Monthly Archives: September 2015

Rich Vs. Poor Notes: Mildly Organized

The following is my outline for this topic. I haven’t had time to turn this into proper writing but I’m tired of it being hidden from the world and so I’m publishing my notes now. I hope to find the time to convert them into proper articles soon, and I hope you enjoy reading the thoughts below

Rich Advantages over Poor: Self Awareness

  1. Relationships
    • Present the Initial Argument: Relationships are necessary for Business
    • Prerequisite: Relationships are necessary for making Relationships, and more reasons why Poor People have difficulty making friends and therefore advancing economically 
      • Advantages of Relationships and Benefits: connections, safety, Friendship (Gifts), mental health
      • Safety (Evolutionary argument-Strength in numbers): it’s more dangerous to not have many friends than to have many friends.  I used to want to keep the number small, because I can only afford so much, and support and maintain so many, and ensure depth of relationship, but then you are at greater risk for natural selection.  Having a large network hedges you against more potential threats, because you can access more resources and skills, and there’s strength in larger numbers.
        • Everyone has people who like them, and people who don’t care, and people who dislike them.  It’s a wonderful world when the people who like you have power and the people who don’t don’t have power; but it’s a horrible world the other way around.
      • As your network travels through life and accumulates wealth, you accumulate wealth.  If you have 10 people, then you get a trickle down from 10 people; 100, then from 100, more.
    • Developing, Making Friends
      • Quality: How picky you can be depends on your wealth of choices; what you can look for, have to settle for, can ask from the other person.
        • “Love” is harder to find. So are good friends.
        • Because they have better friends, introductions and mutual friends are of higher quality: The A seeking A players effect, and the B seeking C employees effect.
      • Hard for poor to be yourself
        • Rich have a lot, so each individual friendship’s importance is reduced; poor have few, so each single friendship has high value and priority.
      • Mental Health
        • Judging
          • Poor can afford fewer friends, so they are more selective about their friends, and more judgmental.
          • Rich people have many options, so they can afford to be judgmental but still have friends.  Poor people have few options, but are more judgmental, making it harder for them to make friends. The poor are more judgmental partly because it costs more for them to take risks on relationships (not much spare money) and so they have to be more cautious about spending. They also judge each other based on society’s standards, and then reject each other because society rejects them: Then who will they be friends with?
        • Weak
          • Consequence of the lack of a sufficient support network is that they are mentally weak and fragile to judgment.
        • Needy
          • They NEED help, and they NEED friends, so their interactions are more intense, and have desperation.  Harder to be themselves.
          • They are more selfish when it comes to picking friends: It’s about what they need or want, not about what the other person needs or wants.
      • Conversation, Communication, Bonding
        • When do you bring up your past as a poor person? It only defines you if you let it, but it has affected significantly your life and is part of who you are–how do you properly manage and present it? Don’t want to bore other person, or sound like asking for sympathy, yet how else to make connection with who you truly are–can’t and shouldn’t hide it or be embarrassed about it.
    • Type of Relationship
      • Shallow vs Deep Relationships: Rich have relationship skills so they are able to maintain longer lasting and deeper relationships; Poor get into fights, break up, and lack relationship skills and so most are shallow
        • Poor miss out on compound interest return on relationships: Comfort and value built up through time spent together.
      • Business and Personal get mixed more for the poor, who operate selfishly, damaging the relationship over time–people notice and don’t like leeches.  (Badminton: People notice when you don’t remember to bring birdies too often)
      • Empathy and Dating -> Family (focus, care for children)
      • Lack of Empathy
        • Too many people don’t have their needs met, or mistake wants for needs and feel like their needs aren’t met, and so degrade to pre-civilization behavior above and are un-co-operative, reducing wealth for everyone like them.
      • Empathy Potential
      • Saying Goodbye: rich make a party for it; last words are important (social skill); poor, you just leave and disappear. That’s how life is for poor people, so you learn to be detached from people-always ready to break the connection.  (Good Will Hunting). Parents leave with no goodbye
      • Business vs Personal
        • Poor an barely make friends, so their dating ability and skill is even worse.  Shallow, business superficial.  and bad business–good business develops relationship.  Can’t date because going out and having fun costs money.
        • Poor dwell on the wealth more than the rich do.  Rich sometimes just want to have fun and not think business, but poor want things from the rich, whether it’s knowledge on how to get rich, or just material goods.  But business and personal should not be mixed: If it’s personal, don’t try to barter for goods.  If it’s business, the poor lose because they have too little to offer.  The only reason a rich person would do “business” with a poor person is out of charity.  Usually for selfish reasons (self-worth, religion)
    • Difficulty mixing classes
      • When do you bring up your past as a poor person? It only defines you if you let it, but it has affected significantly your life and is part of who you are–how do you properly manage and present it? Don’t want to bore other person, or sound like asking for sympathy, yet how else to make connection with who you truly are–can’t and shouldn’t hide it or be embarrassed about it.
      • Clothing
        • Clothing is an investment for the future as well: article on treatment of the african american mother who dressed well vs. the grandmother who did not.
        • Perception: Equals vs. Power/Status difference.  Rich use it to “accept” people, to see who is “acceptably” dress and therefore acceptable; Poor use it to worship/pedestal/isolate people, to see who they should SUBJUGATE themselves to.
          • Only poor people worship expensive clothing/objects; rich people think it’s normal and are not impressed by the “cost” of the item: they think you’re an idiot if you overspend, while the poor think you’re brilliant to be successful enough to afford it. #Spending
      • Events, Parties
        • Poor have less discretionary time and money, so they attend less, reducing the opportunities to meet people, to gain social skill experience, to be “less awkward.” To be educated from benefits of discussion, points of view, etc.
        • Poor are invited to fewer due to small social network and lack of activities
          • Because they only go to events when needed, the type of events poor go to are different.
          • Because there are fewer events, each one is more memorable to a poor person.  Making judgment high for all their actions.  Which is bad because they probably don’t have social skills to have actions that are positively remembered–usually negative incidents about things going wrong instead of wonderful surprises of things turning out better than expected. ß
        • Social Anxiety: Rich people, parents force kids to go through so many that they aren’t afraid or have social anxiety (less likely); they are familiar with it and know what to expect and do.
        • Purpose: When I was antisocial, I avoided parties because I didn’t know what they were, what the purpose was, how they functioned.  Now I know the point and purpose: It’s Christmas, I haven’t seen a lot of people in a while, so how do I get them all to come out?  I need some kind of reason, event, to draw people in and have them entertained–well that’s a party: to meet up with many old friends, and/or make new ones.  Poor can’t do this because they don’t have that many old friends, so it’s more like a family gathering or small gathering.  Rarer because they can afford less.
        • Birthdays: wealth distribution (Weasley Story)
      • Gifts
        • 10 friends at $150 per friend means $1500 per year.  Rich can afford a social life, poor can’t: they avoid gifts because you need to return a favor/gift, and often times you can’t afford it.  Growing up personally, presents went in and out–no net gain.  Rich: people actually keep their presents, have their lives improved, grow and deepen relationships because gifts are actually meaningful.  Poor just end up with whatever crap happened to come out (white elephant random exchange).
        • When poor DO give gifts, they think of what they can get from the receiving party, and expect them to please give back–therefore it’s never a real gift, it’s always a business transaction/bartering (see business vs personal and friendship diff poor rich).  I noticed you have something I want, gimme it please! If you don’t give it to me, I ask: are you a good friend or what?  This forces poor to make bad business deals, making them even poorer.  If they don’t, then the community sees the person as selfish and someone who doesn’t share wealth
        • When rich give gifts, all their needs are taken care of, so the gifts are about making each other happier (A rich person giving a 3DS to a friend so they can play together).  They try to get to know each other, try to figure out what makes each other happy, particularly if it’s something they can do together to deepen and strengthen the friendship.
        • when you are poor and someone offers you their trash (used clothes, toys, etc.) or their left overs (barely edible food), you are SO grateful for their generosity.  When you are rich and someone does this, they think it’s insulting: I’m not your trash can!  You should be saving up and giving me the BEST of what you have, instead of your leftovers!
      • Rich don’t have [many/the same] problems, so harder to relate and have empathy; rich have different problems from poor, so it’s hard to help or give help, be understanding; etc.
      • Social Skills
        • Behavior and Personality
          • Rich are more likely to give commands because that’s the position they are naturally in; poor are more likely to be timid
          • Rich like to try new things, have new experiences, it’s fun; poor, change is scary, they can’t afford to take the same kind of risks.  For me, it took a while to learn to have fun, that things don’t have to be serious all the time (needs vs. wants mindset; business vs personal mindset) (see “social status”)
        • Body Language
          • Poor have dead-pan facial expressions: hide your emotions and feelings so you don’t get hurt or laughed/attacked.  Rich are very facially expressive about their emotions.  Homeless people on street, act cool, tough; walking in SF, saw someone with chocolate milk in one hand and cigarette in other: face stuck in one expression; contrast with social interaction with a very social girl, face very expressive, and thought it weird/a turn-off when I spoke dead-pan.
          • Subordinate behaviors; Social Decorum
          • Poor people bow, rich people turn up their chins. Body language causes chemicals in brain and sets state and mood for submission vs. control.
          • Social Assumptions
            • invented dialogue (top down processing, vision and shadows–psychology of how we imposing our understanding of the world into our interpretation of facts
            • while for rich, I always assume someone is complementing me, or apologizing to me: I invent and add dialogue to solidify my position as superior.  Poor people do the same, inventing dialogue, but to solidify position as inferior. Rich talk in condescending tone, poor talk in worshiping tone (respect/religious)
          • Shopping
            • Lower end stores, clients apologize to staff; high end stores, staff apologize. (You can only handle taking so much responsibility before it’s overwhelming.  Rich point fingers all the time, but if you try to help someone by pointing out all the flaws, that person won’t improve)
        • Conversation/Communication
          • Poor children are taught not to talk back, because the parents want to feel in control at home, since they don’t get that int he “real world,” or working world, since when parents are at work they are to listen to the clients, serve others, and not talk.  Thus they don’t develop conversation of social skills (also too poor for parties).  Rich, however, are encouraged to talk more, speak up, speak your mind–freedom of speech is a rich man’s right–they aren’t afraid of being fired or judged because they have money and other friends and support networks.  Thus they end up being more talkative, more socially skilled to make good impressions, be liked, and succeed in life.
          • Poor are used to direct questions or direct commands, they don’t do well with open ended questions; the rich are allowed to express opinions, have freedom with what they can talk about, so they love and thrive in open ended environments. With this comes comfortability with ambiguity, vs. absolutes.
          • Awkward Silence: this only exists for social people with a wealthy social life, because it’s only for those people that it’s common to have a lot to talk about: people with many things going on in their lives (which means they are wealthy enough to pay for those activities; like at Ballroom Dance Team, constantly getting different help from different people’s specialties; cycling through people, and whenever together with anyone, always talking–never standing around with little to say or no purpose). For people with much to say and do, awkward silence is a waste of time; for the poor, they have nothing better to do, no where else to go, and time is “cheap” compared to money, so they are more comfortable or accustomed and used to silence.  They don’t have as much to talk about, or they don’t have the energy (see eating habits -> nutrition), nor the education or communication skills and practice necessary to even talk and express themselves.  To poor, constant talking is awkward.
            • Economics of Friendship misapplied: poor (I) believed that exclusivity brings meaningfulness and value to pre-existing relationships.  This is probably taken from experience poor got from being exclude from the rich–that’s why rich are superior.  Therefore, to feel the same sense of superiority themselves, the poor are more exclusive.
            • Business argument: chance of meeting someone to make you rich increases the more people you know
            • Investments argument: everyone around you is earning money and advancing, so your relationship investments grow.  they are also gaining knowledge and perspective.  diversified.
            • The rich have more friends, so are more accepting of different people, less judgmental, and more likable; they are more willing to be themselves because if they don’t get along with you, they’ll just move on to someone else.  They can also afford to have half friends, acquaintances, etc. ranges of relationships, gaining benefits of networking.
      • I used to have hate and bitterness and resentment towards the rich (like they have towards the poor) because they had things I didn’t: money, beauty, clothes, toys, families, friends, parents, etc..  I didn’t have those things and I solidified that by telling myself I didn’t have them and never could have those things. Got used to not having those things, steeled my mindset.  This steeling of mindset prevents empathy: we become robots, obeying, not feeling, but executing bad logic because we lack the tools to see the better way to live life.
    • Problems Fitting In
      • “Nice” means different things to different people, different classes, cultures, etc.
  2. Decision Making
    • Source of bad decision making is a bad mental model of the world, and an inability to have the mental health to own up and face reality and get better and improve it.  Lack of Friends/relationships that can help: Businessmen chase smarter more valuable people –> Critiques on Econ System today.
    • Source of bad decision making is environment (Mental Health: Anxiety, Depression, Emotion) whose circumstances promote bad decisions over good ones.  
    • Mental Health for control, will power; tolerance for obedience, superiority or not. 
    • Experience
    • Mindset: Unhealthy mental health, need mindset, short term, bad investment goals and logic: they make sense in the circumstance, but to succeed they must …how?
    • Preparation: Poor, you land in the circumstance unexpectedly: under stress, anxiety, and fear, you must figure it out now, quickly!  Rich, you plan ahead, research, make the decision calmly, and proceed.
    • #SVA
      • Rich have a lot of practice because they face so many; poor face fewer
        • Anxiety: they are paralyzed with fear about each one because it affects them more greatly, which keeps them from making the right choice or learning.  Since rich have so many, each individual one isn’t that important.   Skill due to more practice, less anxiety due to less risk in each: if wealthy person made decisions that impacted their entire wealth and wellbeing, they would be stressed too.
        • Depression: Because there are fewer decisions. Poor remember each one more: they are longer lasting.  When they go south, which is most of the time, it results in overall depression.
        • Poor think about everything with a “need” mindset; wealth is a paradigm shift from need to want.  Poor therefore don’t know how to manage or distinguish between wants and needs: they mistake wants for needs, causing depression, and anxiety: can’t be happy or enjoy things because it feels like a life-threatening “need.”
      • Rich make timeless decisions ( for the “betterment of society and others,” poor never get this opportunity.  Thus poor don’t feel like they have control, and they are slave to always be stuck wasting brain power making decisions.
        • Rich know that their decisions are far reaching and will influence and impact the lives of many many people, and so in that sense they are very selfless, because they are always thinking of others. that’s why the feel like the poor might be ungrateful or not seeing all the help and thought that the rich do put in; the rich feel unappreciated. the poor on the other hand are much less likely to think about others, and are much more likely to be selfish, looking out for just themselves, and optimizing for themselves and screwing others.  Rich learn to play cooperatively because otherwise other rich won’t do business with them.
    • Mindset toward possessions or opportunities: scarcity = maximize utility out of everything. A poor person doesn’t think “what is the right thing to do now in order to achieve my goals,” because the immediate short term goal always takes precedence, and it is always about: saving money.  (Example: eating habits)
    • Emotional Decision Making #RDU Emotional damage and focus
      • influenced by Religion
        • Poor, religious life is all about what you can NOT do: constant reminders by preachers, police, manager, media, etc. Reinforcing the idea that poor can’t control their lives, but should obey–which is crippling to mental health because few can live happily enslaved.  Rather than a list of possibilities you can have (Need Role Models), you think: “I want X, but because I am poor I cannot have X.” That thought becomes ingrained into your identity. Thus we believe money will solve our problems–this is a distraction from the truth. While money may solve the problem externally, it’s the habits that result in not having money that should be addressed as the real problem.  (link to willingness to take responsibility section in Denial)
        • If you can’t afford to see a doctor, you’re not going to see one!  So the next best thing is going to be a religious person, because that’s the only person who will come and the only one you can afford-this is why religion proliferates among low income communities.  Furthermore, the extent to which you believe prayer helps increases the likelihood that it will help, because your body will have positive emotions of hope, which strengthens your immune system, so you are more likely to fight off your disease naturally than before.  Therefore, if you believe strongly in religion, it does increase the “probability” that your immune system will fight off the disease.  Feels better if a community prays for you too, you feel loved, which is also an emotion of healing.  Hence religion and its belief takes hold.  Success stories are told and retold with confirmation bias.
        • Emergent property is that the poor are more emotional, and make more irrational decisions because their decisions are made emotionally.  Bitcoin E and math/logic P.
        • Experiences with religion also classically condition the poor people to use emotional strength to solve problems, and believe that having conviction in what they fantasize will help them achieve success, rather than research, logic, and facts.
    • Perception of Money
      • When I started having money for the first time, I never knew whether “this is a lot of money” or not: I have no concept, because having money at all feels like a lot of money.  Not having money -> having money, the shock is too great, and the familiarity too small, to be able to calm down and handle and think clearly about what to do about having money.
      • The rich almost never see money anymore.  Everything is electronic, swipe of a card, out of mind out of sight.  Poor have the psychological annoyance of having to carry around and spend cash.  It increases stress because they see the money they so sorely need, leave them, while for rich, spending doesn’t feel like spending at all: I hand a credit card, then I get it back.  I type in a few digits on the computer, and it all feels the same, I add a single 0 and I spend 10x; for a poor person, they have to physically hand over something 10x more; they feel it much more than the rich.  Money is a small part of the reality of a rich person, it’s a huge part for a poor person.
      • To poor, money isn’t just money, it has emotion, history, experience, feelings of opportunity, hope, and resentment about having or not having it.  It’s not so simple of a poor person to part with money: it has sentimental value like an antique since they usually have held onto each physical bill/currency for much longer than a rich person, saving it.  To the rich, money is just currency that makes their lives go round daily.  The rich live on more dollars per day than a poor person.  So each individual dollar’s value is diluted.
      • When I helped B’s friend, she thought there’s NO way she can afford college.  But upon examination, she thought that because she didn’t rationally do financial accounting properly.  She was making more money than she thought–she took the number after expenses due to lack of education
    • Financial Decisions
      • Spending:
        • Rich make better decisions than poor, not only due to benefits in financial knowledge and education, but also because of mindset.  The Rich wonder “Is this the right way to do things, or the wrong way to spend.”  Poor think a level lower: “this option results in me spending money, this option results in me not spending money…save money!!!”  The principle is different: spending right, vs. avoiding spending.
          • Rich have time to research and shop around for deals.  For the poor, investing in the future isn’t about shopping for the right decision, it’s about NOT spending any money now, NOT investing anything too long term in case you need to pay for something unexpected short term (healthcare, car).  Poor must invest into cash and savings, which has NO pay off/interest.  They do this just to stay alive and break even; rich don’t have this problem because not only are their needs met, they also have the 6 months of savings so they have extra money to save for the future.
          • RESEARCH: psychology/behavior: when scientists gave participants a test where the could click on a dot on the screen for 1 cent or hold out for a 15 cent dot, they learned to
          • Poor save money on health to spend money on happiness/consumerism/entertainment/etc.  Rich see this and go, that’s stupid, take care of your health, stop driving up healthcare premiums!  What the rich don’t understand is: what’s the point of physical health if there’s no happiness?  What’s the purpose of living if there’s nothing to live for?  Just to work at menial labor jobs where they aren’t in control, and must obey, and are treated not like human beings?  That’s why they focus mental and physical energies on starving so that the extra 10 cents can go to happiness later, or into savings fund for catastrophes.
          • Mental Health
            • Because their personal life is depressing, and they need to find happiness and joy somehow, their actual spending patterns are erratic and detrimental: on one day they will starve themselves to save money, but on another they will “waste” money on trivial things, because what good is health if you can do nothing with the physical health–you need psychological happiness as well.
        • Wealthy people are more stingy, because many of them obtained wealth through penny pinching.  Poor are less calculating, and so spend more than they should and don’t keep track of spending or budgets-lack of financial skills.  Contrary to belief that rich can spend a lot, they actually minimize their spending
        • Investment strategy
          • Risk taking
            • less tolerance due to lack of buffer and stability in financial situation. Don’t have 6 month’s worth in savings.
            • The odds of winning are directly proportional to wealth.  If I play a game of chance, flip a coin, heads I win, tails I lose.  If I can double my investment off every loss, that is to say if I bet $1, lose it, bet $2, lose it, I will have lost a total of $3.  If I bet $4 next time, and win, I will have won money.  The chances of me losing that $4 is for 3 losses to occur, or 1/8.  I need $7 to bet 3 times.  If I have $15, I can bet 4 times, and reduce my chance of loosing to 1/16.
            • Bankroll lessons from Poker: Be smart about where you play.  Don’t level up to a big table thinking luck will carry you through–that’s how you lose everything. Master the level you are at first, then move on in a safe manner.  That way, if you fail, you aren’t homeless, you just go down one level and train and practice more.  Calculated risk taking.
        • Short vs. Long term; life expectancy
          • Rich can invest money in long term future 401k etc., or even buying new pots and pans, so they can reap the benefits of compound interest early.  Poor have to save up, or else get stuck in debt.  Lack of 401k means lack of compound interest growth, and lack of ability to leverage 401k for opportunities like buy a house or make smart investments that will earn MORE money.
          • Because the poor never have enough to really invest for the long term, they have a habit of only focusing on the short term: what can I achieve that’s guaranteed now, because the long term might never come and is too great a risk for a poor person to be TOO invested in the future.  It takes wealth to be able to guaranteed a future, and plan for it.  Death is more likely to come early for poor than rich, so difference in planning. YOLO is a poor person reality.
          • Taxes and social welfare is the only long-term investment the poor can really afford to make.  The rich don’t need it: they have 401k. This is why rich hate taxes, and the poor want them: taxes for the rich mean loss of investment principal, for the poor it means benefits upon retirement, otherwise no retirement ever.
        • Entrepreneurship.  Do I have more to lose, or a rich person?  I sacrifice guaranteed upward mobility for a chance at huge upward mobility.  A rich person sacrifices guaranteed large upward mobility for a chance at huge upward mobility.  I’m investing my potential, the rich is investing both potential, and actual money (I have little actual money to invest).
        • Since spending is a large factor in determining quality of life and end of life wealth, this perpetuates the gap.  Smart spending also teaches smart investing, but the poor miss out on these lessons.
          • Gambling: because they were never educated in business or law, they are basically gambling with every decision they make.  They are making decisions without knowledge or being well informed, so they are gambling on luck.
      • Fewer opportunities (obvious)
    • Nutrition/Physical Health
      • water to save money
      • lack of proper healthcare (Doctor answering my questions vs Stanford doctor voluntarily giving advice)
      • lack of time and money to buy fresh ingredients, and make food and cooking decisions.  If I buy canned food, I don’t have to make decisions for a long time; if I buy fresh produce, I have to come up with a brand new menu every few days or else repeat.
      • Eating habits: buffet. “I’m at a buffet now so I need to maximize my dollar by eating only the expensive dishes, causing a bad balance of nutrition, diet; increased chance of diabetes/heart risk since it’s likely to be heavy foods; food coma for the rest of the night, and a few days to recover as your body washes out all he chemicals and ingredient used to over flavor the food, etc.”  Rich however eat the “normal needed amount of food” per meal because they know that tomorrow or the next meal they can eat again: they make enough money to be able to afford food.  Poor have bad digestive systems because the opportunity to eat food is rare and inconsistent, that’s why they learn to gorge themselves at every opportunity to maximize the benefit.  With all the blood rushing into the stomach, the poor person is unable to function properly, brain doesn’t work, so they get taken advantage of by others or by ads, or they can’t think clearly to make good decisions, be productive and work; they lose a lot of time in order to maximize saving money.  Furthermore, because they are focused on eating then food coma, they can’t socialize, which is the major point of eating with people, and results in the many social problems and the problems that come from that.
    • Mental Health Insecurity
      • Financial reality
      • it’s easy to lose sight of what to care about, when society is so interspersed with varying contrasting beliefs. They don’t have access to counselors or life coaches or wise old people who are wealthy and therefore can shed light on how to get wealthy
        • Poor don’t have a cohesive view of reality, just a jumble of reactions, mostly emotional, to a variety of unorganized situations.  Go have fun with friends? NO, go study or work to make more money.  Spend money? NO, go save money.  We don’t think about the context or big picture (lack of decision making skill/education); just a set of rules, restrictions that make ourselves feel bad
        • There is also a climate that makes poor feel like they don’t deserve happiness (religion teaches this); but my life has become much better since I learned that being happy is ok, and not a sin.
      • Wasted Energy: It’s a crippling sickness to constantly be thinking about: do I have friends, or not? That is the primary focus of your life, consuming clock cycles and energy and etc.  Or do I have friends or not?  Or does anyone, my parents, love me or not?  Etc.  The rich, who don’t have to worry about these, if they don’t, they have a huge advantage in being able to be productive.  However, this highlights that of all aspects of life, our economy and system structure biases and only allows for productivity, and does not appropriately allow for all aspects of life.
        • Poor face a lot more decisions that are ‘trivial’ than the rich; decisions that take up brainpower that could be invested in improving one’s self.  Rich have things like “retainer,” “insurance,” “[gym] membership,” basically deferred automatic payments that push out of sight the burden of spending decisions, and the stress of paying bills.  You think about it once when you sign up, and never again with auto payments.  For poor who can’t afford that, they have to continuously weight the pros and cons of using a pay-per-service, or not, and to shop around for the best price, and weigh that price against how much pain and suffering they can still endure in order to save the necessary amount, because poor’s perception of money is emotional, pain and suffering.
      • Death
        • Rich worry about it less, can make Budget decisions for long term because longer life expectancy; poor, shorter life, bigger threat: poor thinks about personal mortality in more real terms than rich; more time lost for poor to decision making, stress anxiety etc.
      • Denial: Lack of self worth to handle truth and criticism.
        • Willingness to face the truth is inversely proportional to confidence/wealth in that area.  Because I’m poor, for stocks, I really want to be successful, so I crave validating information and have confirmation bias–I don’t want to find out bad news truth.  For skills I’m interested in developing like music, dance, sports, art, I crave criticism because I have the confidence I’ll be great some day–I am wealthy enough in physical ability to handle the criticism.
          • Having stock changes my perspective entirely about the world: I actually care about and stay track of the economy, and I want to understand it.  Before, I hated it, I just thought it was evil and that’s it.
        • Willingness to take responsibility
          • Poor often say “If I could afford a chauffeur/blank then I wouldn’t be late/etc.” and blame their circumstance and constraints, rather than dealing with them and overcoming, and not empathizing that everyone has their own set of constraints.  It is unfortunate that you lack the resources to make your life easier, but if you want to succeed, do what is necessary rather than complain and fail.  If you need 4 hours to prepare, then take the 4 hours; take the bus instead of the limo; hand wash instead of laundry machine, etc.  Don’t complain about how if you had money it would be easier.  The “because we’re poor” excuse is crippling because it excuses in the mind bad behavior that should be corrected for self improvement.  (Link to “Role Models” to share story of struggles)
          • Illogical thoughts that don’t benefit self: mom keeps blaming and criticizing others instead of focusing on self.  Refusing to take responsibility because the system is corrupt, and the poor have no interest in buying into a corrupt system.  This bias causes them to want the believe the system is bad, so that they can excuse their failures and blame it on the rich.
          • not taking responsibility means they miss out on lessons from failure: Rejection Therapy
            • Poor are called failures, so it’s much harder for them to handle more failure, or rejection, so they don’t learn important lessons. But that’s where they are going to find success the most: Instead of being told what the requirements are (job app, college app, rubric), then doing exactly those tasks and “redeeming” the contract, it’s about not having any contract and on the fly making decisions and acquisitions.
        • Only the poor really have to ‘face reality,’ as most things can be solved or pushed away with money (not all).  Rich use money to create a Denial of circumstance, poor use mental denial.  (Depending on problem, some the rich are better off because money will solve it; some both rich and poor are just hiding the problem, the problem doesn’t go away)
        • poor memory due to suppressing memories
          • Poor don’t want to face the facts because the truth is depressing, or they are used to the truth being bad news, so they use denial and delusion to improve their “reality.”
          • When most things in life hurt you, you learn to be more forgetful and avoid having a memory, because most memories are hurtful. This becomes a problem because memory is important for life, success, and for happiness: happy people talk and reminisce about happy things; you can’t contribute to conversation and socialize if you’re going to be depressing all the time.  Your ability to suppress the past hurts your long term progress.
      • Self Worth
        • Not having expressive loving parents made me wonder whether I deserved love.
          • Poor also made me wonder if economically I didn’t deserve love, or even to live, because my food/water/needs are not met. (this is due to flawed view that you are interacting with the “world” at large: truth is it doesn’t even know or consider your existence)
          • Connection to dating: Love is too tied with wealth, dissociating the two will be difficult. Love takes time and money, which the poor don’t have much of; so they don’t get to experience much love and so they feel unloved.  Which is depressing, which demotivates and etc.
        • acceptance, inner peace: if you can’t accept yourself, no way you’ll accept others.
          • “However, the point of the book Gatsby isn’t “look at gatsby, what a bad guy,” It’s that the American Dream is a fraud, it’s close to impossible to achieve because the game is rigged for the blue bloods, leaving illegal activities as the only way to get wealth. Gatsby tries to class-pass, but he will always be the gauche pink suit to the upper crust. But how can we blame Gatsby for trying what his culture told him to do, something that our culture still tells us to do: make all the money, get the girl, throw a party”
        • This is why american dream is about: get rich (needs taken care of) -> get girl (family) -> throw party (friends)
          • Value of a Person: rich use wealth as a measuring stick; everyone wants to feel valuable somehow. Imagine being at Richard Branson’s private island house and meeting one of his friends and finding out the friend is not a millionaire CEO, what could that person bring to the table? Kindness, warmth, love, compassion, stories, life experience and perspective?  If you judge based on one criteria, like Einstein said judging a fish on how well it climbs the tree, you are missing the point: each person defines their own values.  Don’t let anyone else force their value system onto you: you live your life the way you want to according to your principles.
          • People climb the social class ladder because we give it power: we give it the ability to judge us based on our position.  If we don’t let it determine our self worth, then it can’t and wont.
        • Socializing: I only ever join groups where I know the leader personally.  This is distinctly a rich advantage.  It also gives me confidence wherever I go, because I know the owner, or owners of similar things.  This is why poor may lack confidence if they don’t have the same social connections.
          • reading a job posting that said “and as an intern, you can work with the CIO of blah!” and I’m thinking…wait, I know the CIO.  The surrealism of having connections
        • The difference between a poor person and a rich person is internal: the habits, knowledge, logic, conversations.  Poor people won’t join in as much about rich people topics like art, museums, traveling, because the poor can’t afford that.  However, don’t let that keep you from developing a relationship: think of “rich people topics” as just like someone’s personal interest in topic X (Birds, insects, cars, etc.) that you happen to not be interested in, or have little knowledge of, and react normally–don’t make it into a class/money issue.
        • All this talk about wealth inequity makes it seems like it’s not right to be poor: it is OK to be poor, don’t feel bad about it.  Making everything about increasing wealth and optimizing for highest returns is a painful existence.  You can’t relax because it’s a waste of time, happiness is a waste of time, enjoyment, training unnecessary skills: painting, manual labor, etc.  Ultimately, you should accept who you are and where you are in your life.  Improve, but don’t rush it, just let it happen.
  3. Spending more time to get worse results, Living in a 3rd world Country
    • lack of help from specialization
    • Health: I live in 3rd world country conditions in a 1st world country: I dehydrated myself for hours because I didn’t want to spend $0.10 on a water bottle to save money
    • Poor: don’t feel like you’re in a 3rd world country: you’re not because of all the government infrastructure you’re surrounded by: cost of roads, cars, etc. (Tokyo’s water discharge system for floors and tsunamis) and other things you take for granted in cities and civilization
    • Rich think: look at all these things MY tax dollars are paying for that the poor take advantage of!  First, rich people, you are benefiting too so it’s not like it’s only for the poor.


Poor Advantages over Rich: Self Awareness

  1. Poor are more willing to work extremely hard, and leverage every opportunity and advantage.  Rich are more principled and promote restraint.  Rich let opportunities pass by because they have many, poor fight for every single one.
    • This is not the time to be pretentious, high and mighty and have a superiority complex: don’t think this behavior is beneath you. a professional overcomes obstacles and challenges with little effort, and I wanted to be a genius pro, not a normal person who suffers mortal challenge.  I thought poor who fight hard are beneath me: like Mitt Romney says, why don’t they just work hard in school, then cruise through life?  Because 1. without suffering you can’t get what you want and 2. they grew up in an entirely different world: different economic system and value system.  They didn’t have the systems you had access to.
  2. Bystander affect –> poor people help crime, rich people don’t because rich people have police or security


Problems that need addressing

  1. Correctional System: Needs vs. wants
    • Parenting
      • Any free time for parenting is spent on discipline, which is need; work most hours; play is a luxury that can’t be afforded.  This is why poor kids complain about not having positive memories with parents, parents can’t afford it.
      • Children to rich are a source of joy, children to poor are a source of headaches, problems, exhaustion, bills, work, etc.  As a financial investment, children of poor yield so little benefit that the parents prefer to spend on themselves for happiness, whereas for the rich it’s a different perspective.
    • Criminal
      • Needs vs wants: Just shut them up and lock them up; minimum budget.  Want to help but only rich people can afford those resources.
      • If your cost of living exceeds your economic value, you must lie/cheat/steal or die. No-one lies down and dies unless they’re suicidal
        • However, poor should realize that it is in fact not a good thing to steal: They wrongly believe that the justification remains true as long as they are poor: wrong, it’s only as long as they need to.   See Moralities Regarding Inequality and Unfairness below
    • I find that I run away from consequences and I mistake dealing with the consequences of my actions as unfairness.  I have them tied together because I wasn’t taught to do the right thing, so I feel like it’s unfair to punish me when I wasn’t told the rules of the game in the first place.  But now that I’m in a better place, I have the courage and strength to handle, cope, and deal with the consequences.  Punishment is much harder to deal with when it’s the only thing you see–when everyone punishes you and constantly treats you badly, then it’s hard to ever want to change and stop rebelling and fighting.  Criminal correction methods need to be improved: use love and kindness to teach love and kindness.  Those with good parents therefore learn to react with love and kindness; those without learn to react with aggression.
    • Guilt comes from within.  Forcing someone to be in jail, or finding them guilty by panel is all external.  It doesn’t help to correct unless it is internalized.
  2. Business vs Personal treatment of poor and rich
    • Rich vs. poor approach: rich people get help they need, with forgiveness.  Poor get disciplined.  Business vs. personal: rich have protection from business with personal help; poor face the cruel capitalist business world that punishes them. Rich get treated as people, their needs taken care of with proper resources.  Poor don’t: the budget for help is limited and scarce and insufficient.  We treat the poor as a group, collectively–no individual recognition of personalization.  The rich, they get treated like people.
    • Rich can get sick: the boss will take care, or manager, or friends, etc.  Poor cannot: they don’t get paid, and they lose their fake, materialistic friends.
      • SNL Christmas Special 2013: Bloomberg and Madonna get special treatment as guest stars; we like their unprofessionalism because we like who they are as people, their actual identities, not who they are acting as and whether they did a good job acting.  For the new cast members with no reputation, we are must stricter–we have no personal relationship with them, so it’s businesses: act well or we don’t like you.  JT and Jimmy Fallon, I smile when I see them, even before any jokes–positive bias.  Unknowns, which are what the poor are, get no such advantage.  No benefit of doubt.
    • NYTimes agrees with zero tolerance system for children as being too harsh (business vs personal)
  3. Rebellion and resulting self harm
    • Poor think they have a right to rich’s money, flawed
    • Poor think social structure was designed to oppress them: no, purpose of organizing and interacting and managing. Like you’re trying to play a video game in your house but someone is inside bothering you, so you throw him out; rich = has home and video game, poor = thrown out.
      • Superiority: without structure, we don’t know who is superior to who.  One one hand we need one to organize ourselves and accomplish great things together that we couldn’t do alone.  On the other hand, the system is designed by those in power so they can make choices that keep them in power, and continue feeling good about themselves.  Without the system, everyone is equal and it’s chaotic and confusing: the world becomes unstable and scary, and decision making is more difficult.  Lots of negative affects: lack of trust, fear of unknown.  Thus, the rich strengthen their grip and the weak suffer.
        • this epiphany was brought by watching ryan and macklemore perform on SNL and seeing their clothing and thinking about how I won’t be able to express my clothing style at work because I have to wear business attire. Then I’m judged on the business scale, i don’t get to be self expressive and etc. Judged as a worker, not as a person (Other SNL epiphany with Madonna)
    • #PDU Waste
      • I wasted and threw away a TON of food while employed, because I had the disposable income to.  I was also disorganized, because I had the time to waste on searching for things I wanted–there was no rush or urgency because my life was calm and not stressful.  It’s not the rich’s fault that the poor don’t have things, and it’s not wrong for the rich to “waste” what “should be given” to the poor–economics says the rich earned it, they bought it and have property ownership, so they can do with it whatever they want.  #entitlement of poor people.   they do it because they can, they own it and that’s how property works in America/Capitalism/System
    • Morals Regarding Inequality and Unfairness
      • Is it fair to lose? To win? Competition…IMO, tennis, school/education, etc.
      • Don’t complain about not being able to make million dollar deals and make 4% off that, vs. 4% off $10k, or other such complaints about having a small principal to invest with.
      • Poor wrongly believe they are JUSTIFIED in stealing or mistreating the rich, because the rich are too rich and it is their right #entitlement to rebalance the injustice of the world.  I screwed many people on my way up the social ladder, and I would have continued to screw people (Rent, Apt) if I never learned to accepted where I am.  To understand that I am privileged in many ways, and I AM wealthy (Friend with traveler and access to his traveling pictures), compared to others, I just don’t compare to the right people–and I didn’t learn to appreciate myself and my differences.  To realize that this was always the case: wealthier than some.  “There is always someone better/richer/smarter,” this common saying should be used to teach us that we shouldn’t keep screwing people to try and get better.  Especially each other–other poor people
      • I used to think the government should create a property law to declare that despite the rich having earned it fairly through the capitalist system, there is a moral imperative which takes precedence and should be sued to prevent waste by the rich to provide quality for the poor.
      • Ethics doesn’t have numbers: you can’t say you can kill N chickens, but not more than N.  It’s either kill none, or it’s fair to kill. Situationally though: in this context it can be ok, in another it’s not  Applied to money: Can’t say over 100k is extravagant, either yes money or no money.
      • I used to think the rich should give to the poor because that’s what fairness is: distribute fairly.  If you have something, you are obligated to share it with me if I don’t have it: it shouldn’t be a choice, waste is cruelty I thought.  But I no longer think this way (friendship proves you can’t be fair) because of an “analogy to pre-civilization” (above) and the movie The Croods: breakfast opening scene; when we were hunter gatherers, if we stayed in one place and did nothing, be lazy, we die. We had to move around and work. So the idea that kindness and equal wealth distribution should entitle me to the food that I didn’t work for and earn, doesn’t make sense.  If I were to sit in one place, while another tribe gathers food for the winter, they don’t have to share: They are allowed to watch me starve to death.
      • Furthermore, if someone develops skill with traps and learns to use them to gather food faster and easier, they are again not obligated to share any of it with people who fail to learn; these skill analogies are educational subjects and school.
      • Jungle analogy
        • math, education, etc. are basic skills for the jungle of civilization. Like recognizing clean water from bad. If you fail education/hunting training, you can survive, but suffer more; it’s not unfairness per se, but evolutionary competition.
        • Finance is the new jungle: you aren’t born with these skills because you can’t see it with your eyes or emotions, you have to see with your mind, and this knowledge is missing from schools.  Rich Dad, Poor Dad pg 120 “You can see real estate and stock certificates, but you can’t see: the deal, the financial agreement, the market, management, risk factors, cash flow, corporate structuring, tax laws, and a thousand other things that make something a good investment or not.”
        • Biology gave us amazing visual processing engines because that was what we needed in the jungle: times have changed, civilization has completely altered our environment.
          • This is why the highest paying jobs are creating and thinking jobs, and the lowest are manual labor–one uses the mind, the other the eye. This is why sports have mainly been relegated to entertainment and culture: we used to need to hunt, now we just do it for ‘sport.’
      • Message: it’s not unfairness, it’s life, life is unfair, accept it: don’t go into Denial. From this perspective of accepting reality, the real problem is not the system that exists, but the lack of support and resources for people who want to better themselves: people without families to support them or financial backgrounds or environments that will help them improve themselves.  The poor spend all their working energy just to survive, hardly any free time they have NEEDS to be used for happiness to stay sane, rather than be stressed and pressured by studying and working hard to invest in future; bodies need mental health and rest.
        • ## Therefore, I offer up this website and suite of apps to support people who want to improve.
    • Dumb Protesting
      • Education: My protest with the system: hate for judging me and not treating me as a human being, not giving me fair resources as peers.  In the end it bites me in the back and just makes me worse off: only hurt myself, failed to hurt the system.  Protest smarter
      • As a protest against society, I became proud of my lack of obedience and assimilation: signs that made me poor like acne, ripped clothes, un-kept hair, unorganized, etc. I felt solidarity with my brothers who were poor.  However, now that I am “wealthy enough” to socialize with richer folk, and to make the choice to not have those things, I’m having difficulty being accepted into the group who always made the choice to be proper–well it wasn’t a choice to them, it was just natural; so I get judged and I am at a disadvantage.  As such, I am considered lower class based on first impressions, and this holds me back (see clothing).
      • Silent protest is bad: when I dress poorly on purpose but I don’t explain why, people are more likely to just assume I am unorganized and unsuccessful, or have bad fashion sense, or am impolite and disrespectful; if I wear a solidarity pin, I need to explain what it stands for!  Same with my clothing statement.  I need to explain and express myself PROActively–I can’t wait for them to ask, because they won’t, they will guess and believe they know why.
      • I thought this was rebellion, for justice, fairness, and inequality, but if I take a step back and look at it from a 3rd party perspective, and remove emotion: it’s a form of disrespect.  I am disrespecting the “wealthy” or those in command when I blatantly disobey: like being a bad house guest. Just like they would be disrespecting me when they blatantly dismiss me.  Not knowing my place: acknowledging the reality: this land is your land this land is my land is a lie: this land is owned by the owners and conquerers.
  4. Education, “normal route” is fundamental disadvantage so why play the game
    • Mental health issues cause poor school performance; lack of social network, support network, social skills for making networks, makes school even tougher.  Too much is on the line: when a poor person walks into a test vs. a rich person.
    • Being educated at a “normal pace” is nerve-racking for a poor person: you mean to tell me my family has to stay in poverty for another 15 years until I become partner? And then I have to pay off my loans?
    • Rich Obey instructions and advice better, because they have the freedom to do what they want most of the time, so when they do decide to obey, it’s still part of their freedom: they chose to do it.  However for poor people, most of their time is spent obeying commands, so in their free time, they are less likely to obey strict rules, and more likely to rebel because they have less overall control over their lives.  While the poor’s disobedience is good for their mental health, it damages them in the long run because it prevents them from developing the good habits that will lead them to success.
    • Poor learn slower because they can afford less, so they gain experience slower.  (sports, outwitters with me and P).
    • #RDU Bad investment
      • Education is a long term investment, 12+ years that might not even pay off (low acceptance rate into top colleges, low employment rate, salary).  Do the math: it’s a bad investment for the poor given their budget.  Run calculations: pay __ for a __ % chance to get into college, a __ % chance to succeed and get a job and make ___….or a ___ % chance to earn back
        • The acceptance rates are unfairly distributed.  System is rigged to concentrate wealth at the top right now.
      • unable to make such a long term investment
      • Does the current system even make sense? We arbitrarily award winners for certain skills, say biology and track, at certain stages in ones’ life (high school) with access to better resources in college.  Then they compete a different game, economics, history, whatever, to win that competition and be awarded another ladder to climb.  But what pays most is based on economics and chance/development needs of society.
        • In this view of education, it is not a means to advance: you are distracted by education’s alternative purpose: glorification of itself, which is to say that it’s for the love of learning. But for a poor person, they don’t have the luxury of learning as a hobby: they are learning as their job.  So we are misleading a lot of poor people by telling them to get an education–that’s not exactly what they need: they need a job and escape poverty.
        • Rituals/culture around activities: When I study or work, it’s a big deal: it means a bright future or not.  For others, it’s just fun and games; work and fun.  Their lives have less stress.
    • Problem with Scholarships and Loans
      • Scholarship warps the minds of its recipients: I must be the best to get paid, or else 1. the money is wasted and 2. I lose everything, and I don’t just drop to middle class, I drop to the very bottom. I don’t have the luxury of two parents who will pay for me to just be the best I can be, I NEED and HAVE to be the very best, or else.
      • Loans: rich say that financial aid and loans are wonderful devices that enable poor people to pay for education and be on the “same level playing field” as the rich.  This is not the whole picture: rich don’t understand the mental anxiety and stress that comes with not knowing whether you’ll be able to pay off the loan (See probability calculations above), on top of not knowing the value of a dollar (poor perception of money/financial education) and the fear of knowing you’ll be owing more money than you’ve seen in your entire life.  Business and med school will put you 200k+ into debt: I’ve never had more than 2k per year of my life. I’m going to owe 10x more money than I’ve spent in my entire 22 years of life: that’s nuts.
        • Bankruptcy education may alleviate the stress, but screw you in the job market/credit score.
        • Furthermore, for business school, the most important part is the networking and social aspects, which are what the poor are MOST inexperienced and lacking in skills for; furthermore, if I am poor and my mindset is to save save save money so I don’t’ have to pay back too much in loans and get stuck in debt, then I will miss out on tons of social events: Why I failed to make friends at Berkeley and robbed myself of the crucial college experience.  Saving to send back to my mom. This makes you even more poor because now you’re trapped within your poor circles, which is full of judgmental shallow and uneducated/immature/etc. people, and you don’t benefit from the connections, knowledge, advice, of peers to move forward.
    • Fundamentally bad solution for their environment and circumstance
      • for poor, school sucks, they want to escape it, because the social environment they grow up in is extremely uneducated, and education is undervalued. Also, school is about control, and kids, at least for me,viewed school as a barrier to my freedom, and I looked forward to the day I graduate and am liberated and “free.”  but of course I didn’t think through and plan ahead: All I knew was I wanted to be free from “slavery” and control of school as soon as possible: To be my own man, in charge of my own life from a legal standpoint, full responsibility–unable to blame others anymore.
  5. Rankings, Prestige
    • social environment is such that if you’re not ranked, you’re not worth anything. Or if you’re not backed by a reputable name brand, your opinions must be ill-informed, and dismissed.  Doesn’t matter if you are actually right and your logic is sound, whether you were accredited matters more.  This is a problem not because accreditation is the wrong course of action, but because accreditation is limited by class size, and more people are qualified and deserving of the accreditation than can be.
    • There is also this misconception that the “best team” is about selecting the “very best only.”  Fk that, look at Monsters University the movie by Pixar, the whole message is that the team can be anyone who believes in themselves, they DON’T need external accreditation.  IN fact, ego and etc. sets them back.  evolutionarily: they miss progress, because they are only as good as the system.
    • Ultimately the true Accreditation metric is: do you have something I want? If I want to make money, I will value the opinions of those with money and not those without.  If I want happiness, I will look for people with happiness.  If I want intelligence or skill, I’ll look for proof of that.
    • #PoorHurtingPoor Poor are rarely at the top of the pyramid, and they are rarely respected, so that’s why they battle among each other for superiority and respect: hurting and attaching each other, which sets us back, when we need to band together and help each other move forward.  Rich don’t do this because they are usually at the top of the pyramid, so they are more humble.  They know the can get respect, elsewhere.  Poor can’t get it elsewhere: have to fight with other poor for it.
      • Lack of Community
        • Screw each other
        • Don’t invest in Family, Friends
  6. lack of resources, path, role models, for poor to get rich.
    • I was discouraged when research showed that International Math Olympiad IMO, IPO, etc. winners all came from wealthier families with two parents.  I kept thinking: I’m at a disadvantage, there’s no-one like me who has succeeded before, I can’t overcome this gap.  I shouldn’t be able to succeed.
      • This turned into hate at the unfairness, and a resignation into failure and despair.
    • Whenever we say that someone used to be poor, on the news its’ rarely touched upon, it’s a topic that’s mentioned, but not explained in detail by any general mainstream news coverage, and this is a problem because it discourages the poor from trying, or deprives them from seeing the path that people took, paths they can perhaps emulate.
    • Analogy is feminist movement, who want to see more women as role models.
  7. Financial education (not raising wages); investment strategy (having enough for needs)

getting rich:


Emotion vs. emotionless thinking facts numbers etc.



How the System Prevents Progress

– Opportunities for mobility are rigged to concentrate wealth at the top

– Budget, long term investments

– Health (care, support)

– Extra decision making (no retainer)

– Lack of help from specialization (benefits of civilization) because they can’t afford it.  Don’t understand it–more lack of trust; they are all generalists. but poor masters of none.



Letter to protestors of capitalism


Dear people who refuse to participate in capitalism or the “system”: sorry, you have to.

Refusing to participate in Capitalism in America is like refusing to obey the law in North Korea: You will be jailed and tortured.  You can participate without agreeing–you have a choice to agree or not, you don’t have a choice to not participate if you live in America: Move to another country if you don’t want to participate.

Refusing to learn finance or the laws of the land, is like traveling to North Korea, and not learning any of the laws there: you’ll be jailed and tortured, and you’ll think the world is unfair.  No, first, your event’s scope is only the country’s borders. Second, it’s not the world it’s the country.  Second, it’s your fault for not understanding and knowing your place.

A lot of people don’t want to believe this: “This is propaganda meant to put us down.”  No, it’s education for you to assess the situation.  You can rise up, use your right to organize and protest, but understand that right now, you are standing on thin ice.  Refusing to believe that taking a large step will result in you crashing through is stupidity: you are at risk.  I’m standing on thick ice telling you to be careful, and you scream that life is unfair because I’m on thick ice and you aren’t.  That solves nothing, stop complaining: get off the thin ice or navigate carefully.  The person who loses is you, not me.  When you make a mistake, you suffer.

If you want to protest, be smart about it: while you’re protesting, keep following the laws or else you’re ability to protest is taken away.  I agree it’s dumb but it’s the current reality: accept it or face reality


Reality of the situation:


1. We are biologically born prepared to live in nature, but most of us are born into civilization.

2. The skills necessary to live in civilization, are taught in schools, that’s how we prepare to live in civilization.

3. Failing to learn those skills is like not knowing the laws in North Korea and getting jailed for it.  You need to recognize the reality of the situation


Civilization is not designed to serve your interests, it is designed to serve its own interests.  Sometimes serving itself might mean serving you, great–however, don’t depend on it: no one is perfect.  Just like depending on a friend. Humans are imperfect, so depend on yourself.


What can we do

1. !!! IT is BECAUSE of your desire for things, and your lack of content for your current predicament, that you are CAUSING the market to favor LOW wages and High profitability for MASS production.  We want things cheap and widely available, so business men achieve that goal and therefore are rewarded.  If INSTEAD we change our purchase behavior to give money and value to those companies that pay their employees enough, then YOU the employee will benefit because then companies must do that.  HOWEVER, if you have a better life, then you can afford FEWER material things, because each product will cost more to provide the value to the employees.  The power to improve your lives is in your hands: Don’t make decisions based on how cheap the product is, but instead based on the employment principles of the company.

2.  Almost all of business is socializing.  Making the lack of social skills that come with being in poverty the biggest barrier to mobility.   Relationships as financial investment for poor



Empathy: What the rich and poor don’t understand about each other




– Business

The poor think the rich waste a lot of money, that businessmen are evil for having and spending so much money.  However, recently I saw 4 examples that explain why this view is wrong.

1. When a friend was visiting and I took him to Cal Academy of Sciences, money was not the point, the relationship was, so we did not optimize or take full advantage of the price of the ticket, we just went wherever we wanted.

2. At Uber, I saw 1 thousand iPhones, oh my gosh business is so rich, 600k! However, I realized two things.

2a. This is the distribution center, that’s why there’s a CONCENTRATION of wealth, but overall, the wealth will be distributed, and there’s more wealth in the combined ownership of all the customers than from the distribution center–if that’s not true the business will go out of business.

2b. The iPhones are NECESSARY for business, they are necessary to generate revenue.  Without it, the business can’t run, so it’s not so much a representation of lavish luxury, as lifeblood like water and food to us humans.

3. On Jay Leno, David Koechner from Anchorman 2 had a clip, the chicken shack scene.  I thought: Wow that must have cost a lot of money, rent the building, renovate, furnish, decorate, actors clothing hair makeup etc design.  Wait, but they’re going to make more money from it: the business expense makes sense because it’s going to be used to make more money, millions, to cover the cost and profit from it.

4. Robert Downey Jr. on stage singing with Sting.  I watch a clip, and I see him wearing a velvet jacket that almost you’d where no-where else, and I’ve never seen him wear and would imagine this is the one and only time he will wear it.  Well, PROBABLY, again, he will make MORE money from it than he spent.  So he’s spent NEGATIVE money on that jacket.  It might be expensive, 4 thousand, but it cost him negative 6 thousand because he earned 10k for the gig and needed to be presentable for it.

5. The only REAL waste of money is to buy a depreciating asset, or to spend money with NO expectation for return: that’s charity.  The rich separate business expense from charity.  The poor give charity to THEMSELVES, that’s why they are poor forever: instead of investing in business and growing in wealth, their money is gone because they lack mental health, so they buy it with consumerism. This is why poor people who win the lottery are broke shortly after. Wealth is about knowing how to spend and manage money, not about earning money: raising wages won’t solve the problem. You need to teach them how to SPEND.



– Emotions are how the poor express themselves, it is their strength.  For the wealthy, it is a sign of weakness: wealthy respect leaders who are calm under pressure, showing no emotion.

– Rich don’t know what it’s like to not have healthcare, or to have to make financial decisions about healthcare

– For the poor, somebody has to die–we all know that we’ll run out of money, and someone has to go.  For the rich that’s never a question: everyone lives, we have the money.  The right to live only exists for the rich, the poor know it’s not a right: you fight for it.

Examples of poor logic: no hospital because no healthcare, hospitals for rich people; obama care not kicked in yet; don’t tell no body because I can’t take any time off from work


Leftover Notes

Rich People Problems

Because you are rich, you believe you are entitled or deserve to have better things than other people.

Dating: you CAN be more selective because you have more options and can afford to provide such options to yourself.  Problem: this goes against and ruins the romance.

Poor Problems

Dating and Love: It takes time and money to love, which the poor don’t have much of.  So the poor can feel unloved.  At the same time, the poor can go through struggles which bring people closer together; rich don’t get that as much. – poor farmer puts son through college

Limitations: barriers for poor to invest

business and law run the world, yet it’s not taught to the poor–no wonder they suffer and fail.


investors are robbers.  The increase the disadvantage

What is it like to be rich by a sf local:

business school website running a business is no joke–example of how in some cases wealth is justified diamonds are intrinsically worthless, but due to marketing, created value by the de beers company

Lawyers: poor are afraid of contracts and have no bargaining power. Rich understand and have the power to negotiate.

Fair the rich say, it’s the way the game is played, but ethically we see that it is not fair.

Predatory Practices:

At the same time, if members of a group learn not to trust the system, if they don’t think people like them can really make it, they will have little incentive to engage in impulse control. Researchers at the University of Rochester recently reran the famous marshmallow test with a new spin. Children initially subjected to a broken promise — adults promised them a new art set to play with, but never delivered — almost invariably “failed” the test (snatching the first marshmallow instead of waiting 15 minutes for a promised second). By contrast, when the adults followed through on their promise, most kids passed the test.

Understanding stocks: Why does it make sense for a stock price for a company to DROP when they post 22% in earnings GROWTH.  The reason is because stocks are FUTURES–you are betting that the company will earn 30%, so you buy it for what it’s worth if it was worth 27%, hoping to earn 3%.  Here’s an example: Let’s say you don’t know how much an apple costs, but you know that last month it was 50 cents.  You think that tomorrow it will be worth 52 cents, so you buy it for 51 cents to sell it for 52 cents.  Then the news comes out that it’s worth 51.5 cents: the price of the apple goes down from 52 to 51.  The stock jumps and moves when THEORY meets REALITY–earnings reports come out vs idea of earnings report or value of the company.

Salary Jobs ruin people’s perspective of reality: when it’s about salary, then I see unfairness: why should I work the same hours and effort but get paid less?  When I think about projects, then I see it as fair: some projects make more than others.  I’m working on software projects, not a salary; i’m working on essays or tv shows every week, not a salary and trading life and blood and energy for money.  Find a project and passion, focus on that work and not the salary, that’s freedom.  Then you don’t need financial freedom, you’re already free.

Poor’s interaction with society and civilization and economics is that of an abusive relationship, that’s why poor are unable to improve.  Same with mental health institutions, prisons, etc.

Need is framed within a want: you don’t need $100 to eat, but you do need $100 to eat at a fancy restaurant that costs $100.  People say you don’t need a million, or you’d never need a billion dollars because what would you do, are people who don’t know what you can do with such money and don’t understand that it’s OK to want to do expensive things.  it’s a human freedom and right in my opinion–they are unintentionally saying it’s not: understand your own logic and implications.

Wealth Induced Behaviors

Letter to protestors of capitalism

Empathy: What the rich and poor don’t understand about each other


describe how poor think

describe how rich think

Tie how they think to how it makes them poor or rich.


Wealth Induced Behaviors


What they do that keeps them from advancing (habits, environment)

Why current options for helping them advance are not working (education)

Why considered options for helping them advance won’t work (raise wages)

Reality of Environment: Nature vs. Civilization.  Laws of nature vs. man.  Finance/Money rules Capitalist societies.

!! The government has failed you: stop complaining, accept that there is no one coming to help you (“waiting for superman” movie) but yourself.

Not born with skills to live in current civilization; optimized for nature environment.

No-one is born with the laws of the land already in their mind: they must learn about the world they live in on their own. They learn that hot water and fire burns, and sharp objects hurt, and so on.  These lessons are innate–Before civilization, the tools you were born with, sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, were enough to survive: you could use sight to explore, hearing for danger, and the combination of touch, smell, and taste to understand. With understanding came knowledge, and with knowledge came technology, and over the course of hundreds of years, we have completely reshaped the environment that we lived in.  Sure, we cannot control the laws of nature, but the laws that govern life are no longer those set by nature, but rather those enforced by the powers of the land you are in.  In a post-civilization world, the tools you were born with, the five senses, are almost completely useless: to survive, the tools you need are all intellectual, and these are not innate.  Language to communicate, ideas to understand, logic to rationalize, ethics/morals/values to make decisions.


No one is born with the logic and reasoning skills necessary to survive in modern day life.  The logic and reasoning skills have taken our past generations an entire lifetime to understand, then build a little bit upon.  Then subsequent generations to repeat the process over and over.  To operate with a “modern normal level of logic and reasoning” is to operate at genius levels 50 years ago, and impossible levels 100+ years ago.


There is a huge gap in this knowledge, which results in the Poor living and making decisions in an inaccurate reality, further ensuring suffering and immobility.

The biggest change, the change most relevant to the rise of income and wealth inequality, is the specialization for increased productivity, that moved access to food and water from being free from nature, to behind a pay wall.  To get food water, shelter, we now need money, and to get money, we must know, understand, and operate within the system of economics that governs the civilization we are a part of. This fundamental shift forces us to be dependent upon money, which in turn forces us to have financial tools in order to navigate this new jungle.

The problem that then arises is the fact that 1. you need to be educated to live in this jungle, educated by the system itself, because none of this knowledge is intuitive, and 2. Education is not available, or out of reach, for most people.

Now when I say Education, this is a heavy word, and I should be specific: there is the education that you acquire from school, academic education, and there is the education you acquire from life experiences, life education.  Academic education strives to describe the environment you are in to you, life education strives to formulate your reaction to the environment you are in.  Life education is acquired from interacting with society, people, organizations, systems; academic education is acquired from reading a textbook/library, going to school: formal systems of education.

Good Will Hunting addressed the problems with certification: where two people could be of equal intelligence, but because of home life and wealth, one can have a degree, the other will not.


Life Education

Because the rich and poor live different lives, they receive drastically different–a non-standardized–life education.  Because of their life education, they grow up behaving differently, and it is this behavior that holds the poor back, and keeps the rich forward.

Financial: They know that money is how they get things–everything in civilization is bought with money (why they have the misconception that money solves all their problems).  [deeper philosophy: unhappiness is due to our ability to always create problems or find problems or focus on problems, rather than on peace]


Academic Education

So let’s explore the problems with how the poor get educated.  The rich are educated, and if they run into problems, they hire the best quality tutors and helpers psychologists; they get all the benefits of specialization and society.  Poor can’t afford any of this, so instead, they depend on the government.

Detour: The government is paid for by tax dollars, which the rich pay a lot of.  (article 1) And that bothers the rich, so the rich believe the government should serve their interests.  However, the government is comprised of officials elected by the people, so the power of money is balanced by the power of the voting population, which is comprised mostly of the poor.  Now Noam Chomsky has described this issue extensively, End Detour

The government, however, responds by punishment.  Rich children get punished too, but there’s an important distinction: when you’re punished by the government, you are a “human being, equal in the eyes of the law to any other human being,” but when you’re punished by your parents, you have humanity.  Human rights by law, vs. human care and empathy for one another.  The system knows no emotion, and no bias, that’s why it’s “fair,” but at the same time, that’s why it’s cruel.

Resources: a rich person can higher doctors/specialists to give individual attention, and these are market specialists, so the price paid is more likely to reflect the actual value of the services.  For government specialists, teachers, they are paid whether they do their job or not, and they don’t get fired, so they do a worse job.

Perception of money: Affect of over saving on quality of life.

Financial Decision Making

Class Bigotry: What the rich don’t understand

Investments: Education, loans, 401k, shopping.

Article 1 Rich pay majority of federal tax.


Read more about articles in the Rich vs. Poor Series here.

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Negotiating Your Job Offer

Step 1: Once you begin your search, ALWAYS entertain offers that are potential UNTIL you have signed on the dotted line for your new position.  I made this mistake during my last round: I got an offer that I liked a lot and was leaning towards, and so any other interview inquiries that came in I would politely decline even if it was tempting and potentially equally good.  I figured 1. I already have a good offer and since the other offer is about the same it isn’t worth the time and effort to get it and 2. I felt bad to make the new company spend time and resources interviewing me when I already had an offer and the chance of taking them was low.  This is the WRONG mindset: you never know who you’re going to work for until you sign the contract.

Step 2: If you have two offers that are similar, then you can’t go wrong: MAKE THEM BID AGAINST EACH OTHER.  I used to feel disdain towards this practice and would want to protest against it by not participating, but I have since learned that you lose way more by not participating than you could possibly gain by protesting.  Protest smart–you are in a better position to make an impact on the system if you have more resources at your disposal, so negotiate and get more and then use your resources to protest.  Negotiating is the law of the land: do it.  If you have two equally good offers, then you know you’re worth at least that much.  Find out if you’re worth more.  The only way you can find out is by asking for more.  The RISK associated with asking for more is SIGNIFICANTLY higher if you have no other offers on the table compared with if you do have other equally good offers on the table.  The risk negotiating with your only offer is you lose your only offer.  The risk negotiating with two good offers is losing one but still getting the other–your worst case is MUCH better in this second case.  So until you make your final decision, if a new offer comes in that is worth considering: CONSIDER IT.  Then leverage it for more.

Step 3: Remember to think holistically about your compensation package and not just about one thing or another: sick days, vacation days, projects you want to work on, responsibilities you want, career development/mentorship you want, pay for college classes/conventions, compensation, bonus, 401k, medical and life insurance, other perks (food, parking, transportation, equipment, etc.), WFH options, location, work/life balance.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for future re-assessments of salary based on performance. Ask what you can do to exceed expectations and then agree upon them with your manager. Then, in 6 months, when you’ve achieved them, you have a solid argument for why you deserve a raise.

(Skip this paragraph if you believe in negotiating) I used to be against negotiating because I used to think that if you’re honest and skilled and you’re dealing with people who are equally honest and skilled, you will get what is fair.  This is wrong because how can anyone know what is fair for work that hasn’t been done yet?  If we’re talking about material things like manufacturing 10,000 units of something, then it’s easier to measure, but if we’re talking about creative work over the course of several projects that will evolve over time, how much you actually contribute is a hard question to answer in the beginning.  Therefore if you don’t negotiate, you are likely to get a lowball conservative offer from the company rather than one which matches your skills if you can out perform the bottom percentiles. Also, I used to think that it wasn’t possible to negotiate much anyway so it wouldn’t be worth the effort.  This is only true if you try and are unable to succeed.  But you can never know until you try so you must always try in order to find out–don’t rob yourself of finding out!  I used to think that the system was bad and I didn’t want to participate in a bad system, but I have since learned that sometimes you have to make it to the next day, and you should pick your battles and sometimes choosing the rebellious option is not the right choice at the time even if it is the right choice in a timeless context.


(Context: Software Engineering position in San Francisco, CA) Sometimes a company will invite you over to lunch AFTER they have given you an offer.  I went to this lunch expecting this to be a negotiation lunch over compensation.  I made the terrible mistake of not TAKING THE CONVERSATION THERE.  I was looking for an opportunity from THEM to jump into it, but it never came, and then I realized: They had NO idea I had competing offers and therefore I needed to set the context by revealing that information and I needed to start that conversation.  The lesson here is: If you have an objective for a meeting, and the meeting doesn’t get there organically: TAKE CONTROL and DIRECT it there.  This is true for meetings in general, and interviews in general too.  In my interview post I will talk about how it’s important to have KEY POINTS you want to convey REGARDLESS of what questions they ask you–force their questions into the prepared answers you have so that they don’t end the interview without you having been able to make YOUR SALES PITCH, which is the objective of the interview, or the lunch doesn’t end without you making your NEGOTIATION ARGUMENT if that is the purpose from your point of view.

As for the employer’s reasons for inviting you to lunch: 1. get to know you better and evaluate you behaviorally, 2. answer any questions and concerns and sell you and convince you of joining the company.

Resources I used for this:


This post is part of AttemptedLiving’s Life Education Curriculum, a collection of core knowledge everyone should have.

To find out when those posts, and other life education writing, are released, subscribe on the side! Follow on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, on Tumblr.