Monthly Archives: January 2014

Improving Economy Really To Blame For Increasing Divorce Rate?

Is the improving economy really to blame for the rising divorce rate? Some experts will say “yes” and point to the increased divorce rate that occurred after the great depression…yet, statistics had shown that divorce rates fell after the WWII economic boom – while I would hardly call this a boom it seems ironic that experts now use the improving economy as a catalyst for the increased divorce rate.

I am taking a look at this as the Freakonomics guys would. My take is that it is current political policy is to blame. Policies really benefit the single person while penalizing the married couple. Consider that two people that live together as singles rather than get married enjoy more financial benefits:

  •  “two recipients married to each other receive a benefit that is one-quarter less than if they simply lived together but not as husband and wife.”
  • “members of the opposite sex who cohabitate and do not marry (or are not found to be representing themselves as husband and wife) are each guaranteed an income level equal to 100 percent of the federal benefit rate and generally fare better financially than SSI married couples.”

Another consideration is the eligibility for subsidies available from the Affordable Care Act. People are otherwise happily married are considering divorce just because of the financial penalties that hit married couples so hard. It is hard to comprehend that a married couple that earns $62040 would not be eligible for any subsidies, yet that same couple unmarried could together earn up to $91920 and still be eligible for subsidies.

Here is a table that lays it out nicely…perhaps this table should be posted at every city/county/state office that produces marriage licenses.

In addition to not getting married (or getting divorced but continuing to live together as a couple) it may be time to throttle back on ambition and wanting to earn a decent income – Go Galt! Make a minimum economic impact and Enjoy The Decline

Reconciling Disdain For My Job

How does one reconcile the disdain they have for a job while still trying to appreciate it. Given consideration of today’s economy and job market I do not want to sound unappreciative…but my job is slowly syphoning my life and soul. The difficult part of it is the fact that I make really good $$ for the job that I do. I earn above the median income levels…not that that is a goal to shoot towards, but does serve as a benchmark. The problem with the job is it is lacking challenge. I have been at this job just over  5 years, which is the longest I’ve held a job. Usually around the 2-3 year mark I hit my shelf live. The job has become routine and is mindless. I also have issue with the politics of the organization. It is a non-profit so they are very egalitarian. There are some who I work with that routinely do about 2/3 less work, can spend multiple hours away from their desk and yet nothing comes of it. While I could just sit back and behave in the same manner something inside of me holds me back and pushes me forward to continue to work hard…all the while developing a seething resentment. It would be nice if I could take the mindset of doing just enough to get by because my pay will be the same regardless…there isn’t a reward for going above and beyond. Looking out at the job market today though, I would probably have trouble finding a job with similar pay that also offers an environment of not pushing oneself. Basically, it is easy money. And, I don’t believe I necessarily want to find another job. I would rather spend my time developing my own hustles….freelance and whatnot that allow me more time freedom, location freedom, etc. Also, my current job affords me the opportunity (if I exploit it…which I haven’t been) to develop my own hustles while still maintaining my income. I don’t want to face the difficulties of having no or much lowered income. I look at my step Dad (biological will have his own post) as well. He’s worked many years in construction and carpentry and is very skilled…however he’s experienced numerous layoffs and work slowdowns. His skills have allowed him to always find side jobs and word of mouth spreads, so he has been able to keep himself afloat through a patchwork of gigs. My Mom however pushed him to find a “40 week normal job”….in the trades those were difficult to come by. He did finally however land a job, but took a $10 per hour cut! Shit….he could have maintained his side gigs and worked half the time and still end up making the same if not more. I always tried to explain to my Mom how my Dad was better of working for himself, she just couldn’t come to grips with that and wanted the “security” of a 40 hour week job…even with significantly less $$ coming in. I just don’t get it? I don’t want to start applying to jobs and pretending to be a rockstar. Applying for another job wouldn’t be moving towards what I want, just moving away from…or more likely laterally to something just as unappealing.

I need to come to terms with this…I need to learn to let go of my frustrations with the job (realizing frustrations over having less $$ would be much worse) and really go balls to the walls and develop side hustles. I need to not lose respect for myself and realize I am doing what is necessary to move on with my life and not go backwards. Captain Capitalism recently posted a couple of YouTube videos that were like a shot of epinephrine for my psyche. In one he takes out my concerns about my frustrations I felt (yes, felt, past tense after I watching) towards coworkers and management over those that seemed to slack while the go getters made up for the deficit. While this one speaks specifically to military I was able to apply the same principles to help me reconcile the dichotomy I had been feeling towards my job.

RedPill Depression

With taking the Red Pill there may come a time that you feel somewhat depressed. In my case reviewing the past and seeing missed opportunities gives me a slight feeling of regret and depression. While depression and regret is not very Red Pill, I must learn to use these recognitions to avoid missing opportunities available to me now and in the future. I can’t become focused on looking backwards that I end up missing opportunities that might be in front of me now, and opportunities to come.

In my younger days I was absolutely fearless. I would talk to people, girls, etc. w/o censoring myself or getting worked up in my head before talking to them. In fact I had a friend who made the comment that he always liked hanging out with me because he felt better and more confident about himself when he was around me.

But then I started to age and started to fill the “role prescribed by society”. I started to behave more beta and would censor myself before talking…I became a “nice guy”. I would worry about talking to girls for fear of possibly offending them, saying the wrong thing or interrupting whatever it was they were trying to do. I became a shell of a man.

But now that I am digesting the Red Pill and I see the error in my ways from my beta, nice guy days…however I must learn to temper reviewing the past for missed opportunities as a self-education exercise to that I becoming wallowed in looking backwards. I must move forward and act accordingly with my knowledge from the past.  Badgerhut just recently posted a tremendous article that helped me gain better perspective on this.

Kill My Inner Walt Mitty

This was probably one of the most inspiring and a punch to the gut posts I have read. This post had such a resonance with me. For so much of my life I had been such a big dreamer…yet never taking any action towards my dreams. Enough of this!!!! I must “kill my inner Walter Mitty”….reinvent myself. I am to the point in my life where I am looking back with some regrets over lost/missed opportunities and wasted time. Matt’s statement “So what? So you didn’t fulfill one of your dreams back then; you gonna let that stop you now? You pissed away your childhood, now you’re gonna piss away the rest of your life?” is a life changer!  Yes, there are some regrets that I will never be able to recapture. Ex. I was in the military when I was much, much younger. Before going I took the ASVAB but never researched what the scores meant (my fault)…I listened to the recruiter and took a boring MOS that had a nice signing bonus…but now, in hindsight I see that my score could have afforded me numerous opportunities  or schools (Ranger, SF Q course, etc.)…while I don’t know that I necessarily may have passed those courses I never took the opportunity to test myself and see. At this point though it is too late to capture those…but…what I need to focus on now are the opportunities that I CAN take advantage of and the time that I do have now. There is no more time left to be a Walter Mitty!

Lesson In What Women Want From Claire Underwood

Apologies in advance for the poor copy – this is the only one I could find online.

In episode 6 of “House of Cards” Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright made such an insightful speech to Frank’s previous security guard, Steve, after proclaiming his adoration/love for her. As Steve was expressing himself he made what I see as a beta type comment:  “What I wouldn’t give…“

Claire responded:  “Do you know what Francis said when he proposed…’if all you want is happiness, say no. I’m not going to give you a couple of kids and count the days until retirement. I promise you freedom from that. I promise you will never be bored.’ He was the only one who understood me. He didn’t put me on some pedestal. He knew I didn’t want to be adored or coddled.  He took my hand and put a ring on it because he is a man who knows how to take what he wants.”

Of particular note…she said that he didn’t put her on some pedestal and coddle her and knew how to take what he wants.

Is She Done Riding The Cock Carousel?

Back in my younger days, just out of high school I was a model beta/white knighter. Having been raised by a single mother I was indoctrinated with the mindset of being kind, chivalrous and to just lay down for a woman and cater to her every need. Well, a friend of mine met this girl and they started dating. Of course through association I also was able to spend significant time with her. My friend was not a white knighter. He was classic bad boy and boy did this girl go for that hard. She wanted to fix him, help him, etc. etc. Of course I came riding in hard on my white knight horse and became her emotional tampon. After a few weeks I tried to transition our relationship and got shut down with LJBF….

Fast forward to today. I hadn’t been in touch with this girl for many years (over a decade). Out of the blue I get a Linkedin invite asking “are you the Vincent from….” So I responded.  Shortly afterwards I got the following email. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but I’m thinking girl got done riding the cock carousel and is now looking for her beta to settle down with. I’ve highlighted some of the pieces that led me to this belief.

“Well, Good morning and Happy Friday to you , RPGG.    I am so happy that you responded to me, as I was a bit nervous you wouldn’t remember me. 

It is amazing how, as we get older, we reflect on times past and those that have made an impact on our lives resurface.  You were one of those people for meI have never forgotten you and you were always so positive and inspirational.

Happenings over the last 18 or so years.  Nothing too crazy.  I have two grown girls.  Ashley, who you met as an infant, just started her freshman year in college.  Kali is 17 and starting her senior year.  They are beautiful young women that are finally coming into their own in this world.  Don’t get me wrong, they are attempting to do all the stupid and reckless things we did at their age.  Luckily I know the drill and have been somewhat successful in thwarting some of their attempts.

 Me . . . divorced for many many years  (sidebar…emphasis on many, many?) but very happy.  Still living in MN.  Actually only about 4 blocks from mom and dad, who are also doing very well!  I have been a single mom all these years but wouldn’t have it any other way.  I finished school and am working in sales and love it!   Life is good. I am still an eternal optimist but it sure is much for fun seeing the glass half full.

What’s new with you?   Also, feel free to call me any time at the numbers below

Following this shortly afterwards was another email from her

Good morning, sunshine!

I am very thankful reconnecting with you.  I do look forward to a visit to Arizona at some point in 2013.  In fact, I will promise you I will make a visit!

Thoughts… am I reading too much into this or does it seem she’s done riding the carousel and hoping that I was the same beta/white knight from back in the day?