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Dr. Helen

Bachelor Pad Economics

February 10th, 2014 - 1:37 pm

Aaron Clarey, author of Enjoy the Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States, sent me a copy recently of his new book Bachelor Pad Economics: The Financial Advice Bible for Men. It is a 506 page book that lays out a plan for a number of different areas of the bachelor’s life such as Education, Career, Entrepreneurship, Girls, Economics and End of Life Planning. The purpose of the book is to be a reference guide for guys of all ages, to be consulted upon based on where you are in life.

The book teaches guys how to live on a cheap budget, how to pay taxes, understand the market and live in a minimalistic fashion. For example, buy a cheap car. Then you don’t have to worry if someone scratches it or even if it gets totaled. According to Clarey, it’s best to have two of these cheap cars so when one breaks down, you can use the other one to get to work or “need a car with a working heater because it’s January.” In order to maintain your car or house, turn to YouTube. It is full of instructional videos that show you step by step how to fix something. I have to admit this is true. I google constantly to learn how to fix a toilet or even reset my BMW 328i  tire pressure monitor.

The book is a fun read except for the part in end of life planning where he tells readers to consider the Smith and Wesson Retirement Plan: “Albeit the most dramatic bit of advice in this entire book, for the love of god don’t destroy your kids’ inheritance, let alone their sanity watching you painfully waste away in a nursing home. Have the decency and self-respect to euthanize yourself.”

Really Aaron? What kind of advice is this? It’s depressing, hopeless and mean-spirited. Committing suicide may scar the kids and grandkids for life and teaches people that being old makes one worthless. And to kill oneself so that the kids can have a few bucks? Really? Older men already tend to feel worthless and suicidal. Why add fuel to the fire? You are a champion of men, why in their final days would you want them to off themselves so the kids and grandkids can get some rent money? I think more compassion for the elderly is called for here. That’s my two cents.

Otherwise the book is engaging and full of life strategies that men, both younger and older ones, will learn and benefit from, or at least get the reader thinking about ways to live more freely and without debt.

Top Rated Comments   
I intend to be broke, or nearly so, and a huge problem to everyone before I go - if I don't go before the missus.

There'll be nothing but a mess.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (44)
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Sometimes it's worth enduring discomfort to extend life a tiny bit. A very drastic diet (the only treatment then known for juvenile diabetes) enabled Elizabeth Hughes [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Hughes_Gossett] to extend her life just long enough to be treated with insulin.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been allergic to pro-euthanasia rhetoric ever since I listened to "A Most Peculiar Man" by Simon and Garfunkel while reading a defense of euthanasia of people that some imagine to be leading miserable lives (even in the absence of being able to ask them). After combining that with the song's assumption that loners were wretched (again with asking), I started getting worried. I'm anti-social enough to feel than a target was being painted on me.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, no,

It's even simpler than that. It follows from two principles:

1. A person's moral responsibility is to do the good which is within his power to do; and,

2. Apart from existence, the next greatest gift God gave man was the dignity of causality, without which one cannot be creative or love (or sin). Causality, or human agency, starts in the center of the will, and either involves communion directly with God, or action in the material world.

If it involves action in the material world, then it works outward through the nervous system into the muscles...for as long as the nervous system and muscles are healthy, that is.

Once you grasp these two items, it's perfectly simple: A person is morally obligated to do good in the world while doing good in the world remains within his power. But prayer and communion with God are within the power of every person, even if his muscles and nerves have degenerated to the point that he can no longer fold his hands or cross himself or kneel.

So, a person who can donate blood to the Red Cross, ought to do so.

A person who can raise his children and work productively in a morally licit industry to provide for his family should do so.

But when he can no longer do so, he can still pray for his family, his friends, his neighbors, and his country.

That remains his moral obligation right up until the time he meets his Maker.

Now of course you can pray for your loved ones even once you're in Heaven. I suspect those in Heaven all, in fact, do so...or they wouldn't have wound up there to begin with! :-)

But it's a sin to intentionally kill an innocent person, including oneself. Life is sacred and not to be tossed in the trash like so much rubbish. And suicide -- presuming it's not caused by mental illness or chemical depression or whatever, which I suspect it often but not always is -- is the killing of an innocent person.

(Unless, I suppose, it's an act of remorse for a proportionate crime; e.g. murder...but in that case a desire to reform and make amends represents a truer remorse, and suicide only a sort of irresponsible escapism from the duty of working to offset some of the harm one has done.)

So the sick and incapacitated person may always pray for himself and his neighbor. He probably does much good that way.

But he does no good to himself or his neighbor by committing suicide. To the extent the act is willful and not caused by mental illness, it is a voluntary spitting in the eye of God.

By the way, I do not regard the rejection of destructively-expensive medical treatments to be suicide. One can (Double Effect principle) opt to save money for one's family by NOT taking positive action which would be ruinous.

One cannot, however, morally take positive action to end one's life.

So when a person is old and infirm, treatments with good chance of success or which aren't ruinously expensive ought to be continued. And of course basic care -- hydration, nutrition -- ought to be continued.

We'll all be there some day, if we don't die suddenly.

Let's all remember to pray for one another, so long as that privilege is allowed us.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Read Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (from the Instapundit portal, natch'). You can live out your days free of heart surgery and dementia. One day your heart will just stop in your sleep (no one lives forever, alas). Plus, you get to save the Smith and Wesson for dispatching goblins instead of yourself!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a continuum between "right to life" and "duty to live". I don't want to come too close to either extreme -- but when living gets too onerous, I want to be able to set down my duty and make my exit.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
This looked like a good book for my sons until you got to the part about suicide. Yikes. I have way too much personal experience with the wreckage of suicide that I would never endorse a book that supports it.

As to the idea of having two old cars and living cheaply? That's what my kids have learned from me. I have two old cars that are both meticulously maintained under the hood, and scratched and dented so a ding here and there doesn't matter. I am never without transportation, and my premiums are reasonable.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
End of life planning.
Use the Viking System:
Buy a sailboat, and just head out to sea; and after a week or two, fall overboard.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
(I'm nitpicking/teasing a bit, here:) OK, your advice is that one shouldn't kill oneself at a personally decided end-of-life "so the kids can have a few bucks" or "the kids and grandkids can get some rent money". So, what if you have a couple of million to leave, does that change things? Is there a balancing with the kids' needs (including emotional ties) vs. anticipated quality of your remaining life? Or is it an absolute, moral issue?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All fine and dandy if your dad isn't in agonizing pain wasting away in a hospital bed with no hope of recovery. He might even prefer to spare you the pain of watching, helpless on the sidelines.
Used to be that everyone understood the concept of "shooting your own dog". Now everyone is so divorced from so much of the simple, but sometimes ugly realities of life they think that passing the ugly parts off to someone else actually removes the ugly. Nope, just means you didn't take responsibility for it.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are not "responsible" for killing ourselves.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The big problem with 2 old cars is double insurance which isn't fair since you can only drive one at a time. After years of old cars I finally broke down and got a new one for cash at a good price and when I sold it 6 years later it turned out it had cost me just $1500 a year for a new car that never broke down.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Indeed. IMO the driver should be insured separately for liability, the car for theft/collision.

Or, better yet, price the cost of mandatory liability insurance into each gallon of gas. No more uninsured drivers, and lower traffic from making gas more expensive. Win/win!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
People will have less direct responsibility for the cost, which will result in more accidents, some even more deliberately, which will drive up the costs for everyone, including responsible drivers.

Kinda like Obozo care for your car. Lets just not go there.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"People will have less direct responsibility for the cost..."--Gretz

This is one of the moral hazards inherent in all insurance.

Try again.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not really, proper insurance prices your policy based on actuarial risk. That's why smokers and bad drivers pay more.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lowering traffic as a social good is for thee, not for me! (/ecofreak)
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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