This is the third installment of great Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) articles of the week.
Typically, I like to say a few personal things in this space. This website isn’t just money, but it covers a variety of interests of mine such as health and technology. And if I have something that I really feel is worth sharing, I’ll write it. So when I say, watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on the CW, I mean it.
However, I feel I should write a few words about the election stuff of the last couple of weeks. First, I’d like to reflect on what I wrote 4 years ago:
“I think regular Lazy Man and Money readers know I’m not one to side with any political party. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t write about politics in this space. I believe in voting for the person, not the political party. Most of the time I just hope I’m not in a situation of voting for Kang or Kodos, but far too often it feels like I am.
… According to the [a tool mentioned in the article above], Romney winning will net me a cool $3,500 more than Obama. So you might think I’d be a Romney person. Well, due to Romney’s history of support of MLM/pyramid schemes, I have decided he isn’t the person I want to see as President. I estimate that these scams cost consumers around $20 billion dollars a year. (If there is reader interest, I could explain the calculation in more detail.) That’s the equivalent damage of a hurricane Sandy every two and half years (using the $50 billion damage estimates I’ve seen)… and few people seem to care.”
Now, I don’t view everything through an MLM/Pyramid Scheme lens. However, I think it is a view into someone intelligence and integrity. If they are aligning themselves with such companies it tells me that they either A) aren’t intelligent enough to understand the scheme and/or B) are willing to take the money anyway. It becomes very easy for me to eliminate a candidate that doesn’t have intelligence and integrity.
The current President-elect has even stronger ties to profiting from such schemes… plus one or more other alleged other ones.
So these last two weeks, I’ve been absorbing anything and everything I can that is related to politics. It’s wildly interesting to me. The articles are never-ending. I can’t imagine I’d be reading the same kinds of things if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio won the election. I don’t we’d be having conversations about how to unite the country to the extent we’re having it now.
Today’s “list” of FIRE articles is actually just one. I think it’s an important topic in these times and it focuses deeply on financial issues:
Our Next Life writes, How Subsidies Make Early Retirement Possible, Even Without Obamacare.
The article extends beyond just early retirement. It explains that so many things are subsidized and very few people realize it. When you think about it, nearly every American qualifies for some subsidizing, but we give it different names to make us feel good about it. The Affordable Care Act is really no different. Here’s a quote that’s worth focusing on:
“Drawing the line here, saying ‘No, this ACA subsidy is bad, but all the others are fine,’ is arbitrary, and ignores how much of our lives are subsidized in reality, especially for the rich. (Consider: Tesla drivers literally pay nothing toward maintaining the roads that they use every day, because roads are funded by gas taxes. Guess who drives the least fuel-efficient cars on the road and therefore pays the most to maintain them? People who are forced to drive old cars because they can’t afford new ones. The poor subsidize the rich in more ways than most of us can imagine.)”
At the end of the day, Americans of all kinds receive different “hand-outs” and subsidies. That’s not a bad thing and no candidate wanted to see them going away.
She ends by asking the question, “Do you think you’ve ultimately been a good investment?” I have an answer to that, but the details are part of a guest post for another website. When it’s up and posted, we may revisit that question.