you are honestly afraid for your life of things you see on the news or social media, the best thing you could probably do is buy everything fresh and cook for yourself.  Exercise regularly.  Sleep 8 hours a night.  Clean your room.  Paint your house.  Wash your car.  Fix your garage door.  Do your homework.  Read a book.  Plant a tree.  Whatever.

Even if you do none of that, at least turn off the news.

Go ahead:  Look up the statistics on that which the news convinced you to be most afraid of today.  I bet you eating unhealthy combined with lack of exercise kills at least 2 orders of magnitude more people.  This is saying you are 100 times, or more, as likely to die from eating unhealthy while not moving than you are from whatever your team’s news source has got you afraid of today.

I should really take my own advice about that last point.

Worry about the 20% or less of things you can control in your life.  Ignore the 80% or more you can’t.

But first, you need to mock yourself for ever believing this BS in the first place.  Looking at it in retrospect is painful.  I believed some really stupid things.  That hurts.  It hurt me.  Not only had a been a sucker, but I’d been one for 35 years.  Ouch.

Seems everybody is outraged about A or B nowadays.  However, when probed about the specifics of their outrage, most can’t tell you a hoot.

Here’s another piece of free advice:  Unless you’ve spent 2 years or more of full time investigation learning specifically if it is a problem, the multiple options available that may lessen or eliminate the problem, the cost of each potential option, the funding of the group providing the data, the details of the equipment providing the data, and who, by name, benefits if it is true, and who benefits if it’s all BS, then you really shouldn’t be outraged at some stupid “viral” headline.

You definitely shouldn’t be typing in ALL CAPS QUADRUPLE EXCLAMAITON POINT ALL THE TIME!!!!  You shouldn’t be shouting over people.  That’s not an argument.  In my experience, that’s exactly what a bratty baby does.

If you are afraid of someone’s opinions (however rank, rancid, or psychotic), then you have the problem.  I want to hear what the wackos are up to so I can stay the heck away from them.  You want to be oblivious to their very presence.  That’s nuts.  You’re nuts.

Stop being afraid.  Worry about the things you can change.

Stop thinking stuff you don’t need is going to make you happy.  The happiness you gain in the short term wears off rapidly.

Stop thinking status symbols are going to make people think you are “somebody.”  They honestly don’t care about your status symbols.  If they do care, then they’re not really your friends anyway.  Not only should you not try to impress these people, you should stay very far away from them.

Finally, ask yourself “who benefits?”  Ask it everywhere.  Ask it often.

 

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