Wall St. Jacks Up Pay After Bailouts Lawmakers Warn Against Return to Pre-Crisis Levels Thursday, July 23, 2009
NEW YORK, July 22 -- Wall Street's biggest banks are setting aside billions of dollars more to pay their executives and other employees just months after these firms were rescued with a taxpayer bailout, renewing questions about compensation practices in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
But Wall Street, helped by improving profits, is on track to pay employees as much as, or even more than, it did in the pre-crisis days. So far this year, the top six U.S. banks have set aside $74 billion to pay their employees, up from $60 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Goldman Sachs caused a stir last week when it disclosed it had set aside a record $6.6 billion for compensation expenses in the most recent quarter, bringing the total for the first six months of the year to $11.4 billion. If that pace continues for the rest of the year, Goldman's employees will earn an average of about $773,000, more than double the figure last year and even exceeding the $700,000 paid in 2007.
There is no such thing as Trickle Down Economics. You will not see a penny of this, you will not benefit even the slightest this from this. Instead you will have to deal with corporate interest taking priority over your interest in public matter. In the Middle Ages they used religion to keep the people from taking what is rightfully theirs, now they use a dual attack of commercial distractions, and free-market capitalist dogma. How does it feel to be a modern day serf?
We the banks In Order to rob the taxpayers of their money, suppress dissent, ensure constant commercial growth, provide for our stockholders, promote our general interest and secure the cooperation of our politicians do Ordain and establish this constant confusion for the United States of America
10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job by Steve Pavlina
Just for fun I recently asked Erin, “Now that the kids are in summer school, don’t you think it’s about time you went out and got yourself a job? I hate seeing you wallow in unemployment for so long.”
She smiled and said, “Wow. I have been unemployed a really long time. That’s weird… I like it!”
Neither of us have had jobs since the ’90s (my only job was in 1992), so we’ve been self-employed for quite a while. In our household it’s a running joke for one of us to say to the other, “Maybe you should get a job, derelict!”
It’s like the scene in The Three Stooges where Moe tells Curly to get a job, and Curly backs away, saying, “No, please… not that! Anything but that!”
It’s funny that when people reach a certain age, such as after graduating college, they assume it’s time to go out and get a job. But like many things the masses do, just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. In fact, if you’re reasonably intelligent, getting a job is one of the worst things you can do to support yourself. There are far better ways to make a living than selling yourself into indentured servitude.
Here are some reasons you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a job:
1. Income for dummies.
Getting a job and trading your time for money may seem like a good idea. There’s only one problem with it. It’s stupid! It’s the stupidest way you can possibly generate income! This is truly income for dummies.
Why is getting a job so dumb? Because you only get paid when you’re working. Don’t you see a problem with that, or have you been so thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it’s reasonable and intelligent to only earn income when you’re working? Have you never considered that it might be better to be paid even when you’re not working? Who taught you that you could only earn income while working? Some other brainwashed employee perhaps?
Don’t you think your life would be much easier if you got paid while you were eating, sleeping, and playing with the kids too? Why not get paid 24/7? Get paid whether you work or not. Don’t your plants grow even when you aren’t tending to them? Why not your bank account?
Who cares how many hours you work? Only a handful of people on this entire planet care how much time you spend at the office. Most of us won’t even notice whether you work 6 hours a week or 60. But if you have something of value to provide that matters to us, a number of us will be happy to pull out our wallets and pay you for it. We don’t care about your time — we only care enough to pay for the value we receive. Do you really care how long it took me to write this article? Would you pay me twice as much if it took me 6 hours vs. only 3?
Non-dummies often start out on the traditional income for dummies path. So don’t feel bad if you’re just now realizing you’ve been suckered. Non-dummies eventually realize that trading time for money is indeed extremely dumb and that there must be a better way. And of course there is a better way. The key is to de-couple your value from your time.
Smart people build systems that generate income 24/7, especially passive income. This can include starting a business, building a web site, becoming an investor, or generating royalty income from creative work. The system delivers the ongoing value to people and generates income from it, and once it’s in motion, it runs continuously whether you tend to it or not. From that moment on, the bulk of your time can be invested in increasing your income (by refining your system or spawning new ones) instead of merely maintaining your income.
This web site is an example of such a system. At the time of this writing, it generates about $9000 a month in income for me (update: $40,000 a month as of 10/31/06), and it isn’t my only income stream either. I write each article just once (fixed time investment), and people can extract value from them year after year. The web server delivers the value, and other systems (most of which I didn’t even build and don’t even understand) collect income and deposit it automatically into my bank account. It’s not perfectly passive, but I love writing and would do it for free anyway. But of course it cost me a lot of money to launch this business, right? Um, yeah, $9 is an awful lot these days (to register the domain name). Everything after that was profit.
Sure it takes some upfront time and effort to design and implement your own income-generating systems. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — feel free to use existing systems like ad networks and affiliate programs. Once you get going, you won’t have to work so many hours to support yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice to be out having dinner with your spouse, knowing that while you’re eating, you’re earning money? If you want to keep working long hours because you enjoy it, go right ahead. If you want to sit around doing nothing, feel free. As long as your system continues delivering value to others, you’ll keep getting paid whether you’re working or not.
Your local bookstore is filled with books containing workable systems others have already designed, tested, and debugged. Nobody is born knowing how to start a business or generate investment income, but you can easily learn it. How long it takes you to figure it out is irrelevant because the time is going to pass anyway. You might as well emerge at some future point as the owner of income-generating systems as opposed to a lifelong wage slave. This isn’t all or nothing. If your system only generates a few hundred dollars a month, that’s a significant step in the right direction.
2. Limited experience.
You might think it’s important to get a job to gain experience. But that’s like saying you should play golf to get experience playing golf. You gain experience from living, regardless of whether you have a job or not. A job only gives you experience at that job, but you gain ”experience” doing just about anything, so that’s no real benefit at all. Sit around doing nothing for a couple years, and you can call yourself an experienced meditator, philosopher, or politician.
The problem with getting experience from a job is that you usually just repeat the same limited experience over and over. You learn a lot in the beginning and then stagnate. This forces you to miss other experiences that would be much more valuable. And if your limited skill set ever becomes obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth squat. In fact, ask yourself what the experience you’re gaining right now will be worth in 20-30 years. Will your job even exist then?
Consider this. Which experience would you rather gain? The knowledge of how to do a specific job really well — one that you can only monetize by trading your time for money – or the knowledge of how to enjoy financial abundance for the rest of your life without ever needing a job again? Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the latter experience. That seems a lot more useful in the real world, wouldn’t you say?
3. Lifelong domestication.
Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program. You learn how to be a good pet.
Look around you. Really look. What do you see? Are these the surroundings of a free human being? Or are you living in a cage for unconscious animals? Have you fallen in love with the color beige?
How’s your obedience training coming along? Does your master reward your good behavior? Do you get disciplined if you fail to obey your master’s commands?
Is there any spark of free will left inside you? Or has your conditioning made you a pet for life?
Humans are not meant to be raised in cages. You poor thing…
4. Too many mouths to feed.
Employee income is the most heavily taxed there is. In the USA you can expect that about half your salary will go to taxes. The tax system is designed to disguise how much you’re really giving up because some of those taxes are paid by your employer, and some are deducted from your paycheck. But you can bet that from your employer’s perspective, all of those taxes are considered part of your pay, as well as any other compensation you receive such as benefits. Even the rent for the office space you consume is considered, so you must generate that much more value to cover it. You might feel supported by your corporate environment, but keep in mind that you’re the one paying for it.
Another chunk of your income goes to owners and investors. That’s a lot of mouths to feed.
It isn’t hard to understand why employees pay the most in taxes relative to their income. After all, who has more control over the tax system? Business owners and investors or employees?
You only get paid a fraction of the real value you generate. Your real salary may be more than triple what you’re paid, but most of that money you’ll never see. It goes straight into other people’s pockets.
What a generous person you are!
5. Way too risky.
Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves.
Social conditioning is amazing. It’s so good it can even make people believe the exact opposite of the truth.
Does putting yourself in a position where someone else can turn off all your income just by saying two words (”You’re fired”) sound like a safe and secure situation to you? Does having only one income stream honestly sound more secure than having 10?
The idea that a job is the most secure way to generate income is just silly. You can’t have security if you don’t have control, and employees have the least control of anyone. If you’re an employee, then your real job title should be professional gambler.
6. Having an evil bovine master.
When you run into an idiot in the entrepreneurial world, you can turn around and head the other way. When you run into an idiot in the corporate world, you have to turn around and say, “Sorry, boss.”
Did you know that the word boss comes from the Dutch word baas, which historically means master? Another meaning of the word boss is “a cow or bovine.” And in many video games, the boss is the evil dude that you have to kill at the end of a level.
So if your boss is really your evil bovine master, then what does that make you? Nothing but a turd in the herd.
Who’s your daddy?
7. Begging for money.
When you want to increase your income, do you have to sit up and beg your master for more money? Does it feel good to be thrown some extra Scooby Snacks now and then?
Or are you free to decide how much you get paid without needing anyone’s permission but your own?
If you have a business and one customer says “no” to you, you simply say “next.”
8. An inbred social life.
Many people treat their jobs as their primary social outlet. They hang out with the same people working in the same field. Such incestuous relations are social dead ends. An exciting day includes deep conversations about the company’s switch from Sparkletts to Arrowhead, the delay of Microsoft’s latest operating system, and the unexpected delivery of more Bic pens. Consider what it would be like to go outside and talk to strangers. Ooooh… scary! Better stay inside where it’s safe.
If one of your co-slaves gets sold to another master, do you lose a friend? If you work in a male-dominated field, does that mean you never get to talk to women above the rank of receptionist? Why not decide for yourself whom to socialize with instead of letting your master decide for you? Believe it or not, there are locations on this planet where free people congregate. Just be wary of those jobless folk — they’re a crazy bunch!
9. Loss of freedom.
It takes a lot of effort to tame a human being into an employee. The first thing you have to do is break the human’s independent will. A good way to do this is to give them a weighty policy manual filled with nonsensical rules and regulations. This leads the new employee to become more obedient, fearing that s/he could be disciplined at any minute for something incomprehensible. Thus, the employee will likely conclude it’s safest to simply obey the master’s commands without question. Stir in some office politics for good measure, and we’ve got a freshly minted mind slave.
As part of their obedience training, employees must be taught how to dress, talk, move, and so on. We can’t very well have employees thinking for themselves, now can we? That would ruin everything.
God forbid you should put a plant on your desk when it’s against the company policy. Oh no, it’s the end of the world! Cindy has a plant on her desk! Summon the enforcers! Send Cindy back for another round of sterility training!
Free human beings think such rules and regulations are silly of course. The only policy they need is: “Be smart. Be nice. Do what you love. Have fun.”
10. Becoming a coward.
Have you noticed that employed people have an almost endless capacity to whine about problems at their companies? But they don’t really want solutions – they just want to vent and make excuses why it’s all someone else’s fault. It’s as if getting a job somehow drains all the free will out of people and turns them into spineless cowards. If you can’t call your boss a jerk now and then without fear of getting fired, you’re no longer free. You’ve become your master’s property.
When you work around cowards all day long, don’t you think it’s going to rub off on you? Of course it will. It’s only a matter of time before you sacrifice the noblest parts of your humanity on the altar of fear: first courage… then honesty… then honor and integrity… and finally your independent will. You sold your humanity for nothing but an illusion. And now your greatest fear is discovering the truth of what you’ve become.
I don’t care how badly you’ve been beaten down. It is never too late to regain your courage. Never!
Still want a job?
If you’re currently a well-conditioned, well-behaved employee, your most likely reaction to the above will be defensiveness. It’s all part of the conditioning. But consider that if the above didn’t have a grain of truth to it, you wouldn’t have an emotional reaction at all. This is only a reminder of what you already know. You can deny your cage all you want, but the cage is still there. Perhaps this all happened so gradually that you never noticed it until now… like a lobster enjoying a nice warm bath.
If any of this makes you mad, that’s a step in the right direction. Anger is a higher level of consciousness than apathy, so it’s a lot better than being numb all the time. Any emotion — even confusion — is better than apathy. If you work through your feelings instead of repressing them, you’ll soon emerge on the doorstep of courage. And when that happens, you’ll have the will to actually do something about your situation and start living like the powerful human being you were meant to be instead of the domesticated pet you’ve been trained to be.
What’s the alternative to getting a job? The alternative is to remain happily jobless for life and to generate income through other means. Realize that you earn income by providing value — not time – so find a way to provide your best value to others, and charge a fair price for it. One of the simplest and most accessible ways is to start your own business. Whatever work you’d otherwise do via employment, find a way to provide that same value directly to those who will benefit most from it. It takes a bit more time to get going, but your freedom is easily worth the initial investment of time and energy. Then you can buy your own Scooby Snacks for a change.
And of course everything you learn along the way, you can share with others to generate even more value. So even your mistakes can be monetized.
One of the greatest fears you’ll confront is that you may not have any real value to offer others. Maybe being an employee and getting paid by the hour is the best you can do. Maybe you just aren’t worth that much. That line of thinking is all just part of your conditioning. It’s absolute nonsense. As you begin to dump such brainwashing, you’ll soon recognize that you have the ability to provide enormous value to others and that people will gladly pay you for it. There’s only one thing that prevents you from seeing this truth — fear.
All you really need is the courage to be yourself. Your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do. The only thing you need actually do is express your real self to the world. You’ve been told all sort of lies as to why you can’t do that. But you’ll never know true happiness and fulfillment until you summon the courage to do it anyway.
The next time someone says to you, “Get a job,” I suggest you reply as Curly did: ”No, please… not that! Anything but that!” Then poke him right in the eyes.
You already know deep down that getting a job isn’t what you want. So don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. Learn to trust your inner wisdom, even if the whole world says you’re wrong and foolish for doing so. Years from now you’ll look back and realize it was one of the best decisions you ever made.
While I wouldn’t recommend starting on online business for everyone, for many people it’s one of the best ways to generate income without a job. It has certainly worked disgustingly well for me. If you’re interested in learning more about this option, please check out Build Your Own Successful Online Business for details.
What does it mean to be a man today? How can men consciously express their masculinity without becoming cold or closed-hearted on the one hand… or wimpy and emasculated on the other? What’s the most loving way for a conscious man to express himself?
Here are 10 ways to live more consciously as a man: 1. Make real decisions.
A man understands and respects the power of choice. He lives a life of his own creation. He knows that life stagnates when he fails to decide and flourishes when he chooses a clear path.
When a man makes a decision, he opens the door he wants and closes the doors he doesn’t want. He locks onto his target like a guided missile. There’s no guarantee he’ll reach his target, and he knows this, but he doesn’t need such guarantees. He simply enjoys the sense of inevitability that comes from pushing the launch button.
A man doesn’t require the approval of others. He’s willing to follow his heart wherever it leads him. When a man is following his heart-centered path, it’s of little consequence if the entire world is against him. 2. Put your relationships second.
A man who claims his #1 commitment in life is his relationship partner (or his family) is either too dishonest or too weak to be trusted. His loyalties are misplaced. A man who values individuals above his own integrity is a wretch, not a free thinker.
A man knows he must commit to something greater than satisfying the needs of a few people. He’s not willing to be domesticated, but he is willing to accept the responsibility that comes with greater challenges. He knows that when he shirks that duty, he becomes something less than a man. When others observe that the man is unyieldingly committed to his values and ideals, he gains their trust and respect, even when he cannot gain their direct support. The surest way for a man to lose the respect of others (as well as his self-respect) is to violate his own values.
Life will test the man to see if he’s willing to put loyalty to others ahead of loyalty to his principles. The man will be offered many temptations to expose his true loyalties. A man’s greatest reward is to live with integrity, and his greatest punishment is what he inflicts upon himself for placing anything above his integrity. Whenever the man sacrifices his integrity, he loses his freedom… and himself as well. He becomes an object of pity. 3. Be willing to fail.
A man is willing to make mistakes. He’s willing to be wrong. He’d rather try and fail than do nothing.
A man’s self-trust is one of his greatest assets. When he second-guesses himself by worrying about failure, he diminishes himself. An intelligent man considers the prospect of failure, but he doesn’t preoccupy himself with pointless worry. He accepts that if a failure outcome occurs, he can deal with it.
A man grows more from failure than he does from success. Success cannot test his resolve in the way that failure can. Success has its challenges, but a man learns more about himself when he takes on challenges that involve risk. When a man plays it safe, his vitality is lost, and he loses his edge. 4. Be confident.
A man speaks and acts with confidence. He owns his attitude.
A man doesn’t adopt a confident posture because he knows he’ll succeed. He often knows that failure is a likely outcome. But when the odds of success are clearly against him, he still exudes confidence. It isn’t because he’s ignorant or suffering from denial. It’s because he’s proving to himself that he has the strength to transcend his self-doubt. This builds his courage and persistence, two of his most valuable allies.
A man is willing to be defeated by the world. He’s willing to be taken down by circumstances beyond his control. But he refuses to be overwhelmed by his own self-doubt. He knows that when he stops trusting himself, he is surely lost. He’ll surrender to fate when necessary, but he won’t surrender to fear. 5. Express love actively.
A man is an active giver of love, not a passive receiver. A man is the first to initiate a conversation, the first to ask for what’s needed, and the first to say “I love you.” Waiting for someone else to make the first move is unbecoming of him. The universe does not respond positively to his hesitation. Only when he’s in motion do the floodgates of abundance open.
Man is the out-breath of source energy. It is his job — his duty — to share his love with the world. He must wean himself from suckling the energy of others and become a vibrant transmitter of energy himself. He must allow that energy to flow from source, through him, and into the world. When he assumes this role, he has no doubt he is living as his true self. 6. Re-channel sex energy.
A man doesn’t hide his sexuality. If others shrink from him because he’s too masculine, he allows them to have their reaction. There’s no need for him to lower his energy just to avoid frightening the timid. A man accepts the consequences of being male; he makes no apologies for his nature.
A man is careful not to allow his energy to get stuck at the level of lust. He re-channels much of his sexual energy into his heart and head, where it can serve his higher values instead of just his animal instincts. (You can do this by visualizing the energy rising, expanding, and eventually flowing throughout your entire body and beyond.)
A man channels his sexual energy into his heart-centered pursuits. He feels such energy pulsing within him, driving him to action. He feels uncomfortable standing still. He allows his sexual energy to explode through his heart, not just his genitals. 7. Face your fears.
For a man, being afraid of something is reason enough to do it. A man’s fear is a call to be tested. When a man hides from his fears, he knows he’s fallen out of alignment with his true self. He feels weak, depressed, and helpless. No matter how hard he tries to comfort himself and achieve a state of peace, he cannot overcome his inner feeling of dread. Only when facing his fears does a man experience peace.
A man makes a friend of risk. He doesn’t run and hide from the tests of fear. He turns toward them and engages them boldly.
A man succeeds or fails. A coward never makes the attempt. Specific outcomes are of less concern to a man than his direction.
A man feels like a man whenever he faces the right way, staring straight into his fears. He feels even more like a man when he advances in the direction of his fears, as if sailing on the winds of an inner scream. 8. Honor the masculinity of other men.
When a man sees a male friend undertaking a new venture that will clearly lead to failure, what does the man do? Does he warn his friend off such a path? No, the man encourages his friend to continue. The man knows it’s better for his friend to strike out confidently and learn from the failure experience. The man honors his friend’s decision to reach out and make the attempt. The man won’t deny his friend the benefits of a failure experience. The man may offer his friend guidance, but he knows his friend must fail repeatedly in order to develop self-trust and courage.
When you see a man at the gym struggling to lift a heavy weight, do you jump in and say, “Here… let me help you with that. Maybe the two of us can lift it together”? No, that would rob him of the growth experience — and probably make a quick enemy of him as well.
The male path is filled with obstacles. It typically includes more failures than successes. These obstacles help a man discover what’s truly important to him. Through repeated failures a man learns to persist in the pursuit of worthy goals and to abandon goals that are unworthy of him.
A man can handle being knocked down many times. For every physical setback he experiences, he enjoys a spiritual advancement, and that is enough for him. 9. Accept responsibility for your relationships.
A man chooses his friends, lovers, and associates consciously. He actively seeks out the company of people who inspire and challenge him, and he willingly sheds those who hold him back.
A man doesn’t blame others for his relationship problems. When a relationship is no longer compatible with his heart-centered path, he initiates the break-up and departs without blame or guilt.
A man holds himself accountable for the relationships he allows into his life. He holds others accountable for their behavior, but he holds himself accountable for his decision to tolerate such behavior.
A man teaches others how to treat him by the relationships he’s willing to allow into his life. A man refuses to fill his life with negative or destructive relationships; he knows that’s a form of self-abuse. 10. Die well.
A man’s great challenge is to develop the inner strength to express his true self. He must learn to share his love with the world without holding back. When a man is satisfied that he’s done that, he can make peace with death. But if he fails to do so, death becomes his enemy and haunts him all the days of his life.
A man cannot die well unless he lives well. A man lives well when he accepts his mortality and draws strength from knowing that his physical existence is temporary. When a man faces and accepts the inevitability of death… when he learns to see death as his ally instead of his enemy… he’s finally able to express his true self. So a man isn’t ready to live until he accepts that he’s already dead.
Rebellion is a healthy thing. It keeps our civilization from becoming stagnant. It keeps the art world from becoming stagnant. It questions the status quo and it keeps it on its toes. Why should art be sanctioned by permission, inside a neat little gallery or museum or something? Why can't art just be the expression of human wherever the hell they please? - Lady Pink
“The alchemists spent years in their laboratories, observing the fire that purified the metals. They spent so much time close to the fire that gradually they gave up the vanities of the world. They discovered that the purification of the metals had led to a purification of themselves.” What the alchemists then realized was that the metals became impure when taken out of the fire and left over time. In their frustration over their inability to create eternal purity the alchemists gave up their quest and went to drinking. One of the alchemists began to reconsider his hopelessness. He started to think about his work and he discovered that though he could not create eternal purity he could create beauty through the metals in the fire. He then put down his beverage and went back to the laboratory. The alchemist took great pleasure in the beauty he could create. However, it began to remind him of the most beautiful thing in the world, a young girl. He became depressed at the thought that he had sacrificed that beauty for his work. He then went back to the the other alchemists who were hopeless drunks. The alchemist knew that he could have neither the purity he wanted nor beauty he wanted. So, he figured what was there left to do except through himself in the fire. But just as he was about to toss himself into the flames the alchemist remembered that neither he not any other alchemist would see the beauty of his destruction or the temporary state of total purity that he would obtain. As he was about to step away and reconsider his decision he lost his balance and fell, becoming engulfed in fire.
The only reason why people condemn what he says as morally wrong is because they know that a crosshair would be aimed at their head, if even anything but slightest acknowledgment of its truth were made.
We've got much more control than money. You can't get everything. We live in a society where money is what people want, so they can't get the control. We chose. Control is freedom. People say we're control freaks, but control is controlling your destiny without controlling other people. We're not trying to manipulate other people, just controlling what we do ourselves. Controlling what we do is being free. People should stop thinking that an artist that controls what he does is a bad thing. A lot of artists today are just victims, not having control, and they're not free. And that's pathetic. If you start being dependent on money, then money has to reach a point to fit your expenses. - Daft Punk, around the release of their first album Homework
You sober people who feel well armed against passion and fantasies and would like to turn your emptiness into a matter of pride and an ornament: you call yourselves realists and hint that world really is the way it appears to you. As if reality stood unveiled before you only, and you yourselves were perhaps the best part of it. - Nietzche