Riots are counterproductive

I’m sure many of you (like me) have watched in horror as the last week has played out in the US. The social media shit storm has been insane. It’s impossible for me to compress my thoughts on the aforementioned social channels so let’s get right into this….

The background

Minorities in the US have been treated unfairly for centuries. Law enforcement officials focus their efforts on poor people which tend to mostly consist of said minorities. It’s sad, but true that it’s far easier to whittle down your list of suspects by focusing on something simple like skin tone.

More recently, there’s this virus going around that has prompted many governments to implement various lock-downs. This adds to the frustration. After all, curfews in and of themselves violate human rights. From a philosophical perspective, access to some limited areas is fine; but limiting people to their homes is basically imprisonment.

Completely shutting down businesses by fiat is also unacceptable. There are plenty of businesses that are capable of implementing disease spreading prevention measures. Allowing them to do this, and at least make some money is what should have happened. It would have been rough, but it would have helped a little with the unemployment situation.

So with all that for a backdrop, someone died in police custody. This was basically the match that lit the kindling that was everywhere. In many US cities, there are riots. There are also many examples of peaceful protests. And in some rare cases, peaceful protestors have stopped rioters from looting. If you’re one of these people, I salute you as a true hero.

The consequences

So what does violence achieve? I can think off three categories to think through: hurting people, destroying public property, destroying private property.

The only time hurting another human is acceptable is when one is stopping a true criminal (as in someone that commits an actual crime; laws are irrelevant in this instance) from hurting someone. In other words, the person is protecting themselves or others. When in this situation, someone does use force; they are only justified in using enough force to stop the crime. If the crime has been halted, there should be no more use of force. This is known as The Non-aggression Principle. Governments and police violate it constantly, but that’s not an excuse to violate it as well. So hurting people while rioting is clearly immoral, and should not be condoned.

I’ve also seen a lot of looting, and destruction of private property. In many cases, said property belongs to a minority. You know, one of those people that you’re supposedly rioting for. Congratulations, you’ve just become the oppressor. If you’re vandalizing a business, you’ve also just hurt the chances of said business from surviving and hiring you. This is purely destructive, and you’re indirectly hurting yourself.

In the case of public property, one could make the argument that you as a rioter own the property you’re destroying. If that’s true, one could argue it’s justified. However, what’s going to happen as a result of this? The government will repair/replace what you destroyed. They’re going to get the money for that from either taxes or, worse, printing money (which robs everyone through inflation). So again, you’re hurting yourself.

And what have you accomplished? The government’s going to be less inclined to make structural changes to the system, and will, instead, focus on stopping the violence with violence of their own. This is what governments are good at. They have one tool: force. And they have a whole lot more of it that you do.

This also will make you the bad guy in the eyes of anyone that’s skeptical of racism’s existence. Instead of asking why there are so many people protesting, they’ll only think of how terrible it is that cities are being destroyed by rioters.

I get being hurt and angry. As a Voluntarist, I’ve been frustrated and angry with governments for decades. However, we won’t get to the world we want to see by implementing tactics that directly contradict what we wish actualize. This has been understood by many of the greats: Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King being among them.

Solutions

So what can be done? I would say the most powerful thing would be to educate yourself, and help others to learn as well. Good things to look into would be philosophy; particularly in the realm of human rights, and The Non-Aggression Principle. History is great as well; particularly the civil rights movements in India and the US. The study of economics can show you how the government is creating inequality and wealth disparity; particularly Austrian Economics, the history of money, and the precious metals movement, and even cryptocurrency (we are all Satoshi).

There are also some groups you could look into. The Free State Project has convinced thousands of people to move to New Hampshire who are attempting to change the system. The Seasteading Institute (and the seasteading movement in general) is developing the technology to free us governments, unleash a renaissance in governance, restore the environment, and advance the human race in general.

I know that’s not very satisfying, but one needs a solid grasp of philosophy to properly assign blame, and act ethically. Only then can we be the change we wish to see in the world.

Edit: I can’t believe I forgot to mention Dale Brown’s Threat Management Center. It’s a private security group based out of Detroit, Michigan, USA. They use psychology and philosophy to prevent crime, and do the least harm.

The police in every jurisdiction I’m familiar with are broken. The system has deep philosophical flaws. Here’s an example of a company that’s built a far superior product than the old, government infrastructure. And the best part about it is that it’s voluntary. The more educated people exist, the more positive examples we’ll see, and the faster real, philosophically solid change will occur.

Financial Friday 122

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 122….

Transportation

Zero!

Accommodation

The AirBnB’s running me $8.06 per day.

Other

Travel insurance: $3.15 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

On Thursday, my local SIM base plan was renewed: $0.34.

Summary

Week 122
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging8.068.068.068.068.068.068.0656.42
Food8.9302.9105.70017.54
Other4.734.734.734.734.734.735.0733.45
Total21.7212.7915.712.7918.4912.7913.13107.41

Fantastic! Also, the local economy’s beginning to reopen. Things are looking up. See you all next week….

Financial Friday 121

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 121….

Transportation

Zero.

Accommodation

The AirBnB’s running me $8.06 per night.

Other

Travel insurance: $3.15 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

Password manager: $0.16 per day.

Summary

Week 121
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging8.068.068.068.068.068.068.0656.42
Food14.0105.416.3109.02034.75
Other4.734.734.734.734.734.734.7333.11
Total26.812.7918.219.112.7921.8112.79124.28

See you all next week….

Financial Friday 120

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 120….

Transportation

On Monday, I actually took a taxi: $1.21. I walked to a market, and didn’t feel like walking the several kilometers back. Public transportation is still shut down so my only option was a cab. Still not bad though.

Accommodation

On Sunday, I renewed my monthly AirBnB lease. Since there’s one more day in May than April the per night cost went from $8.33 to $8.06. Winning!

Other

Travel insurance: $3.15 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

Password manager: $0.16 per day.

Summary

Week 120
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel0001.210001.21
Lodging8.338.338.068.068.068.068.0656.96
Food9.247.7806.826.8808.6839.4
Other4.734.734.734.734.734.734.7333.11
Total22.320.8412.7920.8219.6712.7921.47130.68

So…another fantastic week brought to you by staying in a cheap country during lock-down. I really miss bars….

Financial Friday 119

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 119….

Transportation

Zero. Taxis are available now, but I’ve had no reason to use one so….

Accommodation

This month it comes out to $8.33 per day. Plus, lots of free food!

Other

Travel insurance: $3.15 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

Password manager: $0.16 per day.

On Friday, I topped up my mobile data: $6.58 for 20G.

On Wednesday, I bought a blender: $22.55. Because…why not?

Summary

Week 119
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging8.338.338.338.338.338.338.3358.31
Food8.3910.36010.509.39038.64
Other11.314.734.734.734.7327.284.7362.24
Total28.0323.4213.0623.5613.064513.06159.19

So another nice week. See you all in the next one….

Financial Friday 118

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 118….

Transportation

Zero. Travel is pretty much shut down.

Accommodation

Just chilling in my AirBnB: $8.33 per night.

Other

Travel insurance: $3.15 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

On Tuesday, my local mobile plan was renewed: $0.35.

Summary

Week 118
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging8.338.338.338.338.338.338.3358.31
Food08.3707.1105.02020.5
Other4.734.734.734.735.084.734.7333.46
Total13.0621.4313.0620.1713.4118.0813.06112.27

Nice! And since the month just ended….

Apr 20
CategoryWeek 114Week 115Week 116Week 117Week 118Total
Travel000000
Lodging19.3667.7658.3158.3158.31262.05
Food10.3534.1430.8827.9820.5123.85
Other65.8946.2798.2436.8733.46280.73
Total95.6148.17187.43123.16112.27666.63

Look at that. Staying home saves a bunch of money. Who knew? See you all next week….

Financial Friday 117

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 117….

Transportation

It’s pretty much illegal to take any mode of transportation other than my own feet so….zero.

Accommodation

Hunkering down with the best AirBnB hosts in the world: $8.33 per day.

Other

On Sunday, I renewed my travel insurance. It turns out if you’re using World Nomads if you exclude Antarctica, you save a lot of money. Old price: $5.03 per day. New price: $3.15 per day!

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

Password manager: $0.16 per day.

Summary

Week 117
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging8.338.338.338.338.338.338.3358.31
Food08.42008.08011.4827.98
Other6.616.614.734.734.734.734.7336.87
Total14.9423.3613.0613.0621.1413.0624.54123.16

Nice! It turns out not being able to do anything is pretty cheap. Who knew? See you all next week….

Financial Friday 116

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 116….

Transportation

Zero. Travel is becoming increasingly locked down….

Accommodation

Due to a lack of tourism, I was able to lower the cost of my AirBnB. The new rate is $8.33 per day. Plus, my hosts keep bringing me food. The average is 0.75 meals per day. And I don’t ask them for food; they tell me to hand over a plate/bowl, and it comes back full of Georgian deliciousness.

Other

Travel insurance (minus virus coverage): $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

Password manager: $0.16 per day.

On Saturday, I bought some expansions for Hearts of Iron (a video game): $51.97. There’s only so much to do in a day. At least that’s my justification….

Summary

Week 116
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging8.338.338.338.338.338.338.3358.31
Food12.1303.5303.61011.6130.88
Other6.6158.586.616.616.616.616.6198.24
Total27.0766.9118.4714.9418.5514.9426.55187.43

So yeah. Without the game, that would be pretty good. See you all next week….

What to do with your Universal Basic Income

Space-Time coordinates: 12 Apr 2020, Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

The situation

There’s no question we’re living in uncertain times. As I write this, most of the world is in some form of lock-down. Businesses that rely on discretionary spending have seen their revenue fall off a cliff. With no income, they’re forced to cut spending. This means they fire their staff. This leaves people with less money which means they spend even less on discretionary expenses. The cycle spirals down; feeding on itself.

Western governments are responding to this massive decrease in monetary velocity (deflationary) by printing a lot of money (inflationary). They’re trying to keep their currencies stable. This will have massive effects on the price(s) of products. Necessities will become more expensive while everything else will remain the same or even become cheaper.

There are also huge effects on currency markets. Because so much global debt is denominated in US Dollars, there’s constant demand for them outside the US. Normally, these dollars get to the rest of the world via trade deficits (the US buys imports with USD). But since global trade has drastically slowed, fewer dollars are getting out to the rest of the world. This has led to the USD strengthening against other currencies. That makes it harder for people that make money in non-USD currencies to pay back debts they’ve incurred denominated in USD. Also, because most international trade is settled in USD, the price of imports in countries that aren’t the US are rising.

Many developed countries (1st world) are even printing money, and giving it directly to their citizens. This can come in the form of tax refunds, unemployment insurance, and various welfare programs. There’s even talk of sending people money on a monthly basis to help them get through these tough times; basically, a Universal Basic Income.

What to do

If you’re struggling right now, I’m afraid to say there isn’t much to be done. Try to reduce your expenses as much as possible, and maybe find a way to make some money (think side-hustle). I know that’s difficult since most people in the West live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have any savings.

In the future though…. The world won’t be locked down forever. Eventually, travel will be possible again. This will be the perfect time to take advantage of geoarbitrage: exploiting items costing differing amounts in different places. For example, the cost of living in Ukraine is far less than in Sweden.

Consider what holds most people in the geographic region in which they were born: income, assets (house, car, etc.), friends & family, familiarity.

If you’ve lost your job, income isn’t holding you in place. If you got a location independent side-hustle, you don’t need to stay in the West. If your government rains money down on you for simply being a citizen, that’s the ultimate form of geographic freedom.

I’ve been traveling for 2 years now, and have been documenting how much it’s cost me every week via my Financial Friday posts. As a single person just living my life and having fun, I almost always spend less than $1,000 per month. That’s well under the $1,200 April UBI installment. And if the US does implement a full UBI program, I imagine it’ll be $1,000 or more as well. Not to mention this will probably become even more favorable as exchange rates favor USD even more.

Many people have have houses, cars, and a bunch of random stuff laying around their homes. The good news is that all these assets can be sold. That will free you from that location, and might even free up some cash to help with a move.

If you have friends and family that are still stable at home, there isn’t much to be done about that. But new friends aren’t that hard to make. And if you become successful enough, you might even be able to move your family to wherever you end up. This is the most difficult part about moving, but it’s not impossible to overcome.

Adjusting to a different culture can certainly be a challenge. However, this is the easiest thing to adjust to. There are plenty of cheap countries where a large percentage of the population speak English. If you speak Spanish or Russian, this is even easier. And exploring new cultures is kind of fun; at least I enjoy it.

Summary

Traveling and/or moving to another country really isn’t has hard as most people think, and the barriers to doing it are melting away. Plus, you encounter opportunities to make money as you do it if you keep your eyes open. Hopefully, this post has at least given you something to consider, and maybe start planning for.

And if you do decide to try this and need some help, feel free to contact me. I’ve learned a few things hopping around the globe. Who knows, maybe we’ll even meet each other on the road. I love meeting new people!

Financial Friday 115

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 115….

Transportation

Zero. Everything’s pretty much shut down now so it would be hard to spend anything here.

Accommodation

AirBnB monthly rate of $9.68 per day.

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Passport: $0.03 per day.

Password manager: $0.16 per day.

Summary

Week 115
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging9.689.689.689.689.689.689.6867.76
Food012.37018.1603.61034.14
Other6.616.616.616.616.616.616.6146.27
Total16.2928.6616.2934.4516.2919.916.29148.17

Now that’s what I like to see. Until next week….