Saturday, February 28, 2015

Notes about Quantitative Easing and Fractional Reserve Banking

I remember in 2014, Quantitative Easing 3 ended. I'm interested in economics but I have a very limited understanding of it. Of the topics available, I'm very interested in inflation. To my understanding, inflation doesn't mean the increase of prices. Inflation is the increase of a nation's money supply. An increase to a nation's money supply eventually leads to an increase in prices.

Quantitative Easing 3 ended in 2014 however prices are still rising. We are still feeling the effects of inflation. I was wondering why this was happening. If quantitative easing is just a way for the government to increase the money supply, then ending the quantitative easing program would stop increasing the nation's money supply and prices would eventually stabilize. If quantitative easing ends, and inflation is still growing, that would mean that the money supply is still increasing.

I remembered an old video that explained our monetary system. I'll try to find it and link to it later. Because of fractional reserve banking, every time money is created an equal amount of debt is created. The problem is that every time debt is created, interest is owed on that debt. The money needed to pay off that interest never exists. The only way to pay off the interest on the initial debt is to create more money, and when that happens, more interest is created. It is for this reason that a loaf of bread costed only 20 cents in the early part of this century while it costs a dollar or two dollars today.

This gives me the explanation why inflation is a perpetual problem.

Now some notes about quantitative easing. It is a term I've heard for several years but I never really took the 10 minutes to look up information or details about each quantitative easing program. Particularly, when did these programs start and end and how much money was created in each program. I've linked the wikipedia article here.

Quantitative Easing 1 started in November 2008 and ended in June 2010. Before the recession, the Federal Reserve held 750 billion dollars in treasury notes. The Federal Reserve started buying mortgage backed securities and by June 2010, the Federal Reserve held 2.1 trillion dollars in treasury notes and mortgage backed securities. If I understand this correctly, the Federal Reserve added a total of 1.35 trillion dollars to the United States economy during that time period.

5 months passed until Quantitative Easing 2 started.

Quantitative Easing 2 started in November 2010 and ended sometime during the second quarter of 2011 (sometime in between April to June 2011). During this time period, the Federal Reserve bought 600 billion dollars of treasury securities.

More than a year passed until Quantitative Easing 3 started.

Quantitative Easing 3 started in September 2012 and ended in October 2014. Because of the length of time it lasted, it was referred to as QE infinity. The wikipedia article doesn't give an amount of how much money was added by Quantitative Easing 3 but at the end of Quantative Easing 3, the Federal Reserve held 4.5 trillion dollars of assets.

These are the notes I've collected about our Quantitative Easing programs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dreams of unparalleled freedom

The American dream has no clear definition and it will mean something different to everyone. Growing up, I had the perception the American dream was to buy a house with a white fence, have a nice wife, have 2.5 kids, then spend the rest of your time doing whatever you like.

However, it seems like that dream has been getting harder and harder to achieve every since the tragedies of the last few decades. And every day that passes, that particular dream seems even harder to get.

At some point, it might become necessary to reevaluate your hopes and dreams and decide what you really want. Make sure to do this fast because time is always working against you. Decide what you want most out of life and start working towards it.

In my case, if I could only choose one piece of the American dream listed above, I would choose my time. More than money, fame, women, or power, the thing that I want the most is my freedom.

The biggest dream/goal of mine is to get that point in my life where I never have to worry about paying any bills or where my next meal is coming from or having to get up at six in the morning to go to work. It is my dream to wake up in the morning and know that I have 16 hours in the day to do whatever I want until I go to sleep. This is what I want most out of life. It would be like a summer vacation that never ends.

I want this freedom so much that I will willingly sacrifice every other part of the American dream in order to obtain it and enjoy it for the maximum amount of children. Home ownership and raising a family would only deter me or slow me down significantly towards getting my freedom.

16 hours a day. That would allow me to do all thing things I enjoy doing the most as well as try all the other things I've been curious or interested in but just didn't have the time for. I'd want to learn how to play a guitar, try learning how to speak better Spanish, garden, even tinker around with remote controlled electronics. Sure, I could try to do these things any day, but my time is limited and I don't have enough motivation to get a guitar and learn how to play it. However, if I could open up more free time (at least 10 hours a day), I would pick up a guitar and try to start playing it after 2 weeks.

With no higher goal to live for other than myself, I want to do all these things to amuse myself. These are my dreams of unparalleled freedom.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 7 results

Week 7 went very much the same as week six. I've had the same failures as the first week as the first thing you have to do is bench press 265 3 times. The first rep is okay, the second rep needs assist from the spotter half way, and the third rep is impossible without a spotter.

The bench press is almost the same as week 6.

265 at 3 reps, 235 at 4 reps, 205 at 6 reps, 175 at 9 reps

Incline gets a little more weight but is no real challenge

165 at 4 reps, 155 at 5 reps, 135 at 6 reps

Bar dips aren't hard.

7 dips with 50 pounds attached and 7 dips with 25 pounds attached

Dumbbell flies are a little painful but doable.

50 at 10 reps and 40 at 8 reps

Week 8 is an easy week. I start off with incline bench at 185 and the heaviest weight with the normal bench is 225.

Week 9 gets brutal then week 10 has you starting out to lift 275. I don't think that is going to go very well.

After these 12 weeks are complete, I'll test my one rep max to see if it is greater than 270. Afterwards, I'll go back to week 6 of the work out schedule and start modifying the reps.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Reoccurring themes in the manosphere: the genes that get passed forward

One reoccurring theme I've seen in the manosphere is which genes get passed forward. The premise is that the individuals who advance society, create new innovative technology, and increase the standard of living for the whole are not the people who are most likely to pass their genes into the future. I've heard this premise repeated by Aaron Clarey, Barbarossa, Davis Aurini, Sandman, Stardusk, and Stefan Molyneux so I won't claim to have come up with it myself. This point of view even breached the mainstream with the movie Idiocracy.

The first 10 to 20 minutes of Idiocracy portrays two different families. The first is a couple of professionals who are financially responsible, work long hours, and do everything the right way. Because of the economy and other pressures due to work, the family is financially stable but never ends up having children. In contrast, the second family are people who don't give any consideration to financial planning, don't think about using birth control or family planning, and are obsessed with football. This family gets by on government social programs and, as a result, produces multiple children. These children live their lives the same way their parents did. Fast forward a few hundred years into the future and society has devolved into complete degenerates.

This isn't to say that intelligent people don't have children however it is a common belief that people with lower IQ tend to have more children than people with higher IQ.

A year or two ago Sandman produces a series of youtube videos called A God Among MGTOW. The video series included men such as Nikola Telsa and the Wright Brothers. Nikola Tesla is best know for his contributions to alternating current and the Wright Brothers created the first working airplane. Obviously, their contributions to society are felt by everyone today. Without them, we wouldn't have most electronics or the ability to fly from America to Europe in a few hours.

These men never married or produced children.

Men that innovate new technology need a lot of time to tinker with different projects. They need time to think and dream of what is possible. They need time to plan out projects and execute them. They need time to experiment and make prototypes. They need time to fail over and over and retry different experiments. They need time.

In going the route of creating a family, a man has to dedicate time to supporting and taking care of the family. He has to work to make money to keep the children housed, clothed, fed, and educated. He has to spend time and energy engaging his wife and children. Doing this can be rewarding and bring joy to his life but this is time spent. Time that cannot be dedicated to tinkering with inventions in order to produce something that could benefit society greatly. A married man has less time available than a single man. Less time means less possibilities. A married man could produce something incredible like the cure for cancer, however it is more likely that a single person would come up with it first because of the available time.

This is a reoccurring theme in the manosphere. It is an interesting thought but it is not a perfect theory. Men who do innovate new technology, applications, or processes can become very successful and wealthy. These men can and do procreate.

Maybe genes aren't all that important. When it comes down to nature versus nurture, I think that nurture plays a bigger role in your success and failures. After all, Solid Snake had all the recessive genes of Big Boss and Liquid Snake had all the dominant genes. A person's drive and motivation have a bigger impact on success than genes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The time I thought about joining Peace Corps

The longest time I spend unemployed was the fall of 2012 to the spring of 2013. I spent 7 months scrambling around to find work. I was on each of the major job search engines looking for positions daily and sending my information out there. During that 7 month period, I must have sent out a few hundred applications and went to 16 job interviews.

Rejection after rejection followed and I was slowly getting desperate. I started considering just applying to minimum wage positions in the local area and one of my job interviews was at a grocery store where they pretty much turned me away because of over qualifications.

If jobs were too scarce to come by, I was starting to think about alternative plans. I considered government programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps.

Me being a conservative, I think government programs such as AmeriCorps and Peace Corps are ineffectual and mostly a waste of tax payer money. However, I would have no moral obligations to get into these programs and use them to my own benefit. This is the Ayn Rand perspective. If the government steals from you (in the form of taxation), go ahead and steal your stuff back if you are given the opportunity (in the form of applying for government benefits legally). It is for this reason, I had no shame in collecting unemployment. Sure, the United States would be in a better financial condition without these safety nets but this is the government voted in by my parents.

I remembered hearing that AmeriCorps would pay you a monthly stipend in return for your service if you were a full time member. Sure, you could make more money just working a minimum wage full time but volunteer work would probably be more fun.

I did some research about Peace Corps and I think I found a better deal. By joining Peace Corp, you would travel to some foreign country for 27 months and the Peace Corp would pay for your living expenses to the extent of living like the local population. Upon successful completion of the program, I would be given a $7500 readjustment bonus.

I'd be in a better financial condition just by flipping burgers at Burger King but the opportunity just seemed so tempting. Fly out to some distant country, get free food and board on the government dime, do some interesting volunteer work, and come home with $7500. Sounds pretty awesome.

All of this, not because I actually care about helping people but because it would benefit me. That would be slightly more than 2 years of my life I wouldn't have to worry about living expenses. If America didn't want me to work, then fine, I'll just go over to some third world nation, waste time along with tax payer money, and enjoy myself. A pure government subsidy and wealth transfer I could actually qualify for. Sure it is completely immoral but hey, this is the world we inherited from our parents.

Needless to say, this didn't happen. I got hired as an accountant in 2013 and I put away my romantic aspirations of escaping to a foreign country to dig water wells.

So, to any men in the situation I was in back then, go ahead and consider all different options. I've heard that the military is a great option for the reason of living on base will grant you free room and board and you get opportunities for education advancement paid for by the military. It wasn't for me. I didn't want to risk getting shot or injured but that risk might be worth it for some men.

People in my church told me that if you go out west, you could work on dude ranches and get free room and board. I never really looked into that option.

I've even gotten suggestions to work on cruise liners just for the opportunity to travel around.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The minimalist lifestyle is actually conducive to a longer lifespan.

When it comes to living a long lifespan, there are really only 3 things a man has to do.

1. Exercise
2. Eat a healthy diet
3. Have access to healthcare

The two leading causes of death in America are heart disease and cancer. In order to lower your risk for both, you have to take care of your body. So what prevents most American from getting into shape.

Mostly, it is working 40, 50, or 60 plus hours a week. The time you spend working is time you won't be spending hitting the gym or jogging. Of that time spent working, more time is spent commuting and decompressing after work. This is more time that can't be spent on health.

Secondly, spending that time working makes it harder to eat well. To eat a healthy meal, you have to either pack it yourself or pick something up close to the office.

Men are obligated to work extensive hours if they had taken on immense responsibilities like starting families, having too many children, buying really big houses, buying expensive luxury cars, or buying other expensive items.

If a man were to cut down his expenses to the bare minimum (living single without kids), he could get by living off of very little money each year.

A man keeping his expenses down to as bare minimum as possible has the ability to accumulate a lot of capital and use it on himself. This gives him the option of working fewer hours in the future and it gives him more time to play with each day.

And more time available each day makes it easier for him to find more time to run, lift weights, and have fun. At the same time, he might have an easier time to cook his own meals, cut down on the fast food, and lower his cholesterol.

By not accumulating lots of debt, he can reduce the amount of stress in his life. Bundling this with a healthy diet and a good amount of physical activity will easily enable a man to live past the average lifespan of 79 years. With careful life planning, a man could life past 90 years old.

Recycled content and cyclical audiences.

If you follow anyone for a long enough time period, you will notice the same content be repeated every now and again. Your favorite authors, the news, musical genres, and long running tv series do this. Eventually, I'll start repeating old stuff that I've written before.

Why does this happen? Well, I guess that new content is always demanded to make more money and creative thoughts can't really be produced on demand. Being creative doesn't work like that. And, like the Call of Duty series, if something is making money, keep doing it to safely make more money rather than try something new. If people keep demanding the same stuff, that stuff is probably still good.

There is also the concept of cyclical audiences. The best example of this is, that I can think of, is the anime Pokemon. The series has gone on for several hundred episodes and shows no real sign of stopping. I remember first watching it on tv every Saturday as a little kid and I stuck with it loyally for a few years. But then, it started getting really stale and repetitive and I started watching something else. A few months ago, I watched a youtube video by a girl named Tamoshii explaining why the phenomena occurs.

The cartoon's main demographic is kids 8 to 14 years old and when a current batch of children get sick of watching Pokemon, the children that were 4 to 6 years old are now 8 to 14 years old and Nintendo has a constant audience to make money off of. It is for this reason that Ash Ketchum is always in some new region collecting 8 gym badges to challenge the Elite 4 and become a champion. It is for this reason that Ash and his partners will always acquire the 3 starter pokemon of each generation so young kids will always identify with Ash no matter which starter they chose. It is for this reason that Ash will forever remain 10 years old and never age.

It is for this reason that almost every form of media will eventually repeat itself and recycle the same content. Just think about how many times the most popular movies get squeals or remakes. One reason I'll never go out of my way to see a superhero movie is that it is just the hero's journey retold.

Recycled content isn't necessarily bad. If it feels like something is starting to get stale, that is just a sign to try something new or explore something else.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 6 results

Week 6 was a very important week. Unfortunately, this is the point where I started failing at the work out.

The work out starts with lifting 265 pounds 3 times. I've never done this before as my max bench press was 265 or 270. The first lift is okay. The second lift needed a little spotter assist. The third lift was mostly dependent on the spotter. I would not have been able to lift the third rep without a spotter.

This was a pretty big downer but I had to keep going in order to see how effective this plan is. Even if I can't lift the 300 pounds, the plan is somewhat effective if my bench increases past 270. By the end of the week, I could lift 265 twice but still needed spotter assist with the third rep. Week 6, 7, and 9 has you lifting 265 3 times so I still have time to get it right.

The rest of the routine is easy. I was able to complete 235 at 4, 205 at 6, and 175 at 8.
Incline was 155 at 7, 145 at 5, 135 at 4.
Bar Dips was 50 pounds attached at 9, 25 pounds attached at 8, and body weight at 3.
Dumbbell flies 60 at 5, 45 at 7, 30 at 10.

Tomorrow starts week 7. Week 7 is mostly the same as week 6. The only notable change is some of the weight for incline increases.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Misconception of federal spending (mandatory vs discretionary spending).

As a man that really likes to look at numbers, every so often I'll take a look at a few specific numbers regarding our economy (GDP, total debt, largest budget items, unfunded liabilities, etc). I've talked with my father before about how much money our government spends and how our country runs deficits year after year since about the year 2001 or 2002.

After looking at the country's track record, I'm very pessimistic about our future. Our country is being mismanaged. In the middle of these conversations, my dad has stated that the government has to just cut back the military and everything will be fine. For the longest time, he believed the military is the biggest source of government spending.

I've had to repeatedly tell him that the military is not the biggest budget item on the United States budget. It is not even close to being the biggest item. The easiest way to check this is just to click this link.

As of today, the federal government spends $600 billion (per year) on the military. The largest budget item is medicare/medicaid at $900 billion (per year) and the second largest budget item is social security at $850 billion (per year). Social security and medicare/medicaid total to $1.75 trillion (per year). That amount is almost three times amount of military spending.

By simply looking up the budget items of the United States, you know the truth of what we spend money on. By knowing this, you know that anyone who makes the claim that the military is the biggest budget item doesn't know what he is talking about. For fun, if you hear anyone make this claim, ask him the following questions.

How much money does the federal government spend per year on the military?
Most likely, he won't know the answer but you know the answer is $600 billion.

How much money does the federal government spend on social security and medicare/medicaid per year?

Use Cappy's betting method if you want to.

My dad's perspective is quite common. There are a lot of people that believe that the military is the biggest budget item. I guess they watch the news a lot. Maybe they get that opinion there. Since I don't watch the news at all, I can't confirm or verify that.

So, where to people get this misconception? I didn't know for the longest time until I saw this video from flinging monkey. This video Monkeynomics 101. Please don't disregard the video on the sheer basis that it is narrated by a monkey hand puppet.

The big take away from the video is mandatory vs discretionary spending. Medicare/Medicaid and social security is mandatory. Those items are untouchable so I guess media leaders take the point of view that these items can't or shouldn't be reformed. Military and the other stuff is discretionary.

Either way, all this stuff requires our tax dollars.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Americans are slowly disappearing.

For fun, I like to look up different economic data and demographics for the United States. One number I was curious about is America's birth rate. A quick Google search gave the the answer of 1.88 babies per woman (according to the world bank). This figure suggests that the American population will eventually stagnate then start to decline (absent immigration).

I've heard any birth rate below 2.1 is unsustainable for a population. Each woman has to produce at least 2 children to replace herself and the man. The extra .1 is probably for unexpected deaths. Granted, at the birth rate of 1.88, it will take a long time to see the effects of the American population stagnating. In order to prevent this, I could see the government continue to loosen the restrictions for immigration.

A stagnation of the population doesn't really seem like such a big problem. After all, there are more than 300 million Americans. However, a big economic consequence that will result from a slowing, stagnating, or shrinking population will be the funding for social security and medicare. Recently, I've heard that the social security trust fund is facing more pressure. Previous estimates showed the trust fund exhausting by the year 2033, however the estimates were revised to put the date closer to 2020.

Young people work, and the government steals part of their life and labor to give it to pay for social security and medicare. With a slowing, stagnating, or shrinking population, less babies are being born and grow up to pay for the old. This will put pressure on government to print more money in order to pay for entitlements. An increase in the money supply indirectly leads to increased prices resulting to a higher cost of living. And a higher cost of living makes life much more difficult to live which will put even more pressure to prevent people from procreating.

What we see today is similar to a man who spends more than he makes year after year and needs to borrow money each year. Interest becomes a killer the longer the problem goes on. Of course, the first couple of years don't look bad. It looks like the very beginning of an exponential curve.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

There is one downside to far long term planning.

Men who live in the here and now, those who live in the moment are them men who live paycheck to paycheck and have no real plans for the future. These men may accumulate incredible amounts of debt without any sort of plan or idea how to pay it back.

In contrast, smarter men will live frugally. It is not that they don't spend money, they just make sure to only spend money on the things that count. They know how to get the most amount of value and enjoyment out of every dollar spent. This is a more effective way to enrich a man's life.

Men who are capable of long term planning can plan out the next 5, 10, or 20 years. Some men will even go as far to plan out an entire life on spreadsheets.

This is the kind of man that will make estimates for his life. How long he will live, how much he estimates his salary will be, how cheap he can keep his living expenses, and he might even plan out multiple scenarios for his future.

However, no matter how it will end, it will end. This life will be all over. All of our experiences. Everything we've seen, heard, and felt. Anger, joy, and sorrow; it will end.

The men who plan nothing and live in the moment; chances are they hardly ever think about their own mortality.

But if you have the ability to see into the future, you know it is coming. Just think about where you were one year ago from today. In retrospect, it can seem like the whole thing passed by in a few minutes.

Don't believe me? Tomorrow, when you arrive at your office, read this post and then think about the 8 to 12 hours you have ahead of you. Think about how much of an eternity it will feel like to get through the drudgery of the day. Then go about your day as per usual. Clean up your station and drive home and read this post again. The second time you read this article, think to the point earlier in the day where you just arrived at your desk and was dreading the 12 hours ahead of you. When you think about it now, it will feel like the whole thing passed by in minutes.

The thing that I fear the most is when I'm in my late eighties and I'm dying with only a few minutes left to live. I'll think back to the time I was 8, 12, 16, 21, 24, 32, so on and so forth and thinking about how many years of my life passed by in mere minutes.

Men who know how to plan and see into the future probably contemplate their own mortality much more than men who live in the moment.

This is the reason we try to plan out our future. Your time is a limited resource. Try not to waste it and try to get the best value of what time you have left.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Without discipline, things take more time to get done.

What I mean by this is that things don't take longer to do. Without discipline, it takes longer to get around to doing things. Lets take a look at a really easy example how a man can improve his life. Getting into shape.

Losing weight and building endurance is one of the cheapest things to do. You don't need to spend money on a gym membership or buy heavy expensive equipment. You just need to head out the door and start running. A distance of 5k (3.1 miles) only takes 30 to 40 minutes to run. Even a man who spends 12 hours a day working plus 2 hours commuting can spare 30 to 40 minutes of time when he gets home. 40 minutes is roughly one episode of whatever on netflix and a couple cat videos on youtube. A man easily has enough time to dedicate 40 minutes 3 times a week to running 15 kilometers.

What makes it so difficult to do this?

The obvious response is that a man feels completely drained after working a tedious job all day that when he gets home, he would rather play Call of Duty than go running a 5k. And that is the pitfall.

Netflix, video games, and the internet are very cheap immediate forms of entertainment. All they require is a walk over to the computer. It is much easier than heading out the door and running for 30 to 40 minutes.

Now think about this? How much easier is it to find the time to run 5k over a weekend. Its much easier. You can play Assassin's Creed, watch a few episodes of The Walking Dead, get bored then feel like going out for a run.

On a weekend, you have a greater abundance of time, considering you are a bachelor without kids or work on the weekend. On days off of work, you have more than 14 or 16 hours to play with. On a normal work day, you could find yourself with only 4 to 6 hours of time to work with.

With much less time to work with, a man wants to relax and unwind from a tedious day rather than struggle with something to make progress or improvement in his life.

To strive for greatness and achievement, a man has to do at least one of two things. Find the discipline to sacrifice cheap easy entertainment/leisure, or free up much more time.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day 13 and 14 results

Week 5 is the easy week. The heaviest weight I had to lift was 205. There isn't any struggle or strain to lift something sort of heavy like 245.

Once again, while I'm writing this, I'm listening to The Black Brigade's latest podcast. Go ahead and listen to them if you don't already. They put out a great podcast each Thursday.

The workout schedule for week 5 is as follows.

Incline Bench: 185 at 3 reps, 165 at 5 reps, 145 at 6 reps
Bench Press: 205 at 5 reps, 185 at 6 reps, 165 at 7 reps
Bar Dips: 50 lbs attached at 6 reps, 25 lbs attached at 6 reps, body weight at 6 reps
Dumbbell Flyes: 50 at 6 reps, 40 at 8 reps, 30 at 10 reps

Once again, this 12 week plan to get you to bench 300 lbs can be found at

Week 6 is a rest week. I feel a sort of challenge when lifting 185 at the incline because its tough to get the initial lift up when the bar is only a foot away from your chest. According to this program, I'm pretty close to the maximum amount for the incline bench press. The max amount for incline bench press is on 205 at 3 reps.

Speaking of maximum weights, I know this program gets you up to bench 300 max. It shows that on week 12 you lift 305 for a one rep max. My whole goal is just to lift 300 so I only have to do one day out of week 12. I'm already half way through the program.

For the bar dips, the maximum weight is 105 lbs attached to your body weight for 3 reps. Bar dips was something I never really did that much before this program. Before this program, the go to excessive I went to after the bench was pull ups. Even then, the most weight I attached to my body was 60 lbs.

Dumbbell flies is something else I didn't really do before this program but the max weight I'll have to do is 65 at 6 reps. These are hard. I can feel my tendons and joints pain when I'm doing 60 at 4 reps.

Today is the last day of week 5 then week 6 gets hard.

On Monday, I'll see if I can lift 265 3 times. I hope this works.