Embracing Struggles, Coming Apart with Author Charles Murray

Embracing Struggles, Coming Apart with Author Charles Murray

Today Jason Hartman talks with guest and author Charles Murray. The discuss Chapter 17 of Charles’ book, Coming Apart, and explore why it is so important that we face struggles and adversity in our life.

Investor 0:00
What I’ve learned is is you like to mention be area agnostic is one of your commandments and that I love that I like to look at this is also be

Investor 0:09
when it comes to real estate investing, be age agnostic, who

Investor 0:11
cares what age you are,

you can start doing this in 19

Investor 0:16
like you did, you could start doing this 20s you can start doing

Investor 0:19
in your 50s I started my 50s

Announcer 0:23
Welcome to the creating wealth show with Jason Hartman. You’re about to learn a new slant on investing some exciting techniques and fresh new approaches to the world’s most historically proven asset class that will enable you to create more wealth and freedom than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self made multi millionaire who’s actually been there and done it. He’s a successful investor, lender, developer and entrepreneur who’s owned properties in 11 states had hundreds of tenants and been involved in thousands of real estate transactions. This program will help you follow in Jason’s food steps on the road to your financial independence day. You really can do it on Now, here’s your host, Jason Hartman with the complete solution for real estate investors.

Jason Hartman 1:12
Welcome to Episode 1308 1308 glad you could join me today, as I just want to talk about several random important things to real estate investors. First of all I want to talk about tomorrow. You know, Dan Millman has been on the show several times. He’s the author of many books, including his most profound or at least most famous, I don’t know, fame and profundity. Those don’t necessarily connect at all do that. Otherwise, there would be no Paris Hilton.

Jason Hartman 1:50
Who, who is famous for nothing else, other than well, being famous. It’s a strange world we live in, isn’t it? Okay, so Dan Millman has been on the show. So times and I just love way of the Peaceful Warrior great book, great movie. You know, usually the intellectual snobs out there will say, well, the book was better than the movie, because they’re so literate, right? Anyway, the movie was great. So it was the book. They’re both great. But he says be here now. Right? ecker totally would echo that sentiment of living in the now. I’ve shared with you Dennis whateleys poem about someday I’ll know it’s not an island. It’s I apostrophe Ll like I will about living in the past and the present in the future, right. There are three time zones we can all live in. And when we think of investing, of course, we are delaying gratification for a bigger, better future. But that doesn’t mean we should miss the present day, the present time. And as I talked to you last week, a little bit about the show business Millions and how it was just one of well billions of examples out there, where every success, every Empire, every successful person, company, country, marriage, raising of a child, every thing worthwhile in life is fraught with struggle. It’s fraught with battles. It’s fraught with obstacles we have to overcome. Sometimes the chief obstacle being the person in the mirror. Boy, that’s a great song Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror song I wasn’t. It wasn’t that much of a Michael Jackson song, but our fan but that’s a great song. So there are all these challenges, all these battles, and I’m here to say that that’s what makes life worth living. The challenges, the struggles, the battles aren’t bad. They’re good. Not just from the typical sense of, you know, like Richard Nixon’s great book, which I highly recommend that everybody read. I’ve talked about it in the past, but it’s called in the arena in the arena. And hey, Richard Nixon, our former president was definitely a man in the arena, right, whose face was marred with blood and sweat, and tears, like the famous quote, you know, nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. But at the end of that book, he talked about the philosopher. I can’t remember the name of the philosopher, but some philosopher like 2000 years ago, said one must wait until evening, to see how splendid The day has been. One must wait until evening to see how splendid The day has been. And so we all have this past, present and future orientation. There are those of us who live in the past, thinking all about the nostalgic, better times that Used to be, and well, they’re kind of senile, right. And there are those who live in the present. And most sort of spiritual experts would say that’s the ultimate time live is in the present live in the now be here now. And then there are those who live in the future, who are always sort of looking forward to this brighter future, but they’re kind of missing out on today. And so we all have this balance between those three time zones, if you will, those three orientations. And we have to keep them in balance, because it’s important to remember hopefully, fondly the past and look back on that for our education or experience to inform us and how to handle situations that we face today. And then it’s important to be here now and live in the present. And it’s also important to plan for a big future. And a lot of our discussions on this show and at our conferences are about that planning for the future, right? Investing, the concept of investing is literally nothing more than planning for the future. Right. It’s sacrificing today for a bigger future. Well, speaking of the future, and this is nothing profound whatsoever. But we have a phenomenal, a phenomenal little study that we did. And I really want to thank our producer Adam, and he’s also an investment counselor. He will be retiring soon, from the producer role to be an investment counselor full time. And I’m excited about that, but sorry to see him go as our producer because, hey, he does a great job. Anyway, I talked to him about an article that I want to share with you. The big cities are losing hundreds of workers every day right? And even more should be fleeing. This is a Drudge Report article. And it contradicts another article that is kind of opposed to it. That talks about the top 10 states where the wealthiest millennials live. And when I was talking to Adam, about how I want to discuss this with you on the podcast, you know, I said this, these two articles are just like any mainstream media. Although drudge would not be considered mainstream media, he’s kind of anti mainstream media, but whatever he does some reporting of mainstream stuff. And they’re misleading, because they don’t take into account things like the ratios. And as I’ve always said, the most important piece of math in life is not the whole number on either side of anything, it is the ratio between things, the Delta, the ratio, the difference, I know the delta is not the same as the ratio I get it, but the point is, you must have a comparable Listen, to have anything make sense. In order to make any decision, you have to answer my fundamental question that I’m always always saying to you. And that is, compared to what? with a question mark at the end. I know it’s not phrased like a question. But compared to what question mark. And that’s the thing that Adam did, he took it upon himself to do some comparative analysis. So I think we’ll have time to dive into that, hopefully tomorrow. But if not, we’re going to get it to you soon, because this is really fascinating. And it just shows you how we go the extra mile for you. We don’t just regurgitate and repeat items in the news and current events, we’re actually going to pick them apart and help them make sense so that you can make wise investment decisions. Now, back to that topic of the battle and the struggle Like on the show billions, you know, and, you know, you talk to any famous celebrity, you talk to any famous author, we’ve had thousands of them on the show, you talk to any famous musician, athlete, anyone in the public eye, and trust me, they have fought and may still be fighting a lot of battles to keep that spot because they become a target. Right? Whenever, you know the tall poppies stand up, they become a target. Now, this reminded me of a song. And I was kind of thinking about this like purpose of life stuff. And many great songs have certainly taught me a lot over the years. And that’s why I absolutely love meaningful song lyrics. And I’ll tell you something, here’s an idea for you. To be a little nostalgic. We talked about living in the past present In the future, right? But if you want to see how far the culture has fallen, if you use Pandora ask a l e x a or just go to your Pandora and type in that you want to hear songs by and here’s a here’s a name from the past probably a lot of you won’t even know what I’m talking about you millennials won’t but boy, there’s some great old music and the decade it’s mostly from is the 70s he Yep, yep, go great, great era in music because back then we had most of those like singer songwriters. So go to Pandora or whatever, and ask for songs and you know, it’ll create a little radio station for you with similar songs based on the algorithm asked for songs by England ban and john Ford Coley, who have great songs by the way, and you will get some awesome Some stuff now this one isn’t related to that at all. But it made me think, as I was talking to, Sarah, who’ve you’ve heard on the show many times one of our investment counselors who started out as a client, and has been with us about 12 years now, you know, she was talking to me yesterday about these battles, we have to fight in these local markets specialist. I mean, look at, I only complain about the bad ones, right? You don’t hear much about the good ones. We’ve got lots of great ones. But hey, there’s no incident. There’s nothing to talk about. Right? So we mostly talk about the negative, which is kind of the bias of the human mind, because the negative event or circumstance is the exception, right? Very few of you ever email us and say, Hey, Jason, guess what? Or hey Sarah, or Carrie or Adam, or Naresh or you know, any of our investment counselors, right. You rarely email them and say guess What I got my rent today, I got my rent on time this month. Nobody ever says that, because that’s just the expectation. It’s not the exception. We notice it if we don’t get it, we don’t really notice or we’re not really set up to be grateful for when we do get it, right. But so we’ve got these battles to fight. And one of the things I want to say to you as investors is number one, you know, if you want to do something great, if you want to build a big real estate portfolio, if you want to climb the corporate ladder, you gotta fight some battles, okay, it just comes with the territory. It reminded me of this great triumph song, that’s the name of the band triumph, the great Canadian band from years ago. And this one song that they have, they have many great songs is called fight the good fight. And, you know, I know this is just, it’s just money. It’s just Investing, hey, it’s no big deal, right? But I think it’s important to look at our lives and what we do and investing as one of your careers. You’ve got a career, that’s your day job, your business or your corporate job. And then you’ve got a career as an investor. And it absolutely blows my mind how some investors will just roll over and, you know, pay for an outrageous invoice. They won’t dispute it, they won’t take someone to account, they won’t hold them accountable. And I’m going to tell you, you got to hold people accountable. Just because someone sends you an invoice for something or says, you know, it costs X amount of dollars to repair a garbage disposal or cut a tree branch off or whatever it is, right? That doesn’t mean you should accept it. In fact, the exact opposite is true. You should insist on a better deal. Okay? This is a business and every business on Earth, or at least every business on Earth, it’s going to survive demands that the people and companies they do business with. Number one, act in an honorable way. Number two, keep their promises part of the same thing. Number three, be competitive, give them a good deal. they negotiate prices with them. And call this a battle if you want call it a struggle if you want, but you got to do it triumph in the song lyrics and then song lyrics. They say. Fight the good fight every moment, every minute, every day, fight the good fight every moment make it worth the price we pay Every moment of your lifetime, every minute, every day, fight the good fight every moment make it worth the price we pay. And it’s just a great song. There’s so much more to it than that. But it’s just a phenomenal there’s so much to learn from some of these great old Song Lyrics by tryam thrush, john Denver. I know musical variety, right?

Jason Hartman 15:27
I like variety, a lot of good stuff there. But you gotta fight some battles, folks. It’s just the comes with the territory. You want to do something great. You got to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and dig in. That’s just life. Okay. So get with it. Anyway, there’s a negative pep talk for you. Right. Okay. So we examine a lot of societal issues on the show. You know, as I mentioned, a couple of weeks ago, I got into a few authors recently. One is Charles Murray and his, I think latest book coming apart, which is really fascinating about societal decay, the collapse of the nuclear family, the rise of the welfare state inflation. He doesn’t talk about that stuff directly as much as I do on the economic side, but you’ve got to understand the culture war, not just the economic war, and you got to fight the good fight, right. Every moment every day, make it worth the price. We pay Nassim Nicholas to lab fascinating, fascinating stuff. And then Steven Pinker now Wow, his books are long, long, long. I barely got through a third of the better angels of our nature, but it’s quite fascinating. And in just, you know, there’s so many great books out there. There’s so much great knowledge, this is the Ultimate era of self learning. Have I told you that it’s an amazing time to be alive. So I want you to listen to a little bit of chapter 17. of coming apart. It’s quite fascinating to think. And this is one of the reasons I say you gotta watch old movies, you got to watch old TV shows, and listen to old music, just so you have that sense of history. Very important. We So, so quickly forget. And, you know, maybe you were alive during these times, and you just kind of forgot how things used to be. Or maybe you weren’t alive during those times. And you have the revisionist history, version of it that you learned in school. Well, there’s a lot more to life than a textbook. I’d say more than anything else. If one thing shapes a culture, more than anything else, no It’s not monetary policy. It’s music. Yep. music, music shapes culture, possibly more than anything. Of course media movies, art, architecture, government spending the welfare state or you know, fashion, all of this stuff, shapes of culture, no question about it. But I’d say if you had to pick only one of those things would be music. And if you don’t believe me, hey, look at Motown. Look at the Beatles. Look at Elvis Presley. Look at that great music from the 70s. It’s a huge factor in life. Okay. But let’s listen to a couple things in this book. And of course, I will interrupt it with my interesting

Charles Murray 18:42
comments. Chapter 17 alternative futures, in which it is asked whether the divergence of American classes foreshadows the end of the American project. Two models for thinking about that prospect or presented one pessimistic and the other optimistic Great nations eventually cease to be great. Inevitably. It’s not the end of the world. Britain goes on despite the loss of its one time geopolitical preeminence. France goes on despite the loss of its one time preeminence in the arts, United States will go on under many alternative futures. There is a great deal of Ruin in a nation, Adam Smith wisely counseled a young correspondent who figured that Britain was on its last legs in the 1700s as a great power, America still has a lot of Ruin left in it. But how much ruin does the American project have left? The historical precedent is wrong in terms of wealth.

Jason Hartman 19:37
So this is a common comparison, right that America has modern day America has been compared to ancient Rome, and how ancient Rome in its later years, you know, then of course, this was a huge, long lasting Empire, right that basically was arguably the most successful Empire ever in all world. Old history? Well, I guess until the American Empire you could say right, but it’s been compared, you know, the decline and morals, the gluttony, the sexual promiscuity, you know, everything that happened around the spending the you know, and the moral of the story is Rome did not collapse because of an outside invader. It collapse, it fell from within. And this is true, not just of the nation, but it’s true of the company. It’s true of the individual life. It’s true of the family. It’s true on so many levels, right. But this is a very common comparison comparing, you know, modern day, United States to run. And what I said to many, many people who were, you know, obviously on the right side of the political aisle who were just, they were so disappointed, probably like the people on Left side of the political aisle when the pendulum swung the other way. And it always swings back and forth. And this was eight years, well, eight years on one side and so far, almost four years on the other side. And that, of course, is the presidential elections, right? when Obama was elected people on the right thought, oh my god, you know, this guy is a socialist, the world’s going to end he’s got communist leanings. He’s a globalist. Probably all of those things are true. Okay, at least in my eyes. I know, hate mail. Listen, don’t bother. Okay. I already get enough of it. But then, on the other side of the aisle, right. I mean, the people and the absolute, just kind of ridiculous. Trump derangement. You heard when Trump got elected, right, the left was just nuts. All these celebrities said they’re going to move out of the country. While none of them have moved I think Madonna moved to Portugal, I believe, which I am glad to see her go, but it wasn’t because of Trump. But, you know, none of them really moved. Right? It was all just total Hollywood stupidity as usual. But you see this pendulum back and forth and what I said all these people on the right, who were complaining about Obama constantly, I’m like, the US has such a deep infrastructure. You know, politically, it’s got the checks and balances of the three branches of government, right? So no one person is going to destroy the US, okay, so calm down, it’s not going to be Obama. It’s not going to be Trump. Relax, okay. And the pendulum will always swing back and forth. It has a long, long way to fall. But what does happen is has happened in England and I would argue, agreeing with the author, that it’s happening in the US, it kind of falls into this state of deeper and deeper apathy. deeper and deeper debt bigger and bigger inflation. And there’s all kinds of signs of inflation all around us that you know they’re not even accounted for at all. So everywhere you look so all of this stuff happens is sort of this slow boil that old metaphor of how do you boil a frog? Well, you put them in hot water, he’s gonna jump right out. You put him in warm water, he’s taken a nice bath, he turned it up slowly and eventually, boiling frog,

Charles Murray 23:28
very might and territorial reach. Rome was at its peak under the Emperor’s, but Rome’s initial downward step five centuries before the eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire was its loss of the Republic, when Caesar became the first emperor. Was that loss important? Not in material terms. But for Romans who treasured their Republic. It was a tragedy that no amount of Imperial splendor could redeem. United States faces a similar prospect, remaining as wealthy and powerful as ever, but leaving its heritage behind The successors state need not be one ruled by impose. We may continue to have a president and the Congress and the Supreme Court. But the United States will be just one more in history’s procession of dominant nations. Everything that makes America exceptional will have disappeared. The American project versus the European model, I have used the phrase the American project frequently. It refers to national life based on the founders idea that the sum of good government, as Thomas Jefferson put it, in his first inaugural address is a state that shall restrain men from injuring one another and shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement. At this point in history, more and more people, including prominent academics, the leaders of the Democratic Party, and some large portion of the American electorate, believe that history has overtaken that original conception. Over the course of the 20th century, Western Europe developed an alternative to the American model, the advanced welfare state provides a great deal of personal freedom in all areas of life except the economic ones. The restrictions that the European model imposes on the economic behavior of both employers and employees are substantial. But in return, the citizens of Europe’s welfare states have so far gotten economic security. I think it is a bad trade. And chapter 15. I indirectly described why. Let me be more explicit here. The European model assumes that human needs can be just aggregated when it comes to choices about public policy. People need food and shelter. So let us make sure that everyone has food and shelter. People may also need self respect, that doesn’t have anything to do with whether the state provides them with food and shelter. People may also need intimate relationships with others, but that doesn’t have anything to do with policies regarding marriage and children. People may also need self actualization, but that doesn’t have anything to do with policies that diminish the challenges of life. The tested assumption of the advanced welfare state Correct when human beings face starvation, or death by exposure, then food and shelter are all that count. But in an advanced society, the needs for food and shelter can be met in a variety of ways. And at that point, human needs can no longer be disaggregated. The ways in which food and shelter are obtained affects whether the other human needs are met. People need self respect, but self respect must be earned. It cannot be self respect if it’s not earned, and the only way to earn anything is to achieve it in the face of the possibility of failing. People need intimate relationships with others, but intimate relationships that are rich and fulfilling need content. And that content is supplied only when humans are engaged in interactions that have consequences. People need self actualization. But self actualization is not a straight road visible in advance running from point A to point B.

Jason Hartman 26:54
What he’s really saying here there’s a like a subtext and it relates to what I always Today’s episode with is that in order to appreciate any of this, any of the stuff that makes life valuable, you gotta work for it. You gotta have some struggle for it. And this is why you see Europe has just become this like continent of bureaucracy and apathy and it’s just okay let’s get through life and have as few problems as possible and take six weeks of vacation. Just have lots of pleasure. That is really not very fulfilling. And if you don’t believe me, just look at famous people, rock stars, movie stars, who lead these lives where everything is given to them. And they don’t really have to work for anything. Now maybe they didn’t work for it in terms of becoming good at their craft before but but as soon as they’re done Discovered life is easy, right? Everything comes to them the money, the, you know, maybe the intimacy, the the sex, drugs and rock and roll, whatever, right? Everything comes to them. And so many of them end up unhappy suicidal, because they don’t value it, because there’s no struggle to it. So what’s wrong with fighting a battle? Is that bad? I would say it’s good. And not just from the Nixon perspective that I talked about earlier, of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s true. You know, steel is hardened by fire. muscles grow by getting torn apart. When you go to the gym, you literally tear your muscle fibers apart. And the only way you can make them grow and become stronger and bigger is to tear them apart first. So why wouldn’t that be true of everything else in life? We got to have some struggle that we gotta have some battles to appreciate the success in the book The Prophet Kahlil Gibran brilliant little book, by the way, he talks about how there’s that chapter on joy and sorrow. And he says something along the lines of Gosh, I wish I had it in front of me but the deeper the will that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy it can contain. right that’s that’s the lesson in that and it’s it’s very, very valuable.

Charles Murray 29:30
self actualization intrinsically requires an exploration of possibilities for life beyond the obvious and convenient. All of these good things in life, self respect, intimate relationships, and self actualization require freedom, and the only way that freedom is meaningful freedom to act in all arenas of life, coupled with responsibility for the consequences of those actions. The underlying meaning of that coupling freedom and responsibility is crucial responsibility for the consequences of action. It’s not the price of freedom, but one of its rewards. Knowing that we have responsibility for the consequences of our actions is a major part of what makes life worth living. Recall from chapter 15, the four domains that I argued other sources of deep satisfactions, family, vocation, community and faith. In each of those domains, responsibility for the desired outcome is inseparable from the satisfaction. The deep satisfactions that go with raising children arise from having fulfilled your responsibility by just about the most important thing that human beings do. If you’re a disengaged father who doesn’t contribute much to that effort, or a wealthy mother who has turned over most of the hard part to full time daycare, and then boarding schools, the satisfactions are diminished accordingly. The same is true with your low income parents, who finds it easier to let the apparatus of an advanced welfare state takeover.

Jason Hartman 30:51
Isn’t it interesting that the government I mean, wherever people got this crazy sick pathetic idea that the Government should essentially act as our nanny, our Father, you know, referring to, like, you know, Father apps and households, our retirement nest egg. I mean, this is just absolutely nuts. And it’s obviously failed every place. It’s been tried. And at every time in history, it has never, ever worked anywhere, at any time. I mean, it’s just, it’s just absolutely crazy, that somehow people think government can do these jobs and fulfill our life for us

Charles Murray 31:38
is getting a pay raise is pleasant, whether you deserve it or not. But the deep satisfaction that can come from a job promotion, are inextricably bound up with a sense of having done things that merited it. If you know that you got the promotion just because you’re the boss’s nephew, or because the civil service rules specify that you must get that promotion if you have served enough time and grade. Deep satisfactions are in possible when the government intervenes to help, whether in the European welfare state or in America is more diluted version, it not only diminishes our responsibility for the desired outcome, it enfeebles the institutions that are which people live satisfying lives. There’s no way for clever planners to avoid it. Marriage is a strong and vital institution, not because the day to day work of raising children and being a good spouse is so much fun. Because the family has responsibility for doing important things that won’t get done. Unless the family does. The communities are strong and vital, not because it’s so much fun to respond to our neighbors needs. But because the community has the responsibility for doing important things that won’t get done, unless the community does them. Once that imperative has been met, family and community really do have the action. Then an elaborate web of expectations, rewards and punishments evolves over time. together that web leads to norms of good behavior that support families and communities and performing their functions.

Jason Hartman 32:58
isn’t an interesting thing. Before any country, but I’ll just use the US because I understand it more. I understand its history better in the US when the country was being settled. And, you know, the West was being settled, especially right. There was no government to rely on. There was your own family, and there was your immediate community. And people really had to help each other because they weren’t separated by the things of modernity as we are today, right. And there were all these sets of rewards and punishments for being part of the community, doing one’s share, pulling one’s weight, and taking care of your fellow human, all of this great stuff and all the satisfaction that came out of that. The more we rely on the state to do these things, the more those things just evaporate.

Charles Murray 33:56
When the government says it will take some of the trouble out of doing the things that that families and communities evolved. To do, it inevitably takes some of the action away from families and communities, the web phrase and eventually disintegrates, more sanguine views. This indictment of the European model represents a minority position, at least among intellectuals, and so do my perspective on happiness. And my conclusion at the American project is disintegrating. for identification of the European model as the ideal I recommend Jeremy Rifkin is the European dream, how Europe’s vision of the future is quietly eclipsing the American dream to companion volumes reflecting the European perspective on

Jason Hartman 34:38
Alright, so as I’ve talked about, you know, look, I was born in Europe, Europe’s a mess. The US has its own mess, everything’s a mess. But there’s a lot of good out there too. And I’m running over time. So until tomorrow, we got to wrap it up, folks, but I hope you’ve enjoyed these little rants today. And remember to follow Fight the good fight every moment, every minute every day, fight the good fight. That’s what you have to do. And join us this weekend are really on Friday for the property tour meeting in Orlando, and then profits in paradise this weekend. We just had a couple more people register today. Why do you guys always wait till the last minute you drive us crazy. But anyway, we can’t wait to see you there. So grab a last minute ticket and we’ll see you there. It’s going to be a great weekend. So we look forward to seeing you go to Jason Hartman calm for that and until tomorrow, happy investing. Thank you so much for listening. Please be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any episodes. Be sure to check out the show’s specific website and our general website heart and Mediacom for appropriate disclaimers and Terms of Service. Remember that guest opinions are their own. And if you require specific legal or tax advice Ice or advice and any other specialized area, please consult an appropriate professional. And we also very much appreciate you reviewing the show. Please go to iTunes or Stitcher Radio or whatever platform you’re using and write a review for the show we would very much appreciate that. And be sure to make it official and subscribe so you do not miss any episodes. We look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

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