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Are you Better Off than the Homeless?

If you happened to be walking around downtown Chicago today, you might have seen me and my cute girlfriend sightseeing.  Of course, you probably were paying attention to other things, like the homeless people dotting the corners.

I’m not going to get into the debate of whether or not they actually need to beg vs get a job.  Instead, I’d like to draw attention to the little signs they carry.  Notice how they usually say “I have no money, please help.”  These poor guys have nothing to their names.  Are you jealous?

Just think about it.  How many ’successful’ people out there are drowning in credit card debt?  I’m guessing quite a few.  That businessman who just walked past the homeless guy probably charged that expensive suit to his Mastercard, borrowed the money for his BMW, and is going home to an expensive apartment furnished with expensive furniture and electronics bought with his two or three other credit cards.  Mr. Businessman may be living the good life, but he’s actually got a negative net worth.  Meanwhile, the homeless guy has exactly 0 net worth, making him technically better off than the successful guy.  It’s a strange economy we live in.

This really made me think about the ‘fake it until you make it’ mentality among bloggers and affiliate marketers.  Impressing other people with big earnings checks may earn you some attention in the short run, but what’s the point if getting that $10,000 check cost you $11,000?  You’re only hurting yourself in the long run.  Unless you’re a magnificient liar, your readers are going to figure you out eventually.

I guess you can get one of two things out of this:  Be honest about what you’re doing, or hope that your readers are complete idiots.  I’m partial to the first one, but I hear the second one can get you thousands of readers in short order.

(That last bit isn’t directed towards any one person.  Shush.)

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3 Responses to “Are you Better Off than the Homeless?”

  1. Tim Says:

    You raise a tremendously important point. Thanks to credit, it’s far too easy to fake being even upper-middle-class. Sure, you’ve got a Rolex and a sweet place, but unless it’s paid off, then it’s not “yours” and you’re not the baller you wish you were.

    I treat my credit card like a charge card and don’t buy anything that I can’t pay off before the next bill comes. The bank issuing the card probably hates me for it but I won’t give them the satisfaction of helping drive me into debt like so many others. And I still have plenty of nice stuff, too.

    tl;dr If it’s a luxury and not a necessity, don’t buy it unless you can pay for it in cash.

  2. Nick Mattern Says:

    Donald Trump had a quote that relates to this. Can’t recall how it went exactly but he was walking with his wife and they saw a homeless guy and he said “That guy is about a million bucks richer than I am right now”.

    Your post also has some Tyler Durden quality to it: It’s only when you’ve lost everything, that you’re truly free to do anything.

  3. theadvinci Says:

    There is bad dept and there is Donald Trump dept. Donald Trump takes a loan to make money. He invests it.

    Most people just spend it on a new car.

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