BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – We are back in the USA.
It is hot and humid here in B’more. We’ve scarcely set foot in the city the last two years, but not much has changed.
Elizabeth was mugged on the street last week. She was taking a photo when a man grabbed her phone and ran off with it.
But she didn’t give up! Instead, she gave chase… yelling…
Someone called the police…
The chase went on… but the man got away.
She then went back to the house and called up the “Find my Phone” app. It showed the phone near where the perp had given her the slip.
Returning to the scene… she saw the miscreant wandering around. She gave chase again, keeping her distance… shouting… and making a scene.
Again, she lost him, but later found her phone in the bushes.
“It was just an old phone…” we began a question. “Wouldn’t it be better just to let it go? He could have turned around and shot you.”
“Well, it was the principle of the thing,” she answered.
The nice thing about being mugged on the streets of Baltimore is that the principle is clear. No hidden agendas. No chicanery or disguised villainy. It was an honest, in-your-face robbery.
And while we admire Elizabeth’s courage and scrappiness, we also have a sly respect for the creep who stole the phone.
His life could have been so much simpler… so much easier… so much nicer. All he had to do was join the privileged elite.
First, you borrow money to go to college.
Then, you put on a suit… and get a job in Washington. Or maybe even get yourself elected to Congress.
Not too smart? Don’t worry about it; you’ll fit right in with the other morons.
And don’t turn your nose up at the private sector. Every company welcomes a willing and able employee. You might even work your way up to be CEO, earning 278 times more than the typical employee…
Don’t want to go to college? Don’t want a job? No problem. Just follow the example of Michael Anderson, a self-described “Crypto Boomer,” profiled by The Wall Street Journal last week in its “Bitcoin to Bucks” article. The young man made a fortune – in cryptocurrencies.
Or you could follow the example of Tom Osman, an NFT millionaire. The New York Post reports:
On Monday night, an anonymous buyer purchased a computer-based illustration of a rock with 400 ethererum (ETH), a cryptocurrency with the current equivalent value of over $1.3 million.
The geologic doodle, supplied from the free clipart website goodfreephotos.com, is one of a series of 100 such images of the same stone, each a slightly different shade, and attached to its own non fungible token (NFT). The project has existed since 2017 without much attention, Vice’s Motherboard reported — that is, until NFT sales broke through the mainstream last year.
UK crypto-trader Tom Osman came forward as the seller of EtherRock #42, which he purchased just a few weeks prior at only 1.7 ETH, or about $4,800 at the time. “I think this might be the best investment of my life so far,” he said of the transaction.
Or maybe you could have gotten a degree in “race relations” and scored a job as a diversity officer, helping a big corporation blackwash its workforce…
Or how about this: start a hedge fund? You raise money from friends and family. You “invest” it in the highest-flying, fastest-moving tech companies on the market.
If they go up, you become rich and famous. If they go down, well… it wasn’t your money.
There are so many well-trodden paths to success in a late, degenerate, capitalist system. And the “not your money” mantra is the secret to them all.
But who chases the suits through the streets? Who calls the police on them?
Still, against the advice of his family (we presume) and all the counsellors, prison psychiatrists, and parole officers he ever met, the mugger chose a career of simple, old-fashioned crime.
And now, the poor man lives on the gritty streets of a gritty city, in the final days of a hot summer. He is neither enjoying a late-season holiday… nor Facebooking his friends… nor adding millions to his wealth.
He is just trying to get enough cash for his next drug fix… and maybe a little more for a hamburger.
How much better it would have been to have studied the latest claptrap theories and fantasies of modern economics. Then, he could have gone to work for the Federal Reserve.
Instead of sleeping in doorways and flophouses, he could have a nice house in Bethesda… and spend his days in a climate-controlled, paneled, cushy office… with wall-to-wall carpeting and a cappuccino machine down the hall.
He could collect a handsome paycheck… while also watching his portfolio of stocks and bonds go up… and up… and up.
And if they should ever begin to go down (markets normally go up AND down)… he could simply announce another stimulus plan!
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