Absorption Rate

“Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal to even his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky

I started with that quote because it’s been kind of a theme recently in my life. Also, the ones “which man is even afraid to tell himself” are indirectly being exploited currently under the guise of “unconscious bias”. More on that in another entry. For now I wanna stick to my favorite subject, me. I know, I should be ashamed. I am. Very.

I waited entirely too long to start this kind of exploitation of my life. I am no wordsmith or writer, but maybe everyone has a story to tell regardless of how incapable they are at writing. At any rate, I am under no delusion that there is little to no one who will find any of this interesting save a not-yet-born distant offspring looking for answers to my eventual botching of their upbringing. I will attempt to be honest as possible about who I am and how I feel, as well as how others see me, but I am also under no delusion that this will be highly subjective and chock full of confirmation bias. It isn’t intended. Its just the nature of things. Plus Im a liar….and an impeccable wordsmith.

What is a healthy amount of self absorption? It takes a fat girl’s plate full to take time out of your day to write about yourself. Is it any consolation that I at least attempt to cloak mine in self deprecating humor? Thats something someone else will have to answer, and is most likely wholly dependent on whether or not they consider me an asshole(tons do Im sure). This is me attempting to not allow my fear of being unbearably narcissistic keep me from telling my story to anyone who may want to know it. Oh, the struggle between self absorption and self loathing! Can you feel the tension?

Insecurity is a tricky affliction. I often wonder if the term “ignorance is bliss” applies to them. If only I didn’t know I wasn’t special…. Imagine the freedom of a distorted self image and the false confidence it brings. Surely this is how idiots get great jobs. Surely this is how fat, ugly assholes end up with great women. Being self aware is a double edged sword. The more aware of yourself, the more humility you have to swallow, and that comes with a truck load of doubt and internal struggle. I find as this awareness increases, so does the amount of things you have to muster the strength to accept or fake doesn’t exist. Am I delusional or am I aware? Both have their merits and both are humiliating in different ways. I think thats about far enough into psycho babble. Any further and Ill be slipping on Freud, and I don’t own a chaise lounge to fall onto to myself any more comfortable.

I try to pride myself in being honest with others about who I am, but sometimes I wonder if thats just a way to justify talking about myself entirely too much. The self importance I feel myself exhibiting makes me sick in the fleeting moments recognize it(Im puking in my mouth a lil bit right now). This is the sting of awareness, and the wallop of acceptance it takes to be honest. The only way to be true to yourself is to face the lies you tell yourself when you notice them, but who says being true to yourself is the only way to be happy? I prefer being true, but I definitely don’t know the fundamental path to happiness. I only have what’s been working for me as of yet. I think.

This doesnt give you a full grasp of who I am, nor will the entirety of my journal. It will give you a glimpse of who I am, and thats more than not putting the story down for you to read it. Pictures will only show you how unbelievably attractive I am, and how you will eventually fail at ever being as cool as I am right at this moment. This journal though, well now you’ll be able to see how stupid and insecure I am, which I hear is what ugly people use to cope with someone being unbearably better looking than them. So if you’re ugly, here you go.

So what secrets am I keeping from you, and more importantly from myself? Better yet, what secrets are you keeping from yourself? Maybe you shouldn’t ask yourself that. Ignorance is bliss.

Minority Wrongs

There is a constant danger threatening one of the most fundamental principles in the US. This danger is masked by noble intentions, paraded as if proven effective, and instilled in many as a truth so clear and obvious that anyone who dares to speak against it is treated as a heretic. This danger is minority rights. Even though we have seen throughout history that individualism has been the most effective way to ensure equal rights and social mobility, people still find collectivism appealing. Aristocracy, caste, and even slavery have been virtually removed from societies solely by the principle that every man is created equal and owning himself, i.e. Individualism. The reasons why these principles are proven should be reiterated again and again to make certain we never lose these freedoms.

The Fair Pay Act is being proposed to attempt to eliminate pay differences based on discrimination. There is no dispute that there is a wage gap between different races, genders, or possibly any other category the government wants to section off as a minority. What is ignored is whether or not the gap is caused by socially acceptable factors. Instead, the government bypasses any proof that discrimination has caused pay gaps and uses our biases to garner support for a bill that is nothing more than oppressive state control of wage. For instance, the gender wage gap is being shouted and publicized in support of the Fair Pay Act. The gist of the argument is that if there exists a gap in wage based on gender, there is no need to prove that it happened from socially unacceptable means. It is automatically assumed that the gap is caused by discrimination. Any person who looks at the gender wage gap and feels it should be addressed with legislation has the burden of proof laid solely on them to justify their motivation. If they can’t show that the disparity comes from discrimination or some other socially unacceptable factor, then there is NO reason to pass legislation that would attempt to close the gap in pay.  In fact, they must also prove that the government should have the power to control that type discrimination in the first place.

In 2009, the Department of Labor did an extensive study on the gender wage gap and found that “it is not possible now, and doubtless will never be possible, to determine reliably whether any portion of the observed gender wage gap is not attributable to factors that compensate women and men differently on socially acceptable bases, and hence can confidently be attributed to overt discrimination against women. In addition, at a practical level, the complex combination of factors that collectively determine the wages paid to different individuals makes the formulation of policy that will reliably redress any overt discrimination that does exist a task that is, at least, daunting and, more likely, unachievable.”  That’s pretty clear and concise, and it’s coming from a source that has every incentive in the world to find the opposite conclusion.

We identify with other people who have similar traits as us, whether it be our culture, our religious beliefs, our race, our gender, or even things as arbitrary as our clothing or what music we listen to. The traits in others we identify ourselves with create a sense of belonging. That belonging inevitably creates bias, and with bias comes special treatment. It’s one of the most natural responses in society, but there is a sharp difference when government is allowed to legislate that bias through the special treatment of a minority group.  Why should we allow ourselves to be segregated by government?  Biases, either the biases of the majority or the biases of a minority, are natural aspects of society. The biases may come in the form of discrimination, persecution, or even violence, which creates a snowball effect leading to prejudice and hatred. It is through these divisive aspects of society that government is allowed to group people, and with these groups they garner votes with special treatment.

Individual rights are the only way to ensure that society places everyone on equal ground. Each individual is a citizen. No other category should be applied by government. Any segregation by government is discrimination, regardless of what noble cause they use to justify it. Race, gender, or sexual preference should have no bearing on government employment, taxation, or protection under law. Individual rights protect us from this type of government discrimination, and using statistical data, assumptions, or personal bias to write laws undermines these fundamental principles.

Individual rights protect everyone(regardless of their traits) from violence, protect their property, and protect freedom of speech and association. Freedom of association gives everyone the right to discern who they interact with, regardless what group they are in. This also includes business and employment. Once a person agrees to a wage with an employer, the government should have absolutely NO control over the stipulations or agreements within that contract regarding wage. An individual has every right to negotiate by themselves or collectively when accepting employment without being infringed upon by government.  Even if the government can prove that a gap in wage is caused solely by discrimination, there is absolutely no justification to legislate a bill to attempt to control that discrimination through wage regulation.  If a business rewards failure rather than success, that business will suffer a competitive disadvantage in the market.  In short, a prejudiced employer has a failing business model.

The Fair Pay Act is government control under the guise of minority rights. With it, the government will have another way to control the employment and wage of every citizen in the US. With it, we will be less free and more divided as a people. We are trading our freedom of association for minority rights because of our biases, and placing it in the hands of a government that will never give it back. We are letting minority rights destroy the fabric of our diverse nation. We are letting the government we voted for discriminate against us.

No matter what minority you may or may not identify yourself as, there is no escaping the fact that YOU are actually the smallest minority in society: the individual.

Fair Inequality

I often see politicians and writers reference gini co-efficiency to prove that income inequality in the US is too high and “unfair”.  The gini co-efficient is a good rule of thumb when comparing countries that have a relative amount of wealth.  However, the US holds roughly a 25% share of the world’s wealth.  The next country in line is Japan at 9%.  This poses as a problem when trying to use the gini-coefficient to truly prove that other countries have a better spread of wealth.  For example, if two countries have an identical spread of income but one has more billionaires than another, the fact that those billionaires reside in that country will make the gini co-efficienct higher.  The presence of wealth is not at all a bad aspect of an economy, even when there is a divide between the rich and the poor.  In fact, it is a common trait of flourishing economies.

Progressives have compared our gini-coefficient with other countries in an attempt to show inequality without considering other factors.  The US tops the list for the average disposable wage per person at $40,560 a year, ranks 4th in the Human Development Index, and ranks third in total population (behind China and India who have deplorable HLI numbers).  All it takes is a quick look at other numbers to realize that the term “income equality” is being used as a method to justify raising taxes on the wealthy.  The progressives hate the term “class envy,” but concentrating on income inequality is just a sneaky way of instilling just that in a voter’s mind.

Another common view that is being stressed is the national income captured by the 1% is too much.  The national share of after-tax household income of the 1% has nearly doubled from 1979 to 2007.  These numbers are correct, but they don’t prove that the income of the rest of the population fell as a result.  Nearly all incomes have risen, just at different rates. Maybe it has been lucrative for the 1% in our country.  Why should we assume that their success has somehow had a negative impact on the income of the 99%?  This is where the real monster shows its head in the progressive movement.

These numbers are just another way to justify their belief that our nation’s economic rewards belong to everyone.  Progressives assert that the nation’s economy is something that belongs to all citizens based an arbitrary social contract that no one has ever laid eyes on or signed.  They feel that it is completely within the rights of the majority to decide when wealth should be redistributed through a democratic process.  These are not a new concepts, they are merely intelligent ways of justifying the redistribution of wealth for “the common good.”   The idea of a “common good” was used by Marx, Lenin, Mao, Hitler, and now has become the backbone of the progressive movement.  They call it “fair share,” but it holds the exact same meaning.  Collective rights in a democracy without a foundation of individual rights is extremely dangerous.  Throughout history, we have seen the pursuit of common good lead to totalitarianism even under a democratically elected government.

The argument between Individualism and Collectivism runs to the core principles of the redistribution debate.  The amount of wealth an individual has does not change his right to protect it. If the majority of the population feel that taking a portion of a minority’s wealth would be beneficial for the common good, they should not have the right to do so.  If they do have that right, then private property is just an illusion and the state has total control of all property.  Progressives make the assumption that the economic rewards of this country belong to all, regardless of whether any citizen has done anything to earn that reward.  In this way they show no respect for the protection of private property at all.  The terms “common good” or “fair share” are subjective.  Who decides what is the common good? If the decision is made in a democratic process, there is no doubt that there will be a minority that will have their rights infringed.  Without individual rights holding precedence over collective rights, the accumulation of wealth is at the mercy of what the majority decides is a “Fair Share.”

Yet all of this is nothing more than a carrot dangled in front of the majority to further the growth of government power.  That is why the people are never guaranteed the Fair Share will end up in their pocket.