Welcome to the circus! Step right up! Society has devolved into bread and circuses. To make society even worse, there are many debt traps it has laid out for you that you can learn to avoid. Institutions, from the government to the medical system, continue to see the public lose trust in them. Singles can focus on themselves instead of on society’s bread and circuses while growing their wealth by avoiding debt traps.
Table of Contents
Welcome To The Circus: Bread, Circuses, And Debt Traps
Why Do Singles Need To Be Aware Of Society’s Bread, Circuses, and Debt Traps?
Singles must be aware of the many ways that society baits them. Society distracts singles with things, so they waste time scrolling through social media or watching Netflix. Society also ensures that singles never receive enough money, so they remain stuck in society’s breadlines. Singles must be mindful of many clever financial quagmires as they navigate through life.
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Society’s Bread, Circuses, And Debt Traps
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People are trying to find ways to get by as the bread traps they are given continue to get smaller. Here are five ways people have trouble getting by with society’s scraps.
Can’t Afford Things Past Generations Took For Granted
Many younger people cannot make enough to get by, let alone buy a house. This is a rising problem that can lead to civil unrest. As more people have trouble being able to buy basic things that they need, they can’t afford to buy things past generations took for granted, like home ownership. Younger generations are having trouble getting started in life. This is a consequence of the higher education system. Many went to college because they were told to. They thought that it would make them more desirable to employers.
Rising Cost Of Living
There is also the problem of the rising cost of living. This is especially a problem in the United States and Western countries. It is now nearly impossible for a working-class or middle-class earner to be able to afford to buy their own house. According to CNBC, one reason Millennials have difficulty purchasing a home is student debt. Another reason is that Millennials have to spend thirty percent of their income paying rent. According to Investopedia, another reason Millennials have difficulty buying a home is that it is expensive and no longer affordable. The Saint Louis Fed notes that the median home selling price in 2022 was $440,300. The Zillow Home Value Index puts the average cost of a typical home in the United States at $355,852. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials are also getting married later, usually a life event that encourages people to buy a home. It is no wonder why people are staying single longer today due to the rising cost of living.
Rent has become insane. The cost of housing has become ridiculous in the United States. iProperty Management says “the nationwide average monthly rent [in the United States] in 2020 was $1,164 ($1,225 with average rental inflation),” and the “median rent in 2020 was $1,404 ($1,162 adjusted for inflation).” According to Business Insider, “more than 9 million home buyers have been priced out of the market since January .” There is a housing crisis in the United States. Younger generations are getting priced out of this vital way to begin to build wealth. Homeownership is how people build generational wealth. It has been strongly linked to being able to make financial stability. The documentary below explains the housing crisis. The American Dream is dead.
The Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees estimates that the “cost of both programs [Social Security and Medicare] will grow faster than gross domestic product (GDP) through the mid-2030s primarily due to the aging of the U.S. population.” Because of the pandemic, The Bipartisan Policy Center projects that Social Security will be depleted by 2028. This means that the cash reserves will be depleted. The government may decide to increase payroll taxes, which will take even more money directly from your wage or salary to pay for Social Security. For Baby Boomers, this is primarily a problem. It may be best for Millennials and younger to plan their retirement around not having these types of programs.
Rising inflation only adds to the problem of the cost of living. While the balance says inflation is around 9%, Shadow Stats indicated inflation is closer to 18%. Inflation is affecting the lives of people. It hurts the middle class to the lower class the most because they are the population that often doesn’t own the assets that do well in inflationary periods. The lower and middle classes bear the burden of paying for the monthly necessities of gas, groceries, rent, and bills. It does not look like inflation will be going away anytime soon.
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There are many ways society wants to distract you. These are ways to make you waste your time when you could spend it being productive, from following celebrities to scrolling through social media. Below are five distractions to be aware of that are part of society’s circus act.
Entertainment is the opium of the masses. It is a way to keep people sedated. Entertainment is a way to keep people distracted from more important things. It is just a way to distract you. While it may be nice to relax occasionally, you will never get ahead when you do it too often.
Hollywood and the cult of celebrity is another way to prevent people from being productive. Hollywood distracts you by releasing movies. You can watch films produced by Hollywood that feature a famous actor or actress. The cult of celebrity is a problem. It is also a waste of your time. Why do you care about this person and where they went on vacation?
Television shows are the smaller version of movies. Just like movies, they are a way for you to waste your time watching brainless entertainment. People may become fans of actors or actresses on television shows, a smaller version of the Hollywood cult of celebrity. Study Finds found that “people watch about 3.5 hours of television each day, on average,” which amounts to over seventy-eight thousand hours in their lifetime.
Social media is yet another way how you can waste your time. Digital media is made to be addictive. They want to keep you on your platform to generate ad revenue. Social media companies also gather your data to sell to third parties and to use for their purposes. Invideo found that “people watch an average of 16 hours of video every week.” It is also a way for people to show a lifestyle they may or may not be able to afford. Social media makes you compare yourself to other people. Some you may not even know. It is ultimately a distraction and a waste of your time.
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The news is another way that you can waste your time. The issues that the news covers, from politics to current events, are most likely a waste of your time. Harvard University’s The Future Of Media Project outlines the top players who own news networks that make up the mainstream media. It is essential always to follow the money to understand the agenda being pushed. The mainstream media has seen a rapid decline in viewership as it has experienced a decline in a loss of trust. Americans have lost trust in both newspapers and television news. Think with Google found that “6 out of 10 people prefer online video platforms to live TV.” In the age of the Internet, legacy media is no longer needed and is on the decline.
There are many debt traps that society has laid out to trap young people. Business Insider states, “the average American has $52,940 worth of debt across mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit card debt, student loan debt, and other debts like personal loans.” Beware of debt traps! Here are five debt traps to be aware of.
According to Student Loan Hero, “55% of bachelor’s degree recipients took out student loans, graduating with an average of $28,400 in federal and private debt. And 14% of parents with children in the class of 2019 — the latest data available — took out an average of $37,200 in federal parent PLUS loans.” College debt is one of the first types of debt that young people accept to pay because they think it is an investment in their future. The bottom line is that college is not worth going into debt for.
Finder says that “around 35% of American adults were relying on auto loans to pay for a car in 2019, according to a study by the Federal Reserve… By the end of 2019, they owed $19,231 on average — up 25% from 2009.” In total, American consumers owe $1.43 trillion in auto loans. Cars depreciate once you drive them off the lot. However, classic and rare cars can increase in value because they are collectibles.
Credit Card Debt
According to Experian, Americans’ average credit card balance was $5,525 in 2021. The Federal Reserve found that Americans’ outstanding revolving debt was $998.4 billion in July 2021. Experian found that Generation X has the “largest average balance ($7,070 in 2021) among all the generations,” but “Millennials and the fast-growing Generation Z saw their average balances increase in 202.” More Americans continue to go into credit card debt. In 2022 the total credit card debt for Americans’ was $887 billion, which was a “13% increase, the largest year-over-year jump in more than 20 years.” Credit cards are a debt trap, yet many people are addicted to them.
According to Verywell Health, Americans owe $140 billion in medical debt for their healthcare. One of the more shocking findings by the National Bankruptcy Forum was that “more than 60% of insured Americans with medical bills blow through most or all of their savings.” According to CNBC, “A quarter of Americans owe $10,000 or more in medical debt, even though half of them have health insurance that’s supposed to minimize excessive health-care costs, a new study finds.” The medical system from the insurance companies, hospitals, big pharma, doctors, and therapists are primarily there to put you on prescriptions and medications you most likely don’t need.
While this may go against how most people view a mortgage, a mortgage is a form of debt. You are paying a mortgage monthly to a bank so you can live in your house unless you paid for it outright with cash. Mortgage comes from the old French word morgage, “a conveyance of property on condition as security for a loan or agreement,” which means “death pledge.” A mortgage is a loan. Usha Pradhan writes, “It is a form of debt that is secured by the borrower’s real estate property and usually is for the acquisition of the real estate property that the mortgage is being placed on.” Experian found that “the average mortgage balance in 2021 increased by 5.9% to $220,380, according to Experian data, the largest increase in at least 10 years.” If you want to buy a house, pay upfront with as much cash as you can or buy it outright with cash to avoid this debt trap.
Broken Social Contract
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It is no surprise then that people are losing trust in institutions. Indeed, the social contract has been broken. The institutions have broken the trust. Trust, once it is lost, is tough to get back.
What Is The Social Contract?
The social contract is an idea in political philosophy. It argues that a social contract exists between the government or state and individuals. However, the concept of the social contract can be extended into other areas, such as the workplace. The real question is, do you remember signing the social contract? If so, where and when did you sign it?
Loss Of Trust In Institutions
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Following a broken social contract, people are losing trust in the institutions. People were raised to believe that society and its institutions were there to help them succeed. On the contrary, the institutions are there to maintain the status quo and to keep the people at the top in power in both the private and public sectors. Here are five key institutions people have lost trust in.
Socar Chatmon-Thomas, who is a realtor in Austin, Texas, told The Guardian, “It’s pissing me off because somebody who went to school, got a degree, or otherwise did everything right and now has a job making $60,000 can’t buy a home” and is a “breach of the social contract.” The Motley Fool found that “home prices in the U.S. increased by 30% from 2020 to 2022,” while the “median home price increased by 416% from 1980 to 2020.” The Zillow Home Value Index puts that typical home price in the United States at $355,852 (up 18.2% over the last year). Since real estate is a crucial way to build wealth and security, people have lost trust in realtors. Since younger people can no longer afford to buy a house of their own, they have to find other solutions. One solution is leaving expensive countries like the United States to live in less expensive countries.
Higher Education System
According to a 2018 Gallup Poll, only 48% of Americans expressed “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education, “down from 57% in 2015.” There has been a loss of trust in the higher education system for several reasons. First, many people must go into debt to receive a college degree. Second, higher education does not prepare students for life. It teaches people to regurgitate information, be good students, pass a test, and become good employees. Third, the higher education system no longer teaches critical thinking and how students can learn to think for themselves. Fourth, people realize that the most successful people don’t have degrees. They learned by educating themselves through self-education. Finally, the higher education system is going the way of the dinosaur as the university system will be replaced by digital alternatives: online education and digital courses. The last person you want to learn from is a professor.
Banks have also seen a decline and loss in trust. According to The Financial Brand, “half of US adults say their trust in banks has declined over the past few years, although only 18% of Americans say the same about credit unions.” Reasons for loss of trust range from poor customer service to offering a low-interest rate for savings accounts. The Federal Reserve, and central banks, are cartels that do not serve the interests of the people but their self-interest. The centralized banking system is dated in the technology age.
There are now decentralized options to the centralized banking system with cryptocurrencies. More people are learning how the financial system, specifically the banking system, works through YouTube Channels such as George Gammon. The more people know about how the modern monetary system functions. If you can, consider keeping as little of your money in the banks as possible.
According to Pew Research, the public trust in government is near historic lows, with only 20% “who say they trust the government to do what is right just about always/most of the time.” Pew Research has also found that 65% of people polled say “most political candidates run for office to ‘serve their own personal interests.’” Investment Watch proves that 65% of people surveyed made correct observations, with Republicans and Democrats beating the S & P 500. According to a report by Unusual Whales in 2021, “Congress bought and sold nearly $290 million in stocks (corresponding to 3,500+ transactions by 105 members of Congress).” If you or I did that, it would be considered insider trading.
There has been a loss of trust in the medical system. According to Deloitte Insights, “After an experience where they lost trust [with a healthcare provider], four out of five participants say there was nothing the provider/health system could do to make them return to the same provider or health system.” A Gallup Poll found that Americans’ trust in the medical system declined from 44% in 2020 to 38% in 2022. The pandemic exposed the healthcare industrial complex for what it was and how it operates. People rightly became cynical and lost trust in doctors, hospitals, vaccine manufacturers, and government agencies such as the CDC and FDA. To make matters worse, Millennials experienced a ‘Vietnam War event’ in 2021 that went unnoticed by the medical system.
Give Up Or Focus On Yourself
Now that you know the bread, circuses, and debt traps, you have two options. Your first option is to give up and accept society’s dismal fate for you never being able to afford anything or build wealth. Your second option is to work to better yourself by investing in yourself. It is up to you. Will you give up? Or will you focus on yourself? I hope you choose the second option even though it is the more difficult choice.
Stop Focusing On The Circus
The best way to not join the circus is never to join the circus. That may sound simple, but society wants you to waste time on meaningless things and go into debt.
10 Strategies To Focus On Yourself
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Now that you are aware of bread, circuses, and debt traps that society has laid out to ensnare you, here are ten strategies to focus on yourself.
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In most cases, higher education is a waste of time and money. Unless you want to be a lawyer, engineer, or scientist, you can learn the necessary skills without going to college. Even then, with everything being more available online or digital courses being more widely available, there may not even be a need for anyone to go to college eventually. College is not worth going to if you will be going into debt for an overpriced degree. In short, going to college is not worthwhile. It is not worth going into debt for.
Instead of going to college, you can go to trade school. You can also work part-time or full-time to build up your savings. You can then decide how you want to invest the money that you make from your job.
Self-education is more valuable than any overpriced piece of paper you will receive by going to college. You can educate yourself on a topic or skill until you master it. You can then apply it to your life since applied knowledge is the only way to use knowledge. Otherwise, knowledge is worthless. You can educate yourself today by reading articles online and watching YouTube videos from people who have mastered a skill or knowledge and are teaching people through their YouTube channels.
Money Is a tool. It gives you freedom, flexibility, and access to opportunities. Here are five strategies to work to save and grow your money.
The first way is to have a savings account. You can save as much or as little as you want. The usual recommended amount to save is 20%. That is according to the 50/30/20 budgeting formula. Once you save up money in your primary savings account, you can put a small amount into a high-interest savings account. A higher interest savings account has a higher interest rate than regular savings accounts that banks offer.
Once you have built up your savings, you can start to invest a small portion of your money. You can invest in dividend-paying stocks if you want to build passive income. You can find undervalued stocks that may or may not pay a dividend. It could be worth considering if the company’s management team and finances look good. It will be up to you to calculate a P/E ratio to determine whether it is overpriced or on sale.
As you learn about investing, you may want to consider saving a portion of your money in precious metals such as gold and silver. While precious physical metals are not investments, you likely won’t make money from them. You will be saving your devalued currency in a hard asset. You also physically hold. You do not need to rely on or trust the bank to access your money. In an SHTF scenario, you can also use physical silver to barter. If things get bad, you may even be able to buy a house with a few ounces of gold.
Cryptocurrency is another way to escape the banking system. You will want to store any cryptocurrencies in a hardware wallet so they are in your possession and not on a cryptocurrency exchange. Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency. Monero is another cryptocurrency that is well-known that is a privacy coin. The advantage of cryptocurrency compared to precious metals is that they are easily transportable. You only need to have your hardware wallet and know your key phrases to access them. More places are beginning to accept the more well-known cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum for payment.
The best way, though, is to start your own online business. The advantages of an online business are that they have a low startup cost today, and you don’t need full-time employees. You can start small by doing everything yourself. As it grows, you can then add contractors from sites like Fiverr and Upwork to free up your time and delegate specialized tasks that you need to get done to grow your business.
Another great advantage of an online business is that you can work from anywhere worldwide. This will allow you to travel the world. It will also give you the option to move to a less expensive country to save more money so that you will have more money to reinvest back into your business. It would also allow you to invest in a second business or venture.
You can start taking control of your health rather than trusting the circus to provide proper care. Here are three basic ways how you can begin to leave the healthcare circus.
You don’t have to participate in the healthcare industrial complex. The best use of hospitals is only for emergencies to repair limbs, provide surgeries, and similar extreme circumstances. If you are healthy, you may want to consider if seeing the doctor once a year for a fifteen-minute check-up is worth it or if you are wasting money.
Due to the Affordable Care Act, Americans are required to buy insurance which increased the cost of premiums, or they will face a tax penalty. You can decide what type of insurance plan you need depending on your healthcare needs. If you only see the doctor once a year or maybe go to a specialized doctor once or perhaps a couple of times a year, you can use less expensive health insurance to save money. If you are healthy, why do you need health insurance or constantly need to see a doctor? Health insurance is a scam.
The best way to avoid the doctor and healthcare system and reduce your monthly insurance cost is to follow a healthy diet and exercise. There are many diets that you can choose from today. You can regularly exercise and go to the gym. You will feel physically and mentally better when you eat better and exercise.
If you can, you may want to consider moving abroad. There are many advantages to moving to another country which is explained below.
The cost of living is insane in the United States. Instead, rather than moving to a somewhat less expensive state. But why not move to another less expensive country? If you are from the United States, as long as the dollar remains the world reserve currency, you will be able to triage the dollar. You will do this by living in a less expensive country, but your living costs will be reduced when you pay in dollars or transfer dollars to the currency used. You will get more for your money and a lower living cost.
Sovereign Man has a cost-of-living index that allows you to compare the cost of living of where you currently live to a city in a country you may be interested in moving to. There is nothing wrong with deciding to move to another country. It could save you money. It could give you a better standard of living than in your current country. You may find that you meet like-minded people in the ex-pat community. It will also allow you to learn about another culture as you adjust to it once you move.
The world has become a circus today. People have lost trust in institutions such as the government, medical system, banks, real estate, and the higher education system. You can start to focus on yourself to begin to escape the circus by focusing on self-education, money, health, and moving to a less expensive country.
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Have you lost trust in institutions? What are your experience with society’s bread, circuses, and debt traps? Let us know in the comments below!