A friend on Facebook started a discussion trying to understand the anger that exists in the country these days. I laid out a theory involving an increased number of underemployed people coming out of the last two recessions combined with a diet (too much sugar) that makes us sick which causes pain and makes us depressed leading us to opioids and disability checks. That’s a shortened version of my thoughts.
While you may be skeptical of the sugar aspect, right around the time that the ADA came out with the food pyramid 40 years ago which placed an emphasis on fruits and grains and away from meat and saturated fats our obesity rates began to hockey stick higher. I had to run to Walmart for some quest bars and water. Between the two was a gauntlet of metabolically terrible foods starting with Hostess products and soda, then pastry, then cereal, lots of cereal, soda and finally candy.
There were a couple of related items on Twitter as well. Part of a Tweet from Dan Mangan (@mangan150 on Twitter) said “We humans are in a zoo of our own making, eating food we aren’t meant to eat” and @startupdaemon said “if you are craving food at sunrise, your brain has been reduced to a position of infantile helplessness.” Mark Baker (@guruanaerobic on Twitter) had a thread about the extent to which being an employee equates to a lack of freedom. Baker’s ideas will challenge a lot of people but the value is taking what you can and leaving the rest, Baker is a huge goto for me but there is plenty from him that is over my head.
The consistent theme through all of these things (some possible harshness coming) is a sort of victim mentality that is far too pervasive in society. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I am a huge believer in getting out in front of potential problems to either avoid them altogether or at least mitigate the full brunt of the consequences. The starting point as far as the blog goes is my strategy for clients involving defensive action around the S&P 500’s (NYSEARCA:SPY) relationship to its 200 day moving average but this has carried over into other aspects of my life as well.
Where I am fond of citing Joe Moglia that no one will care more about your retirement or your anything else more than you. When you understand this reality and embrace it it becomes easier to try to solve or better yet, prevent your own problems. This is true with your financial/retirement planning and at least partially mitigated by living below your means and learning how not to panic in the face of adverse market conditions. It is true with your health in terms of learning about diet and finding the time and discipline to exercise regularly and vigorously to have the best chance of not getting sick as you age thus requiring more money spent on treatment.
This list goes on and covers every aspect of our lives. We ensure nothing but there is improved sufficiency and resiliency in trying, in not allowing ourselves to be the victim of anything. I will say that every aspect of your life becomes easier when your financial house is in order, you are fit enough to do the things you want to do and need to do and with a nod to my friend’s Facebook post, not consumed by the anger that might go along with adverse life circumstances.