How to Change the World (Or...How to Occupy Yourself)

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by James Altucher: The
#1 Most Effective Habit

 

 
 

I cheated.
When I was in college I took six courses a semester and then worked
another 20-30 hours a week
to pay for my bills (on top of the debt I was incurring). Often
I had to miss classes because I had a job that I had to go to. One
time I showed up for a midterm and the room was empty. Later I found
out the midterm was the day before. I had to convince the professor
to let me retake the midterm.

A week later
he gave me the same midterm he gave everyone else but I had gotten
a hold of that midterm and had a week to prepare the answers. Grade.
A+. I’ve explained over and over, College
is a scam these days trying to relieve you of all of your future
income.

My roommate
in my second semester was the son of a wealthy doctor. He was also
a Marxist. In particular, he liked Trotsky. I didn’t understand
any of the differences. Later, I’d run into him and he would be
talking about “the worker”. He would be in one of the cafeterias
reading, in no rush to get anywhere. I was always in a rush. I had
either a class or a job. I wanted to take six courses a semester
so I could graduate early and not get into even more debt. I felt
like I was a “worker” and would get mad at him for always talking
about how “the workers” are exploited. He had an anger that I couldn’t
understand.

Many
people are angry. Here are some of the things they are
angry at:

  • banks took big bailouts and CEOS got paid big money afterwards.
    This is horrific. Why did it happen?
  • after the CEOs took home big paychecks, thousands of
    their own employees lost their homes.
  • 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. I couldn’t point
    those places out on a map if you had a gun to my head. I was always
    bad at geography. [See, "Name
    Me a Single War That Was Worth It"
    ]
  • 100s of billions in global corruption funded by the US.
    Why did Hosni Mubarak’s family amass an estimated $200 billion
    while he was President of Egypt. How many of those hundreds of
    billions came directly out of US taxpayer pockets. How many Mubaracks
    are there all over the world as we continue to fund every corrupt
    government in the world out of fear and anger towards our perceived
    enemies.
  • Why are banks more busy foreclosing than lending? (Although,
    to be fair, I don’t think ANYONE should be buying a home right
    now. Home
    ownership is a total scam
    propagated by the banks for the
    past sixty years)
  • Why
    do we have military actions happening in over 120 countries
    right now even though the last legally declared war was in 1941.

And on and
on. People are angry. I get it. This is anger I understand. And
people have a right to protest. But then the anger gets warped even
beyond the truth. “The US caused 9/11″. “The Jews control
Wall Street” (a common anti-semitic refrain heard
among the Occupy Wall Streeters
but under-reported in the news).

I get
angry also. I want things to be better in the world. I want change.
Why do so many African dictatorships horde money we send them while
their citizens die of hunger? Why did GM go bankrupt and allow their
entire middle management to lose their life savings and pensions?
Why has unemployment doubled in the past 3 years.

People say,
first, “well you can vote and make change.” Clearly that doesn’t
happen. No single vote has ever created change. (See, “Politics
is a Scam and Why I Will Never Vote Again”
) And who do we vote
for? Bush who started all these wars? Or Obama who continued them
(he even kept Bush’s Secretary of Defense and now we are in year
10 of Afghanistan). Voting doesn’t work.

So then people
do “Plan B”. Let’s Occupy Wall Street. Who is on Wall Street? Certainly
not the bank CEOs, who are on Park Avenue and in Greenwich, CT.
“Oh, its a symbol”, people say while they shout nonsense at security
guards who lost their homes and low-level back office workers who
work at the stock exchanges but can’t afford to pay their bills.
So nothing happens so they now “Occupy Portland”, “Occupy Seattle”,
and on and on, trying to change the world.

Read
the rest of the article

November
4, 2011

The
Best of James Altucher

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