This Could Get Ugly - Some Thoughts

First, let me say this - I am a long term optimist. I firmly believe that humans evolved because we are collaborative, and come what may, I believe the better angels of our nature will prevail and things will be better in the future. My personal investments are in 100% stocks (apart from cash on the sidelines for emergencies, travel, and short term expenses), and so I am invested as an optimist. I also continue to buy every single paycheck and will continue to do so until I retire. I just want to share some thoughts about what I see could be a rough slog economically, financially (market wise), and elsewhere.

Next, if I am wrong and things are good for the next several years, we'll all be fine. However, there's no playbook needed to ride out good times, you just simply keep doing what you're doing, because things are good. The only risk during good times is that you go up 20% when the Nasdaq goes up 40% or that your bonus is 100% of comp instead of your buddy at XYZ firm who got 125%, but that's a survivable risk!

Now, the issues we face as Americans and elsewhere in the developed world are innumerable, but I think at the same time they are navigable. Let's dive in.

How could this get ugly? employment, inflation, recessions, liquidity crunch, stock market crash, lower prosperity than other generations. we could very well experience stagflation 2.0 with negative real returns in markets, rising inflation, collapsing housing prices, and if rates rise too much and growth slows too much, a default cycle that takes out many companies (banks included) to the woodshed. if that wasn't enough, we could also be about to enter world war 3 (remember how people thought hitler would stop with the sudetenland?), and I haven't even begun to mention washington and our self imposed debtor's prison that could turn the zoomer generation and millenials into the same types of people that endured the great depression.

Sound fun? Let's party!

employment - when I got my first job in finance post-college, unemployment was 10%. if you're job hunting in that environment, take what you can get. keep the network fresh. while there are a lot of job openings, as growth slows down and wage costs rise, companies may decide to pull some of those listings and do what everybody fears, layoffs. just like you fish and put lines in the water when you're not hungry, or don't dig your well when you're thirsty, the time to network is not after you get laid off, it's NOW. this is another reason why it's important to never burn a bridge. also, while things are still good, think about filling holes in your resume. is there a skill, subject matter, or certification that would make you more marketable if you were to get laid off? work on that NOW.

inflation - we have no control over inflation, however we do have control over how we spend our money. got that swanky 1 bedroom because your offer was good? how does that same apartment feel when they raise rents 10% and your income goes down by 25%? if you can stomach that, then you're in GREAT shape, if you cannot, consider moving, consider roommates, and so on. take a good hard look at your expenses, consider what you would have to eliminate if your comp dropped by 25%, 40%, or more, because if you work in finance long enough, that will happen from time to time. things like eating out all the time, shopping, buying rounds for people, those are easily removable, it's a lot harder to pull in expenses like a mortgage you overextended on, car payments, memberships, etc., you want the vast majority of your expenses to be variable so you can pull them back easily during times of crisis. also, while groceries have gone up, it's still more expensive to eat out, so learn to cook if you don't already.

market crash - look at your portfolio now. how much of your PA's success depends upon your assumptions of the future being correct? if you've put all your money in a handful of stocks plus some crypto and TQQQ, be ready to ride through a rough patch because as high as those things can fly, they can crash just as hard. this is also where diversification comes into play. the odds of a 100 stock portfolio all going to zero versus a 5 stock portfolio are worlds apart. spread your bets, you won't win the lottery, but you also won't go to the poorhouse. are you buying on margin? some of the worst investment experiences come from this, you margin your shares to buy more and then everything starts crashing and the bank's margin call department doesn't give a fuck about your 12mo price target, they want the money NOW, and so money can evaporate VERY quickly. I do not recommend ANYone buy on margin with a large % of their folio, ideally don't do it at all (I don't). if you do, know that you have to be correct twice. you must be correct on the direction of the stock/holding, and that you're correct soon, because anyone who bought MSFT long in 2000 is sitting pretty, but anyone who bought MSFT on margin in 2000 or used MSFT to collateralize a loan got forced out of the position before Azure was even a thing. tread carefully.

other stuff like lower prosperity, recessions, etc - if you've done the above, you are pretty well insulated from the financial effects of a recession, but this doesn't mean you're immune from the psychological. recessions are not fun, particularly long drawn out ones. eventually things are better, but the best way I can describe it is like external depression, you see no way out and it's weighing on the collective world, it can make you bitter, give you tunnel vision, and can infect all parts of your life, and that's OK. it's completely natural. however, just like when you experience depression (I've been very depressed before, had suicidal thoughts and even wrote about it), time, distraction, and focusing on your locus of control will help you get through the day. don't worry about what the economy will be in a few months or years, just get through the day.

if you don't have something cheap/free that brings you joy, find something NOW when you don't really need it. also, find something really hard that you can do, like running, biking, swimming, meditation, really hard yoga/pilates, static breath holds (while lying down on a soft surface for the inevitable blackouts), and so on. it is hard to put on your running shoes when you're always on the verge of a breakdown, however it's even harder to focus on your depression when you're on mile 4 going up a 40 degree hill or the lactic acid is building up in your arms but you still have 500 more meters to go in the pool. distract your mind and do hard things, I cannot promise you will solve anything, but I can promise that if you do enough positive behaviors, however miserable they seem at the time, they should add up to something not so shitty.

check in with yourself. journal, speak with friends, extend compassion. recessions and bad times don't just happen to you, so be that friend that checks on others, they need it. you both may have lost your jobs and seen your PAs go to shit, but you can still have a friendship. on journaling, I've written about this before, but it really does help. check in with yourself, write whatever is on your mind no matter how negative, disorganized, evil, selfish, etc., it may seem. often times in my times of depression my negative cycle of thought was continued by the combined weight of a bunch of disparate negative thoughts, but once I got them on paper, the weight lifted just a tiny bit, but enough to help me get through the day, I hope the same for you.

and in closing, I hope no one has to use any of the above, and I hope that we have a soft landing economically and financially. if not, in times of crisis, it's best to be prepared, rather than be caught flat footed. for my part, I've noticed that once I've put the pieces in place to ride through a crisis, I worry significantly less, because I've done what's in my control. I hope the same for you, and would welcome a discussion if you have personal tactics to share or any questions on the above.

godspeed

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Comments (54)

May 13, 2022 - 12:56pm
Sumooooo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The Lord has spoken.

The only thing I might add to the discussion is to keep learning and growing. The best investment you have is almost alway going to be yourself. You don't have to grind like a dog all the time, but grow at your own pace and take breaks if you need to. Imo best way to mitigate against any risk is to be "strong" yourself. The definition means different things to different people, but if you're in a good spot based on your skills and experiences, there's not much in life you can't hedge against.

Praying for a soft landing.

Funniest
May 13, 2022 - 1:08pm
UCSDThrowaway, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It'll be a rough patch, but ultimately the show goes on.

Team Democrat, team Republican, and team fed reserve are all aligned in making sure the already wealthy boomers have a comfortable retirement. That means rates will come back down, money will be printed, middle class will be waiting in bread crumb lines while blaming the poors / immigrants / boogeyman #999

May 13, 2022 - 1:27pm
BobTheBaker, what's your opinion? Comment below:
UCSDThrowaway

It'll be a rough patch, but ultimately the show goes on.

Team Democrat, team Republican, and team fed reserve are all aligned in making sure the already wealthy boomers have a comfortable retirement. That means rates will come back down, money will be printed, middle class will be waiting in bread crumb lines while blaming the poors / immigrants / boogeyman #999

Elite post.

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May 13, 2022 - 9:57pm
UCSDThrowaway, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Fjsjrjdns

I don't agree with you on a lot, but man, I think we can all agree on"fuck Boomers!"

I think I'm one of the most reasonable posters here.. fuck democrats, fuck Biden, fuck republicans, fuck trump, etc.. I'll never understand why majority of people here simp for some god damn politicians and political party, fucking stupid 

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May 13, 2022 - 1:18pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You left off one other nasty piece affecting us here in the USA: severe drought in the west/midwest coupled against late thaws and very soggy fields in the upper midwest implying an abysmal crop harvest coming on top of the already impending food shortage concerns from other global sources. And the drought conditions are leading towards heightened wildfire activities from CA all the way through to TX too.

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May 13, 2022 - 1:26pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Palpable or palatable? Jokes aside, it was meant to showcase how weather, which as you point out we have no control over, is doing it's part to further the stress we're experiencing in the rest of the economy and the inflationary pressures.

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May 13, 2022 - 2:02pm
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

if you work in AM, PWM, HF, PE, etc. and your stuff is denominated in AUM. take the following of someone whose salary is $200k and total comp is $500k, a 40% pay cut would mean your bonus is $100k instead of the $300k you're used to because of performance of the fund, not you personally. in my case, it'd be pretty hard for it to go down 40%, but 25% absolutely, if stocks are down 60% and 50% of my assets are there, that's a 30% pay cut and I still have to work, even harder in fact.

and sure, if there were massive layoffs, but what if it's just the S&P 500 and M&A that're in the toilet but unemployment still around 5 or 6%? even in my tier 2 city rents went up 5-20% per year with high single digit unemployment

part of contingency planning is thinking of things that are possible but not plausible. I know you're just asking a question, but it's a dangerous proposition to conduct your life as if these things cannot happen (e.g. if my income goes down, my costs definitely won't go up). plan for the worst, hope for the best.

May 13, 2022 - 1:34pm
arbjunkie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Personally, I'm feeling great about the positioning.

I'm about to graduate from an M7 MBA program. Recently signed an MBB offer for full time - they did a second round of off-cycle recruiting because they had too much attrition.

I have relatively high 6 figure debt for the MBA but I just locked it in at 10 year fixed below 4% while inflation is ripping - I'm gonna defer starting payments till January to really let inflation do its thing on the value of the debt.

I'm moving to a new city so I have 100% control over my cost basis - starting from scratch. Plan was to live like a student until I "paid down the loans" - I don't want to pay them down given the rate/economic situation, so I'm going to take the same approach but put the money in investments (95% index funds) instead.

Market + crypto being down 20% means I can dump my signing bonus into the market at lower prices.

I share your view that there's a chance of some nasty economic turmoil over the next year or so, but as long as you have a stable base to build on that really just means more opportunities at lower prices imo.

May 13, 2022 - 2:10pm
arbjunkie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

the biggest question i have is... how much should i lever up by putting money into longer-term in-the-money SPY calls?

Put about 15% of my IRA in these in November and obviously I've gotten killed on that so far, but still thinking it might be worth doing a regular buy with a portion of my investing money to achieve ~2-3x total equity exposure. at lower spot prices it seems even more appealing altho probably the ivol is not as attractive as it was when i went in before

May 13, 2022 - 5:04pm
Bankerconsu, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also was surprised by the confidence this kid had signing a FT offer at MBB. Likely not old enough to remember what happened last time in 08. Consulting for any company is a variable expense. It's one of the first to get cut when times are bad.  Unless you're in the restructuring arm of your MBB, I don't see how standard mgmt consulting in any world would be considered a safe option

May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
Fjsjrjdns, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree, but first year PE associates shouldn't throw stones in glass houses. Let's see how those port cos. start looking when your fund can no longer lever to the tits at 2.75% and sit around on their dicks waiting for magical, never ending multiple expansion. All that bullshit "operational and industry expertise" that every PE fund touts might actually get tested in a downturn.

May 13, 2022 - 2:37pm
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Remember though - 2008 was an outlier in terms of recessions. Worst in history (outside of great depression). It's also the only recession most here have experienced, and younger posters dont remember it at all.

Not all recessions are that bad. 

May 13, 2022 - 3:14pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was in NYC during this in 2008 and it was insane. People going to work not knowing if their job was still there. Lots of friends relocated outside of NYC.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

May 13, 2022 - 3:39pm
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I cant imagine.

I came out of college around the recession and good god the job market was tough. Something younger millennials and Gen Z have no earthly idea how to deal with. Really the last 6-8 years have been wonderful times to be looking for work.

2008-2012 or so you had people with pristine resumes (grad school experience, top GPAs, good internships) applying to dozens of places and getting zilch. You didnt like your offer and wanted to negotiate? LOL good fucking luck! 

May 13, 2022 - 5:05pm
NB574, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Now is probably a good time to mention black swan events.

Nobody would expect the two worst recessions in US history to fall in the same score. This new economic recession/decline might be the largest the world has ever seen (who is to say?). If I learned anything from NNT it is that worse/better things can happen than what was previously experienced so don't be surprised by unlikely scenarios.  

I'll be honest, I am more scared of having to hire and manage the Cocomelon generation in 15-20 years than a recession.   

May 13, 2022 - 3:49pm
Risk Weighted Ass, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Optimistic but indeterminate of the future while having low savings rate (all invested) and recommending diversification. Reminds me of this:

https://youtu.be/iZM_JmZdqCw

May 13, 2022 - 4:23pm
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have a high savings rate and funds for emergencies as I mentioned I do not carry tactical cash because I believe timing the market is impossible 

why is recommending diversification bad?

being optimistic long term and realizing the future is impossible to predict...tell me how that's an inconsistent position

Ill watch the video once you re read the post, I think you're reaching here

May 13, 2022 - 4:33pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:
thebrofessor

I have a high savings rate and funds for emergencies as I mentioned I do not carry tactical cash because I believe timing the market is impossible 

why is recommending diversification bad?

being optimistic long term and realizing the future is impossible to predict...tell me how that's an inconsistent position

Ill watch the video once you re read the post, I think you're reaching here

It's almost like you're in wealth management and/or financial planning or something...

May 13, 2022 - 4:33pm
Risk Weighted Ass, what's your opinion? Comment below:
  1. I said "all invested" in parentheses to indicate savings means cash. Not money being put to work in investments. You said you only keeps cash savings for short term expenses/ emergencies, hence my comment.
  1. I never said diversification is bad.
  1. I did not say being optimistic and indeterminate of the future is inconsistent.
  1. Looks like you are the one who can't read mate. You spend too much time on anonymous forums and you think everyone is trying to argue with you. Some are simply making comments or observations. Try not to get so offended (and make assumptions) from neutral statements next time.
May 13, 2022 - 5:32pm
financeabc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In the short run, the stock market is like a voting machine but in the long run, it is more like a weighing machine (I can't take credit for this paraphrase of a quote.  Benjamin Graham said something like this). I have no doubt that in the long run, companies will make lots of money and stock investors will benefit from it.  The short run is always more uncertain.  Idk, there always seems to be some very speculative element to market crashes.  In 1999, investors bought internet stocks that made no money while analysts justified P/E ratios in the hundreds. in 2008, excessive leverage and speculation in real estate led to the great recession. Today, I think you could point to two very speculative situations that might mean something. Consumer real estate has probably been in a bubble for a while, making it area of concern, especially with rising rates. The second speculative area that has attracted a lot of attention is crypto currencies.  People who know nothing about investing and very little about this topic had been allocating money here.  There is a fucking forum here dedicated to it.  There have been topics asking for your reason as to why you are NOT invested in crypto, haha.

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May 13, 2022 - 7:07pm
joemother6969, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lol the US' problems:

- Handing ez 400k FAANG and 200k IBD offers to minorities and LGBTQs like there's no tomorrow

- Literally tens of trillions in debt

- USD is fucked

- Inflation

- GDP contraction

- Colleges giving ez offers to blacks and hispanics like there's no tomorrow

- Whites, asians and indians leaving for better countries that doesn't discriminate/isn't woke

- China literally growing into the stratosphere

- Sinking insane amounts of money into a corrupt government to "fight" (stall a few more weeks again) Russia

- No more O&G

- No more wheat

- No more rare earth metals


 

Time to move to China.

May 13, 2022 - 9:46pm
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

the diversity bullshit is actually good for economy - it creates more purchasing power in the economy. and I personally believe that's the reason we have diversity - for economic reasons, rather than moral or something else.

black people love to spend money. you give money to a black person, they'll spend it all quickly and stimulate the economy. you give it to a white person, they'll invest it, and there's no value to economy rather than the shares will cost more.

I was at Tiffany's last year, and there was a lot of people, huge queue (due to covid measures), and about half of the people there were black. so we're talking about helping poor black people and they're buying jewelry at Tiffany's lol.

May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
RideVermont, what's your opinion? Comment below:

yeah, because black people can't have money right? c'mon, shit like skiing/mtbing is a huge money pit and you don't see people saying that white people are irresponsible for spending a  couple grand on some skis and a season pass.

May 13, 2022 - 10:54pm
nonu-r, what's your opinion? Comment below:

- Handing ez 400k FAANG and 200k IBD offers to minorities and LGBTQs like there's no tomorrow

Why is that a problem? If it's not profitable, firms will stop doing it. 

Literally tens of trillions in debt

Also not a problem. The US can run deficits forever provided economic growth is okay. 

USD is fucked

Not really. Other currencies are experiencing just as much inflation. 

Compared to currencies like the pound and the euro, the US dollar has appreciated in value. 

GDP contraction

GDP contracts -> it will rebound eventually. 

- Colleges giving ez offers to blacks and hispanics like there's no tomorrow

How does that matter? If it tarnishes the reputation of the school to the point where it hurts them, they'll stop. It's clearly not hurting them and college donations have never been higher. 

- Whites, asians and indians leaving for better countries that doesn't discriminate/isn't woke

No, they aren't. 

The rest I'm not going to bother rebutting but the problems you've listed don't really seem to be problems at all. 

It doesn't affect the world if some colleges decide to let in a few more Blacks and BBs hire them. It's not exactly intellectually deep work. 

May 14, 2022 - 12:31am
joemother6969, what's your opinion? Comment below:

western crapitalist brainwashing makes their dumb citizens think "positive things about china/russia = troll/bot"

and apparently china/russia is the country with censorship? LOL

May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
neink, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I hate Pinker so much.

Bro, I hate to be the ''I told you so'' guy, but quite frankly, a lot of what's going on is why you can't just ignore the broad political direction of your country and enjoy the little things or try to improve your local community. That community is part of a ship and the captain of the ship doesn't know where he is or what he's doing.

Inflation: I'm sure you can find plenty of libertarians telling you this would happen as well. Possible, but there's a significant, hard to quantify, chunk that's politically induced. The Green transition, Build Back Better, WEF propagandized great reset is a large, completely deranged experiment to alter the supply chain while at the same time ''nudge'' as in incessantly bully normal people into becoming a sustainable soy addict. Again, I work in commodities and I said it here in the past more than once, the sustainability departments, very much like anything liberals do, are the actual opposite of sustainability. Most of them add hurdles in the supply chain via certificates that eventually are dumped on consumers. This is by design because to force people to do things like eat less meat and drive less cars, the intellectual class thought of nothing better than to make them unaffordable for an increasing part of the population. Inflation will be permanent unless the political class is ousted.

The other main cause of inflation (hello again libertarians), being excessive liquidity, also propped up plenty of companies with extreme, overly optimistic growth assumptions that lost touch with reality years ago. Many of the main drivers of tech stocks face a similar issue. Consumer numbers propped up by bots or semi-complex way to show activity when there really wasn't. The bubble needs to deflate or pop. The pain will either be significant or massive.

The job market will also have to find a way to lure zoomers in and quite frankly, with 50% of them wanting to be an influencer, and the job supply being mainly mid office bullshit jobs, I just don't see how demand and supply will ever meet.

Final note, if there's one thing that should have been learned from the past 6 years, is that very little of what the corporate media say correspond to reality, especially when they utter the word Russia. Unless you still believe the collusion story, in that case Jussie Smollet is a brave guy, the Covington kids evil racists alongside their Nazi friend Rittenhouse and of course there are no Nazis in Ukraine. Spoiler: the liberal states of America and the UK are the bad guys in this story.

edit: post-final note, you know I'm a pessimist, though I have simply succumbed to apathy. I warned people things would turn bad, for years. Maybe I did a shit job, my bad. At this point I'm out to save myself and those I care about. Society will have to indeed reset itself.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Most Helpful
May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:
neink

I hate Pinker so much.

Bro, I hate to be the ''I told you so'' guy, but quite frankly, a lot of what's going on is why you can't just ignore the broad political direction of your country and enjoy the little things or try to improve your local community. That community is part of a ship and the captain of the ship doesn't know where he is or what he's doing.

como sempre, un piacere parlare con te

here's a nuance I'd like to pull on for others (forse la prossima volta podrò dirti in Italiano, ma adesso non ho un vocabulario abbastanza sviluppato per spiegarlo), the difference between ignoring and focusing. I do not ignore politics. rather, I am very deliberate about my consumption and always always always pull on threads of a story to see if it's something I can exert control/influence over, rather than torturing myself with the hypothetical. I do not like many of the things you mention, and as you know, I agree with you on a whole host of issues, but rather than stop with talking about what's bad, switching to "what can I do about it?" and if I cannot do anything about it, I move on and as you say, enjoy the little things and try to improve my community.

let's take an example that's not political - excessive liquidity. absolutely positively yes, increased moral hazard, valuations, and while this is unknowable it's very likely a key ingredient in the inflation we see today, it distorted what I would say is an otherwise normal and healthy boom/bust cycle. what originally started as a way to avoid the 2nd great depression turned into a morphine drip of QE that did nothing to fix the underlying issues. I do not like that we have to go through this, but what can I do about it? apart from casting my vote for politicians who share my economic views and doing my best with client portfolios, absolutely fucking nothing. I cannot change monetary policy, so I turn my focus instead to what I can do.

maybe I'm being too patient and it's time to take up arms and as you say, oust the political class, but I view this as a bump in the long term road. maybe we'll be in tough times for a while and we won't see great times in our lifetimes, but that's ok. if that's the case, I'd rather have a focus on enjoying the little things and my life instead of being upset about what I view is wrong with the world. and finally, if this is the start of something really bad, in the history of all civilizations nature is undefeated, not just mother nature but also self corrective mechanisms that have evolved their way into our systems. so in closing, if this does get bad, that's OK, because I believe we will recover, even if you and I don't get to witness it. if society doesn't recover and instead kills itself off, that's OK too. in the meantime, I've got a limited time on this planet, so while it may not solve the world's problems, on my deathbed I'll be remembering the times I enjoyed the little things instead of inflation in 2022 or joe biden.

May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
neink, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As far as the nuance goes, okay, I accept it. However I would like to see people who can actually do something about this, gather the balls to do it.

Example: global managers in commodities. Every single ''green'' call, I saw people in the office taking the headphones off during the call and shitting all over the green department. However, nobody dared to do it in the call. Nobody questions it because it makes the executive board unhappy, because it would make ESG investors unhappy. So global managers take their 7 figure salary and dump the problem down the supply chain. I would like them to tell executives they are more than happy to explains to investors why ''sustainability'' is actually the opposite of what it should mean, it's causing shortages all over the economy, ranging from energy to food. If investors really want to feel good about themselves and ''save the world'', maybe they should start talking about emissions to China and India. Nonetheless, nobody has the guts. I'm a coward as well, but at least I know it.

I don't really disagree with the rest. Society will indeed correct itself, I just really hate having to live off nostalgia through the decadence and collapse periods.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

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May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
BullRunKid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm struggling with it because I saw it coming two years ago and now I have no faith in America or its people. I knew the lockdowns, PPP loans, rent moratoriums, employee retention credits were going to lead to this inflationary disaster scenario. People told me I was a quack, a trumper (even though he screwed up, just as Biden), conspiracy nut at the time, a selfish grandma killer, none of whom have apologized in even a soft sense. I honestly think this whole thing was executed so poorly to take us from a potential negative interest rate scenario into an inflationary one. Maybe I am a nut, but I still sound 10x more coherent than the guy everyone voted for, I mean I don't talk about my legs and corn pop cereal people.

I have stopped engaging with those friends because I realize now that they value their ideology more than their friendship. I've never even told people who I voted for let alone if I voted, so no, I am not the problem. I honestly never paid attention to politicians until these last two years when I realized how incompetent and corrupt most of them really are as I watch America become the Titanic. It almost feels like Pelosi, Biden, and all these really old politicians are throwing tantrums over their inevitable end of life stage and they cope by destroying America. I mean we've hit peak insanity when it's normal to accept and support poop and needles in the streets but then you implement vaccine passparts to an extreme level. Are we just going to pretend that sanitation and medical pratices don't lead to a healthy society? Literally much of America has reached clinical levels of insanity. Maybe some of these old people could just go to a beach somewhere or spend time with grandkids. 

I moved away from my blue state because I was paying a ridiculous amount of taxes to be a literal second class citizen with few rights. I now live in a place that feels more free, but I know no one and have no ties. I have been saving hardcore for a few years because I want to make a career change....now as a result of this reordered society and inflationary damage, I'm wondering if making a career change now is a bad idea/time to do so. I also wonder if people would hire me after hearing my opinion on these topics, so I question if I'll ever have a place or tribe again in this country. I may just need to go live in the woods or expatriate at some point to a culture that retains its norms and values. It seems I am paying the price of all this on a number of fronts at this point and I'm really harboring a lack of interest, faith, sympathy for how petty and naive America has become and how much suffering is happening as a result. It almost feels like this is what the average American wants nowadays, they just want to be angry about something, anything. I miss the old days, but those are long in the rearview mirror. I'm not extremely negative on the future, but, we now have too many people in this country unwilling to admit they were wrong about a lot of things over the last twenty years. Just like their bad stock picks of a year ago, people love to hold on to losers and ride them down to zero. 

May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
BullRunKid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 14, 2022 - 1:36am
blookup, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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