Simon Black's Advice To Young People: Grab Your Ankles

Tyler Durden's picture

To all who watched the recent student demonstrations in London (in which members of the royal family ended up being victims of righteous mob anger), and mused that things like this can never happen in the US, Simon "Sovereign Man" Black has some words of caution: prepare to grab your ankles. His advice is what some may consider borderline anarchistic: "Stop playing by everyone else’s rules. Refuse to be enslaved by the idea that it’s your civic and moral responsibility to pay off the debts of your government’s failures. Cast off the yoke of their control… and summon the courage to live a life by your own design." Yet judging by recent violent events in ever more European countries, who have decided on precisely this outcome, is this such a far fetched perspective of what reality may soon become?

From the Sovereign Man:

Young people: get ready to grab your ankles

If you’re reading this and under 30, let me be absolutely clear about one indubitable point: your government is going to sacrifice your future in order to pay for its own mistakes from the past.

To give you an example, students in London came out to the streets in droves last Friday to protest the British parliament’s most recent austerity measures which tripled the cap on their university tuition to $15,000.

Sure, Britain is imposing all sorts of austerity measures on its citizens… and while I won’t get into a discussion about the absurdity of government controlled education, I will point out that students are having their benefits cut far more drastically than any other segment of the population.

Are pensioners seeing their costs triple? No. Are middle-aged workers seeing 50% tax hikes? No. Aside from the very small segment of high-income earners who will be forever robbed and pillaged of their wealth, the younger generation is next in line to receive the butt end of the crisis fallout.

Younger folks have comparatively lower incomes, benefits, job opportunities, and political clout than their seniors, yet they are increasingly expected to assume a disproportionately larger burden of the consequences of government folly.

It’s the younger generation that is called on to go fight and die in pointless wars in faraway lands; it’s the younger generation that is forced to assume the debts of their forefathers; and it’s the younger generation that gets relegated to the back rows of the political amphitheater and dismissed by the establishment.

Meanwhile, retirees aren’t seeing massive benefits cuts, and middle-aged wage earners income earners are being protected from above by politicians. In fact, let’s take a minute and look at the looming fate of the average young person today:

1) Your government-run university tuition is going to go through the roof, saddling you with unfathomable debt before you even enter the world as an adult;

2) Once you graduate, you’ll be the last in the hiring queue;

3) If you do get hired, you’ll be the lowest on the totem pole and the first to be let go when tough times befall your business;

4) Once the labor market eventually stabilizes, you’ll enter your prime earning years with some of the highest tax rates ever seen as your government continues to cannibalize your generation to pay off its largess and indebted entitlement programs that benefited older generations;

5) For your entire working life, you’ll pay into a pension system that is going to be bankrupt by the time you’re qualified to draw on it;

6) More than likely, you’ll never achieve the standard of living that your parents achieved;

7) Whatever wealth your parents accumulated won’t be left to you– the bulk of it will be confiscated by the state (unless your folks were smart enough to plant multiple flags) due to a host of death taxes.

If you’re in the millennial Facebook generation, this is going to be the standard storyline of your peers. The system that’s in place right now– the failed cycle of debt and consumption fed by continuous government intervention– has stuck you with the bill.

Fortunately, there’s a silver lining (as always). Younger people are generally less anchored and more mobile than their elders, hence it’s much easier to opt out of this perverse system.

If you’re angry that your government is saddling you with the responsibility to pay off generations of bad decisions, then get out of dodge. Stop playing by the same rules of the game that used to work in the past– the old playbook of “go to school, get a good job, work your way up the ladder” simply doesn’t apply anymore.

Don’t stick around a society that has completely forsaken you and is waiting with knife and fork in hand to carve up your earnings once you finally enter the labor market… get out of dodge now, while it’s easy to do and you have little to risk.

Go explore the world and get an education based on experience, not expensive academic theory. Seek opportunities in thriving, frontier markets overseas… places like Kurdistan, Mongolia, Botswana, Kazakhstan. Soak up the local intelligence and become the grease guy on the ground who can make things happen.

Find people whose lifestyles you want to emulate and make yourself indispensable to them as an apprentice… this will be the only time in your life that you can afford to work for nothing in exchange for a valuable, first-hand education.

Most of all, stop playing by everyone else’s rules. Refuse to be enslaved by the idea that it’s your civic and moral responsibility to pay off the debts of your government’s failures. Cast off the yoke of their control… and summon the courage to live a life by your own design.

The path to prosperity in the Age of Turmoil depends on this ability to reject the old system, declare your economic independence, and carve your own path.

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ShankyS's picture

Do we get lube at least?

Cheesy Bastard's picture

"NO SOAP FOR YOU!" said the famous "soap nazi".  "NEXT!"

hambone's picture

Uhhh, ankles?, no. 

I'll grab something but not my ankles.  Those kids in Greece and London are just getting us ready for kickoff.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, it is "soup", hence a primary example of someone who needs to grab their ankles. Troll away...

Bananamerican's picture

"in which members of the royal family ended up being victims of righteous mob anger"


Someone "kicked the royal car", not the royal caboose

centerline's picture

No.  But the Fed will talk dirty to you first.

Matxeu's picture

gubment can only afford lotion

DavidPierre's picture

The US disintegrating?
USSA self-destruction has been a Russian and Soviet theme for decades.
The Russians should know...having watched their own Union disintegrate.
Is that so really unlikely?
It is if you don't know history.
Strangely missing from the hysteria over a Russian academic's prediction is the existence of a well reasoned study of the same topic by an American academic and venture capitalist Juan Enriquez.
Read his book "The Untied States of America" Enriquez has a 50 year time frame and he's not predicting (much less hoping for) dis-integration of the US into smaller countries.
But he points out that not only is it possible, there's evidence the US is on this seemingly unlikely trajectory.
ALL states disintegrate over time. Anyone who doesn't know this hasn't thought about the last 200 years of history. The US came close to dis-integrating less than 150 years ago.


The Mighty Monarch's picture

If states' rights had actually been preserved, there would be no need for a split. Don't like your state's laws? Move to another one. That was the beauty of the practically defunct Tenth Amemdment. Ideally the Feds were supposed to defend from foreign aggression, coin money, regulate interstate commerce, and very little else.

delacroix's picture

the STATES were to coin money. only gold and silver, not the federal gov.

DavidPierre's picture

 Jim Sinclair yesterday.

He is absolutely correct ... counties, municipalities, cities and states are flat broke. Cooking the books to "push the problem six month down the road".

The problem now is that these government entities are deadbeats, not paying their vendors. Anyone who believes that Dollars are a safe haven are just plain uninformed nuts because "faith and credit" are collapsing quickly.

 EVERY sort of U.S. government entity from the smallest pueblo to Uncle Samare fiscal wrecks just waiting to be put to death. The Muni bond market is again collapsing ...a shut off of credit. These rates are exploding not because of too much growth, fear of inflation, this is happening because investors understand that they are not going to be paid back. This is the beginnings of a default chain wrapped around the neck of the country and the Dollar.

Think this through very very carefully because at some point in the not too distant future you will be "on your own".

You will need to burn your own garbage, put your own house fire out, get yourself to a private hospital, and defend your life and property after calling 911 only to receive a recording. This is no joke, it is soon to be cold hard reality!

Owning precious metals will shield your financial position but you must calculate ahead for life's necessities that are currently taken for granted. All you need to do is look at the riots in Greece, London, Italy, France etc. to know what is coming. Social handouts will cease and people who are cold and hungry will do what they need to survive,more brutally so, because the ethics of the 1930's (help your neighbor) no longer exist.

Please do not discount this off rantings , it is coming hard and fast, when it fully arrives  PANIC and FEAR will not be strong enough words to describe it!

Sorry for this dose of reality so close to the holidays but it is what is is and it isn't pretty.

via LeMet

romanko's picture

wow! that's some hardcore xxx disaster porn! whew!

SheepDog-One's picture

Theres an app for that. ILube.

kato's picture

not bad. i kind of agree.

SparkySC's picture

Though in my 40's this is an outrage for the Youth of America!

They're getting totally HOSED and it needs to stop.



Hopefully they'll rise up and enact a Logans Run approach and get rid of the old-bones/cronies!!!!!



I apologize to the youth and to those who aren't even born yet. 

Our politicians are completely criminal and suffer from mental retardation to the 10th power. 



Sudden Debt's picture

Like we are blamming the former generations because we will miss out on our retirement, so will they blame and even hate us for blowing their future.

I'm 34, and to be honest. The job I do today, pays well but because our taxes are so high I don't feel that "rich".

We pay 53% on our salaries for taxes, and on everything I buy I pay at least another 20% taxes.

My country is nearly bankrupt and the only sollution will be to increase taxes and do a massive austerity.

I started working in 1999. And believe me, compaired to today that where the golden times.


What kind of golden times will they have? This crisis will take at least another 10 years.

NotApplicable's picture

Next, add the hidden tax of inflation, and you can really watch your earnings evaporate.

In 1980, as a high school freshman, we had to meet with the guidance counselor to discuss our future plans in order to ensure we took the right classes to get into college. I remember at the time, the average salary range for an engineer was $33k-$36k. It wasn't enough to be considered rich, but certainly allowed for a comfortable standard of living. So, I decided that being an engineer would be a good thing.

Now, here it is 2010, where I earn considerably more than $36k. Am I better off? Not by a longshot. Using fedgov's own cpi calculator, that same $33k-$36k range requires salaries of $87.6k-$95.6k in order to have the same purchasing power. So, it takes almost three times the income just to match the purchasing power of thirty years ago, and that's with the fake BLS numbers! I'm sure it would make me sick if I did it with shadowstats CPI numbers.

pitz's picture

Its even worse than that, because the BLS stats are garbage, and the perks of being an engineer have gone away (like cheap access to computers, a managerial career path, etc.).   And tax bracket creep has also negatively affected such.

I figure just to equal 1980s purchasing power of an engineer, and the intangible fringe benefits, an engineer would need a $200-$300k/year salary these days. 

barkingbill's picture

what is most disturbing is that they have NO idea. they all have flags in their apartments and think america is such a great country. they have no idea that america is about to take a massive shit on them. but they will find out soon enough I guess. 

Simon Endean's picture

America *is* a great country.   It's the what-passes-for-government that sucks.

jeffgroove102's picture

No benefit of a reach around, geez!

centerline's picture

While I completely agree in principle, in practice how does one not play by the rules in a meaningful way that does not lead to living under a bridge and eating out of a dumpster?  It's not like there is an alternative game to play.

I suppose that the best answer would be to avoid materialism.  To rethink what matters in life.  To minimize your footprint in the game - assuming that the game is still going to exist in near future like it is today.

Most of all, I think the game is up soon and the youth will face entirely different challanges than foreseen here.

Ragnarok's picture

First choose a better game (non-G20 nation), and then minimize your footprint in it.

centerline's picture

+1.  Thought goes through my mind daily.  With my luck though it would be "out of the frying pan and into the fire!"

MachoMan's picture

This sounds like some crazy ass buddhist philosophy.  "we must treat our problems by dispensing with emotion and then we will not care about our problems".  In other words, you can cure materialism by going someplace else and getting treated like shit and being poor...  In other words, learn to love being poor.  In short, capitulate.

Same shit, different country.   

centerline's picture

Ha, ha.  That is seriously funny.  It does start to sound all zen-like though to talk about balance and how everything is inter-related...

Seriously though, the psychology of average American is so twisted at this point that the deprogramming is damn near impossible.

Ragnarok's picture

Choosing a better game would involve choosing one that treat you "like shit." Also, who said anything about being poor (you assume we're poor now)?  People with skills and ambition will prosper in these more accommodating environments.

MachoMan's picture

People with skills and ambition are impotent to use it for their own gain without combining them with machiavellian aptitude.  Yes, you will move to a different locale and suffer the same fate unless you are willing to play the game. 

merehuman's picture

1 meal per day  and a sleeping bag. Some toilet paper, a water jug and a plastic for the rain.  Did that more than 20 years. I was younger then, folks were nicer and doing better than whats a coming.  anything xtra was luxury. I remained frugal since and only require myself to be happy. Now with a bycicle it could be quite the adventure.

Bullish for life and love. 

Thanatos's picture

You can stay right where you are at and get poor too!

Its the new default.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Since the financial system lives and dies on the margins, just reducing your consumption by 5% across 50% of the population, or 10% across 25% of the population and so on will bring the system down.

The mainstream entertainment mind control keeps us all marching to the same beat. We are taught it's useless to resist. Hogwash. There is great power in the numbers and if (hopefully when) the majority wake up, just a little resistance wide spread will topple the vampires.

iDealMeat's picture

+50%..  Reducing your consumption by 1/2 is not only the best form of protesting you can do it also the safest.. It also has the benefit enriching you and making you healthier.

Stop supersizing your Mac'D meal. You don't need the shake either.

1 cup of coffee.. not 2..

Grow more of your own food..

Bike to work.

Turn off your TeeVee and go outside.. It's nice out..


PS:  Best CAPTCHA ever:

Math question: *

fifteen plus  __  equals 16


NotApplicable's picture

Damn, I thought I had it yesterday with 27 times ___ equals -27.

In other news, I'm getting pretty good at multiplying 2 digit numbers in my head.

Thanks Tyler!

Things that go bump's picture

I sold my house in 2007.  I paid off all my bills and bought physical gold and silver.  I spent the rest on tangibles.  I cashed out the 401K when I lost my job.  I no longer have a bank account.  I've been on funemployment on and off for the past three years, and even when working I am making such a paltry sum that I pay almost no taxes.  On paper I look destitute.   My kids and I consolidated housing, cutting everybody's expenses, so we all live better on much less.  The grandkids like it.  There is always someone around who has time for them.     


Isn't this the chance we've been waiting for all our lives? Isn't this the chance to bring down the thing that has been slowly squeezing the life from us since we first drew breath?   There doesn't have to be violence, we can just stop participating and wait for the inevitable.  

thegr8whorebabylon's picture

Ttgb, you are my hero.  This is our chance.

NotApplicable's picture

Multi-generational housing (i.e. community building at its most basic level) is certainly one of the best benefits of this unfolding disaster. Well, except for those seriously dysfunctional families who will probably resort to killing each other. They will only benefit the local news and the police state.

dark pools of soros's picture

the mexicans have been doing that for decades and they dont read ZH

Thanatos's picture

We laugh about this...

I personally know some old dirt farmers that I guarantee will not know that the shit hit the fan until they see all the BMW's running out of gas and a bunch of city folk running down the highway looking for food trucks to stop... They will scratch their heads and shrug their shoulders and go back to whacking dirt turnips and chile pods. They go to Wal Mart once every 6 months... They have Gas tanks at their sites... They won't feel a damn thing...

Until they get rich selling me food.

fightthepower's picture

The youth of America is far too stupid to grasp what is happening.  Even if they could understand it, they are too busy texting each other, playing video games and using Facebook to even notice it. 

Bodhi's picture

Sometimes it's hard to fault them. They have been taught nothing else from birth to be consumers. Consumers of products, consumers of media.

ExpendableOne's picture

And the governments are consumers of youth. 

centerline's picture

... comment removed.  Original post was frustration rather than what I really think - and didn't deserve the digital space it occupied.