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The Great Divergence

July 18, 2023


In the beginning, everyone was poor.

For most of human history, we worked hard to simply gather, hunt, and find enough food to survive.

But gradually, things changed.

By experimenting through trial and error, we learned to grow our own crops.

A surplus of food allowed us to feed more people and the population grew.

Eventually, we scaled up this farming and and traded with each other.  Certain regions of the world were able to grow foods that other areas couldn’t.

But it wasn’t just food.  Fabrics, pottery, tools, you name it.  Each region used its own resources and expertise to trade for food and other goods.

This is where it gets interesting.  Because we could swap and trade things with each other, we could also work harder to produce more, so we could sell more, and ultimately acquire more.

At this point, it became possible for an average person to build a modest level of prosperity.  More exotic foods, nicer robes, and so on.

The invention of money made transactions even easier, and simplified trading.  It also allowed the industrious person the incredible convenience of keeping their savings in the form of coins rather than  possessions.

And so began the Great Divergence.

 

Capitalism and the Great Divergence

As machinery, trade, and societies advanced with the Industrial Revolution, this lead to an explosion in productivity.

Of course, that incremental advancement continues to this day, with increasingly sophisticated tools and technology being the backbone of our prosperity.

Anyway, this productivity meant companies could produce more in the same amount of time.  In return, the higher profits afforded higher wages.  The workers earned more from the same number of hours, allowing them to buy more goods and services.

Over time, what we produced, traded and spent our money on evolved.  From being mostly about survival, to mostly optional extras, in a bid to improve our quality of life and enjoyment.

This is a simplified version of what I went into in my book.  It’s an important development to grasp, because everything else revolves around these simple facts.

 

 

The extra wages delivered thanks to productivity also meant the potential for the average person to save money increased.

As the chart and our understanding of historic living standards suggests, this surplus would’ve been quite modest to begin with.  But progress continued and sped up in the last hundred years.

It eventually became possible for the average person to become a small-time investor.  Real estate was a more common choice back in the day (and still is to some extent), but as stock markets matured and trading costs came down, everyday people could become owners of large companies, not just the rich.

Of course, many people (in fact, most) chose to use their newfound surplus to enjoy in more conveniences and optional niceties.

Time went by.  Incomes kept growing.  The number of things these people could buy expanded exponentially.  The divergence grew larger.  Between the cost of living as they were before and the cost of a newly desired lifestyle.

The smartest ones struck a balance between enjoyment in new luxuries with saving for the future.  The potential for the average person to build wealth became greater and increasingly possible.  In most cases, that potential was not realised or acted upon.

Those people weren’t silly.  They just unwittingly chose one option over another.  We’re doing the very same thing today.  Even though we’re living in a different time, we are these people.

 

The Great Divergence Continues

If the FIRE movement has proven anything, it’s that amassing wealth and living with greater freedom is now possible for the average middle class person.

This simply wasn’t possible for most of human history. 

All it takes is learning, action, and consistent effort.  A willingness to do things differently from others is the key.  To be fair, that’s probably even harder than learning how to invest and become wealthy!

I’m not joking about that.  Resisting peer pressure and advertising is a modern day superpower that almost nobody has.

And while things aren’t perfect, we’re incredibly lucky we have the current systems in place and live in an environment of incremental progress.  Otherwise we’d all be wandering around the bush trying to find food and not get killed.

Mind you, none of us had any say in these developments.  We put no personal effort into the incredibly good living standards we enjoy.  It’s pure luck, which should illicit nothing but gratitude.  We should be oozing with awe… but we’re not.

Some people even question the idea that this divergence exists.  Many think we’ve always been paid only a living wage which has kept up with inflation, and that personal wealth and freedom is unattainable for all but a lucky few.

But if this divergence did not exist, it would be literally impossible for regular folks (like myself and many of you) to save anywhere close to half our income.  Yet this is a common occurrence in circles like this, without herculean effort.

And it’s not because we’re an exclusive club circle of mega earners.  Most of my readers, and the FI community in general, are regular people who earn $60k-$120k per year (the median full-time wage is around $80k).

The struggle to survive and make money is over.  But we still have to be careful.  Because if one thing is true about money, it’s that everyone wants it.  As soon as people developed ‘spending money’ there was a conscious effort by salesmen and marketers to take it from us!

 

Modern day marketing

When everyone was poor, the challenge was making money.  Now the world is rich, the challenge is keeping money.

It doesn’t feel like we have more money because new things are invented daily for us to spend it on.

The multi-billion-dollar marketing industry ensures we keep very little of our modern day incomes.  Instead, we’re urged to spend on extra conveniences and newer, better, fancier things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should live like the Amish.  I’m saying that we must learn where to draw the line and not succumb to becoming a robotic consumer… lapping up the latest emotion-laden advertising campaign, as we dutifully go and buy whatever shit it is they’re selling.

These days, we spend so much time looking at screens, especially our phones.  What happens there?  Advertising, and lots of it.  So we’re making it harder for ourselves to resist the messaging.

But it gets sneakier than that.  It’s not just ads we need to watch out for.  It’s movies and shows and celebrities and influencers too.  All are portraying certain lifestyles and creating desires where none may have existed before.

We don’t think of movies and shows as advertising, but they really are.  Any information repeated over and over seeps into our subconscious mind.  Which is why when you decide in 5 years time you really want a house with a pool you think it’s an independent thought.  When in fact it’s because you’ve seen 37 movies and shows displaying happy families playing in a pool over those 5 years.

It’s the same with cars.  Holidays too.  All of it!  Few spending decisions are original thoughts.  This goes for me too.  The best we can do is be aware of it, ask ourselves why we want what we want, and question whether it will genuinely make us any happier in the long run.

Think of your personal contentment like a block of cheese.  Ideally, it’s solid and smooth with no gaps.  The goal of advertising is to poke holes in your block of contentment, turning it into Swiss cheese.  They do this by preying on your insecurities, the ways you wish you were better, and what other people have that you don’t.  Then, as if by magic, the product being sold will effortlessly fill those holes once again.

Of course, nobody consciously thinks about it like that – except perhaps, the marketers – but this is exactly what’s happening.

Make no mistake.  The majority of marketing is psychological manipulation.  When ads are analysed and each part dissected (which my mind does automatically for fun) they are absolutely ridiculous.  But the strategy continues because it works.

 

What’s the result of all this?

The first is what we’ve already covered: the incredible opportunity for average people to build wealth.  By using their awareness, work ethic, and savings to acquire assets and create a better life.

Following on from this, another outcome of the current system is that the rich get richer.  This happens in two ways: existing knowledge, and existing assets.  The wealthy know how money works, understand investing and adapt to the changing environment.  All the while their assets continue to compound in the background.

Regular people with the wisdom to recognise what’s possible are able to take thoughtful action and join the rich over time.  (I get there are different levels of ‘rich’ but you get the point)

Ultimately, the rest of the population get left behind to stagnate… unable to resist marketing, media narratives, and the hive mind.  Many of these folks grow unsatisfied, feeling as though things are unfair.  And maybe it is to some degree – there’s no perfect system which benefits everyone to the same extent.

To be frank though, a lot of the everyday ‘struggles’ are self inflicted.  Due to lack of education, sure.  But also due to lack of interest and effort in bettering one’s situation.  We seem to magically overlook that part, because it’s far easier to blame the system, a government, rich people, etc.

Avoiding personal responsibility feels a whole lot better than looking yourself in the mirror and admitting you’ve made less than stellar choices with your time, energy and resources up to this point.

But thankfully, our society is not constructed in such a way that those lower on the rung have no chance to move up.  Not even close.  There are far too many success stories to still believe that nonsense in 2023.

Is it easy?  No.  Why would it be?

On a personal note, I began on the lower rungs.  I grew up in a very low income single parent household, in a very basic town in country Victoria.  I didn’t finish school or have any particular marketable skills.  The one thing I developed, however, was a strong desire for a better life, and a refusal to accept a mediocre future… without options, freedom and wealth.

So while there are plenty of people who deserve a helping hand and face genuinely insurmountable odds, those cases, in my view, are a very small percentage of the population.  If we’re completely honest, most of us can easily improve our lot in life, one step at a time.

 

Another Great Divergence

There seems to be one more way society is beginning to divide itself in the modern era.

Those who take accountability, and those who don’t.

Those who accept that we’re all born with different circumstances yet we’re also responsible for our actions and results in life.  And those who think we should effectively burn it all down to level the playing field.  This is the belief that everyone should be equal, regardless of skills, merit, and work ethic.

Now, again, I totally get the arguments for wanting to help certain demographics of people.  I’m not against that at all.  But here’s the issue…

Group 1 believes everyone should have the same opportunities.  That nobody should be held back and shunned precisely because of race, gender, etc.  But then the responsibility is on each of us to create our own results from that.

Group 2 believes everyone should have not only the same opportunities, but the same results.  That it’s not fair certain people have more wealth, income and status than others, and this needs to be equalised.  We do that by deliberately advantaging certain groups in a bid to help.  But this also inadvertently discriminates against all other groups, whether we frame it that way or not, which contradicts the initial belief both groups held.

These two belief systems couldn’t be more different.  In my view, Group 2 is a dangerous way to think.  Simply put, it’s a belief system built on entitlement, and at a certain point, revenge.  In essence, one person should not be doing better than another, and we need to correct it if they are.

The problem with this thinking is simple.  Society wouldn’t have made the progress it has if personal advancement wasn’t possible.  You need that incentive to foster ambition, innovation and improvements.  Otherwise everyone just sits around waiting for someone else to do the work and then expect to split the rewards evenly.  That’s just stupid.  Sadly, that’s the ultimate end point of the current entitlement mind virus.

 

Doing it tough… sort of

Somehow we’ve ended up in a culture of victimhood.  Where the accepted, encouraged and morally righteous thing to be is a victim of something.  But in the grand scheme of things, most of us aren’t victims of much at all except our own minds.

This seems to be, ironically, very common in the richer countries of the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and NZ.  How we can have the greatest living standards in human history but complain endlessly about hardship and unfairness is beyond me.

As an example, I said the following on social media recently and it generated quite a bit of reaction…

I’m not saying the original Aussie battler no longer exists.  But the second one is far more common.  As life has become easier, our definition of hardship has become softer.

Hardship is living with disabilities and medical conditions on government assistance.  It’s the pensioner who still lives in rented accommodation because things largely outside their control prevented them from buying a home.  It’s the single parent juggling multiple kids on a low income who’s spouse left and screwed them over.

Hardship is NOT a six-figure household moaning about their power bill or not getting big enough payrises to keep up with their SUV and oversized mortgage repayments, while blasting the heater all winter as they tappity-tap another UberEats order to the door so they can watch Netflix instead of cooking.

One group can do very little about their situation.  The other can do plenty.  Should we think of them as equal and both deserving of sympathy?  NO.

What I’m saying is we should reserve our compassion for those who truly deserve it.  To paraphrase Mark Manson, we only have so many fucks to give.  So let’s allocate them where it’s truly warranted.  To do otherwise is being disrespectful to those genuine cases of hardship.

For the rest of us, we should keep the following in mind:

The easy option is to bitch and moan about how hard life is.  The harder option is taking action to improve your situation every single day in any way you can.  The truth is, taking personal responsibility is the only thing that gives you true power in life.

 

Final thoughts

This post ended up being fairly ranty and a little bit ‘political’ which I hadn’t intended.  But these are important points that are worth weaving into this conversation about personal finance, achievement, and society.

Alright, let’s summarise the main points…

Before we became civilised, everybody was poor.

As society developed and become more productive, it became possible for the average person to build savings and own investments.  The trend continued, making it increasingly achievable for more people to become wealthy and gain greater control over their lives.

Our own human nature, marketing and peer pressure ensured that only a small percentage of people actually took advantage of these developments.  Instead, most of us stuck with the supposed ‘safe’ option of the herd, sheepishly following each other off the consumer cliff.

There now exists a Great Divergence.  Between those who realise the opportunity in front of them and decide to do things differently, and those who don’t.

This divergence will continue to widen, as the world becomes wealthier, jobs less secure, and marketing becomes smarter at ridding us of our money (hello AI).

And that divergence is not just on the physical plane, but the mental one.  Between those who think for themselves and question things, and those who believe whatever they’re told on the TV or social media.

When a chasm opens up, we must pick a side.  At this point, we can either join the winners or the whiners.  That might sound harsh, or even a little cringe, but it’s not wrong.

Ultimately, one of the best arguments for investing and creating a level of financial independence is that your job may be gone in 10 years.  Relying on a job is about the riskiest plan there is.

The Great Divergence is real, and it’s continuing.  The first step is recognising it, which we’ve done here.  The next step is using it to your advantage, which is up to you.


Thanks for reading! 

Here are some resources you may find useful on your wealth building journey:

Sharesight: A great portfolio tracking tool for share investors, and free for up to 10 holdings.  It tracks all dividends, franking credits and capital gains, which is incredibly helpful at tax time.  Saves me a lot of time and headache!

Mortgage broker: My personal broker of 10 years is More Than Mortgages.  Highly rated and award winning, Deanna and her team been super helpful over the years and can assist with anything home loan related, including refinancing and debt recycling.

My book: After 5 years and hundreds of articles and podcasts, I decided to distill everything down into an easy to follow book.  Designed as a complete roadmap to achieving financial independence and retiring early in Australia.  Available in paperback, ebook, and audio.

Just so you know, if you choose to use these resources, this blog may receive a financial benefit at no extra cost to you.  Thanks in advance if you do.  And to be clear, I only ever recommend things I use myself and genuinely believe in 🙂

38 Comments

38 Replies to “The Great Divergence”

  1. I think there are some important economic ideas here, at both the societal and personal levels and you have expressed them very clearly. Thanks for that.

  2. Hello Dave,

    Another beauty 👍

    I think the pic . you have on top of this article sums it up perfectly 👍….the road less taken ( Robert Frost ) . I’ve chosen the left side of the fork in the bush path !!

    Thankyou and take care .

    1. Thanks Jimmy 👍
      Straying from the pack and doing something different is where the gold lies I think.

    2. Brilliant interpretation and description of the world we live in. This resonates perfectly with me and couldnt agree more with your ideologies. ✌️

  3. Amen. This is a such a great piece of writing. Thank you for cutting through the BULL€£¥T that is marketing (and social media). I am so proud to be actively part of The Great Divergence, having finally “retired” from my corporate career last year aged 46. I am so grateful to have grown up “a battler” in a country (Australia) where I have been able to achieve financial freedom by simply rolling up my sleeves, working hard and continually educating myself & striving to do better.

  4. So true mate. Love the article. Im sick of hearing poor me all the time. Like you say a lot of the “poor me” will not have a go to better their situation.

    1. Cheers mate. Yeah it definitely gets a bit old hearing endless complaining to what are largely self inflicted problems, or have plenty of actionable ways to improve it.

  5. Thanks for the article. This sums up what me and my husband often talk about as we both grew up in countries other than Aus. People complaining when they have no idea how tough it is in other countries, just to survive day to day. We are truly blessed to live here and be some of the richest people in the world. Something we do not take for granted.

    One thing I am also consistently amazed at, is the difference in families/siblings who have seemingly been raised in the same way, but fit into different categories above. Still pondering the reasons for the differences there.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience Sharon.

      I guess some people grow accustomed more easily to new environments and quickly forget different conditions. They start playing the Western game of status seeking and ladder climbing and comparing to only those around them and ones further up the social hierarchy. Somehow disregarding that most of the globe doesn’t have it anywhere near as good.

  6. Another very well written article, Thank you Dave.

    Without sounding too pessimistic, the last 30 years have seen billions being lifted out of poverty(mostly from the Indo Pacific region like China, Indonesia…) and now after the Pandemic, seems like the trend is reverting and as you mention above, AI will accelerate that trend. Hopefully I’m wrong on this one.

    Here in OZ, the land of great opportunity, most are willfully and voluntarily amassing absurd levels of debt, just to keep up with the Joneses and feel a little bit of a temporary high.
    And when things get tough(rate rises), they start looking for someone to blame(RBA governor, Bank…) but no one is prepared to look in the mirror and admit to their own financial misjudgments.
    Suddenly, they become victims… Your Facebook post sums things up very nicely.

    If you have time (around 4 hours), search for the doco “The Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis.
    Very well worth a watch.

    Cheers

    1. Yeah I’m not sure mate. It’s possible that AI and new tech actually generates a shitload of new wealth for the world. But it could also displace a lot of jobs, and if enough new jobs are created like has occurred in the past, then we may end up in some type of Universal Basic Income scenario. To fund that, they’d probably use taxes on the increased profits of companies, since they’d be rolling in money given higher productivity and less labour costs.

      But it might all happen relatively slowly, and just like the past we may end up creating a whole lot of new jobs we can’t even imagine today.

      The lack of personal accountability is honestly quite scary, and I don’t like where that’s heading. Nobody in power wants to call it out because they’ll lose popularity. I may have to sharpen my message to become stronger in that area, because society is heading too far in the other direction.

      Thanks for the doco recommendation, I’ll check that out 👍

    2. They want it all! Keen to blame and point the finger. Glorification of self-gratification. They are already blaming the ATO due to no refunds!

  7. Bloody well said. Bit sick of constantly hearing people complain about their finances and then order Uber Eats or similar. Ha!

  8. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for a brilliant post article once again. A little late for me a 65 but really like your ideals and sage advice. The choice is basically Blame or Gain. I agree totally that we are masters of our own fate to a large extent. I moved countries to enable my kids to have a safer and brighter future with $5K to my name. Unable to get on the property ladder unfortunately but managed to put a bit aside…have made lots of bad choices and struggled to stick to Bogles mantra ” Stay the course” and jumped from one unit trust managed fund to the other…same with etfs always trying to find an edge…or should I say get rich quick mentality. In the last few years came across your blog and discussions on LICs , Peter Thornhill, I had read Bogles book and also a great book Investing demystified by Lars Kroejer. The penny finally began to drop…a bit late but better than never. I agree that we live in a Western world of opportunity but do struggle with some CEOs in US earning 135 million a year plus bonuses plus share options etc. It may be legal but is it morally justified. Buffet himself has decried the fact that his secretary is on a higher tax rate than he is. In the 60s and 70s CEOs earned about 20 to 30 x the average wage. The growth of the so called middle class. Some CEOs are now earning over 200x the average wage. I think these examples are creating some of the divide we are witnessing in the US today. Australia and New Zealand seem the have escaped this form of excessive Capitalism and we have equalizers such as National Health Systems. Which US does not have. Your energy, discipline and willingness to share your knowledge so unselfishly and in language that anyone can understand is nothing short of amazing and awe inspiring. You are a legend.
    Go well. Be well
    Peter

  9. A good rant. I totally agree.
    Hypocrisy indeed when you hear of the battlers with their mac-mansions, dual cars, euro marque and SUV with ostentatious bling accessories, playing with their 2-inch screens scrolling for ordering their meal via Uber eats / door dash / whatever deliveroo and nexflixing. God – so much wastage of time / effort due to over consumption – crying poor pitiful me! Ba humbug.
    You no need to sugar it coat the situation – just tell them the way they should hear it – well done.
    People need to harden the f@#K up as people can’t handle the truth.

  10. Hi Dave
    MND here!!!
    You nailed it again. Thank you.
    I like you had a single parent upbringing with Mum having to scrimp and save to make ends meet My mum did it tough, 3 boys on a pension. I recall my last year at high school, Mum said your grades are low and you better be ready to join the dole queue (centre link today) as I cannot afford to keep you. I didn’t do so well at school, wasn’t good at Math (I am now) but before year end I had a job and a part time job, I became a saver. I took the steps to learn about money, investing and discipline and worked harder than the next person to get the promotion to get the pay rise and along with many, many other tips and philosophies you also mention in this article and on your website. By 35 we had made our 1st million. 20 years later we retired on enough Millions to lead a fantastic life traveling the world from share dividends and living off rental returns that amass to an executive salary. I get annoyed when I hear people say on TV oh!! it’s not fair, it’s alright for the rich, but what about the battler, the rich use to be the battler, they just took the steps to change. The same opportunities I took are available today and the knowledge required cost me lots of time invested, loads of purchased books and books/CDs from our “free library” loads of courses, hours of learning and now 2023 what one needs to know is mentioned on your website once again for free. Its easier now than ever before.
    Regards MND

  11. Hi Dave,

    Fantastic article, loving the thought process and time that went into recent posts.

    Btw congratulations on the livewire post on your FI journey, was a beaut!

    Also thanks for putting time to replying to my previous comment, it has helped me decide what I want to do as I transition to this new life by design.

    So after your comment I’ve taken action and I’m planning to travel next year to Europe with my best mate, we did this in our early twenties and will be doing our Euro trip round 2 in Scandinavia. I’m also planning to spend a month with my uncle who is located overseas and help him architect and design a house in a tropical area in south east asia, this is my second home and by ‘life by design’ planning to visit once a year or every two years to unwind get from my life in Australia.

    Moving plans in 2 years looks on track as real estate has recently fallin at the coast and 2 local breweries have recently popped up, my third investment property has made a killer $250,000 in equity (built of the plan). I’ve rented in this area for a few years so understood the real esate market in the area. Will settle closer to the end of the year.

    Still underdecided if I sell down my multi million dollar investment portfolio, will need to read up pros and cons. My LVR is quite high as these properties “I’ve called home” before deciding to rent them out. I’ve since rented last few years to get to my FI number, but love my job as a technology consultant in IT which provides me a fantastic life.

    I was once working in a warehouse doing night shift work from 18 to my mid 20’s before I took a risk to leave night shift work for a better life, though earning part time salary of $20000+ to fulltime work at $40000 – $50000 at a young age enabled me to purchase my first home at 22. Since then haven’t looked back with an ever increasing salary from $45000 to $200,000. I’m now between $200000 – $300000 which shorten the FI journey to 40.

    Just wanted to prove that you don’t need to go to university to achieve a high salary, it takes hard work, learning new skills, some of this was luck for me having learned of fantastic mentors and working in a industry where my skillset is in very high demand.

    I hope this helps anyone reading this and apologise if it comes across as ‘tall poppy syndrome’.

    Anyhow i’m not someone who follows the crowd… so to hell with it 🙂

    I want to share my journey on a blog someday when I transition to part time work to FI and propably will reach out on advice how to do this. I’ve got a new name for the blog as KB is taken through Spongebob Squarepants. Perhaps my favourite character Squidward could help me out LOL!!!

    Cheers Mr KB aka Mr KrabbyPatty.

    1. Thanks Mr KB – I often worry my posts are far too long! In an era of short-form content, I stubbornly stick to what I think is most meaningful way to learn (long content which fleshes out the details and provides an understanding rather than fast entertainment).

      Sounds fantastic mate, I hope you enjoy your travels and upcoming adventures towards semi-FI! Also thanks for sharing those details about your journey and progress. Haha, am I Squidward? Hopefully I’ve got a slightly more upbeat personality than that 😉

      1. You definitely have an upbeat personality than Squidward :). My sense of humour can be warped and didn’t think at all you are like that character in reality. Having listened to the podcast with you and Pat that speaks for itself, you both have a similar perspective and personality to myself, must be a Millennial thing. Loving cutting through the BS. I hope you and Pat can start the POD again!

        Would be awesome if you wrote an article of an update with Pat. If Squidward was real, definitely would be a funny FIRE character.

        1. Thanks mate! Yeah I’ve been thinking about that too. If the rules are relaxed around what financial info is allowed to be discussed (there’s talk of it happening) then we’d probably make a comeback.

          Good idea, I’ll see if he’s interested in doing a little interview. Haha, yeah I agree, it’d be funny to overlay FIRE people onto a cartoon in a comical way. The person who never thinks they have enough and keeps working, the saver who goes too far, the spender who chases more income and can’t figure out what’s going on, etc.

          1. That’s a huge like to your comment. I hope you do reward yourself in what you have created for the community you have fostered. I think the country would be in a much better state if people cut through the shitta and get on with living a healthy and simple life.

  12. Thanks Dave a great article.

    I am a new subscriber and love your philosophy.

    Like the comments of MND, I started out with not much but had an inner determination to be financially independent and took the necessary steps throughout my life to achieve this. I am now in retirement and enjoying a great life having done the hard yards.

    Without intending to preach, many younger people, (not necessarily identifying as battlers – a label I personally cringe about), have lived in a period of extreme prosperity and through no fault of their own don’t have some of the values and experiences to understand how good they have it compared to fairly recent history.

    Your message succinctly explains the reality and hopefully it will help those keen to get ahead to get a level footing to achieve their best lives.

    1. Cheers JCG, I appreciate your comments and wholeheartedly agree.

      Another retiree enjoying life, love to hear it!

  13. I really enjoyed the post Dave, Thank You!
    Reminds me of the old “Equality of opportunity VS Equality of Outcome”. People want the reward without the work, and I see it all the time. And speaking of the “easy option”, I know people that would have a drone deliver a coffee for $20 because they didn’t want to get it. Jeezus.

    But I have to tell you, I see gross consumerism at my kids school. Luckily my kids aren’t that bad (probably because of me 🙂 . But the parents just dropping $800 for bikes, and buying PS5’s and iPhones, all this crap at the drop of a hat. I told my kids, when I was young, a bike was special and you got it for your birthday or Christmas…if you were lucky!
    Now I drive pass bikes on nature strips almost every day, Anyway,
    keep writing and I’ll keep reading.
    All the best.
    MM

    1. Haha drone delivered coffee… that’s coming for sure!!

      Ahh that’s quite sad to see kids getting so caught up in consumerism already. This reinforces the point of how good most households have it, being able to buy a whole bunch of shit for their kids without even thinking about it, that previous generations would’ve struggled to do so. That doesn’t bode well for the kids in the future I don’t think.

      Thanks for sharing mate, much appreciated 👍

  14. I guess I’m the lone voice of dissent on this one.

    I generally very much appreciate your work and agree with your viewpoints on financial freedom and personal responsibility. And I really loved this article……

    Up until “Another great divergence”. Unfortunately, it seems to me anyway, you then set about building a majestic strawman and from that point on gallantly went about destroying the effigy you created that bears little to virtually no resemblance to reality.

    I’m sure if you look hard enough there are some fringe dwellers that consider 6 figure earners driving Land Cruisers to be “battlers”. I’m sure you can find some loons that argue everything should be divided up equally regardless of effort and want to “burn it all down” if anyone is richer than anyone else. But c’mon, I’m sure you know that is not what the overwhelming majority of social justice warriors, leftist victim pushers, Libtards, (insert any other derogatory name that people often use to dismiss an argument they don’t want to engage with) are arguing for.

    It’s hard to take someone as obviously well read and informed as yourself seriously when you stoop to such tactics as you have in this rant.

  15. Don’t know why the formatting went to crap on my first comment. It wasn’t supposed to be one big block of words!

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    Learn how our EV performed on our recent roadtrip and holiday in Southwest WA.  What I learned from the experience, plus lots of pictures, recommended places to eat, and more 😉

  • Are Solar Panels A Good Investment?

    The numbers behind our recent solar installation and how much we’ll save.  A breakdown of solar FAQ, whether it’s a good investment and what to watch out for.

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