This is why you won’t read a lot of bad global news at our site. Knowing all the terrible stuff in the world that we cannot do a thing about may be a favorite form of entertainment for the masses… but honestly… it is not very useful. In fact this type of knowledge can be a burden and obstacle.
Plus once one becomes positive enough to overcome the morbid side of life… looking at dead bodies… pain and suffering doesn’t have much kick. Most news is a waste of time… and time is the one resource we all have… but a resource that is also truly limited.
We live in a universe of unlimited abundance and wisdom. Yet that infinite wisdom also uses time to make everything go.
We can save time helping one another which is why last week I started our Wisdom of the Masses Q & A. See how and why this wisdom of the masses works here.
Each Saturday will be the time we Mass Share… so I need your questions and… your answers.
Here are questions that came this last week.
Gary, My wife and I have been living in Cuenca for a month and really love it. I have 12k in a 401k back in the states.
I am 57 and could really use your wisdom on what to do with it. Your insight would be greatly appreciated. George
Thank you for writing. I’ve wired about 500k to Ecuador this year and I wanted to write off what I can. With other funds, we bought two parcels of land out here in Vilcabamba and they are right next to each other. My wife and I are very popular in the raw foods movement. I was thinking to create a retreat center type business where people come to our land to relax, heal and learn about health. We are in the process of building a 7 bedroom 7 bathroom guest house and this is where they would stay. I think that there is a lot we can write-off and depreciate if we create a business out here. Additionally, next year we can earn foreign income and get that 87k tax break. I don’t know how to structure this, do I create a US or Ecuadorian Business, etc…
Hi Gary, you asked for it!
Your thoughts on the merits of collective wisdom were interesting and in my opinion right on the money.
I believe in the democracy as the best form of government. Direct democracy is for the most part not practical therefore I suppose representative democracy is second best.
In the USA there is considerable “interference” with the purity of this process. Your 1906 example of 800 people judging the weight of the oxen worked because each individual viewed the oxen personally. For US citizens to apply worthwhile collective wisdom in the operation of our country we must each receive similar, accurate information about issues on which we are to make decisions.
I have friends who get all their information from Fox News and have a considerably different view of the world than I do. Other friends get their information from MSNBC and have another view point.
It seems that sustaining all of our “freedoms” will depend on the primary freedom that a modern democracy relies on which is “freedom of the press”. This term should today be “freedom of the media”. Democracy requires a media that presents accurate information without the influence of their corporate owners, reporters, or others, and lets us develop our own opinions.
Today after years of unbridled consolidation, 90% of all US media (TV-Radio-Publishing-online-etc.) is owned by 5 giant entities. All of these five are interested in making money much more than presenting unbiased news.
My question to you is; Can our form of government long exist when our collective wisdom is constantly bombarded with information tainted with opinion which supports a prejudiced view point, instead of neutral, impartial reporting by journalists dedicated to the truth as they witness it or discover it through investigation?
I wish I had sufficient cashflow to finance my life without debt but alas that is not the case. Sometimes debt can be beneficial? I have a lot of real estate debt but I always make sure that I keep it in control. In my financial statement I have a line item for my overall debt ratio. 37.8% at the moment. I also make sure that my debt is for things that pay me. Cash flowing real estate. I insist on a minimum 20% cash on cash return, and usually make much more.
But here is my question. The US government has a real debt problem which they will need to “solve”. Probably with higher inflation. So isn’t it beneficial for me to have the same “problem” so they can inflate away my debt too? Note that I have no car or credit card debt.
Question… Actually Comment.
Re “The Wisdom of Crowds” – As with other pop-psych and pop-economics books, I had a lot of problems with this book (not least because it conflates a “crowd” with a “flock”. Also, the “wisdom” contradicts many of the points in your own living and investment strategies.
That said, I agree that a blog with the experiences – bad as well as good – of expats is a great idea. Don’t know if you follow Gringo Tree, but the reports of expats lasting 6 months or less before giving up and going home are tragic. Advice when you’re making a major move – even within the US – is give it at least 2 years. No matter where you go, things are really different from what you are used to. In my own case, when I moved from NYC to Seattle, I did give it 2 years at the end of which I realized I would never fit into the Pacific NW and came back to NY.
Although there is no way to prepare for the huge changes of a major move, people need to realize that things will be different, that not all the differences will be wonderful, and it’s they who will have to adapt not the place to which they are going.
I will answer these next week but want your input as well. If you have thoughts or experience that can help answer these questions… send them to me.
Or send questions!
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