A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

August 15, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Answers

What is the biggest no-no when being arrested?

Criminal defense attorney here. Allow me to share with you my personal top ten “don’t do these when being arrested” moments, all of which I have personally had to deal with from clients.

  1. Don’t resist arrest. When the handcuffs come out, you cannot talk your way out of the situation any more; cooperate, and things will be much better for you.
  2. Resist the temptation to “explain yourself” to the officer on your drive to the station. They are recording you — and this can be used against you. Just be quiet.
  3. If you are being arrested for drunk driving, don’t refuse the intoxilyzer test. You will likely be much worse off for a refusal than a bad test number. Implied consent will screw you.
  4. Please remember to exercise your right to remain silent. There is nothing you can say that will help you in a meaningful way. Just stop talking.
  5. No one likes the guy who threatens to sue everyone in sight. Just request an attorney and stop talking.
  6. Routine booking questions don’t fall into the category of custodial interrogations, so please don’t refuse to give officers your real name. In many jurisdictions this can be a separate offense.
  7. For the love of all that is holy, do not use the following phrase when interacting with the police: “I’m drunk.” It is even less helpful when shouted at the top of your lungs.
  8. Do not, under any circumstance, ask the officer if he or she can “look the other way just this once” while holding out money in your hand.
  9. Sadly, most officers do not appreciate sarcastic remarks or observations about their weight or intelligence. Surprisingly, sentencing judges don’t particularly care for it either.
  10. Officers are not scared of attorneys. Don’t think that name dropping or threats of lawsuits will get an officer to leave you alone. Pro tip: it won’t.

Stephen Link, Attorney

 

 

How can I be financially free?

You have two options:

The slow or fast way.

The slow way – work your way up the corporate ladder, max out your 401k, maintain a low cost of living, avoid debt, save every penny you can and invest in a S&P 500 ETF.

Depending on your lifestyle, this method could allow you to be financially free in your 40–50’s.

There’s no problem with this method and it’s a great option for most. The reason it’s slow is because there’s no leverage.

You are limited to your own time, earning power and savings and most people can’t save more than $25-$50k per year, so it takes time.

The fast way – use leverage to build and acquire assets.

This option allows you to earn significantly more and accelerate the path to financial freedom by leveraging other people’s money (“OPM”) and other people’s time (“OPT”).

Types of OPM includes bank financing and investor capital. The wealthy use it to acquire and/or build businesses.

A common example is using a combination of bank financing and investor capital to acquire real estate. This allows them to buy and control much more real estate than they could ever afford on their own.

You might be able to save and invest $100k for a down payment on a duplex, but a group of investors could raise $1M+ for a down payment on a larger apartment complex.

Another example is using investor capital and OPT, such as employees and consultants, to form a high growth company that can be sold or passively operated in the future. This allows the owner to build a business larger than they could have ever done on their own.

You might be able to work 12–14 hour days, 7 days a week, but if you can hire some high quality employees, you can get many times more done each dayand hopefully reduce your hours so you can focus on building the business.

One person can only work and save so much, so in order to accelerate the process you must leverage OPM and OPT.

You also have the option of combining the two ways for a hybrid approach.

You could start a side hustle outside your full time job and invest the money in stocks, real estate, etc. This will speed up the process, but you still have no leverage and are limited to your ability to work more hours.

Good luck!

– Brian Condron

 

 

Why shouldn’t you get a PhD in history?

I am a PhD student in medieval history in the U.S. My remarks concern History PhD programs in the U.S. If you think this is hypocritical, so be it.

The humanities PhD is still a vocational degree to prepare students for a career teaching in academia, and there are no jobs. Do not get a PhD in history.

Look, I get it. You don’t “love history;” you love history with everything in your soul and you read history books outside your subfield for fun and you spend 90% of your free time trying to get other people to love history as much as you do, or even a quarter as much, or even just think about it for a few minutes and your day is made. I get it.

You have a professor who’s told you you’re perfect to teach college. You have a professor who has assured you you’re the exception and will succeed. You have a friend who just got their PhD and has a tenure track job at UCLA. You don’t need an R1 school; you just want to teach so you’d be fine with a small, 4-year liberal arts college position.

You’ve spent four or six subsistence-level years sleeping on an air mattress and eating poverty burritos and working three part-time jobs to pay for undergrad. You’re not worried about more. Heck, a PhD stipend looks like a pay raise. Or maybe you have parents or grandparents willing to step in, maybe you have no loans from undergrad to pay back.

It doesn’t matter. You are not the exception. Do not get a PhD in history or any of the allied fields.

There are no jobs. The history job market crashed in 2008, recovered a bit in 2011-12…and then disappeared. Here is the graph from the AHA.  300 full-time jobs, 1200 new PhDs. Plus all the people from previous years without jobs and with more publications than you. Plus all the current profs in crappy jobs who have more publications, connections, and experience than you. Minus all the jobs not in your field. Minus all the jobs earmarked for senior professors who already have tenure elsewhere. Your obscure subfield will not save you. Museum work is probably more competitive and you will not have the experience or skills. There are no jobs.

Your job options, as such, are garbage. Adjunct jobs are unliveable pay, no benefits, renewable but not guaranteed, and *disappearing even though a higher percentage of courses are taught by adjuncts. “Postdocs” have all the responsibilities of a tenure track job for half the pay (if you’re lucky), possibly no benefits, and oh yeah, you get to look for jobs all over again in 1-3 years. Somewhere in the world. This is a real job ad.  Your job options are, in fact, garbage.

It’s worse for women. Factors include: students rate male professors more highly on teaching evals. Women are socialized to take on emotional labor and to “notice the tasks that no one else is doing” and do them because they have to be done. Women use maternity leave to be mothers; fathers use paternity leave to do research. Insane rates of sexual harassment, including of grad students, and uni admins that actively protect male professors. The percentage of female faculty drops for each step up the career ladder you go due to all these factors. I am not aware of research for men of color or women of color (or other-gender faculty at all), but I imagine it’s not a good picture for anyone.

Jobs are not coming back.

A history PhD will not make you more attractive for other jobs. You will have amazing soft skills, but companies want hard ones. More than that, they want direct experience, which you will not have. A PhD might set you back as “overqualified,” or automatically disqualified because corporate/school district rules require a higher salary for PhDs.

Other jobs in academia? Do you honestly think that those other 1200 new PhDs won’t apply for the research librarianship in the middle of the Yukon? Do you really think some of them won’t have MLIS degrees, and have spent their PhD time getting special collections experience? Do you want to plan your PhD around a job for which there might be one opening per year? Oh! Or you could work in academic administration, and do things like help current grad students make the same mistakes you did.

You are not the exception. 50% of humanities students drop out before getting their PhD. 50% of PhD students admit to struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues (and 50% of PhD students are lying). People in academia drink more than skydivers. Drop out or stay in, you’ll have spent 1-10 years not building job experience, salary, retirement savings, a permanent residence, a normal schedule, hobbies. Independently wealthy due to parents or spouse? Fabulous; have fun making history the gentlemen’s profession again.

Your program is not the exception. Programs in the U.S. and U.K. are currently reneging on promises of additional funding to students in progress on their dissertations. Universities are changing deadlines to push current students out the door without adequate time to do the research they need or acquire the skills they’d need for any kind of historical profession job or even if they want a different job, the side experience for that job.

I called the rough draft of this essay “A history PhD will destroy your future and eat your children.” No. This is not something to be flip about. Do not get a PhD in history.

–  sunagainstgold

 

 

What made the USA so powerful? Its economy is bigger than the economies of the next four largest nations combined. Its military budget is more than that of the next 20 nations combined.

Geography

  1. Size: It is the 3rd largest in area and population. The two countries bigger than the US – Russia and Canada have way too much unusable land. The 2 countries bigger than the US in population – India and China are still climbing up from the colossal destruction faced in the 19th century – early 20th century and also face severe resource constraints. Russia has still not settled in terms of governance. Australia & Canada have too few people. That leaves the US in a nice sweet spot.
  2. Isolation: Guarded by 2 oceans and a frigid nation to the north, the US never had to worry about a major war on its borders. Apart from the Pearl Harbor attack, most of the US military operations in the past century were far outside its territories. Most other nations bed with their fiercest competitors (China-Russia, India-China, India-Pakistan, China-Japan) leading to insecurity and poor decisions. 
  3. Self-sufficient: the US is probably the one country that is fairly self-sufficient in all fundamental resources. Unlike China, Japan, Germany or India, it has large quantities of oil & gas. Unlike the Middle East, it has plenty of water & agricultural land. Thus, throughout the 19th century, US grew unimpeded depending on Europe only for the luxury things.

People

  1. Flight of the smart: Throughout the ages, the US’ remote location helped cherry-pick the immigrants. Other than the Mexicans, everyone else had to travel long oceans to reach the US. That made the inhabitants self-selected — the less ambitious ones were left behind. The puritans, then the Italians, Irish, then the East European Jews and then the Asians all added faster and faster growth as hard work was a matter of survival for each group (returning back was not an option). US got on to nuclear weapons and other key ideas on the back of its immigrants.
  2. Education: For each wave of immigrants, education was a top priority. Whether it is the Puritan clergymen who created the Harvard or the Ashkenazi Jews who immigrated in 30s & 40s or the Asians who immigrated recently, getting to the top of ladder through education was both seemed possible and mandatory. Thus, US built itself as the world’s education superpower with a huge concentration of top universities.
  1. Naturally entrepreneurial: If you had to move this far and then stead a random piece of land in the middle, you need to be naturally entrepreneurial. Every country has its noble class. Since Americans don’t have Europe’s aristocracy or Indian caste system, they created their own hierarchy based on entrepreneurship. Getting rich became the mantra and people were ranked by their riches. It celebrated its entrepreneurs like no others.

Leadership

  1. Right leaders at the right time: US leaders were quite good by world standards. Despite all their complaining, they never had a leader like Stalin, Saddam or Mao. More importantly, US was fortuitous in their timing. They didn’t have someone like George W. Bush in 1861. FDR during Great Depression, Lincoln during Civil War, Eisenhower during post-war reconstruction, Theodore Roosevelt during the early 20th century expansion.
  2. Stability: The present governments of China and India are less than 70 years old. The US is about 240 years old and that kind of stability was lacking in much of the world.
  3. The Wars: By the start of the WWI, the US had built up a massive economy. During the war, it finally announced the “secret” to the whole world. Although the US faced some destruction, in relative terms it got far ahead of the rest of the world (most of which was obliterated). It was a victor in both the world wars and spared of the ignominy faced by Germany and Japan.

Balaji Viswanathan