Every politician, college professor, social warrior, and NYT columnist today is concerned about wealth and income disparity. The general view is that there is a lot of it. Globally, but also within the good old USA. The underlying assumption is that this is a bad thing.

I agree. When I was a young man, living in Africa and working for the Peace Corps, I felt that I was part of a larger mission to close the gap – not by bringing the wealthy down, but by bringing the poor up. And during my lifetime I’ve taken part in and/or witnessed many efforts towards that goal. Johnson’s War on Poverty, for example, and the hundreds of social welfare and economic reform campaigns that have taken place since then.

To my chagrin, I’ve seen no substantially positive results. The biggest reductions in poverty happened around the turn of the last century thanks to industrialization. More progress was made mid-century after WWII. But progress has slowed to a standstill. In the last 30 or 40 years, in fact, the gap has widened.

The African country I lived in for two years, Chad, is no better now than it was in 1975. The same is true for most sub-Saharan countries. Southern African countries such as Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and South Africa are much poorer than they were back then. (See my essay about Robert Mugabe.) In the USA, working- and middle-class Americans earn less – when you figure in inflation – than they did in 1980. That bothers me.

I’ve been thinking and writing about this subject since about 2000. And what I’ve noticed is that the remedies that were proposed nearly 50 years ago are pretty much the same as they were then: give more, help more, teach more, etc.

The aid we give to single moms was meant to help them take care of their children, who would then go on to have better lives. But what’s happened is much the reverse. The children are dropping out of school sooner and getting into legal trouble at a much higher rate than they did when the only financial assistance their mothers could hope for came from churches and private charities.

So if what we have been doing is not working, it seems obvious that we should try something else. But the only “something else” that is being offered is to do nothing. That may be the better solution… but for me and many others, it is not a satisfactory one.

Which brings me to an essay I read recently by James Clear: “The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards in Life.”

The Inequality Gene: Our Deep-Seated Impulse to Be Better or Worse

In his essay, Clear talks about the discovery of the famous 80/20 rule in the 19thcentury by Vilfredo Pareto, a part-time gardener and full-time economist.

Having noticed that most of the peas in his garden were produced by a small number of plants, he wondered if there was some sort of mathematical ratio that could be applied to the peas as well as to other things. As an economist, he had been studying the unequal distribution of wealth in various countries – so now, beginning with his own country, he turned his attention to analyzing the data he had collected. And the first thing he found was that about 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by just 20 percent of the people.

He found similar ratios in other countries. In Great Britain, for example, 30 percent of the population earned about 70 percent of the total income.

The numbers were never quite the same, but the pattern was consistent. The majority of the financial wealth and income always accrued to a small percentage of people.

“In the decades that followed,” Clear writes, “Pareto’s work practically became gospel for economists. Once he opened the world’s eyes to this idea, people started seeing it everywhere. And the 80/20 Rule is more prevalent now than ever before.

“For example, through the 2015-2016 season in the National Basketball Association, 20 percent of franchises have won 75.3 percent of the championships….

“The numbers are even more extreme in soccer. While 77 different nations have competed in the World Cup, just three countries – Brazil, Germany, and Italy – have won 13 of the first 20 World Cup tournaments.

“Examples of [what we now know as] the Pareto Principle exist in everything from real estate to income inequality to tech startups.

“Why does this happen?”

Clear answers his question with another theory: the Winner-Take-All Effect.

The idea here is pretty simple. When you win the gold, you are given rewards that put you in an advantaged position over those against whom you have been and will be competing.

“From this advantageous position,” he says, “with the gold medal in hand or with cash in the bank or from the chair of the Oval Office, the winner begins the process of accumulating advantages that make it easier for them to win the next time around. What began as a small margin is starting to trend toward the 80/20 Rule….

“If one business has a technology that is more innovative than another, then more people will buy their products. As the business makes more money, they can invest in additional technology, pay higher salaries, and hire better people. By the time the competition catches up, there are other reasons for customers to stick with the first business. Soon, one company dominates the industry….

“The margin between good and great is narrower than it seems. What begins as a slight edge over the competition compounds with each additional contest. Winning one competition improves your odds of winning the next. Each additional cycle further cements the status of those at the top.

“Over time, those that are slightly better end up with the majority of the rewards. Those that are slightly worse end up with next to nothing. This idea is sometimes referred to as The Matthew Effect, which references a passage in The Bible that says, ‘For all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’”

This takes us to what Clear calls “the 1 Percent Rule.”

“The 1 Percent Rule states that over time the majority of the rewards in a given field will accumulate to the people, teams, and organizations that maintain a 1 percent advantage over the alternatives. You don’t need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You just need to be slightly better.

“The 1 Percent Rule is not merely a reference to the fact that small differences accumulate into significant advantages, but also to the idea that those who are one percent better rule their respective fields and industries. Thus, the process of accumulative advantage is the hidden engine that drives the 80/20 Rule.”

So where does this leave us? How does this help?

What it means is that in any free area of competition – whether it be competing in sports or owning a restaurant or running a business or making money – those that come out of the gate working harder and smarter than the rest and edge ahead of the competition can stay ahead of the competition and eventually move to the lofty one-percent level… if they continue to work hard and smart.

But it also means that in any given area of competition, newcomers that come up with new ideas and/or new strategies for “winning” can enter the market and begin their own ascent.

What’s interesting is that in a free market – where everyone is competing for wealth and income – staying ahead, though perhaps easier, is not as common as the 1 Percent Rule would have you suppose. Fortunes made in one generation are reduced in most cases in the second generation, and are mostly gone by the third.

Meanwhile, the up-and-comers keep coming. About 80 percent (there it is again!) of the approximately 1500 new millionaires the USA produces every day are people that started from scratch.

And the reason for that is another principle. Let’s call it “the intrinsic impulse for inequality.”

This is my principle. (You heard it here first.) And it is easy to understand. It states that human nature deplores equality. And that no matter how often and how ruthlessly you attempt to level inequality in any given market, the moment you seem to be making headway, every single individual in that market will begin to work on creating inequality again.

The easiest way to achieve inequality is to find a way to do less or to have less. And that is the choice that many people make. The harder way is to do more in order to have more. And that is also a popular choice.

A government can, by force, mandate more equal incomes. It can also redistribute wealth. This can be done partially or fully. But the result is always the same. The forced equalizing is accepted, even welcomed by those on the take. But within 24 hours, that equality will start to erode as individuals do what they are genetically designed to do – distinguish themselves from the rest.


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About AZ… 

AZ and I have a friendship that is at least partly about our common career paths. We met after K and I had moved to South Florida. I was beginning a new job as editor of a newsletter publishing company. He had a furniture business. I was broke. He was making money. Some years later, fate turned against him. He closed his business and moved north to start another. He built that business into a great success, then sold it and retired. I saw him recently at his Tuscany summer home, a villa he and his wife bought and beautifully renovated five years ago.

AZ has many admirable qualities. But what I especially like about him is that he has no pretentions about his success. He doesn’t talk about the hard work and perseverance and intelligence it took to build it. He talks as if he hit the lottery. He’s amazed to think that he came here when he was 12, speaking no English and broke.

He loves his toys. And he isn’t embarrassed to spend money on them. He also loves his charities and gives generously to them. But most of all, he loves his friendships – and he has many.

We talked about the friends he and his wife have made since they started coming to Tuscany. He spoke about his new hobby – making things out of wine bottle boxes. And he spoke about our friendship, now more than 30 years old. What we didn’t speak of is the cancer that is in his kidneys and may be spreading to other parts of his body.

I am of an age where death is always looming. In another year, I’ll be entering my 70s. When you die in your 70s, people don’t say you died young. They say, if they want to say something positive, that you lived a “full” life. I don’t feel like I have yet lived anywhere near a full life. I’ve got projects to complete and books to write. My manuscript box has 14 unfinished books that I’m working on.

I won’t go easily into the night. I’m already raging against it. But when I die, I won’t be hurting anymore. Living while your friends are dying… that’s what hurts.

But AZ isn’t raging. He’s living every day happily, busy with his friendships and his hobbies, feeling grateful for what he has.

Saying goodbye later that night, he hugged me warmly. “We’re so lucky,” he said. And I know he meant it.

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I just read an article about a new trend in delivery services on Peter Diamandis’s blog, Abundance Insider. Here’s what he wrote:

Thousands of autonomous delivery robots are about to descend on US college campuses

What it is: Having just raised $40 million in its Series A round, autonomous robot delivery startup Starship Technologies is now targeting U.S. college campuses. In total, Starship’s self-driving delivery bots have traveled 350,000 miles, completing over 100,000 deliveries across 20 different countries. With extensive testing under its belt, the company plans to deploy thousands of its all-electric, six-wheeled bots for college food deliveries over the next two years. Already in action at George Mason University and Northern Arizona University, the robots can carry up to 20 pounds of cargo and make deliveries within a three-to-four-mile radius.

Why it’s important: Online grocery shopping is predicted to surge up to fivefold over the next ten years, and American consumers are expected to spend upwards of $100 billion on food-at-home items by 2025. While today’s human-conducted delivery services (think: Postmates and DoorDash) are on the rise, these non-automated options remain heavily subsidized, as labor costs far exceed those of robotized alternatives. By first targeting college campuses, companies like Starship can benefit from well-defined, easily navigable environments (not to mention an abundance of tech-savvy, young buyers) while building out an expanded business model for urban integration.

So what do we make of this? Automation, in general, is a trend that seems both inevitable and also fast-moving. That’s a good thing for consumers and for the environment and for the companies developing these tools. But what about all those people making a living today in jobs (such as delivery “boys”) that could soon be a thing of the past?

So far, technological evolution has created more, not fewer, jobs. Many relatively unskilled workers are now employed in the continuously expanding service market. But automation is insinuating itself in the service industries, too. Thinking like this puts the mind right into science fiction movies of 20 and 30 years ago. Will it be a world where everyone is working 2-hour days? Or will it be a world divided into fortified cities surrounded by wilderness where people in loincloths scavenge for food?


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“What 13 Highly Successful People Like Warren Buffett and Donald Trump Read Every Morning”?

I’ll be damned. Most of the most successful entrepreneurs in the USA don’t follow my advice. Judging from this article on Entrepreneur.com, most of the big shots spend the first hour or two of their days reading news and checking email.

I guess when you’re a billionaire you can do anything you want. But they’d be happier and more productive if they reserved that precious part of the day for something that actually matters – like working on a project that their grandkids would be proud of. (“Grandpa was amazing. He used to read five newspapers every morning.” “Grandma was a stud. She sorted through 150 emails every day before nine o’clock!”)

Unless your career depends on being up to date on the news, trying to stay “on top of” what’s happening is largely a waste of time. (I know you don’t agree. When you are my age, you’ll understand.) And email? 80% of it is other people asking you to do their business.

I’ve been saying this for 20 years: The two things you should NOT do first thing in the morning are reading the news and answering emails. What you should do is devote that crucial part of the day to advancing an important-but-not-urgent goal.

One thing, though, that the big shots do (according to the Entrepreneur.com article) that I’ve recommended is wake up early. Most of them are at work by six am. Early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise.

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I am not big on conspiracy theories.

I’m 100% sure Hillary Clinton was not involved in the global pizza parlor/child slavery industry. I’m 50/50 on JFK.

But so far, I’m thinking that Jeffrey Epstein did not hang himself. Here are the facts I’ve gathered so far. (I haven’t verified them, but I’ve seen them repeated several times.)

Jeffrey Epstein: What Can We Believe? 

 * Fact: On July 23, weeks before his death, Epstein was found unconscious in his cell. He had marks around his neck. Epstein said his cellmate had assaulted him.

* Fact: His cellmate was no ordinary convict. He was a hugely muscular ex-cop facing trial for murdering four people and burying them in his yard.

* Question: Why did Epstein, a high-profile inmate who had incriminating knowledge of extremely powerful business and government figures, have a cellmate?

* Fact: Although there has been no record of the thinking behind it, prison officials decided Epstein’s claim of assault was false and put him on suicide watch.

* Fact:  Six days after being placed on suicide watch, Epstein was returned to the general population. According to Dr. Ziv Cohen, a psychiatrist who evaluates inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein was being held, “Any case where someone had a proven or suspected serious suicide attempt, that would be unusual to within two to three weeks take them off suicide watch.”

* Fact:  According to the medical examiner’s report, Epstein had several broken bones in his neck, including the hyoid bone – which is far more commonly broken in cases of strangulation than in hangings. And Epstein’s eyes were bulging, which is also more typical of strangulation.

* Fact: The day before his alleged suicide, Epstein’s cellmate was moved to another facility, leaving Epstein alone in his cell.

* Fact: Two guards had been assigned to check on Epstein every 30 minutes. According to prison officials, they stopped doing this around 3:30 am on Saturday, and they didn’t return to his cell until 6:30 am – when they “discovered” his corpse. (Although they allegedly made log entries lying about having routinely visited him.) Per the official party line, they had both fallen asleep… for about three hours.

* Fact: At first it was said that the cellblock’s cameras had malfunctioned, meaning there was no video of Epstein’s possible suicide. Later it was said there was video, but nothing was divulged about what the video did or didn’t show. It’s hard to know what to believe when the stories keep changing so quickly.

Jim Goad reported most of these facts in an article in Taki’s Magazine titled “We Are All Conspiracy Theorists Now. “He concluded:

“What we are commanded to believe – lest we be labeled paranoid conspiracy theorists and therefore domestic-terrorists-in-waiting – is that an absurdly wealthy convicted pedophile with a known penchant for wining and dining the rich and powerful at sex parties where every single move was videotaped and stored for blackmail purposes was allowed to kill himself less than three weeks after a previous alleged suicide attempt because he was taken off suicide watch with no explanation and left alone in his cell at a time when the cameras stopped working and the guards – both of them – conveniently fell asleep. And all this happened at a jail where there hadn’t been a suicide in over 40 years.”

What do you think?

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HW writes to ask for help in “coming up with a USP” to market his business. He’s a copywriter for and business coach to small businesses. “It’s funny,” he says, “I routinely help my clients with their USPs. But for mine… I feel stuck!”

USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition. It is a term that was coined by Rosser Reeves, an advertising consultant back in the 1940s. Reeves used it to explain his success in promoting name-brand products.

It’s not enough to extol the various benefits of your product or service, Reeves argued. You have to identify one particular benefit that distinguishes it from the competition.

In Reality in Advertising, he set down 3 rules for creating a USP:

  1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer: “Buy this product, for this specific benefit.”
  2. The proposition must be unique – i.e., one the competition cannot or does not offer.
  3. The proposition must be strong enough to move the masses – i.e., attract new customers.

The USP is an important marketing concept. When a company can offer a genuine USP, it can demand a priority position in the buying public’s consciousness. And once that USP takes hold, a business can dramatically increase its market share through general advertising.

But contrary to what’s commonly preached by marketing gurus today, the USP is not a strategy that makes sense for every business. It was never meant for and is not helpful to small businesses, local businesses, and most client-based businesses.


3 Important Things to Understand About USPs 

USPs work very well to promote brand consciousness when they are part of general brand-marketing campaigns that are omni presentand incessant.

You’re at the supermarket with a headache and you see a dozen brands of pain pills. You know little or nothing about any of them… except for Anacin, which you remember from seeing countless TV commercials and looking at countless display ads. So that’s the one you buy.

This is not going to happen for your product or service if you have anything less than a multimillion-dollar brand-marketing budget. And it is also not going to work for you if the product or service you offer cannot comply with Reeves’s three criteria.

HW doesn’t have the money to build a brand. And even if he did, it would be wasted. Marketing executives don’t shop for copywriting services in supermarkets. They have many concerns in selecting copywriters, but the only thing that really matters to them is performance.

Using a USP to promote a personal service like copywriting makes as much sense as trying to land a position as an NBA player or a TV actor through an advertising campaign that identifies some unique skill you have – maybe cross-dribbling for the NBA player, or crying on demand for the actor.

The only way to get new clients as a copywriter is to develop a track record of writing successful direct response advertisements.

So my advice to HW is to forget about “coming up with a USP.”

How should he acquire new clients?

By doing what is essentially the opposite of brand marketing. He should identify his prospects one at a time. Then, rather than tell them something about what he does well, he should find out what they need.

If they are tired of hiring copywriters that consistently miss deadlines, he should convince them that he will never, ever miss a deadline. If they are worried about producing non-compliant (legally questionable) copy, he should assure them that his copy would always be compliant. If they are tired of working with copywriters that are overly attached to their work and rankle at criticism, he should tell them that he welcomes criticism.

Better than that, he should study the prospect’s business beforehand so that, if and when he does get a chance to pitch his service, he will be able to demonstrate some knowledge of the business and its recent advertising campaigns.

Here’s what I’m saying in a nutshell: General advertising is about me, the product. And that is why a USP makes so much sense. Direct response advertising is about you, the customer. And when you are focusing on the customer and his problems and desires, there is no place for a USP.

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A few weeks ago, I gave you good news about the gender income gap. In that essay, I explained how the data have been manipulated in a way that makes it look like the wage gap is a much bigger problem than it really is. As I pointed out, when you account for all other variables (types of jobs, hours worked, etc.), the much-publicized gap between men and women is only about 3%. And some of that 3% is attributable to the fact that women are less likely to ask for raises than men are.

Now, according to recent research, there’s even more good news.

The Facts About Women and Wealth 

Here are the facts…

Wealth Ownership:

 * 45% of American millionaires are women.

* The number of wealthy women in the US is growing twice as fast as the number of wealthy men.

* According to a 2009 study from Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, women will inherit 70% of the money that gets passed down over the next two generations.

Wealth Control:

* Women control nearly 60% of the wealth in the US. And this percentage is rising.

* 48% of estates worth more than $5 million are controlled by women, compared with 35% controlled by men.


* There are more than half a million women with a personal income of $100,000 or more.

* Almost half – 44% – of women are the primary breadwinners in their households, an almost 4-fold increase since 1960.

* The trend in wages favors women. In another 10 years, the average American woman is expected to earn significantly more than the average American man.

Spending Power:

* It is estimated that the total annual purchasing power of US women is between $5 trillion and $15 trillion.

* Women are believed to be behind 85% of all consumer purchases – from food to cars to electronics to healthcare.


* Between 2007 and 2016, female-owned firms grew 5 times faster than the national average.

* As of 2016, there were 11.3 million female-owned firms in the US that employed nearly 9 million people and generated over $1.6 trillion in revenues.

 Investing Power:

* Women control a huge amount of investment dollars ($11.2 trillion, or 39%, of the country’s investable assets, according to Morgan Stanley). And the data suggest that they are better than their male counterparts at investing. The reason, I think, is that women are more conservative than men… and conservative investing is smart investing.

* Women own more diverse portfolios, trade less often, incur fewer fees, and are less likely to panic sell in a downturn than men.

* On average, women earn between 0.4% and 1.0% more than men on their investments. This can result in 12% larger retirement nest eggs for women over a 30-year period.

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Number One Son recently asked my opinion of a potential investment opportunity – a startup business looking for funding.

“These guys are friends of ours from NY,” he told me, “and they’re building a members-only kids gym/bar, with the eventual goal of franchising. The idea is that you can put your kids in the gym, and monitor them while having a beer. Interesting, yes?

“J and I will likely put about $10K into this because we want to support our friends. But also because we think the business has potential. They’ve so far secured $75K of $375K, I think, and are currently valuing the business at $1M. High, I know. But I’m not sure how one would go about setting a valuation for a business like this.”

“What do you think?”

What to Do When a Friend Asks for an Investment 

After taking a look at his friends’ business plan, this is what I told him:

“I love how every new startup with no sales – forget profits – has a minimum valuation of $1 million. And these people have never even run a business before.

“Yeah, it’s a long shot at best.

“Here’s how I look at new business ideas: The most important facts about making any business a success are not those that are visible from the outside. You can see a lot about a business from the outside (from research). But there are always things that fall into the category of wisdom (derived from experience) rather than knowledge (obtainable through study) that end up being crucial.

“To discover those things, you have to be inside the business.

“This proposal is very well done from an outside perspective. It’s logical. It addresses all the usual subjects. It evinces assiduous research. But it doesn’t indicate that they have any understanding of the business’s inside secrets of success.

“And since I know nothing about that kind of business, I have no way of knowing whether it will – or even could – work.

“So that’s one reason I wouldn’t normally invest in it.

“The other is the issue of valuation. The era of digital startups has skewed the logic of traditional valuations. And so I’m sure these guys feel their proposal is fair. From my point of view, it’s absurd.

“What are they offering for sale? Not a business. Just an idea for a business. And the idea is not even proven. It’s speculative. What is that worth? Absolutely nothing. The value in an unproven business idea rests solely in the capital used to start it.

“Think of it this way. A reasonable reply to this proposal would be, ‘I tell you what. I’ll fund 100% of the business and I’ll keep 100% of the equity, but I’ll pay you guys a fair compensation for starting it and running it. Plus, I’ll give you 10% of the profits as an incentive to make it work.’

“That would be an offer they would be smart to consider.

“I’m not suggesting that you’d be doing anything wrong by investing $10K in this business… unless you have expectations of making your money back. These are friends of yours. You like them. So you’d be buying $10,000 worth of lottery tickets as a favor to them.

“It is, of course, easier to say no if you don’t know the people asking for the money…

“I have a number that I stick to when a friend asks for an investment. It’s my limit. It means, ‘Okay, you’re my friend, so I’m doing this. But I don’t believe I’ll get back one cent and I’m okay with that.’

“If 10 grand is your number, go for it…

“You don’t want to lose a friendship over an investment.”

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At my age, 68 (or “in my 69th year,” as K likes to put it), I feel like I’m surrounded by teenagers whenever I find myself in the “real” world of Internet marketing seminars. More to the point, I feel like they can see the fossilization going on inside my brain.

I can’t keep up with the acronyms. Worse perhaps, I’ve lost the desire to try. Instead, I think about and, when asked, talk about what I see as the underlying principles of marketing. Is that the right thing for me to be doing at this point in my life? Or am I just kidding myself?

Cotton Top Entrepreneurship and a Politically Insensitive Metaphor 

I listened to an interesting TED Talk recently. The speaker, a scientist, was asking a similar question: whether aging scientists can contribute meaningfully to their fields. This is a serious issue. In science (and math), there is a longstanding bias against older thinkers. (The speaker noted that Einstein once said something like, “If you haven’t achieved a scientific breakthrough by the age of 30, you never will.”)

As a result of that bias, he said, most of the grant money for scientific inquiry goes to young researchers in the 22 to 32 age range. But then he provided data indicating that older researchers are just as likely as younger researchers to make a significant discovery.

Why, then, do young people get such a high percentage of the funding?

The answer: Because they produce a much higher percentage of the grant proposals.

Well, it turns out that the same logic applies to entrepreneurship. If you look at statistics, you see that a huge percentage of the available venture capital is given to people in their early 20s to mid-30s.

Why? Because they produce the vast majority of start-up proposals.

But when you look at the start-ups themselves – at the businesses that got the funding and succeeded – a significantly higher percentage of them are headed by older people. In their 40s and 50, mostly.

What does that tell me?

As with scientific research, there is a big difference between generating support for an idea and making that idea work.

Yes, there’s a lot to be said for youthful enthusiasm. But there’s also something to be said for solid experience. And that tells me that I’m right to keep my focus on the basic principles of marketing that I have learned through the years. At my age, it’s better to play the wise old Indian chief than to try to compete with the braves on the battlefield. Let them count the number of scalps they’ve collected. If they can sit still long enough to listen to my old war stories, I can teach them how to get even more.

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21 Ways to Make Your Life Miserable 

  1. Believe that, as a human being, you are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  2. Believe that, as a citizen of the wealthiest country in the world, you have the right to free health care, free education, and a comfortable standard of living.
  3. Believe that your parents’ failures at parenting account for your shortcomings.
  4. Believe that you have a right NOT to be offended.
  5. Keep a mental record of the harms others have done to you.
  6. Keep a mental record of anyone doing better than you that doesn’t deserve to be.
  7. Postpone or avoid experiences that take you out of your comfort zone.
  8. Be attentive to aging. Imagine that every ache and pain is another sign of your senescence.
  9. When listening to others, think about how what they are saying applies to you.
  10. Try to improve your financial situation by befriending wealthier people.
  11. Try to improve your emotional situation by climbing the social ladder.
  12. Allow bullies to bully you.
  13. Spend time with people that you don’t like or admire.
  14. Socialize with people that don’t like or admire you.
  15. Depend on your spouse, your family, or your friends for your self-esteem.
  16. Depend on anyone but yourself for your financial wellbeing.
  17. Do work that you don’t value.
  18. Forgo learning for amusement.
  19. Think about yourself… incessantly.
  20. When you have the choice, always take the easier path.
  21. See yourself, unconsciously, at the center of the universe.
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