Opinion: Is it Time to Revolt?

Feb 13, 2014
by Mike Levy  
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They say that it's always easier to write about a topic that you feel strongly about, so I'm going to kick off this weekly series of opinion pieces with a theme that is close to my heart...

We've all got our priorities messed up, and while it might not be the death of us, there is certainly something that has died and started to rot. It happens to most of us during our teenage years, a time when wearing the right clothes and doing what's expected of us to "get ahead" is the norm - study hard, get married and make babies, aim for the job that pays well, and you'll be doing damn fine, right? The large majority of us swallow that pill without even asking for a gulp of water to wash it down, and it doesn't take long for things like bank payments for that $40,000 truck, shopping for the latest clothes, and going to a job the you likely hate to take the place of the fun that you used to have with friends when on your mountain bike. It doesn't have to be like that, though, and the fact that you're here, right now, means that there is a good chance that you might be open to the idea of a revolt of sorts. No, a military coup won't be required, and you don't even need a black ski mask for this rebellion. What do you need to do, then? Only to ride your f*cking bike.




I bought a bourgeois house in the Hollywood hills
With a truckload of hundred thousand dollar bills
Man came by to hook up my cable TV
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched 'round and 'round 'til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin' on




Bruce Springsteen might have had no idea when he penned "57 Channels" that the figure wouldn't cover the number needed to harbour reality shows about a bunch of sisters married to the same man, old hairy men in camouflage who made millions by imitating a bird, or programming like Big Brother that strives to drill home how lying to other liars can win you half a million dollars. Yes, The Boss' lyrics might be an analogy for an empty and soon to be failed relationship, but when taken in a much more literal sense, they strike a nerve in me in a way that only trying to watch said television for a few hours can do. I'm not quite to the point of using a .44 Magnum to silence the beast (as happens in the third verse) but I've certainly been tempted to put my SPD clad riding shoe through the screen. The thing is, though, it's not the television's fault. Nor is it the smartphone that constantly needs to be updated to run even faster so you can save a few seconds while checking Facebook to find out what your friends ate for dinner, seconds that most people are likely to squander by sitting in traffic anyways. And, as much as we like to use them as scapegoats, it's also not the fault of the famous faces that "grace" the cover of tabloid magazines that we're forced to look at when paying for groceries at the check-out counter. Sorry, we can't really pin the blame on the Kardashians (although I'm sure their entire clan is guilty of something worthy of a tarring and feathering, and I might turn on the TV for that one). No, the problem is you. It's me. It's your wife, your husband, your neighbor, and your neighbor's uncle. We lost the plot ages ago and we all seem to be just fine with that fact.



bigquotesWe stopped following our passions at some point, and instead started to follow the tracks that were laid down by people who don't know what's best for us, yet we still look up to those who stayed true to their own passions. Wayne Gretzky, the garbage man. Will Smith, the accountant. Michael Schumacher, the valet - those don't sound right, do they? Do they sound any better when your name is substituted in place?

What do we do now? I suspect that the majority of us have already dug ourselves sizeable holes that are much deeper than the recommended six feet and filled with things like four bedroom homes for our two-person families, giant televisions beaming the latest episode of Big Brother straight into your living room at near-life size proportions that make the family dog nervous, and a wardrobe selection that's big enough to keep you from having to wash any clothing for at least two months, all things that make those memories of responsibility-free days in the saddle a bit foggy. It's not too late, though, regardless of how little time you think you have to spare, and your personal uprising most certainly doesn't require walking away from your current life of relative luxury. But remember, your time is literally running out. There is an overwhelming chance that you won't live comfortably into your nineties and then die in your sleep a happy man, yet we all seem to have convinced ourselves that will be the case. No, there is a good chance that the big C is going to take you out long before that. Or heart disease. Or a massive Cadillac driven by someone who was lucky enough to see their ninetieth birthday.


Beer or a bath first Beer wins again. Photo by Dan Milner.


Wake up tomorrow morning and call work to tell them that you're sick and won't be coming in. Pawn your kids off on someone for a few hours. Cancel the appointment that you didn't want to go to anyways. Stop pretending to be so goddamned responsible if all you want to do is go ride your bike around in circles, pop wheelies, and lay down huge skids. The truth is that it doesn't matter, and that the world will continue to go around. What does matter, though, is that you'll be out riding your bike and that you'll feel damn good about it. It's not too late to revolt, and if only a single person who reads this does so, I'll consider the time spent writing these words and the ride I missed to do so as being well worth it.




I can see by your eyes friend you're just about gone
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on...





Photos: Dan Milner


325 Comments

  • 124 2
 "How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”

Mr. Bukowski
  • 28 4
 It seems everybody's understanding the same things at the same moment in developed countries. These things are how rules created by capitalism to legitimate the 1% richest guys (taxation) weight on the 99% others. And the FED power, and ... a lot of things you can find on the web. I went to Manhattan few years ago and i watch a lot of videos of american people speaking. They say this is the american dream, the hope of being rich one day. But it's not gonna happen, sorry, and you gonna work more & more, win less and less.

There is a lot of trouble in France actually, and i think we are going to enter in a new economic model in few month/year. You should search some informations about what's happening all around the world, the gold business, etc.. to understand why you work a lot to win nothing. If everybody's informed, we could make something good... instead of war, again and again ...
  • 60 5
 "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

- Dude Lebowski
  • 41 3
 I'm a freshman at Oregon State University and not an hour goes by where I don't ask myself, what the hell am I doing here? Why am I supposed a degree in Forest Management? What the f*ck does that even mean??? Why am I supposed to get myself thousands in debt to have a poor paying job in the end? I could just work at a bike shop and actually be happy I don't needs tons of money, just a place to ride and some top ramen. All the school loans I have...imagine the bike parts I could have got instead!!!I sit in class and dream of my old Knolly Delirium and how I want to shred her hard. Screw it, I'm not going to school today, I'm headed for the hills. I hate all of you.
  • 57 0
 alright, got to throw my favorite as well:

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”


― Charles Bukowski
  • 19 0
 @ CGalbreath- I'm a senior studying math and econ. People ask me what I want to do and I say paint,write and shred. Education is about bettering yourself. F--- the piece of paper at the end, its not the reason for learning.
  • 7 0
 I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes. -- Hunter S. Thompson
  • 16 0
 Frankly, I am horrified by life, at what a man has to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed. So I stay in the forest and ride. When you ride bikes the world is still out there, but for the moment it doesn’t have you by the throat.
  • 40 1
 'My cat's breath smells like cat food' - Ralph Wiggum
  • 24 32
flag hamncheez (Feb 13, 2014 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 without capitalism, we have 50% infant mortality rates, death from a tooth infection, no industrialization, no cars, no mountain bikes, no computers to whine about capitalism on...
  • 18 6
 And the world would still be a better place than it is now.
  • 4 0
 Does anybody in Italy wake up at 6:30am??? Just saying…
(joking…I was there recently. Unfortunately w/o the bike.)
  • 14 4
 @hamncheez

who told you this fairy tale?
  • 8 1
 I think that's not true, there is a lot of models who offer the same investment/development advantages without these horrible negatives points which are huge inegalities such as mutual investment developped by Bernard Friot for exemple.

To day if an activity isn't profitable for a shareholder, this activity won't be develloped While it could be very profitable for the society.

Anyway you defend capitalism but it seems you don't understand the situation. If your ok atm, when the 1% will take you some% of the Fruit of your work to refund the debt they created by themself, there is a moment you won't have enough to eat and you will revolte to protect yourself and your family. if you're in the lucky 1%, i think you should learn how to run fast, because the 99% remaning are not gonna kiss you. Everybody's watching for the Next fed QE. That's a month question.

If you think it's a dream will never happen i suggest you to look what's happen in Europe.
  • 5 1
 Plenty of bukowski fans here!
  • 7 2
 The corporations that are destroying our future for temporary profits.
  • 7 0
 Yea, CGalbreath, you should still get a degree. Being informed and knowledgable is never a bad thing. Don't rationalize not wanting to work in school with anti-capitalist ideas. One has nothing to do with the other and in someways a liberal education is in opposition to capitalism.
  • 18 7
 Are we talking actual capitalism, actual neo-liberalism, greed or a formless dark goo that embodies all that we think is worst in this world, that we like to call "capitalism"? The matter of a fact is that we have our life style and everything that is shaped in our "Western World" by exploiting the natural resources and people in so called "third world countries" - that is undeniable to me. Western Corporations and governments lobbied by them ( or communist governments like Russian and Chinese) have committed many crimes and forced their way on weaker countries. But we have to admit that we'd rather be where we are now, than live in one of exploited countries. One of my favourite takes on this whole political bullcrap is coming from Louis CK - "slavery is horrible - off course! Off course!!! But maybe... every biggest achievement made by mankind required use of slaves, like piramids, like America... maybe someone has to die so that you can post some activist stuff on your Facebook profile using your smart phone while you're taking a crap"

It's tough guys, it's tough... never settle for one idea, never read only one book...
  • 3 0
 Oh shit.
Lotta stuff in there i agree with waki....

now i should reassess what wrong with me:/
  • 11 1
 Mech/petrolium Engineering, biology, business, few others are worth the debt.
Nations need to get back to the trades..vs liberal arts
  • 4 2
 What if we got jobs that had to do with bikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????!!?!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?! What a thought right
  • 6 5
 If you have a job to have to do with bikes that means you are wasting time and resources that could be used doing something productive like minimizing carbon footprint... you could support people in Africa by buying more diamonds and I-Pads. The we can start saving the planet by dropping ice cubes on Greenland! The text may contain sarcasm...
  • 4 2
 Free market capitalism has done more to lift the world out of poverty than all government action combined. Look at China vs Hong Kong. China's recent growth has been a result of dumping socialism. Look at the amazing growth that Viet Nam has seen in the last 15 years. Without free markets we would all still be living in an 1820 standard of living, when infant mortality was 50%. The life expectancy was below 40. How on earth is this a preferable arrangement?

Please, google the UN millennial goals. In 1990, 45% of the world lived on less than $1.25 (US) a day. Now that is near 20% and the world population has grown.

“Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid. We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.”--Bono, of U2
  • 7 2
 Hamncheez - capitalism is indeed propelling those things that you talk about, the problem is that it constantyl needs a new land to "borrow future from" in order to work this way - and that pretty much is over... Westeners and Chinese grow soy in Africa and on Madagascar to feed their cows, to eat them in result. We produce incredibly inefficient food source from material on a continent with serious water and food scarsity. We can buy coffee grown in Ethiopia which is a country completely relying on food supplies from Europe and US (aid you talked about). And that won't take long as lot of water used for growing is deep ground water replenishing 100 times slower than it is used. If you can't see madness in it then what make you see it? Africa has simply no food and water to support people taking the stuff out of it - ever played Settlers? Then the political climate (which is both a result and a symptom of it) is making things really inflammatory - you thought that Iraq was a mess? wait for Africa... try bombing people in the jungle to create a controllable neo-liberal-friendly government - one word for you: Vietnam. China may get their share, for now, but our public opinion just won't take it. All it takes is a few photo editorials... The sad future I see for Africa is being a scavaged land becoming a perfect dump site...

Just as some people blame "capitalism" for all the bad crap they think it does, people like you praise it for good things it doesn't do either. And Bono became and incredible twit, anyone taking seriously the things he says should get his head checked. He has as much interest in economy as the minister of finance. Capitalism is no system, no science, it is an ideology, an utopia and as any other it cannot sustain itself in reality forever. It's the most successful one, since ancient and middle age tyrannies but nothing is too big to fail Big Grin
  • 3 1
 I have to disagree WAKI. If we look at the evidence, western economic growth is getting less and less dependent on resources, especially land. Most of the increase in living standards in the already rich West the last few decades has been due to increases in computing power and application. Yes, there are issues with the rare-earth elements that have to be mined, but even those are shrinking. A tiny smartphone now has the same productivity as a whole desktop did not five years ago.

Also, look at the standard of living that the developing wold now VS two decades ago. Western growth has improved conditions in Africa and the poor parts of Asia and South America. Please, take some time and watch this

www.learnliberty.org/videos/how-fight-global-poverty
  • 5 1
 Hehe Smile That is what I am talking about - a tiny smartphone has a capacity to be so productive and increase productivity, but it is misused and I bet it limited the productivity of people because it makes it easy to procastrinate and spend money on stupid crap they don't need.Many accidents in my town happen due to people being driven by bus drivers or cars on street crossings. I am not arguing heere, just an idea Smile


Standard of living is going up but at what cost - what risk? You assume that the players know what they are doing and they contact each other in order to make good decisions, and well free market does not like control isn't it? How about competition? You assume that there is some natural self preservation instinct among players that tells them when they are going too far.

Make no mistake - I do enjoy my freedom Big Grin But I am not going to deny that I am crapping in someones' soup, and don't expect me to justify it in any way with some higher ideleogies.
  • 1 2
 or right im asleep now you can stop zzzzz
  • 3 1
 rantapalooza
  • 6 2
 I DESERVE TO BE HEARD! THIS IS THE INTERNET!
  • 3 0
 Preachin to the choir Mike, bought a mountain bike and signed on to pinkbike about 8 years ago to save my life in more ways than one. Ride on
  • 5 3
 Funny to see hamncheez defending capitalism, that's the first time I've seen anyone do it in public since the financial crash in 2007-2008, the one that was caused by the forces of free market capitalism. Capitalism completely failed, and now we have an illusion of a financial system that actually more or less resembles a ponzi scheme. The US federal reserve creates bazzillions of fake money and pumps it into the financial system with their quantitative easing policies, and the world economy continues on its fossil fuel binge that will one day be the end of us. The victims of this financial ponzi scheme are the young people of the planet that will inherit the financial and ecological nightmare we have created.

Love it or hate it, the free market capitalism that most of the world has embraced is definitely producing some clear results:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=22jR1faWOOA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  • 6 0
 You seriously think this is capitaism?
Govt and big business/banks have so corrupted the idea of true free markets , it dosent even resemble the concept anymore.
  • 3 1
 As Milton Friedman puts it: the threat to freedom is the concentration of power in the hands of one party. When he said it, he meant Soviet Government and he was building what we have today, corporate super power. I love the way they put it in Wallstreet II, when Gecko says: before I went to jail the greed was good, now it's legal. Oh and the corporation feeds from our dollars, we are making quite bad choices as citizens so let's don't dress it into some capitalism mumbo jumbo, but go to the bathroom and look into the mirror Smile Sorry, but having more than one mountain bike, or spending more than 3k on bikes means that the individual is deep in neo-liberal crap. Sad but true.
  • 1 2
 Scary1, the evil gov't, banks, and corporations you attempt to villify are actually a result of free market capitalism, not a force that somehow corrupted the purity of capitalism. The corruption was inevitable because capitalism is a flawed idea that is not sustainable. But, as Waki mentioned, people like it because it allows them to accumulate a lot of unnecessary material pleasures.
  • 1 2
 I'd say that free market and freedom of choice ideology gets corrupted by reality in which people swim in surplus. Economy is based on extraction and then redistribution of goods, and free market ideologists believe that there is some magical common sense gland that makes the players play fair and that the good will redistribute themselves in a way keeping the system in balance. They somehow believe that the law of natural selection will not allow any tirants to raise. Marxist ideas are wonderful on paper too, they are actually much better there, because they seem to eleminate greed and everything is done and regulated so that everyone in the system doesn't do anything else but works for the greater common good. The problem is that in order to achieve such redistribution of goods and behaviour of citizens, there has to be a high level of control over all players. You must put some tough laws punishing those who want to get a bit too much for themselves, irregardless if they deserve it or not. At the core of this problem lies the issue of: who are the people who control the system - how to make them not fall under the spell of greed, when they have so much power? Stalin's solution to that problem was killing everybody in the party from time to time, just switching chairs, so that no one manages to become too powerful. There are all those new leftists who make great points but they do not understand that the only thing that can make people care for each other more, and stop turning earth's crust into hamburgers, lollypops and plastic bags is a crisis. a shortage of supplies, something that will make people think about the actual necessities (like social interaction)
  • 5 0
 @ protool. I'm not necessarily vilifying any of those things.they all have their place, they have been deeply corrupted.
oddly enough, as an agnostic I believe the world would be better off with religon(s) that would cause you (me) to self regulate our behavior by believing in a man in the sky, versus govt, dictators and regulations to do it for us.
I tend to vote for maximum freedom regardless of the consequences.
  • 4 0
 @waki. Great points on what the problems are.Very fair.Id like anyone to point out solutions that would in general, leave me alone and have others mind their business.

Also,"irregardless" is not a word.
  • 2 0
 Give WAKI some credit for his english; hes from like Poland or something.

As for the rest of you: free market Capitalism DIDN"T cause the 2008 crash. The Banking/investment industry in the United States and Europe is the most regulated (non-freemarket) industries in their respective economies.
  • 2 1
 scary1 hilarious, you believe we should all believe in religion, even though you don't believe in it. History has shown pretty clearly that religion is the worst and most unreliable way to guide mankind, and has only stalled progress on almost every issue.. There is no better way to manipulate less educated religious people than by using religion to do it. Would love to hear an example from you of where religion has produced good results in politics in the world?
So scary1, which religion do you choose to guide the human race? Let me guess, Christianity? The Muslims will love that! Perhaps you could invent a religion?
Then this:

"I tend to vote for maximum freedom regardless of the consequences."

Which, when applied to every environmental issue we face, really means this:

"I tend to vote for maximum freedom (for myself) regardless of the consequences (for my daughter's future). Then this to back it up:

".Id like anyone to point out solutions that would in general, leave me alone and have others mind their business."

Those solutions you seek don't exist, your type just pretends they do. I think the results of neo-liberal version of free market capitalism that you embrace have shown that quite clearly looking at the environmental and financial mess we are handing over to our children.

Then hamncheez claims capitalism didn't cause the crash but clearly doesn't have a clue about what did cause it since he definately thinks it wasn't from lack of regulation. I can't wait to hear what ideas he might have to offer as the cause?

You guys should just resort to insulting me now, because you obviously don't have much of a clue about what you are talking about...
  • 3 0
 I actually have a degree in economics, and I was in the middle of my coursework during the 2008 crash. This isn't the proper place for a full economic debate, but I will say this: The financial sector in the USA is the most regulated industry in this country. There are tens of thousands of pages of regulations governing how people are allowed to invest and trade on the various financial markets. All this regulation creates very perverse incentives and distorts true risk investors face.
  • 1 0
 Protool.ive met many religious types that i admire.Sorry that dosent please you. I live my life with the basic tenants of a Christian religion, minus the believing in a god part. I can't bring myself to full fledged atheism as I have never met or heard of one that wasn't a serious, serious dick.Like ALL the time.Mormons on the other hand, I have only met super nice, good living people.Tear them apart if you will.I don't care. Please invite me to the Hamncheez economics forum where he rips you apart and you're gurgling on your own blood, still streaking out indefensible nonsense and perpetual discontent.
  • 2 1
 Religion has been an integral part of human history it shaped us just as wars and natural disasters - it will be so for many years to come. People can believe any crap as well as make the most wonderful things out of dumbest shyte. Denial of foundation of religion and thoughts of what should have been is pointless and short minded, as we all have that "deeper thing" within. It's just that some feel it more, some less, and some just don't give a damn. Yes we progress we find better and better answers to the existentional unknowns that religions feed on, so they will transform themselves, they caused lots of suffering, have been misused and corrupted but it doesn't mean that there isn't something great in the source of all of it. Not being intimate with our own spirituality, abandoning the drive the explore it, leads to replacing it with all sorts of mumbo jumbo, including popular science. I'm laughing my ass off when I see some people saying: I believe in science, I love science - this is those who laugh at religion loudest and who understand what science is, as well as fundamentalists understand god...
  • 2 4
 What a bunch of bollox. World would be a damn sight better place if the desperate and pathetic idea of gods and religion had never taken hold. Laughable.
  • 1 1
 How come could it be if spirituality is as inherent in human nature as a sexual drive?! In that way you can say that the world would be way better off without wars and murder. Maybe world would be better off without greed? How about porn? Way to go Einstein Smile
  • 1 0
 Wars are sometimes necessary, religion is not. Religion actually fuels wars and terrorism because the religious differences in religious beliefs leads to more irrational judgement and hated. And there is no reason honest spirituality needs to be associated with spirituality, unless you want to take the comfortable mainstream religious approach that obviously has no legitimacy.

Hamncheez, you started out here defending capitalism, what happened, you sounded so confident at first? I guess you finally came to the hard conclusion capitalism did in fact fail, didn't you? Because it clearly did. Of course you don't want to debate here anymore, all if your ideas defending capitalism are completely bogus. You simply want to feel you are a part of something good, when the reality is that the long term will prove that free market capitalism's current ponzi scheme I described above will be judged in the end as the biggest crime in the history of humanity.

scary1, it's become obvious you have no clue about anything you are talking about, you epitomize American right wing nonsense which has no credibility on any subject. I'm still curious about this quote from you:

scary1 wrote "You seriously think this is capitaism?Govt and big business/banks have so corrupted the idea of true free markets , it dosent even resemble the concept anymore."

So what is it then, dumbass? Capitalism of course leads to corruption because it is based upon greed. The only thing that prevents it from being corrupted is regulations, which you clearly think are unnecessary. Feeling stupid yet?
  • 3 1
 And there is no reason honest spirituality needs to be associated with *religion*...
  • 3 0
 1st problem: Did we have free market capitalism in 2008? No! The monetary system is socialized. Big banks were guaranteed a bailout. Home purchasing was subsidized through Fanne Mae and Freddie Mac. The financial industry has thousands upon thousands of pages of regulation. The code of Federal Regulations was over 120,000 pages long!

It is an absolute straw-man fallacy to say that we had free market capitalism in 2008 and then say it failed. It is a clear and glaring demonstration that socialism ( Socialism is nothing more than opinions with guns) failed, as it has time and time again.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez really knows the facts! Nice job.
Yes, the community reinvestment act...Carter/clinton/Bush.
World markets should be very concerned now that usa is no longer a representative republic!
  • 1 1
 Protour, humanity came where it is today with religion as a manifestation of human beings spirituality. It is a part of our evolution. It is as natural as sexual drive. Saying that it should have never happened does not make any sense. It'slike wishing that asteroid haven't wiped out dinosaurs. WTF?

Hamncheez - I live in Scandinavia. Socialism does work here, we might not have 15 nuclear carrier groups and thousands of nuclear warheads but it's cool in here Smile we have 420 days of 80% paid parental leave per kid. We can get sick leave for weeks without being asked for anything, we can get few month "burn out, stress" leave from work. We have compulsory holidays and the economy is booming. Life standard is high beyond belief Smile
  • 2 0
 Tool - your just an angry individual in general. Are you applying ahead of time for the guard position at a concentration camp or are you planning to just start your own?
Seriously, I really can't figure you out.Everything on this planet exists in a parasitic relationship with its host.You seem to have 0 self hatred with your "excess" of dh Mtn bikes which rape the earth of precious aluminum in a a disgusting , violent process.Nevermind the man made processes to yield the horrible plastics , gold , silver , copper and platinum contained of YOUR computer.
If you can convince me that you live in a lean to(sp)subsistence farm your own vegetables (and only vegetables) make your clothes out of hemp , and access the Internet using telepathy, deliberately making sure not to access, use or benefit from any man made technologies or advancements from the last 6000 years (when God made the earth) I will bow down before you, withdraw all my arguments and praise your brilliant insights daily on this website.
-Or just stop making tantrum - like arguments of spoiled 15 year old who's never experienced the harsh realities of life, refuses anyone else have joy and has no purpose in life other than perpetual discontent.
  • 2 0
 Scandinavia got rich off 30 years of post-WWII capitalism. Only in the last 20 years did socialism grow in these countries. However, I would look at what direction those economies are headed in. They have seen very flat growth in the last decade or so. Also, look at ur guys economies: they are moving back to free-market style governments. The number of Swedes with private health insurance is growing. Marginal tax rates are dropping. Regulation is also decreasing. Trade tariffs are being reduced. That being said, the actual standard of living is higher in the USA, if you use the OECD's average individual consumption per capita. It is even more pronounced if you use the average private consumption per capita measure.

Also, the Nordic cultures are very literate. The culture there promotes saving and investment more than others. Its a culture of hard work and saving for the future. This can be seen when Swedes immigrate to the US (sorry to keep using Sweden, but its the country with the best data) they increase their average income around 50% of the average Swede in Sweden, which is also 25% higher than the average American income.

Many Nordic countries also have abundant state-controlled oil resources for relatively small populations.
  • 1 0
 inally, hamncheez has found the demon that destoyed the purity & perfection of capitalism....Socialism!!!

This despite the fact that socialism does not exist in America as a political force?! wtf? Where is the Socialist party in America that drove these policies of subsidizing financial interests? These "socialist" forces, which aren't actually socialist at all, are simply a result of the failure of Democracy-based capitalism. Free people elected the leaders that corrupted the finances and didn't hold those leaders accountable because they didn't care. They cooked the books while you weren't paying attention and now in retrospect you try to call it "socialism". Pathetic..., but very expected from Americans.

hamncheez wrote "The monetary system is socialized. Big banks were guaranteed a bailout. "

No, they actually weren't. The Fed could have let them fail, but they stepped in and bailed all of their corporate friends out...again, nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with capitalist-based greed.

If anything, what caused the financial crisis that caused The Great Ponzi Scheme we all are a part of now was the corporatization of the financial system, which is an inevitable, irresistible force of capitalism. Most of the bailout money went to corporate interests,

money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/bailouttracker/index.html

and considering how corporations largely control what the US govt does, it is most likely these corporate forces who are actually responsible for the "socialist" policies you complain about. The dominant corporate model of the last 30 years or so is to maximize private profits while minimizing public risk. i.e. bankrupt the govt for your own private benefit. This explains why we are so completely screwed in the future and it is the innevitable result of the greed capitalism creates.
  • 2 0
 scaryDUMB, the next intelligent thing you say on this thread will be your first. Keep trying, but expectations have been lowered considerably after you started your belief that the planet has only been here for 6000 years. That's another one of those things most stupid people are afraid to say in public. ...but not youSmile
  • 2 1
 Protour... Jesus, stop being so aggro, appreciate what you have, get some joy out of life, going Chomsky on everyone doesn't make world a better place Smile . Getting too zealoty about this whole affair is pointless, because anyways, we can't change much. We can do our best every day: don't take dumb loans, don't shop at supermarkets, give homeless a sandwich and warm tea, eat as little meat as you can, close the tap while brushing teeth, whatever small thing you can come up with. I don't know, send an honest smile to a girl on the street. You don't have to sign with Green Panthers and blow up Goldman&Sachs. You know what is the biggest dream of anti-nuclear fundamentalist? Press the button and get rid of this world once and for all. I get this impression from many shares my pseudo friends post on FB that most of "economy and planet" concerned people would just like to kill all the humans on the planet, starting with the stupid ones. It is them enlighted ones to decide who is stupid, unfortunately that would require making a common organisation, probably establishing a belief system. Kumbayaaaa my lord... I wish someone made a computer game in which is so damn huge and packed with data and scenarios that it can simulate what happens to the world in 50 years if you do this and that.

This is apparently the longest exchange of word-count maxed posts on PB ever... at least ever since I can remember. We've beaten the wheel size debate and "what is enduro" all together.
  • 1 0
 Waki, I'm simply speaking the truth, there is little emotion involved except when I read scary's post and laugh a little. I certainly understand that not all people are interested in the truth when it is uncomfortable, and those people should avoid these debates. Trust me, I appreciate what i have even if I don't advertise it in these discussions. I'm content with everything because it is all the natural course of history.
  • 1 1
 I advise you with good intention to listen a bit to Alan Watts, and get a bit of perspective on relativity of everything including "truth" Big Grin I was saying same things as you 2 years ago, and Alan healed me from it after I hit the bottom. I recommend you reading two books: "Ecology of Commerce" (it will take you to the very bottom right away) and "confessions of a Radical Industrialist" that is inspired by the first one, but provides real life tested solutions, and you will see that it has nothing to do with Chomsky Smile

Hamncheez - one last thing, you obviously know more and have all the data, but consider it that you sound a bit like people who say: Stalinism wasn't real communism, he distorted and corrupted the ideals - it boils down to: "he was killing the wrong people Big Grin ". You know, even Milton himself was uing some dirty leverage in South America to free it from leftists...
  • 1 0
 " Free people elected the leaders that corrupted the finances and didn't hold those leaders accountable because they didn't care." Can't disagree with that. However, I think we are using different definitions of socialism. The definition I was using was a high degree of government control over the economy. Its true, free people in the US have been giving up control over their own lives, little by little over the last few years, but the answer is not more government control. I don't know what you, Protour, mean by socialism, but a government bank like the FED is government control over the money supply, and that is socialism under classical economic understanding. The 35% corporate, ~40% income tax, and mountains of regulations in the USA are socialism under the classical economic understanding. More government won't solve these problems; they will make it worse.
  • 1 0
 Scary dumb...really...that's what you got? Cuz it kinda rhymes with "1"?....... (sigh)

Although the first line of that post made me chuckle, I sent you a post dripping with sarcasm from top to bottom and you pull out the 6000 years comment as my deepest belief. Thanks for not addressing the many hypocrisies of your existence.That would have prolonged this to and fro and you would have had to do some introspection.But, I'm pretty sure that requires having a soul...so..yeah......yer kinda stuck anyway we look at it.
Anyhoo.....its been fun.Certainly glad to know can "laugh a little".Didn't know Vulcans can do that.
  • 1 0
 " I think we are using different definitions of socialism."

No, you are just looking for something to blame the obvious failures of capitalism on.

"Its true, people in the US have been giving up control over their own lives, little by little over the last few years,"

A few years? Try about 30, that was Ronald Reagan stated the high deficit spending and govt deregulation that started the trend of letting corporations dictate what the US govt does. And here is your poorly thought out, laughable solution that is the main talking point of the corporate approach that has decimated our economy and environment so clearly:

"but the answer is not more government control"

Of course not! Why would we want to do anything that threatens corporate profits! Then you have the audacity to complain that corporations are taxed too much, despite the fact that most US corporations don't actually pay taxes at all because they have so effectively corrupted the system. The "mountains" of regulation you complain about are actually full of loopholes to provide these corporations to not pay taxes and limit their liability. Then this to cap off your obvious pro-corporate philosophy:

"More government won't solve these problems; they will make it worse."

Then I assume you think that more corporate influence is needed in government?? Are you really naive enough to believe these corporations have your best interests in mind? I don't think you understand "government", hamncheez. Government is all the people have on their side in protecting them from exploitation from corporate interests. It's amazing that so many Americans think that government is an evil force and letting the corporations do what they want is a good thing. It is as if the corporations have completely and effectively brainwashed their citizens to the point of no return.
  • 1 0
 Here is your corporate mantra hamncheez:

"Corporations good! Government bad! Regulations bad! Blame all failures of capitalism on socialism! "

Repeat in American Economics class 101 300 times daily for a free mcdonalds cheeseburger and absolutely no chance of a future for the young people on the planet. Guess we can go back to enjoying the temporary benefits of The Great Ponzi Scheme that drives the world economy.
  • 1 0
 One of the main reasons why I'm against 120,000 pages of US regulations is precisely because most of them were written by corporate lobbyists. When you give the government the power to hand out favors, only the most powerful (ie the groups with the biggest lobbying budgets) will get the favors. Because we have given so much money for the Federal government to spend, rational, self interested groups are going to compete for that taxed money. The bigger the prize, the more groups will try and get it. A small, limited government that cannot interfere in an economy isn't worth a corporations time to lobby.

Another interesting fact: corporations are CREATED by government action. In a free market economy with limited government, any business would have to operate like a small business. Government regulation created corporations. Rich businessmen lobbied to get laws that protect them from liability from actions taken by their business.

Even with corporations, there is one difference between them and a government: Governments have guns. Best Buy doesn't. If you don't like Apple, you can elect not to fund them by not buying any of their stuff. Taxes are extracted from me by the threat of a gun.
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 Government dosent care about you At ALL.
I believe Stalin, whom you would obviously love , described you best as a "useful idiot".
It's as if you have never ever read a history book...even worse , it's as if you have read a history book and just ...dont...f*cking...care.
Your straw man arguments are rather impressive, to bad no one here is spitting out the words your trying shove in our mouths.You're absolutely ridiculous.
Feel free to Google How Govt becomes Oppressive. Our founding fathers understood perfectly well the nature of govt, human beings, and why our country is setup the way it is...not that anyone abides by its laws anyway.
I have to leave now and knock the shit out of my punching bag with your face on it. (I printed out a picture of Russell Brand as a substitute, as he infuriates me for the same reason.Hypocrisy and arrogance.)
  • 1 1
 Ok time for the Goodwins law: Hitler hitler hitler hitler hitler, hitler was a vegetarian too
  • 1 0
 Hitler himself was a socialist. Nazi : National Socialist German Workers' Party
  • 1 0
 " A small, limited government that cannot interfere in an economy isn't worth a corporations time to lobby."

That statement is so absurd, as usual for you. . If the govt is small and limited the corporations don't need to lobby because there are no regulations to prevent them from exploiting the population or the environment fo" their own profit, at the public's expense. More bad logic;

"In a free market economy with limited government, any business would have to operate like a small business."

What does that ridiculous statement even mean? You apparently believe that if there were no govt regulation businesses would magically behave better and not be corrupt? Are you really that naive? Clearly you are:

"Government regulation created corporations. Rich businessmen lobbied to get laws that protect them from liability from actions taken by their business."

Again, you ridiculously try to blame "government" for the failures of capitalism to control the greed that capitalism clearly creates. Nice try, but not working.

Best Buy doesn't have guns but Halliburton and Blackwater do.

Hamncheez, I'm curious where you actually "studied" economics? Online class sponsored by The Heritage Foundation?
  • 1 0
 How can a business exploit people in absence of government action? How many guns does Google have? Lets compare the track record of Google versus the NSA. How about that Patriot Act? Has Samsung waterboarded anyone recently? How much money has facebook stolen from you? Lets take them to court and get a settlement. Halliburton and Blackwater only have guns because GOVERNMENTS HIRE THEM TO.

When you say businesses are corrupt, its true that some are. But what happens to corrupt businesses? They go out of business. Its checked by the market. What checks corrupt government? Google the UN report on North Korea. Look at whats happening in the Ukraine.

The only way a greedy businessman can get rich without hiring the government is to provide a service or good that people will buy. You can only lie and cheat people out of money for a short time before you end up bankrupt.

Is there a role for government? Of course! Some guy cheats you or lies about their product then you sue them and their business! Very powerful incentive to not lie and cheat!
  • 1 0
 Apparently there is no hope for us. Goodwin's law does not apply to us. Using the word "Hitler" did not end up the conversation. Deeeight lied...
  • 3 0
 Oh I love this one: he who lives without capitalism around you, let him cast the first smart phone Big Grin
  • 1 0
 "How can a business exploit people in absence of government action?"

Umm.... very easily. A 12 year old could have told you that.

"But what happens to corrupt businesses? They go out of business."

My god you really are a completely naive child. Successful corporations have to be corrupt to be successful for the most part. How do you think they avoid paying taxes and get subsidies from govt? ALL the oil companies are obviously corrupt, for example.

www.scientificamerican.com/article/dark-money-funds-climate-change-denial-effort

Hamncheez I wondered why you never answered any of my questions but it has become obvious you are intellectually incapable. You write like a 11 year old and the logical side obviously hasn't progressed much beyond that either. Anyone who is paying attention to anything going on in the world would not write something as stupidly naive as this:

Hamncheez "You can only lie and cheat people out of money for a short time before you end up bankrupt."

No, Hamncheez, lying and creating are the easy way to make money in capitalism. Look around you, kiddo.

Well, enjoy your capitalist Ponzi Scheme while it lasts

m.chronicle.com/article/We-Are-All-Madoffs/48182
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 When the conversation changes from debate to name calling, the debate has ended. Since capitalism is so evil, please turn in your cell phone, mountain bike, computer, car, dental braces, any medications, and your contacts to the nearest government office. They will take care of you.
  • 1 2
 Wasn't really a debate, mainly just me ripping your naive ideas about. ... everything.

According to your most recent display of bad logic in your long string of right wing mental diarrhea, nobody can criticize anything they are a part of. Incredibly not convincing.

You came on here naively spouting the benifits of capitalism, got immediately shot down on that, and then you never even denied it was a ponzi scheme, never answered one question, or even attempted to counter any of my ideas.

You call that a debate?
  • 1 0
 “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
-Socrates
  • 2 0
 Well then, I await your slander, because all of your weak, right wing talking points are the clear loser in this exchange.

You gave up defending capitalism as soon as I pointed out the fact that it is a Ponzi scheme lie, very ineffectively tried to blame the financial crash on socialism, and then resorted to complaining about government regulation. What next? Global warming is a hoax? Obama is a muslim socialist who wasnt born in America? Corporations deserve the same rights as individuals? Give me some more of those unique American right wing nuggets of intellectual genius, sponsored by WalMart, AIG, and Exxon.
  • 2 0
 Well thanks to Wal-Mart, as a low price income wage earner my buying power is greatly increased. This allows me to have more "disposable" (for my health right) money for mtb.

I have a friend whom just won a contract to make aerodynamic parts for walmart trucks.
$2million.
Am I anti 'chamber of crony capitalists' and many of the k street bundlers and establishment rino republicans ala statists?...hell yes.
When companies can't fail in a free market,..when govt picks winners, no bid contracts (Obama care)...the fed isn't audited by we the people. ..that's trouble.
  • 1 0
 So a gradually rising standard of living over the course of 200 years, with malnutrition disappearing, infant mortality becoming near-unheard of, life expectancy doubling, and a near 100% literate population is a ponzi scheme, but a US Federal government 17 trillion dollars in debt, with $30-$70 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities via Social Security and Medicare is not a ponzi scheme.

If we both can't agree that people not dying is a good thing, how can we have a debate? While you hypocritically sit on your computer that was produced by Capitalism, ride you bike produced by these "evil" corporations, and use a website that itself is a corporation.
  • 1 1
 "So a gradually rising standard of living over the course of 200 years, with malnutrition disappearing, infant mortality becoming near-unheard of, life expectancy doubling, and a near 100% literate population is a ponzi scheme..."

Absolutely! How could anyone deny capitalism is a ponzi scheme after reading this article?

m.chronicle.com/article/We-Are-All-Madoffs/48182

"...but a US Federal government 17 trillion dollars in debt, with $30-$70 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities via Social Security and Medicare is not a ponzi scheme. "

As I already explained, all of those things you complain of are a result of a democratically elected system that has very clearly been corrupted by capitalism. Why did Reagan start running up big deficits in the 90's? Pretty sure he didn't take the advice of Socialists. He was a capitalist who started the big deficit spending in America. Obamacare is also completely based upon capitalism, the health care companies essentially wrote it, again. .. maximizing private profits while minimizing public risk. The capitalist corporate forces bankrupt the govt to maximize profit for shareholders.. ALL of the financial failures of America land on the doorstep of capitalism.
  • 1 1
 "If we both can't agree that people not dying is a good thing, how can we have a debate? "

The question is should we continue human growth to the point of obvious suicide for everything and everybody, or should we try to create a society that is sustainable and will last. All of your comments indicate you want the continued growth that capitalism demands which is essentially complete suicide, hamncheez... but hey at least everybody will be able to read when we all die because of a burned up planet.

my.firedoglake.com/cassiodorus/2012/08/16/save-the-planet-from-global-warming-phase-out-capitalism

I prefer the option of contiuing life for future generations to enjoy. .. but it will take a lot of sacrifices from the human race and a rejection of capitalist forces of suicide that you clearly embrace.
  • 1 0
 hamncheez - economics students make my head hurt. No offence but you speak as if you have lots of book learning and very little experience in the field. The derivatives sector which was the main contributor to the 2008 crash was notoriously unregulated. Your statement that the financial sector was highly regulated ignores the fact that the regulation is not substantive. I know all this because my job was to find chinks in the loopholes in the system.
  • 2 1
 "notoriously unregulated" how is 140,000 PAGES of regulation "unregulated"?
  • 2 1
 Where on earth did you go to school? You made that up. OTC derivatives have very little regulation
  • 1 0
 I can't find the exact source at the moment(im at work) but the recently passes bill "Dodd-Frank" has spawned 14,000 pages of regulation all by itself in only a few years, all if it written by unelected bureaucrats. How many people have read 14,000 pages in their lifetime? We are all (US residents) subject to this regulation, and ignorance is no excuse. Another problem is that all this regulation is written in legalese, and i doubt many of us have gone to law school. Here is an excerpt from the regulation CREATED by Dodd-Frank:

in the matter following subparagraph (L), by inserting after Such term the following: includes revenues earned by a broker or dealer in connection with a transaction in the portfolio margining account of a customer carried as securities accounts pursuant to a portfolio margining program approved by the Commission.

Who on earth can understand that? I don't, but I am still subject to it.
  • 1 0
 The first step to learning is admitting that you didn't know. Dodd-Frank is a 2010 bill largely designed to target to big to fail institutions with some sop to consumer protection. It had nothing to do with regulating OTC Derivatives.

There was a push to regulate the OTC derivatives market (CFTC in particular pushed to expand oversight). Industry lobbied against it largely on the basis that it was self-regulated and that market forces would prevent industry participants from taking on risk. As we all now know that turned out to be a disaster and resulted in the 2008 financial implosion and the current macro environment. It's widely viewed by many, including myself, as the most prominent example of how poorly pure capitalist markets work
  • 1 0
 The derivatives market took a huge correction in 2008 largely from the housing crash- a government created crash. I agree there was a lot of fraud. I agree a lot of top execs in big companies got "off the hook", but this is because of Federal regulations, not in spite of it. The regulatory environment, plus the potential for bailouts, makes it very profitable to be as large as possible. Banks and investment houses are incentivized to buy each other out. it makes competition from new/smaller firms nonexistent. How is it capitalism when entities in a market are bailed out? How is that deregulation? It wasn't just the bailouts themselves, it was the knowledge that they probably would be bailed out that led to some very perverse behavior.

PS section VII of Dodd-Frank deals very specifically with over the counter derivatives.
  • 2 0
 My reference to the OTC derivatives market was in the context of countering your argument that regulation of the financial sector is sufficient to keep it safe. My point was the Dodd-Frank did not exist in 2008.

The derivatives market took a huge correction because large complex instruments allow FIs to take leveraged bets on the housing market direction. Sure your federal government created a situation where a housing bubble could inflate. FIs created the liquidity and the cash printing machine to allow people to finance housing. Those same FIs who created the liquidity casino then took large bets on the direction of the casino. To blame it all on the government is simplistic and naive at best.

I agree that the TBTF syndrome is now entrenched by the government's actions. However I'd go further and say that what the government's actions did was to create uncertainty. Bear was left to fail. Ditto Lehman. Yet AIG was bailed out. And arguably so was Morgan and others. You now have socialized capitalism where the taxpayer is the ultimate backstop and all you Americans subsidize banks. But, and this is the big but.... all of you allowed this to happen. Where were the arrests of investment bankers? Instead the public rails against some ephemeral monster conjured up on political bi-partisan lines.

Finally and I've typed too long on a very complex topic. I would argue that the OTC derivatives market was as pure a capital market as I've ever seen. And it failed. In insanely dramatic fashion. This is why so many pro-capitalism as an end-all be-all people (I was one of them in the past) say that capitalism is inherently unworkable given the venal nature of humans.

Thank you for an interesting conversation and having an open mind
  • 2 1
 Gawd .how do you people not kill yourself everyday for even knowing that stuff?

All systems are corruptable.True free markets, in the end, I believe do the most good for most people who willing to work and don't just always take the path of least resistance.

Start talking communism/socialism and you can go f yourself; )
  • 1 0
 It's interesting. To me anyway. The constructs that little wee ants scurrying around on the earth trying to figure out how to move money around is inherently fascinating. And knowing the system and how to game it is inherently is a useful way to make money. Also I like to understand how large financial institutions came to run the US government. There's a certain beauty to how they own the government and the institutions of governance body and soul. One could almost say that it is almost as fascinating as riding two wheeled objects around on dirt Agreed that all systems are corruptible
  • 1 0
 LAST WORDS yes, it is nice and intellectually stimulating to talk/debate someone who is knowledgeable about the subject, whos main support of their argument isn't "you are a right wing nutjob" or "your arguments are mental diarrhea", or "you have the mind of a 12 year old".

I will say this, however: the OTC derivatives market would have failed in absence of government, but the market would have been much smaller in absence of government regulations and a government controlled central bank. I remember the exact lecture in my econometrics (statistics) class when we went over derivatives and credit swaps. The main problem seemed to be that they were calculated assuming mortgage defaults were independent, identically distributed random variables, instead of being locally/regionally correlated. I don't remember the math (6 years ago now), but using IID random variables meant that they thought that one mortgage failing had not effect on the neighborhood, which of course is absurd.

However, would these investment houses have used such an assumption if the government didn't protect them from risk? I think not. At the bottom of the underwriting chain was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, plus the potential bailouts and the Federal Reserve lending money for free. Take these away, and even if the crash had happened it would have been smaller and more localized. Capitalism is not perfect, but I believe that it is the best option we have.

If free individuals, acting in their own best interest sometimes fail, how can individuals in government who bear no benefit for success or cost for failure perform any better?
  • 1 0
 If capitalism is the best option we have, you sure didn't make a strong case for it.

Capitalism is surely not the best option we have, when all it has led to is a bankrupt ponzi scheme nobody wants to acknowledge. But it has clearly proven to be the most effective and efficient instrument for resource depletion and environmental destruction, all in the name of "human progress" and "freedom". But just remember, freedom isn't free, and the children will pay the cost of our sins.

The best option we had was philosophy, but we embraced materialism and "freedom" instead.
  • 2 1
 Ponzi scheme.Check
Resource depletion.Check
Eviromental destruction. Check
Children will pay. Check

well, you nailed your talking points for the 15th time, thanks for that.

Awaiting your brilliant , religion free philosophy that will save the planet and yet cause no human misery or subjugation. (Of course I realize that that's not possible and you'd actually prefer that, but let's see
if you can get out of your comfort zone)

I'd like to point out that the planet isn't actually alive and it dosent give a shit what happens or dosent. The whole argument relies on human habitation in the first place.
It's also fun to watch you spin out of control on any and every subject, you must be soo much fun around the holidays
  • 2 1
 I would just like to point out, the human factor in all this pseudo capitalist, pseudo regulated, pseudo socialist goo. Just as it is normal for the people in power to get seduced to exploit the system, it is normal for regular people to get caught in the greed cycle and eat the neo-liberal candy. We may crap as much as we like on banking but who the hell takes those loans? I am sorry, if someone with middle class income is barely 40, and already has a house full of crap, two expensive cars and holidays twice a year, then he is a douche. Even if he had a great salary, he has probably taken loan for 80% that he surely has next to no possibility to pay if anything goes wrong. I remember my friend telling me back in 2008 that I should buy a house to sell it, why?! There are people taking loans to pay for holidays! There is a tiny shitty pizzeria on my street, and the "owner" drives around in a BMW M6. How? Where did you get money for such car? Why do you need such car in the first place?" The biggest trouble i have with banks is: why the hell is it so easy to take a loan? We are so much about generating surplus - why? why do we need surplus? Why are we so much about growth? I like it make no mistake, I have almost 5 bikes. But this mentality is exactly the thing that creates the trouble: get more of the good stuff, now.

So I do look into the mirror before I throw too much crap at other people.
  • 1 0
 hamncheez - the model that's used is Value at Risk. Its not completely dependent on correlations but part of VaR assumes correlation. There's still some debate about this but most would agree that the part that government played in aiding the market was lack of regulation; the regulation being to require that market participants mark-to-market the value of their derivatives books and include that value in their capital requirements (pretty common regulatory requirement for most assets except for OTC derivatives)

I'm getting a bit technical and boring here but FNM and FRM bought mortgages through MBS - mortgage backed securities. The real big problems were not MBS (they were huge losses but maybe could have been absorbed in the ordinary course of business). The real big problems were CDOs and CDO squared which had quite a bit more leverage and substantially worse effects on balance sheets when they collapsed. Fannie and Freddie did not participate in that market.

Final point - the Fed didn't lend money to the participants who got into trouble - until the big US bailouts occurred the Fed loaned only to Tier 1 banks. The smaller fry participants (the Bear, Lehmans of the world) screwed up by themselves using their own capital and not Fed money. The Fed can definitely be blamed for being inconsistent though and saving some FIs and not saving others. Also for constantly allowing stock and housing market inflation by being perceived to be the big money printing Ponzi scheme (whoops I used the word) enabler by pouring USD into the system.

Honestly its simplistic to paint the government intervention as black and capitalism as white. There are lots of shades of grey. Except for investment banks. All of them are the devil and should be sent to the guillotine or forced to ride fixie rigid 29ers in sand for the rest of their lives
  • 2 0
 Waki - you hit the nail on the head. The root of the evil is our greed and want. We feed a system that then feeds our want. All that so we can buy a house, a car, a bike and then have to work so much to pay for the house that we don't have time to enjoy, the car that we drive an hour commute to work and the bike that you don't ride because you're too tired. We get the system we deserve
  • 3 0
 Just an fyi--
I'm 44
my cars are 13 years old and paid off.One of them runs on waste vegetable oil
my house has alot of "crap" half of which I made with my own hands.
I have very little savings, but all my 2 wheeled objects approach 30g's. (Please don't tell my wife)
...i just realized I look like a hippie, but I also believe in something that resembles moderation and if I'm gonna argue with somebody, my life shouldn't portray hypocrisy (cough, cough , Protool)
I don't deny things are out of walk and maximum profit for the sake of it is one of the roads to hell, indeed.
I still will believe in individuality and freedom, but my life is lived in self imposed restraint and constant self analysis of motive and balance.
And just because other people screw up the "philosophy" of capitalism and a free market system, I do my darnedest to keep my self in line and live it the way I think it should be. That's about all I can do.
So, fuk ELF and Occupy wallstreet.
  • 3 0
 We can lament "want" all we want.
It's just dumb to cry tears over that.
ITS NOT GOING AWAY.

my mortgage is pretty damn cheap and my shop is 2.5 miles away from my house (which I do enjoy)
These are all personal decisions that add up to what your own life is.They aren't all easy or the most glamorous, but for Christs sake take control of your own life before somebody else does.Get some balls ya buncha pansies!
Wink
  • 1 1
 Scary: "I'd like to point out that the planet isn't actually alive and it dosent give a shit what happens or dosent. "

I never said it was alive, so that point has no substance. But there is a pretty amazing, complex ecosystem on the planet with billions of fascinating creatures that are alive. Your existence depends upon it. It is starting to break down in case you haven't noticed. Pretty sure you haven't noticed. .. but your children will.

Scary; "We can lament "want" all we want. It's just dumb to cry tears over that. ITS NOT GOING AWAY"

The tears will come from our children who pay the heavy price for our capitalist-fueled philosophy of greed that is so apparent in statements like that. It's as if there is no ability for self-reflection or control, almost a sense of pride in complete greed...and at the expense of your own children....and absolutely no shame over it.



Waki: "We are so much about generating surplus - why? why do we need surplus? Why are we so much about growth?...But this mentality is exactly the thing that creates the trouble: get more of the good stuff, now. "

Like I said, philosophy was our best chance.. But I guess philosophy was too boring of a subject to ever be embraced by the human race. So civilisation has had no guide, except illegitimate religions that don't have much to say on environmental issues or economics. I agree with your statements on banks and loans, it is what has enabled the whole ponzi scheme.
  • 2 0
 You are one dense MF'r.Your constant nattering using the exact same worthless verbiage is beyond infuriating.
I pointed out plenty of personal examples to make the point that it is possible to be a " capitalist" and be responsible in your personal actions and deeds.Yet you constantly pick out one sentence to make a emotional whirlwind of the same stupid , regurgitated talking points
" It's as if there's no ability for self reflection or control"
WHAT THE f*ck ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? DID YOU EVENT READ WHAT I WROTE? !!
How many thousands of dollars did YOU spend on you vehicle so that it ran on waste vegetable oil, reducing YOUR carbon footprint..or whatever bullsh1t you want to vomit up? HUH?!
How close did you purposely move to you place of work so that you're not sitting in traffic and can spend that time with your kids, so they don't grow up to be illogical, panty wastes that can't think skeptically about their own arguments ?
I pointed out SEVERAL instances of personal decisions that either cost me money or time or made decisions made of other criteria than money.
i can absolutely guarantee that i put more thought and reflection into my daily decisions than you and ten other people.
Not all of them concern your "god" but some of them actually DO.And it's alot more than pressing a "like" button on Facebook.
The fact that you can't even acknowledge any of it proves to me that you do want an answer or to have take a step down off your moral high ground. The very fact that I exist disproves that disparate "philosophies" can coexist in the same space.Well, they can .
You either steer me to this f'n "philosophy" which I already asked you to do , or shut your goddamn hole.
And yes , I'm a little pissed
  • 1 0
 Free markets not internalizing the true cost of their activities via pollution is a very legitimate concern. Of this there is no doubt. However,lets look at the alternative: centralized government controls. The biggest polluters of all time have been Socialist governments, with the leader being the USSR. China and India, both highly socialist countries, lead the pack today.
  • 1 1
 Hm... Energy use means pollution, one country still uses more energy than all other combined including Russia and China... What was the Bhopal disaster about? Fertilizer for food to be sold to whom? Hindu? No... the producrion in China, who does it serve most? Chinese people? No... people swimming in dye and pesticides in India making clothes for H&M company residing in a socialist, world caring, organic, vegan hippie-hipster fk Sweden? Do not even go there Hamncheez...
  • 1 0
 Google USSR's nuclear testing history. Also, organic farming is far more destructive than using modern science.
  • 1 1
 I don't know how Soviet nuclear testing falls in here when US had performed enough armospheric and naval nuclear tests by itself to cancer up the whole world popularion. I don't really need communists to fill that picture.

Ad to organic farming... you are a true useful idiot, sorry... then I wish oeople stop referring to science as to some shapeless powerful goo in the sky, few more posts on What research proves what? Was an oceanographer, bloke researching neurplasticitu chemist at fertilizer plant, food technologist, or my wife who is a scientist as well, she's into urban planning. These are all scientists. Researh made by Dr. Vandana Shiva proves organic farmong to be a solution to world hunger, and green revolution and dependance of food production on fossile fuels to be putting us in the trouble in the first place. A guy working at monsanto researching the possibilty for the plants to be poisonous to bees or at least render them infertile is also a modern scientist.

What's next, human induced global warming is a hoax? Sarah Pahlin is smarter than Bush Jr?

Im not eating anomre of your can of worms, enjoy your cancer
  • 1 1
 Sorry for typos but I wrote it from my smart phone. Screw all I wrote above. I buy and eat eco-labeled food, preferably organic, because I have at least a chance that I am eating less of the profit induced toxic crap, and people farming it are a bit more healthy just as the land they work on. If you are going to cite me that fairy tale about pests living on corn, harmful to human brain,causing retardations, then don't even bother. Modern science... careful! thy shall not say the name of the lord in vain my son!
  • 1 1
 scary: "u sorta pretended to care in the one obvious guilt-fueled post, or the tea party loving, govt hating, regulation hating white male you appear to be in all your other parts? Taking personal responsibility is great, but unless govt's start massively regulating carbon consumption from industry we don't have a chance.

Scary: "You either steer me to this f'n "philosophy" which I already asked you to do , or shut your goddamn hole."

I won't shut up, thank you. But i will keep making points that you obviously can not refute. You guys attempted to claim capitalism was a good thing, I corrected you and pointed out that it is a corrupt ponzi scheme. Nobody has refuted this fact so this is where the conversation stands: Capitalism Failed. Period. That means that you guys lost the debate. Unless you have something new to reveal about the financial crash of 07-08.

Hamncheez: "Also, organic farming is far more destructive than using modern science."

Says only Monsanto, and of course you believe the corporation over actual environmental scientists. Also, I think the average American has a carbon footprint 12 x as big as the average Chinese person, but nice try.
  • 1 0
 I will take the financial crash of 07-08 over and over to your unstated "philosophy" of communism which has murdered upwards of 100 million people.
You have won nothing. You are as lost as lost can be, inside your arrogant, self righteous , little world, where you cannot fathom another perspective other than your own. Which is why you can't understand someone who would dare despise their government or being controlled, free to be responsible and take care of those around him and affect What he can actually change.Its called being free.And I don't think very many people who have it and appreciate it are going to had it over .
Since you simply refuse to offer any alternative paradigm to what you consistently bitch and bitch about, I will assume that you have none that dosent essentially mean the violent deaths of millions if not billions of people.
SO.I leave you now to be tormented inside your own head....But, beware.Its seriously a dark ,twisted place.
  • 1 1
 Scary: "You either steer me to this f'n "philosophy" which I already asked you to do , or shut your goddamn hole."

I'm not going to claim to be a messiah, but it's not difficult to imagine a philosophy where you simply embraced the idea of being in balance with nature, avoid using fossil fuels as much as possible, and simply not mortgage the economic and ecological future for short term benefit. But how could a philosophy like that compete with religion, which promises eternal life, redemption of all sins, and the ability to reunite with lost loved ones. Its a tough sell, "christian" George Bush winning the election over "environmentalist" Al Gore is the classic example. It would take a lot of attention to education and environmental science, and even ethics for a philosophy as I mentioned to exceed, which are all things that capitalism has compromised.

I ran across this yesterday, it's amazing how much influence the food and chemical corporations in the us have over the population.


htttp://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28318.cfm

I'm not sure about #2 though.
  • 1 1
 Me: "capitalism Failed. Period. That means that you guys lost the debate. Unless you have something new to reveal about the financial crash of 07-08.

Scary: "I will take the financial crash of 07-08 over and over to your unstated "philosophy" of communism"

Not surprising, you seem like the greedy Jack Madoff type. Just remember, freedom isn't free and ponzi schemes always have a traffic ending. The spoiled, arrogant, angry greed nearly all of your statements represent epitomizes the complete and utter moral and intellectual failure of Americans.
  • 1 0
 Us: here is some evidence for consideration.

Protour: Twelve year old rant about something. Insults. Obscure website link.
  • 1 1
 ... says the person who most obviously lost the debate.


Me: Capitalism turned into an immoral fiscal and ecological ponzi Scheme.

You guys: meaningless personal insults and complaints about my ideas, but no actual ideas of your own to refute them.


Scary actually did admit defeat when he said he would take the crash of 07-08 over some type of other sustainable economic system. What's your choice hamncheez?
  • 2 0
 Play all the word games you want.Youre a communist.
Is Putin concerned about the environment? Does he give 2 shits about anything besides power? Are the people of Ukraine and Venezuela watching their countries fall apart because of not enough communism? Seriously?
Lump all Americans into one caraciture if you want, but we've got so much of your socialist bullsh1t over here already, most people are just as ignorant as you are.
Don't worry, we're working on becoming just another shit hole of a country...While Canada makes more strides toward freedom a capitalism.Pretty soon, you'll have to move down here just cuz you can't stand the stench of being free. You evil , greedy Canadians own half the real estate in Arizona anyway.But,Im sure we could stop you at the border...
We look for people with their head up their own asses and send them to DC....you'd be welcomed into the Obama administration in a second.
  • 2 0
 Scary1, reasoning with someone who doesn't come to their conclusions via reason is a fruitless endeavor.
  • 1 0
 Hilarious how all you guys can attempt to do now is personalize the debate and somehow try to make it be about me and not the clear and obvious failures if capitalism, of which you have still have yet to refute.

Scary just yells "communism!!", and hamncheez apparently can't answer one simple question.
  • 1 0
 Scary; "Gawd .how do you people not kill yourself everyday for even knowing that stuff?"

I love the way you put your intellectual brilliance on such public display.
  • 1 0
 ...as you sit there, on a COMPUTER, powered by a COAL PLANT, riding your bike made from mined aluminum, driving your internal combustion engine to get to trails, using the internet. Breathtaking hypocrisy.
  • 2 0
 It's because I'm not above self deprecating humor. Try it.You might find that not being a total self important, douche might help your hatred of everything and everyone around you
  • 1 0
 Scary"..as you sit there, on a COMPUTER, powered by a COAL PLANT, riding your bike made from mined aluminum, driving your internal combustion engine to get to trails, using the internet. Breathtaking hypocrisy."

More proof you guys lost the debate about capitalism. All you want to talk about is me now, and nice to see you guys desperately hitting the positive and negative props buttons.... very convincing...that you have no ideas to refute the failures of capitalilism.

"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."

Thomas Jefferson

That is exactly what you Americans let happen. You didn't listen to your founding fathers, shame on you.
  • 1 0
 Hamncheez: " Free markets not internalizing the true cost of their activities via pollution is a very legitimate concern."

According to your own flawed logic, you criticizing free markets makes you a........HYPOCRITE!!! At least I'm honest about it.

Congratulations on one again on tripping over your own shoestrings and falling on flat on your face.
  • 1 0
 That quote wasn't from me, idgit.
We haven't follow our founders for a long time.If we would, it would true free markets based on an electorate that is is grounded in "religon" and personal responsibility.


Thanks for admitting you lost the argument. It's not capitalism th
at failed , it's the corruption of govt and the economic system known as crony capitalism.
If you want to start a "Quotes by the founders " war, I will drown you.But,you don't want to learn anything cuz those guys will f you up
  • 1 0
 Sorry I misquoted you scary, that was from hamncheez.

Scary: "We haven't follow our founders for a long time.If we would, it would true free markets based on an electorate that is is grounded in "religon"

So you yourself think religion is illegitimate, but you think the reason capitalism failed is because America wasnt religious enough?

Truly hilarious how you use Republican talking points that you yourself say are based on an illegitimate religion, and yet you still repeat the lame religious right wing/tea party talking points because It's the only defense youve heard.

Scary, you aren't supposed to regurgitate those dumb religious talking points unless you are actually a brainwashed religious person yourself....because it makes you look even dumber than the religious people. Most of the founding fathers were actually very skeptical of religion.

America wasnt very politically religious until Ronald Reagan, who ironically was the first US President to start the huge deficit spending. But he was smart politician, he figured out how to use religion to manipulate people politically, and the Republicans have stuck with this approach to get the dumb religious hillbilly vote in the south ever since.
  • 1 0
 Look Dude, you can't even get my points straight so, this is my last post on this, it's getting very old. I said that I am a an agnostic, which means I don't know if there is a god or not. I don't discount the possibility, nor am I positive that there is nothing. I never said religion is illegitimate. I said that I see the positive force it generally is on people's lives when applied as intended...much like capitalism. You obviously have next to no knowledge of our founders and the depth of some of their beliefs. Some of them, not all of them.They where a pretty rounded out group of opinions and backgrounds. And fyi, ive been a registered Libertarian for quite some time and vote accordingly. ...So take your Republican talking points and your petulant attitude and suck it.
  • 1 0
 The Republicans have essentially adopted libertarian views on environmental and many economic issues so not much of a difference anymore except on social issues.

Scary: "You obviously have next to no knowledge of our founding fathers and the depth of some of their beliefs. Some of them, not all of them.They where a pretty rounded out group of opinions and backgrounds."

Wrong again, most of then were pretty clearly skeptical of the influence of religion:

www.addictinginfo.org/2013/07/04/35-founding-father-quotes-conservative-christians-will-hate

Even though religion is one of the factors that spoiled America, none of those quotes are as prophetic as the one by Jefferson i already posted. Its as if he knew exactly what would kick your ass and tried to warn you ahead of time, but you still let the corporations and banks kick your ass:

"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."
  • 1 0
 ...........meh
  • 2 0
 I will use this conversation as a place holder text when doing presentations in indesign
  • 1 0
 What WAKI, better than lorem ipsum?
  • 1 0
 Totaly... we should get Morgan Freeman to read it
  • 59 3
 I find this all really hypocritical as Pinkbike is supporting a consumerist society by feeding and manipulating our desires for aspirational status symbols that ultimately mean very little. If you really want a revolution give your 6K bike to a child who has nothing, bypass the coorporations and design and build your own bike to ride. Bikes are just another distraction designed to keep us consuming in just the same way as TV, cars, new clothes and any other stuff we don't actually need.
  • 4 3
 You sir win the day. Perspective is everything, without it we are all capable of too great a delusion.
  • 7 10
 At least bikes have the potential to improve society by providing alternative transportation to cars, so those who work in the bike industry stand on a moral high ground from that perspective.
  • 11 7
 I can't drop my kid off in school and then go pick up steel for my business on a bicycle. I run over your moral high ground on my f250
  • 4 10
flag Protour (Feb 13, 2014 at 10:52) (Below Threshold)
 Nope, you are just part of the problem. ... and it doesn't sound like you have a very fun job.
  • 8 2
 Yeah, doing what I love, when I want, how I want, going to lunch when I want and bringing my dog to work everyday really sucks ass, Protool.
  • 4 7
 Freedom isn't free, the price for all this will be paid in the near future as the climate continues to destabilize.
  • 5 1
 ...but I have to admit I'm jealous that you get to take your dog to work with you.
  • 2 2
 Kam-0-01....you hit the nail on the head. Pinkbike is getting weaker by the day. I couldn't finish reading this one. Perhaps Mr. Levy is sick of writing for pinkmountainbikeaction, pushing BS all the time. Perhaps he is the one who needs to call in sick, and give us all a day off.
  • 2 1
 You're right.Freedom costs a buck-o-five
  • 2 1
 you have to make up your mind what you are working for and most people leave that to whoever is screaming the loudest - jeep, nike and moet ads on tv, your neighbours wearing polo and lululemon, that jerk at work with his plastic wife, plastic sports car and annual holiday to Tobago....

me and my lady slaved away in London but that was for 11 months travelling world. we had no jobs, no home and no real plan, people thought we were crazy. my old man would never swallowed that idea of "do what you love for a living and you'll never work a day in your life." work was just what filled the time between what was important - family, relationships, learning, riding, loving, creating, surfing....
  • 1 0
 I love what i do....but yeah...that is the best part
  • 63 17
 Wow. Mike is this how you feel about your job? You gonna tell the boss to shove it so you can go ride?

Is this how you think we feel about our jobs? I rode this morning on some awesome trails, and then went to a place to do something I also love doing - work. Life doesn't have to be as described as above. You can wear a suit and tie to work. You can do technical things or manual things or have fun digging ditches or attend meetings without having to choose between one love and another. You can do everything you love.
  • 42 7
 Nope, not meant to be focused on anyone's job, even if it came off like that. More about priorities than anything else.
  • 56 11
 Sorry pinkbike, gotta disagree with the overbearing tone of the article. Not everyone can write for a bike mag/website for a living... Highly overeducated, yet underpaid engineer here; still get my 2-3 rides a week and aiming for podiums on the weekends. The people described in this article dont have time to check pinkbike and read long-form articles, let alone ride bikes. Definitely disagree with the implied sentiments of not taking your education/job and responsibilities seriously.

If you are going to do something, do it right.
  • 14 1
 guess I am somewhat lucky

I leave home for work, 5 days a week and ride one of my road bikes 25km to work

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10419804

once I get through the city (London) which is half my distance, I am riding through here the rest of the distance

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10555752

then I get to work and work on cool bikes all day:

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10599297

then ride the 25km home

on days off, I get to go mountain biking on trails only 2km from my house

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10224556
  • 10 0
 Mike I feel I understand this article. I think allot of the pinkbike community has a better life balance then allot of people out there. Most outdoor enthusiast I know seem to have a good life balance sorted out. That being said Who among us hasn't sat down at home and wondered if you need all of it and what life would be like if you could simplify it a bit more. Maybe to be able to ride your bike more or maybe to spend more time with your family etc. I love my life and enjoy my work, but I know that in the back of my mind there is always the little devil making you think that the grass might be greener on the other side.
  • 40 7
 Whilst its all a lovely idea, it really doesn't seem that practical. Do you think the Taiwanese factory workers who sit at a blinding, boiling hot welding station from sun up to sun down to make our lovely new framesets get to call in sick and go for a shred? throw their kids into a daycare that they haven't the money for, so they can relieve themselves of any responsibility? What the f**k makes you so special? Or closer to home, the engineer who sits at his computer for days on end staring at finite element analysis data to work out how to make your bike the light, stiff, and beautiful machine it is. what if he couldn't be arsed to go to work? We'd still all be riding beaten up klunkers and the sport would be nothing like it is today.

We don't actually "lose" our passions for things as we grow up, we just move our focus, our passions change from riding as much as possible, to making our partners and kids happy, and for the lucky few, our jobs that allow us to provide our society with our skills.

AND THIS IS NOT A BAD THING.
  • 18 1
 crikey - lighten up peeps. you don't have to pack in your job or love your wife less to appreciate the basic message here. Kick back when *you* can. its about the ride, not the bike...your life is a series of small decisions, and you won't be stopping economic development by getting out to ride a bit more when you can!...
  • 20 0
 @L0rdTom, you nailed it. Being "responsible" is what allowed me to have (and keep) a job that I actually like, buy things like bikes and skis and the gas to go use them, and accomplish things I'm proud of.... that and the fact that I'm lucky as f*ck to have been born where I was. Sometimes I can't ride because I have extra work, but I have a job that's at least a pretty interesting way to spend the day (and lets me browse PB haha). Sometimes buddies can't ride because they have families to take care of, but they have a wife and kids who love them. I get really creeped out when people talk about mtb like it's a religious thing, like it's something you need to be putting before your other responsibilities in life. If I can ride/ski a couple times a week and I have all my other shit together in life I'm doing it right. Some of my buddies with families ride once every few weeks and they're doing it right too. Some stuff is just way more important than mtb. It's recreation.
  • 1 0
 1000 props^^^ You nailed it
  • 5 0
 Missing the point.
  • 1 0
 Iamamodel i definetly agree with you, this is why i try hard as hell in school so that later in life i can work as an engineer (something i enjoy), not have to worry about money, and overall live my life doing things i love for the most part.
  • 2 0
 Amen to that @iamamodel. Do what makes you happy. You can balance work and play. But to Mike's point, the world is now polarized and obsessed with rich messes that can't be achieved my 99% of the world population and making the corporations richer. It's all b.s.
  • 25 1
 This is my first post here... I often read these articles from a different perspective...im a father...a husband and a provider first and foremost...then a mountain biker, hot rod builder and beer drinker...typical American..lol. keeping everything in perspective is the key to life...

Keeping things simple is the best advice I can give and often do to the younger crowd. Whatever priorities you have...keep in order.... enjoy those small victories...the hour long bike ride, the day at the bike park....or just the smile from your kid or a friend.
Don't get caught up in rebeling against the man, your boss or what kind of bike your buddy has...trust me if you truly want to "revolt"...revolt against your way of thinking...your job is a way to pay for the things you enjoy and the freedoms you have. Yes, I work late, I work hard but I also enjoy the result of both things...and as much as my boss wants me to I NEVER bring work home with me ( mentally, physically or emotionally)....thats how I revolt...My friends dont work hard or late or even "work" and waste time bitching about how unfair everything is...as the world keeps on turning and doesn't give a shit....along with me.

Live within your means, Keep a low overhead, pay your bills and have fun with people you love...keep it simple...that's the key.

Find your own way to "revolt"...
  • 5 0
 Great first post.
  • 1 0
 Rich, you don't live in the Phoenix area do you? LolSmile
  • 1 0
 Priorities don't have to be hierarchical. I learned 5 years ago (died and was resuscitated/ snowboarding is dangerous) that for me being a good father, engineer and person requires minimum 10 miles a day off road. The more I ride the better I am at everything I do. After prioritizing riding my career and relationships improved drastically and continue to.

Today I work 4 hours early solving environmental problems, ride Demo forest in Aptos 4 hours then help kids with home school and do more office work. Yesterday rode 20 miles with my teenage girls and got 6 hours of work in to reduce human exposure to lead at one site and carcinogens at another. The point a agree with Mike on most is that if you feel riding should be a top priority then do it. This is not about self indulgence. I'm on 3 month CA riding vacation ( we live in Haines AK) and whole family is getting their needs met. Riding more will improves efficiency by completing you with happiness. That shit goes a long way.
  • 19 0
 These kind of thoughts about priorities and lashing out against how a "normal" life detracts from personal priorities are obviously those of a person without a few children. Having kids naturally sorts all of this out.

I have always been open, even with co-workers, that biking is more important than work. I explain to them how, in my world, being a better biker actually makes me a much better employee. Pre-kids, I always had the $5k bike and cars with blue book values too low to even sell.

But no rational or happy person puts biking in front of their kids as a priority. Night riding helps me satisfy both priorities the way I want...I can deal with burning the candle at both ends and missing sleep (most parents are desensitized to a night of sleep deprivation). On weekend days where I'm going to do an all day mission, my son and I both feel the sting of missing all that time together. Nonetheless, he is supportive of my absence from home to go biking, and I dream of someday taking long road trips to far away bike destinations with him. Biking clearly makes me a better father, too.

I always strive to build more ride time into my life, always, and I never miss a ride. Even if conditions are nasty, with kids, you go the moment you can. But that doesn't mean I spiral down into an existential funk when I don't get it. And you don't blame your kids for missing rides, after all I had them, they didn't choose to take ride time away from me.

Children will bless your life with a profound perspective on what is important, among many other things. There is always a balance, a middle ground, and as long as you're livin' it right, there is always a way to be happy.
  • 1 0
 Amen to that. My second one is coming in less than a month. I can relate to what you just wrote.
  • 3 0
 the birth of my son and carrying out my younger brother's dnr wish on his death bed from cancer reshaped and continues to remind me how to try to walk thru, around, over and definitely ride thru life since, with a little bit more grace, open mindedness and perspective that kids have. for me rides relax, remind, and replenish what i need. sounds as if your revolt just needs a few hours of pedal induced revolutions instead. i liked reading your article, mike. the thing with perspectives are that there are plenty to look at and choose to call your own. write and ride on, mr levy.
  • 1 0
 Congrats, pimipmylama! my second is my 1.5yo daughter; normally she has been so sweet and affectionate towards me that my brain explodes. But she didn't earn mention in my first post because right now she's in a mommy phase and wont even look at me...the little gremlin.
  • 7 12
flag Protour (Feb 13, 2014 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 "Children will bless your life with a profound perspective on what is important, among many other things."

I call bs. You try to make it sound like people who don't have kids are missing out on the most important thing in life. Many of us who have chosen not to pro-create think the world is over populated and that there is no reason to add to the problem. At what point does the madness of destroying the environment stop? Certainly not when people pretend that your life is not complete without children.

If you want kids, fine that's your priority and I will not criticize you for it. I love my parents and wife, but I also love my free time. ALL of my friends who have had kids over the years now ride significantly less, there are no exceptions to this rule. This is partly why I am so resentful about children. The most important thing for young readers to take from this article is:

IF YOU WANT TO RIDE YOUR MOUNTAIN BIKE MORE DON'T HAVE KIDS!!!
  • 4 1
 you're resentful about children because your friends who chose to have children don't ride with you anymore? bastards! i think you're aim is off.
  • 4 1
 Richard Dawkins to Protour: you lose.

That is all.
  • 7 9
 It's usually the wife who is responsible for making the kids happen. Even if they say they don't want kids, once they get in the mid or late thirties the biological clock ticks in, they see all their girlfriends with kids,so they think they need kids to validate their own existence.... pathetic. The best way to avoid this is get fixed. .. don't take any chances.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. So you're fixed, right?
  • 4 2
 Protool, I'm sure you of all people would benefit from children.Who else would you get to agree with all your naive, ignorant, childlike views?
I think you'd have soo much fun!...especially in the babbling phase.Babies that crap themselves would see you as a genius!
This morning I hugged my 11 and 17 year old and told them how proud I was a both of them, cuz they're such good people.
..I've never had a reason to tell my bike that.
If all works out well, my kids will change this world to a better place than it is.
Better than my stupid bikes...and YOURS TOO.
  • 4 0
 Seriously? You think that's the reason they don't ride with him?:/
  • 3 0
 Protour, I see your point of view on this because I've been there. My wife wanted kids before I did, and I just wanted to play...true. This world is overpopulated; also true.

But going forth and creating progeny is THE pinnacle of the human experience. And its called life, after all; there's hardly a better way to validate your own existence than by ensuring your own genetic code survives on after you. You could somehow make the world a better place throughout your life, but the vast majority of us don't make large-scale impacts and having kids doesn't make you any less likely to positively impact the rest of humanity.

How poetic of you; content to leave only a few slashes of brown-pow roosts on this earth after you die. Sacrificing one of life's great experiences for the sake of the environment and not contributing to overpopulation, haha, good on you mate!

I think the kids thing is really where the idea behind this article breaks down. You have kids and all the sudden you do have to work your ass off just to have a reasonable quality of life for your family, a couple of bikes, and slivers of time to ride them. You can't shirk responsibility to ride because then the whole model breaks down, so you EARN your rides. You try to avoid over-consumption and live relatively simply, but then you have to have a birthday party for your son because all his friends have been having them since they were three and all of a sudden your house is literally full of toys and DVDs...effing life in America, man!

I guess maybe the point of the article is don't have kids; just spend your life having fun? I mean PB is out to sell bikes, and my stable would sure be a hell of a lot fancier if I didn't have them...
  • 2 0
 protour definitely should not have kids
  • 2 0
 Ha, scary is right, I probably would benefit from children. I guess they are fun, on halloween I've put ice in the bags along with the candy for some of them. For me, the point of the article is that if you are passionate about riding, make it a very high priority in your life.
  • 3 0
 "going forth and creating progeny is THE pinnacle of the human experience." - that didn't sound judgmental at all did it.
  • 4 0
 Who the f@ck would marry protour?
  • 20 4
 Guess what Mike. Hard work isn't a bad phrase. A hard day's work makes me enjoy hitting the trails even more. And moreover, I love doing a job that gets me thinking, that puts me in front of people and challenges me. The overly sentimental tone of the article was exposed in your last paragraph - call work and tell them you're sick. Really? Great, so you're saying we should let our team-mates, who are likely our friends, work extra hard because we couldn't be bothered showing up?
Piss weak Pinkbike.
  • 8 0
 Chill bro. It's an "opinion" piece.
We hear yours , why bash his ?
  • 1 0
 Yeah beeone, I did get a bit of a bee in my bonnet. Agree sometimes we all need to take stock, just don't agree it needs to be so black and white.
  • 1 0
 Lol. Bee in bonnet ......clever !
For some people it is black n white and some it's pretty gray.

I like to ride in the summer.
Last summer my boss asked my why I'm always sick and only work 4 days a week ?
I told him I can't get by on 3 !!!

A wise man once said
" Time flies , if your don't stop and take a look around every once in awhile you might miss it !"
  • 2 0
 Ferris was very wise man indeed!
  • 1 0
 Bueller ............Bueller ............
  • 19 2
 We don't watch television maybe rent a film or Netflix a series but no cable or satellite tv! However I have to work to afford ridiculously over priced bicycle components!
  • 5 1
 I should also add that I enjoy my job can afford my house, spend time with my family and get 4 days off a week (shift work) and get out on my bike for at least 4 + hours a week!
Tv does suck I agree less tv more cycling! Don't compromise your job
  • 13 2
 "Wake up tomorrow morning and call work to tell them that you're sick and won't be coming in."

If you cannot be honest with people in life, you cannot expect them to give you much benefit of doubt in return. There is always, let me repeat that, always, a way to maintain integrity whilst following a course of action that simultaneously lets other people down. Strive to find that course of action that keeps your integrity in your life, and you will be rewarded many times over in return. Your suggestion here Mike I am afraid to say, throws one's integrity out of the window, and should you follow such advice, along with it one can probably kiss goodbye to a large chunk of the respect others may have had for you. Eventually, you will run out of friends willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
  • 1 0
 Yes! Preach Dave!
  • 1 0
 wise words. too much lazy, too much irresponsible
  • 10 1
 I clicked on this article because I assumed you were describing a revolt against big brother, and the politicians that favor large corporations, the growing disparity between the rich and poor, and the politicians that are not addressing the needs of the middle class. A revolt against the confines of what society has made what you just described such a chore. And all this money that you are giving the government out of your 9-5 pay check that is being used to pamper politicians. Yes, a revolt of this nature would be nice because I know that there are better ideas and better people out there that could lead our countries and our world. But a revolt against yourself? The life you described in your article sounds miserable and boring. You must love what you do or it is not worth doing. Revolting against your job - calling in sick isn't going to get you anywhere. you really need to look inwards at yourself. Why did you get into this line of work to begin with? I'm sorry but if you dislike your work that much that feels as if you are living in a prison, then wake up, because YOU ARE. Our system is flawed in many ways but you have to make the most of it. What I'm trying to say is: if your going to revolt, make it count. Get your voice heard. Don't let the big man screw you with his flawed system. Its up to you to live the life you want and attempt to change the world around you.
  • 9 1
 I love pinkbike. You read a thought provoking peace which I must admit makes some sense (just ride your f*cking bike when you can-mostly it is by commuting for me-or time trial as I "euphemistically" call it so I have some modicum of fitness for those rides on the weekend) and at times reeks of indulgence-call in sick?!WTF. No matter. Then enjoy the debate. But lets face it when was the last time you watched anything on TV which changed your life. But bike riding-it changes your life everyday. For better or worse. So thanks Pinkbike and Mike. You crystallise what I love doing and thanks all of you for challenging dogma. We all need it.
  • 7 0
 @cosby...I've watched enough of the science channel to help turn me from a Christian to an agnostic...and enough cable news shows to turn me from a Republican to a registered Libertarian.
how's that?
  • 2 1
 Oh...i forgot..."Big Bang Theory"
That just makes me really happy
  • 1 0
 good point scary1-I guess I'm just jealous.....you see I've seen enough "christian behaviour" to turn me from an agnostic to a raving fringe lunatic atheist to the point that I thought my daughter was watching a cartoon that I thought was vaguely religious and took the flatscreen outside on top of a few bricks and used it as a jump. The result is I cant really comment on what is on tv-its broken now; I wont get any nominations for father of the year; the upside is I was having fun RIDING MY BIKE til the TV broke........
(warning there may be an element of truth to this whole story-scary eh?)
  • 10 2
 Thank goodness some of us morons get up and go to work so we can buy all the crap they advertise on Pinkbike! What a load of bum crap. Having a family, supporting them, sharing with them your passion is somehow selling out to the man? And being a derilict bum that has no responsibilities and lives only to gratify himself on the next good "ride" will find himself lonely, broke and will find little respect amongst his peers. Is this the kind of crap Pinkbike is shoving now?
  • 1 0
 wise words
  • 10 2
 I'm so tired of people writing about this topic. Unless this writer is living in a tent, killing his own food, wearing clothes he made himself, and riding a bamboo bike then shut the hell up. The real world does not allow you to live like a child with no responsibilities unless you are some grown man child with rich parents and even in that case someone is working to allow you that life style. I'm not saying that people couldn't benefit from more of a minimalist lifestyle and less focus on alway buying bigger and better, but to ditch work and responsibilities as an adult is absurd. For instance if I quit work and everyone in my industry did as well then where you would get heat for your home (whether large or small), your synthetic bike clothes, plastics, carbon bike parts, etc, etc.

I also love how some young live free kind of guy is always quick to throw people that have kids under the bus. I feel no need to apologize for the tremendous joy my children give me and the great responsibility (there is that word again) that comes with raising them. The only people that can appreciate that are those who lack selfish desires like just riding a bike all day every day enough to put someone else's interest and life above your own.

Last bit of advice for the writer...Grow up!
  • 1 8
flag Protour (Feb 13, 2014 at 9:46) (Below Threshold)
 I always throw people with kids under the bus and feel no need to apologize for it. Especially when pro-creators like you claim that those of us who don't have kids are somehow "selfish".
  • 6 0
 That's silly.Youre certainly not selfish by not having kids. Youre just generally douche-e.And that has nothing to do with children.
  • 3 0
 Protour, should your parents have been more "selfish"? If so, the neg propping would be used a lot less on Pinkbike...
  • 1 0
 Doesn't matter and I don't care. I'm alive and I'm here now.
  • 2 0
 Thanks kids. Thus concludes Protour's course in hypocrisy 101.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I'm a hypocrite for remaining alive. How convincing...
  • 1 0
 That makes absolutely no sense. You are not a hypocrite for remaining alive. You are being hypocritical for throwing breeders under the bus when it was breeders that resulted in your very existence. If having kids resulting in Protour being alive is a good thing, why is other people having kids a bad thing. Someone seems to have an over-inflated sense of self worth at the expense of pretty much EVERYONE ELSE in the world.
  • 1 0
 "If having kids resulting in Protour being alive is a good thing, why is other people having kids a bad thing"?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x98KFcMJeo&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  • 1 0
 Noone said everyone having kids is a good thing. In fact, I applaud people who realize that maybe not having kids is the best for them. There are already enough kids in the world with thoroughly crappy parents. Citing David Suzuki will not win you any fans in the world of real scientists. He is considered to be a hypocritical fear-monger-er by many scientists. Watch him truck around in his convoy of diesel belching buses and suv's while he touts CFL bulbs (you know, those mercury containing ones that really only save energy relative to incandescent bulbs when they are left on for long durations?) and gives everyone else hell for not living in a 'sustainable' fashion.

Once again, you are being hypocritical if you are fine with your existence but are not fine with others having kids. What about people with 2 kids or less? That does not contribute to a sustainable population. If you are going to generalize about the population propagating, please include your entire lineage in your argument.
  • 1 0
 What about the guy that made this video, is he also a hypocrite?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM1x4RljmnE&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  • 1 0
 You just don't get it or you are purposely avoiding the root of this debate. This is not about overpopulation, this is about you being a hypocrite. If you truly believe that the world is overpopulated, then don't be content with your existence because you are as much of a problem as anyone else. Looking at the replies you continually receive here, you are more of a problem than everyone else. Now if you can give me a good, real reason why the world is a better place with you in it compared to all the other people that you throw under the bus, I'll listen. Until then you are nothing but an arrogant hypocrite.
  • 1 0
 As hard as you try, the issue isn't about me. It is about overpopulation.

Do you think humans are any smarter than a sealed bottle of yeast?
  • 1 0
 Wrong. This whole debate started with this: "I always throw people with kids under the bus and feel no need to apologize for it."

And this: "Doesn't matter and I don't care. I'm alive and I'm here now."

If you were that worried about the world being overpopulated you would have a gun in your mouth right now to help the situation.

You are just deflecting this to overpopulation to try to make yourself look less arrogant and hypocritical. Do you really think everyone who has kids should be apologizing for it? Do you think you are better than everyone who has kids? How about people who have 1 kid? If every couple only had 1 kid the population would go into decline.

And for the record, a sealed bottle of yeast is NOT comparable to the world. Yeast will consume the food, then consume some of their waste products (e.g. diacetyl) then will stop metabolizing. I worked in a brewery lab (how inconvenient for you, eh?). Humans and the earth have the capability of growing more food. I'm not saying there will be a point where the world can't sustain an increasing population but the comparison is too simplistic to be accurate.
  • 1 0
 "Do you really think everyone who has kids should be apologizing for it?"

Yes, or at least be apologizing to their children for the condition of the planet they are bringing them into.

"Do you think you are better than everyone who has kids?"

Not better, just more educated and aware of the results of human hyper-breeding. Which is largely a result of circumstance, or luck.

"How about people who have 1 kid?"

How about no kids, more bikes, more free time, and lower carbon footprint?

"Yeast will consume the food, then consume some of their waste products (e.g. diacetyl) then will stop metabolizing"

Valid point. We certainly will not eat out children's feces, but we are absolutely currently consuming their future, from a financial, and most importantly, an ecological point of view.

m.chronicle.com/article/We-Are-All-Madoffs/48182
  • 1 0
 So you are saying you are more educated than me? I have 2 kids. I have a degree in biology. I have taken numerous courses in ecology, population genetics, microbiology etc. all of which address populations and their effects on their environment at one level or another. I am well aware of the effects of overpopulating.

If you think I should be apologizing for doing exactly what the role of every living organism on earth has evolved to do (procreate), you are going to be extremely disappointed. If you talked down to me to my face for having kids you would have some to deal with some consequences.

Canada is NOT overpopulated. We have huge land masses capable of growing enough food to support WAY More than 30,000,000 people. Canada is not reproducing exponentially. Go preach and talk down to people in places like China, India etc. Of course when you do that you will be violating human rights.
  • 1 0
 You have not mentioned any concern at all for the health of the planet which provides for our existence, but you claim you are well educated on the results of overpopulation. Sounds like yeast to me.
  • 1 0
 Populations on a whole don't put any more thought into what they are doing than yeast do. We have all evolved to procreate.
  • 7 0
 Wow...

You are the master of your destiny. Take charge of your circumstance. Shed the things in your life that are causing you the most stress and change the way you view the world and how you react to things going on around you. We are a consumer driven society. For some that is okay [the shareholders] for some it is not [the deeply debt ridden consumer]. Be comfortable with who you are who you surround yourself with and what you surround yourself with. If you have a family and a network of friends spend time with them. Enjoy their company. At then end of the day you cant take any of the consumer crap with you. People will remember you for who you are not what you consumed. This is where the difference is made. We all have time. We don't all have lots of money. Spend time, not money.
  • 7 0
 Epic rant I enjoyed it.
But in reality, I think you are ‘raging’ to the choir. There is no need to rant here. We all ride.
Of course, most of us probably not as much as we want but too much of a good thing can ruin it…ok maybe not, but it can change it. I don’t want to change how going for a ride makes me feel.
I would trade most of my workdays for a ride, but I still love my work. It’s given me a lot.
I choose to go ride most part of the week-ends and the evenings (apart from the winter months) instead of spending time with my daughter. I’m ok with that, but not more. When late fall arrives, then winter, I spend more time with her…I catch up.
I guess what I’m saying is; I think we get it, but I think most of us already live a life to accommodate our ridding. This is not putting a passion on the back burner and growing up to be fat and cosy in front of the TV. Take a look around, see all these unhappy people? They are consumers and that is what they live for. They get unhealthy, they get dumb, their behavior is alien, and they don’t care about dirt….we do. Even if we have jobs, families.
I have a TV from 1998 in the basement, no coach, nothing to sit on. My house is small and perfectly filled with nothing we don’t use. I drive a Fiesta that I love to leave parked. I have a beaten down shed filled with bikes that are ridden many hours per week.

We’re good here; don’t need to preach to the choir.
Cheers,
  • 4 0
 well said. most pinkbikers are probably living lives Mike Levy would approve of, ha!
  • 7 1
 Yeah, skipping work sounds like a great idea until you crash and have to return to work with your leg in plaster after having a few days off with 'Flu'. It makes it pretty obvious you're a skiving basta*d!
  • 6 0
 I love my work, aside from the obvious reoxigenation of the brain, mtb keeps me feeling like a kid through middle age. Consumerism and TV are what will make you old and regret your life.
  • 2 0
 Very well said. Short and sweet.
  • 5 0
 I can't read all the comments. Just want to express my disgust at the concept that I will be on my death bed thinking, "I wish I had 'pawned my kids off' more often and ridden my bike". Most likely it's going to be the exact opposite. Riding your bike is fun, dude, but let's not make it more than it is.
  • 4 0
 cool article mike... i can relate to it but i can also relate to what others are saying too! for me i could never take a day off work simply because of the fact that my country needs me! but on my holidays and on the weekends i get off then im tearing shit up on my wheels! and it also gives me something to look forward to!.... as for the TV, Well!? just listen to the Grandpa in the movie "LOSTBOYS" and buy a TV guide, read the TV guide and you wont need a TV Razz
  • 5 0
 Thanks for the highly original rant. You sure have life figured out. Where can I read about which $3800 entry level bike I should be riding? Because I couldn't just ride on a 93 Rockhopper right?
  • 4 0
 I feel like this article has to be taken with a grain of salt, as most opinion pieces do. Seems like a lot of commenters are quick to jump down Mike's throat for putting it into more extreme words than may have been necessary, but the bottom line of the article sticks with me. Is it enough to make me call in sick for work? Of course not. I've got people within my company and the companies I deal with every day that rely on me to be there to help things run smoothly, not to mention that living on the north shore isn't cheap. Is it enough to put my priorities in perspective and say "hey maybe I've got enough, but I haven't been out on my bike in awhile"? F*ck yah it is! I think the real point of this article is that it's too easy to lose sight of your priorities and slip into a lifestyle of excess where you feed your senses with garbage. I'd say it's a safe bet that most commenters who disagree with it probably don't live that excessive lifestyle - and good on you for that! I literally just ended a relationship within the past week because the girl I was with, despite having a great salary and a pretty damn comfortable life, had a hard time maintaining a balance between working her way to the top and enjoying her life, so this article hits home pretty hard right now. If anything it's reinforcing my choice so thanks for that Mike!
  • 5 1
 I am perfectly fine with the majority staying at home to eat bad food and watch crappy TV shows and us MTB crowd having the woods for ourselves. Don't advertise the beauty of riding a bike please.
  • 3 0
 I think its important to follow your passion and start out in the first place following YOUR passion and not continue along the tracks others of laid down. The best way to live life is to do what you love doing and the money will follow.
  • 3 0
 And or be an entrepreneur like those ol dirty hairy, bird men and create a product/service people desire while creating a ton of jobs....then laugh yourself silly as u ride down the trails on your dvo emerald equipped carbon v10, while your staff u hired is still working at the office!
  • 3 0
 For me its better to have a job. I seem to have a lot more motivation because of work. When I've been off work, its kinda like "ah well I've got lots of time, I'll do it later" and nothing gets done.

I don't have a tv. Don't have broadband. Don't have car repayments. don't have a phone line. Don't have kids. Don't have any problems.

I live 5 mins from work and 3 mins from a mtb park.
  • 3 0
 I realized about a year ago and I went Into a spiraling deppresion for a month. I eventually realized that people were never gonna think quite straight and I had to just have fun with what I love, biking and the forest. I hate the amount of disrespect people have for nature, it's terrible.
  • 2 0
 I don't buy it. Sorry my job isn't cushy enough that I can call off whenever I want to go play, if I did I wouldn't have a job that allows me the ability to enjoy myself when I do have free time. This coming from a guy with a job that arguably most of his target audience would love to have... Do people indulge in excesses that may seem unnecessary to some? Of course. No one *needs* a $40k car or 150 channels on their TV, but then no one *needs* a $4000 bicycle either. Could society as a whole do with a little less excess? Of course we could. Everyone has different priorities and that's what makes us all unique. If we all ditched work to go bike/surf/ski or what have you, we'd all be worse off for it sooner or later.
  • 2 0
 I live the life I do to try and provide for my family , I have few "escapes " for my self of which my bike is the big one . It gives me either time alone or some time with buddies and post ride beers . Altogether I think mike nailed it for many of us , working at jobs we don't love to provide a comfy life for the people we do love . If you are lucky enough to have a job u love awesome ! But for the rest of us there r always bills to be paid and life's responsibilities to take our time away from the bike . But oh well make the most of it , laugh with coworkers , love your families and the time on the bike is that much better !
  • 2 0
 My friend, you took the words off my keyboard: "Altogether I think mike nailed it for many of us , working at jobs we don't love to provide a comfy life for the people we do love"

Though it tooks a long time (even years) to realize a lot of the things you thought you'll need in life when you were younger, are worthless ¿big house, big car? If that means working your a** off and not having time for your family and time to ride/ski/spend time eith your significant other, what's the point?
  • 2 0
 Fortunately for me, I love what I do for a living... Nonetheless, it is hard when the alarm goes off and you feel like getting more sleep or ride. The way I try to motivate myself those mornings is to think that what I do benefits not only me but others.

But what motivates me even more is thinking that my job is the tool for doing whatever I want on the weekends, most likely, ride my bike... and also buy new stuff for it.

I've decided with my girlfriend (we are not married but living together for 3 years now) that we won't have kids and live live to the fullest and do whatever we want to do. But that's another story
  • 3 0
 I respect people's decision to not have kids in order to chase their dream.

The way I see it, you can't really love your unborn, potential future kids even though you know you eventually will (sort of like the schrodinger's cat explanation of superposition), so unless you're someone that always dreamed of being a parent (there are people that do; wasnt me), you can't envision being happy about giving up whatever it is you'll have to give up in order to have them. And it is true, you will sacrifice the things you want. But in reality, by then you have already grown to love them and come to some realizations about life that make it OK.

I love this topic.
  • 2 0
 i agree fully
everyone can make his life the way he decides. if you work towards it. it s all about choices
this is why my life looks like that :

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNgqW5KpExU&feature=c4-overview&list=UU0Rix1DQ766jsYpj5Kfd_Yg

www.pinkbike.com/video/350028
  • 4 0
 Only thing about the article I can say is ...yaaawn...Seriosly, here in Peru nobody will understand that piece of writing...I guess culture differences Smile
  • 2 0
 Why do accountants ways get singled out, like it's such a terrible job? I'm an accountant, and it's a well paying, very stable field. Yes it's the old dreaded '9-5' but it's allows me to have a nice place to live, and afford things like my mountain bikes that I ride before or after work and in the weekends. I know it's a nice theory that we should all be spending our time pursuing what we love, but let's be honest, it's just not realistic in most cases.
  • 2 0
 Because when teenagers imagine a boring career that's typically what comes up. Lack of perspective. Give em a break - they havent grown up yet.
  • 2 0
 I am 35 years old, have no children, I have two bedrooms (in one of them "sleeps" Specialized Enduro), I have an old Saab, almost never watch TV, I have a job that does not require hardly any responsibility, in July I'm going with my girlfriend to L'Alpe d''Huez where we meet up with friends from Poland and we will start in Mega Avalanche. Learned from the lives of my friends, who gave up caught in the gears of the system and I was able to reduce this to a minimum. It is not so bad. I still feel young and I know I have a lot of things, places, people and experiences on my way. Riding a bicycle helps. It's like meditation. Muted mind works better. Concentration. Rhythm. Pulse. I love it.
  • 2 0
 I might not have the perfect job in the world but "I Love My Job." I get up at 4:30 am shit,shower,shaveand fix my lunch. Go to work from 6:30 am till 6:30 pm. The thing is I dont do it everyday first week I work 4 days next week I work 3days. everyother weekend is a 3 day weekend. so you could say I only work half a year. "I Love My Life" no house payment no vehicle payment. I have little to no stress.
  • 2 0
 1: I sold a ton of my stuff. I have exactly what I need to get by, plus some conveniences. What a great way to have more time to spend properly, by getting rid of stuff I don't want to take care of that I don't want or need!

2. If one doesn't think critically (at least in American culture) about all the messages barraging us, more than likely you will just end up being like the masses in the rat race. I was never interested- I go to work so I can eat healthy food and take my wife cool places and ...RIDE MY BIKE!
  • 7 2
 Awesome article man!!! You only live once so enjoy your life.
  • 16 15
 YOLO
  • 17 0
 My mum used to say you only live once pretty regularly, and it something I try to keep in mind when making big decisions. Its kind of sad that now its YOLO and people are either saying it sarcastically, or its YOLO lets drink 3 PBR's while wearing vans and rolled up jeans with beleivedreamlivebreath tattooed on our inner wrists.
  • 3 2
 Cool article. I can definitely relate to it. I can feel your awakening Mike, how much of it was "what would you do if money were no object?". If this can be of any advice then I can tell from my latest 3 years experience with existentional break down: there are many awakenings, never trust the feeling of: I arrived, that's how the world works and that's what I am in it. Celebrate it, remember it, be in it - but don not trust it, go out, find a game worth playing, then play it... and never stop searching. And whatever happens: DO NOT DO IT BY YOURSELF! Get help from your friends, girlfriend, maybe even a coach - it takes way more balls to reach out than trying to go through all of it alone. One thing though... we all have our own way, assuming that biking is one, might not be true, I feel that we should kill our darlings carefully but we have to do it, we can't move towards a tough goal with too much baggage. At this point I feel that biking drags me down Smile
  • 1 0
 Good ol Alan Whatts haha
  • 2 1
 Alan Watts took me to the depths of my sanity... and he left me there in limbo! Freddie Mercury took my out of it - Show must go on! Beef cake! Beeef CAAAKE!!!
  • 2 1
 Nice article, I've read this with pleasure. I think that the revolt you described is a little bit exageratted (is there a chance to make a living by just riding a bike?) as well as working in a job you hate (heck, I'm young so I don't know how it is yet), but it's definitely true that most people loose their earlier ideals and passions during adolescence. What is worse, if you choose to stay true to your childhood self, you will be damned by society as a freak. But I hope that I'll never let Peter Pan go out of me, let's go out and do some skids! (damn, just wait a minute untill I change my rear tire for an old one...)
  • 6 5
 what an "american article". the way of life you describe depicts maybe 5 or 10 % of the mankind.
you've got big problems that need a revolt, yeah!:
-money
-big house
-big rooms
-big tv
-some bikes that cost the average annual salary of an african...etc
watch discovery channel or travel a lil bit more in some poor country, you'll see lots of better reasons too instigate a revolt.

stop being so narrow minded, stop acting like a texan, as we say down here.
in your life, if the biggests problems you encounter are those listed in this article, you oughta start to think that you have a pretty good life, considering the reste of the mankind...
  • 7 0
 You're making the mistake of thinking the stereotypes of America are reality.
No disrespect intended, but you're out of line insulting "Texans".
I won't make the same mistake and say you're an arrogant European that has absolutely no idea about what you're talking about, because speaking in broad, general terms, making blanket statements is silly.
I've traveled to many places, and lived in several Countries and i was always amazed about what others think they know about the US vs the reality.
Very sad.
  • 7 0
 I think Mike's point is more that we (Americans) have lost the sense of a healthy work/life balance in favor of living in a world of excessive consumerism. In the US, you work like a dog, often going into debt, to accumulate massive piles of possesions...and for what? On average, Americans take no vacations (not that they really get any time off), work long hours (often for less pay) and wind up parked in front of TV until the new work week starts. Of course these problems don't compare to issues people face in impoverished thirld world countries, but in the US we have the opportunity for a work/life balance and squander it much more so than other "Western" countries.

As for the Discovery/Travel channels, there is no "discovering" or "traveling" on those channels anymore. At least over in the US.
  • 2 2
 i agree with you gamblor.
unfortunately,most of western european countries live more or less with this same way of life,including me... but i m too aware of what's going on in the rest of the world to appeal to revolt for such stupid reasons. by reading your message i m pretty sure we ve got the same reasoning..

for amitytom, ther is no offense to texans..this is just an expression. i m sure you have some with europeans, huh?
  • 2 0
 Never mind that this article was written by a Canadian.
  • 1 0
 You guys are STILL talking in stereotypes!
I know America bashing is fashionable now so this goes mostly unchecked but i'm still glad i pointed it out, even if it continues to fall on deaf ears.
I don't speak about massive groups like "Europeans" with simple expressions, i treat every European i know as an individual.
  • 3 2
 I'm going to ride my bike because someone on the internet told me to.

Seems to me like the people who preach about forgetting all the bullshit on the tv and all the 'enduro'/new standards bullshit are those who are most wrapped up in it.

Reads like you're talking to yourself Mike. If people want to rot into a sofa while watching fake people being fake then let them I say.
  • 1 0
 But if i do the suggested, and i would love too, how am i supposed to pay for the latest carbon, inverted, enduro, 10 thousand dollar car park trinket to rail berms 0.0001 seconds faster and pop jumps 0.0002mm higher. Everything about TV was spot on. Absolute bobbins the lot of it.
  • 5 0
 I work so that my kids can ride.
  • 1 0
 I agree that as a society our priorities have become rather warped. At the same time though if you work the system right, you can have it all and ride a ton. Work hard and set yourself up right so that you have flexible hours. Plenty of us out there with real jobs who still ride 20 + hours a week.
  • 1 0
 Or you could bust your ass in school, get a high paying job, and ride your bike on the weekends. Same some cash as a security blanket. Then quit the high paying job (if you do hate it) and go do something you love. Thats what i did. Win win.

"Life is a shit sandwich. The more bread you've got, the better it tastes"
  • 1 0
 Dear pinkbike: My job allows me to have the latest and greatest bikes, allows me the time to take care of my kids, watch them grow and start to enjoy the same sports that I grew up loving and still do. I also love my wife for allowing me my escapes to shred highland bike park, and all our local trails on a weekly basis. Sometimes watching my kids throw out that cautious feeling and try something new on a bike or board, is more rewarding than biking myself. My time is worth more than money... www.pinkbike.com/video/347917
  • 1 0
 I'm 34 years old. While I don't consider myself an old fart, I also don't consider myself young by any means. A mentor once told me that "your 20's are all about figuring out where you fit into the world, and your 30's are meant to accomplish that purpose". I realize he's speaking very generally in terms of timing/age, but that's the only piece of honest advice I've ever received as an adult because it's not loaded and biased in any political or economic way. i.e. he wasn't trying to tell me how to think or what job to get or how much money to make in order to achieve so and so. But, throughout my life, all I ever heard from everyone else was their version of How The World Works. Some people take freedom of speech a bit far and feel entitled to tell you how to live your life - from both the left and the right, socio-politically speaking. Lefties use picket signs while righties use legislation (and bullying of course). My point is, don't let anyone tell you how to live your life. Don't let anyone judge that what you're passionate about is stupid and a waste of time. That includes being responsible and being passionate about your hobbies all at once. It's possible.
  • 1 3
 "while righties use legislation (and bullying of course)" - you've never heard of left wing fascism then? socialist intimidation and violence? the working classes are more prone to being left wing and there's nobody more violent over the course of history than the working classes (in European history). possibly but not always in retaliation to right wing oppression and violence
  • 1 0
 i didn't choose a side, but thanks for sharing yours, whilst proving my point. Good to know what you have animosity towards. that being said, righties have been known to protest with picket signs as well. but that's not really what i'm talking about, which i hope you can see.
  • 2 1
 I don't have a "side" - just trying to ensure neutrality and accuracy
  • 2 0
 nice backpedal. again, missing the point.
  • 1 0
 I get your point and it's a good one and I don't disagree at all. no backpedalling here, not even on the bike
  • 1 0
 besides, i was only referring to the medium by which the two sides spew their disinformation in order to convince people that the'yre the only ones who are right. other groups besides political ones come to mind as well (don't even get me started on the religious groups). it was more of a social commentary putting down how they go about it, definitely not supporting it. so i think we are on the same page.
  • 1 0
 we are, no hassles here my friend
  • 1 0
 This is all well and good, but you can't just ride your bike all day and not work, how you gonna afford to just live? Let alone maintain your bike, this is a damn expensive sport to be a part of! Never mind brake pads, tyres, servicing ect... I live nowhere near any decent places to ride so have to drive, so then there's petrol, the car ect... Shits expensive these days, you gotta grind out a shitty existence just to have fun on your bike when you can!
  • 2 0
 For sure, you have to pick and choose those battles. However, it's funny how an extra day or two, or even a few free hours, can make all the difference in the world.
  • 1 0
 The "me" tone of this article is part of the problem, not the solution. Maybe there are people who need this message to understand that validation from places others than our own ambition is not a valid way to live life ,but I've watched Fight Club (lol) and I have enough insight to understand the balance in my own life. Work hard, play hard.
  • 1 0
 Mountain biking exists because of the jobs that the author is criticizing. Modern industry and technology improves quality of life, it's how the bike you ride is made. It's how you safely heal from the wounds that result when you wreck from said bike, without infection threatening your life. Even if you ignored all of that, not everyone hates their jobs. There is certainly some pride that results from a job well done, and I am proud to support my family with that job. Will some people profit from industry? Absolutely, that's how innovation is born...
  • 2 0
 and if The Man isn't profiting from your employment, you'll probably be made redundant soon. simples
  • 1 0
 This article reads similar to many popular trending articles lately about young adults throwing caution to the wind and leaving their daily boring lives and embarking on a multi-year travel to see the world etc. It's a very young approach IMO. Yes, I'm sure we have all day dreamed about leaving everything behind and doing exactly what this article talks about but what I didn't read in this article is what truly makes a person content or happy. Making small changes to strike a balance between work and home life. Most experts think it's things like relationships, charity, contributing to society, balance of work and home life etc. If happiness and contentment is totally based on riding a bike...I would take this article more seriously.
  • 1 0
 This is how I lived when I was younger. It's worked out great, and I still pretty much do with some small alterations.

I'd say like 1% or less is stuff I don't want to do whereas it was like 0% before.

Don't pawn off your kids though, that's bad parenting. You will figure that out soon enough, but I get your point.
  • 1 0
 pure ESCAPISM. escaping real life, real responsibilities. reaching a certain age, a person should no longer think like a selfish 12 year old. mix riding with friends, travel, sport, fitness, a hobby, other sports, and it's a good thing. get too obsessed or think that MTB is the be all and end all of life. it's bound to result in failure and dissatisfaction. don't trade off MTB for work, career success, a rewarding and satisfying job, a relationship, or non-riding friends. live a well rounded life. be happy at what you do, and happy with how much you can ride
  • 1 0
 Like this article, everything in life is a catch 22 about prioritizing your life. I'm sure many of us would like to work less and enjoy life more. But as many have said, taxes, gold, money, capitalism, whatever you want to call it, you don't get places in life without money. You can choose to spend your money wisely when the time is right, or not. Having chosen a solid educational direction, I lost a lot of "free" time (according to my buddies) during those years. But there is NO WAY anyone here could afford the products Pinkbike showcases each week if we didn't have jobs or took that part of our lives seriously so now I'm the one laughing as I'm the only one with any money and can actually afford to ride the bikes I want to buy. Nobody is about to give away a 6k bike, and thus we continue to complain about lower cost parts/bikes but the prices go up. I'm really just confused now. I don't want to work, but I want a 5K bike, something has to give. Priorities suck. I also love my family, I'd never trade that, it's what live is really all about anyway biking is just a side hobby in life. I guess I'm lucky to have both?
  • 1 0
 wow - how clueless can you be. Do you have any idea how many people work 80 hour weeks, risk everything to bring you your freaking bike? And why do they provide us with carbon bikes, space age shocks, and lighter then air parts....money. That evil that you allude to is the great equalizer. I work hard for money. I want money so i can buy stuff...like the newest best bike i can afford. i want money so i can eat. People pay me money because they value what I do. I do not want to rely on anyone else to provide for me the things that i decide I need and nor do i want others to rely on me. Pay me if you value me, don't if you don't.
No need to read books on economics to answer this question -- just read a little history. What you propose has been tried before and has failed and millions died for that failure.
Sorry to soap box -- but this kind of crap really disturbs me.
  • 2 0
 I'm not suggesting that you quit your job and steal car stereos to pay for new bikes, but just to remember that an extra day here or there is good for the soul. And about those 80 hour work weeks... they're doing something very wrong if they feel like they have to do that.
  • 1 0
 It is much easier to break with the corporation having 40 years old and almost an adult kids than being out of college when we start ambitiously career, I am reasonably satisfied when I started anew his life as a bicycle mechanic in Dublin is a great place.Revolution in live not on the streets !!! Revolution of our state of mind.
  • 1 0
 I like my job it pays for my bikes and the fuel i put in my car to get me to some great rideing spots in england scotland and wales. It allows me to afford the internet so that i can watch great videos about the sport i love and take part in this debate. ETC. Its a pity that life aint so simply just to go ride but wives want holidays , car ,clothes ,sky etc etc etc etc etc. Its a pity i make my rich masters richer while poor people struggel on . But history shows theres allways someone exploiting someone else.
  • 1 0
 I have to say, all in all, a fairly shallow and short sided op-ed here. And...before I get "grommed" out for my opinion, I might suggest to all those replies stating "it's just his opinion, relax", to know that op-ed pieces are developed for back and forth discussion, check your local newspaper, yes...it's a thing.

When I was about 5 years old, I used to tell my mom I didn't want to clean my room because I wanted to ride my bike instead. It didn't work then and I can guarantee you, it doesn't now. So to suggest opting out of your duties to go ride your bike should sound, well...childish. The only real difference is that the consequences for these actions at 5 are not as consequential as they are now.

This piece "I think" would have been better focused instead on highlighting why people don't make smarter changes to their lives to allow for better life balance. Regardless of what's happening in the world (99% owning "everything") we all have the choice to be happy, or not to be happy. If you feel like the sucker that this article is suggesting you are, then you've made some poor decisions, or haven't made enough good ones. I went to University, and have a great job that is challenging and provides intrinsic happiness. I also have a bike, many bikes, that I have ample time to ride. Yes life is sometimes stressful, and no I can't always do what I want, but that's adult life. Nobody will take you seriously if you think you should be able to do what you want, whenever. Nor should they.

This article really only preaches to the choir of the saddest, laziest and most childish. I am not one of them and fear that I may no longer be the target Pinkbike "demographic". Guess I've grown up.

That's my opinion
  • 1 0
 Right on many counts. We earn our privileges and being happy is a personal choice. My children are older than the Pinkbike demographic and they are a lot of fun to ride and ski with. I've spent the last 40 years working hard and enjoying myself. Waste your time watching TV and playing with your phone or video games and you won't have much time to ride. Prioritize the ride and you'll get lots of riding in. I work full time and rode 200 days last year. I also enjoy skiing. Buy a nice bike and you'll enjoy it for years. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Envy is the root of unhappiness! I lean towards working the most profitable job available and enjoying my time away from work to the max. Beware of turning your hobby (biking) into a job.
  • 1 0
 Besides all the obvious reasons, like its the responsible thing to do etc.. What about the fact that its nice to contribute to society in some way?? I realize not everyone has a job they like, but it is possible for many. Would I rather ride my bike more, sure, but I am happy to have a career that enables me to feel good about what I do and give back to society (teacher). Sure I am not rich, but I have a decent schedule and plenty of time off to ride almost as much as I want, even with 2 kids.

I know quite a few people who don't have to work. Frankly, they are some of the least happy people in life, they don't seem to have a purpose. Being a productive member of society IS important and those that disagree are typically the most self centered people on the earth.
  • 1 0
 Great write. People are there own problem. Blame the rich & the powerful when you no longer have the CHOICE to f*ck up your own life. Don't bite off more than you can chew. If the majority of people (the dumb dumbs) bothered to take a look at the environment they're in & consider who they are & what they want from their lives before they f*ck it all up, crossing lines that trap them on the side the don't really wanna be on, then we wouldn't be talking about this. The fact is, everyone can't be rich. The dumb 99% have to be there to hold up everything above them. If you live in a first world nation then you have a lot of freedom to f*ck up your life all you want, or not. The pursuit of happiness, is confused with the possession of contentment by these people & that's why they will work, work, work. Better them than me.
  • 3 0
 Meh. Some people like the lifestyle you describe. Let them be and keep on with enjoying yourself.
  • 2 0
 YOLO is fine if you are single and have money. should you set aside time for your passions, yes, should you risk getting fired, no.
  • 2 0
 Just a rehash of Fight Club tbh Do what you want, not what people tell you, even this chap. Fwiw I'd be lost without internet porn, everything in small doses is fine.
  • 2 0
 March to your own beat...and don't be a victim. I suspect the weekly opinion pieces will be short-lived. You poor, poor Americans - you've got it so tough.
  • 1 0
 Mtb is a privilege, appreciate it as such.. Millions around the globe dont have enough food to eat, or governments that suppress their freedom, or tribal leaders that chop off their arms..
  • 2 0
 ^^^ this.
trying to choose between a Bronson and a Mach 6 = 1st world problem.
  • 2 0
 While this is true, it really has nothing to do with the issue being discussed in the article. North American society is losing substance at a rapid rate . We have something great here, built up over generations and we're pissing it away through short sighted rapid consumerism, outsourcing and this bastardized model of whats important in life. There was once a push for a 4 day work week in America....why? because a happy healthy population is a productive strong population. It seems we've switched up that model for lower class enslavement. The north american pie is shrinking, so what do you do with the middle class american dream that can no longer be fed? Turn the people into consuming addicts, take their money and mental freedom, work them harder and harder in the promise this will all work out.

And to all the fellow canadians who feel they're exempt from these problems....don't f*cking kid yourselves, we're in this together, joined at the hip culturally and economically. I'm really tired of hearing people talk down on america with their noses in the air, they're our brothers, we all came here from the same place.
  • 3 0
 oh boy.. these first world problems are silly, we are all pretty lucky if we are even sitting at a computer reading this..
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I think most of the world lives on less than $2 a day.
  • 1 0
 Not quite-about 1-2 billion.......the same number who are starving/malnourished.......the same number of people in the world who are at least overweight to obese and beyond (actual number 1.5 billion). Scary but billybobzia is right "first world problems". I'm not looking forward to the "correction" whatever that might be.
  • 2 0
 Do you live to work or work to live ? I work to live. I do have a job I enjoy that allows me the time to get out on the bike a few days a week. I'm happy with that.
  • 1 1
 I agree with you Mike. But i think that riding a bike can be more 'important' for some people and less 'important' for other even tho the 2 people share the same passion about it, speaking for myself, I do have a good job, not always funny but it could be worst but i wont lie i would rather be riding i mean i dont think the classical 5-6 days of work for 1-2 days off per week is enough to be happy with life. Pretty much everyone has debt to pay (and yes it sucks) most people dont earn enough money to pay the 40 000$ trucks right away so its more and more payment per month to deal with and do we really need it in the end ? the answer is not the same for everyone but in the end personnally im really happy when i ride its the best thing ever for me, but i feel like i dont ride enough, I have to go in for work to pay the bills and also to be able to ride my bike because it does cost a good amount of money per year... Life is designed this way unfortunately.. the thing is that when i am on my bike, i dont think about this whole concept. I just ride and this is what make it so awesome and why i need it more than anything.
  • 1 1
 Live within your means and don't worry about the Jones's. Don't cry like a little bitch if the degree you've dug a hole for isn't worth shit. Own your mistakes. Yes,yes the 1% should burn in hell, post furiously about it. Here is my inspirational quote:

"There are troubles in these times,but WHOO none of them are mine!
I'm beginning to see the light!"
Lou Reed.

I'd go for a ride but there's 18" of snow on the ground. So I xc ski. f*ck bikes till the snow melts.
  • 1 0
 So David - 1 out 100 should burn in hell?

Do you realize that in the US that is an income in the high 300's yearly?

So you just sent your Doc. and Dentist, the guy that owns the local car lot, many of the small biz owners in your neighborhood, your local college president, the engineer that invented and patented a new innovation, the brainy software developer writing code to make your life run better, the guy (or gal) who bought and worked their butt off maintaining a half dozen rental homes,

So in your perfect world they are all going to damnation and leaving you behind?

Not sure I want to live in your world.... :{
  • 1 0
 Mountain biker with wife, three kids, mortgage and a heck of a lot of bills to pay here. I get to shred twice, sometimes three times a week (if I'm lucky). And you know what... I'm ok with that!
  • 1 0
 I'm in high school and I'm already not looking forward to my job and future after university. I don't want to work my life away behind a computer and do nothing that makes me want to go to work... My 2¢
  • 1 0
 Ride your bike, love your family and friends, be happy and don't mess with other peoples happiness, the rest doesn't matter at all!
  • 1 0
 My life is awesome already. If you need someone to tell you this stuff then you're pretending the same as everyone else. We are nothing new or special.
  • 1 0
 you live in a country with possibly the most personal freedom in the world and you choose to be suckered in. sounds like a personal problem. just sayin!
  • 3 1
 "the big C"? Sounds dirty
  • 5 1
 I lost a close friend to 'The Big C'- it was blown off the side off Tescos in the recent storms and landed on his head.
  • 1 1
 may I ask what the 'The Big C' is?
  • 1 0
 The Seaward
  • 1 0
 cancer
  • 1 1
 ^ why so srs Frown
  • 1 0
 I think to dramatise the point that you could die next month/year of the C? so live life for the now not what might be in 5 years time?
  • 2 0
 I agree. But being afraid of death is no way to live life... c'mon, before i posted "sounds dirty" we all knew it was cancer - you think i'm that dumb? (don't answer that lol)

LIGHTEN the F up man! A great scholar once said: "Don't take life too seriously, or you'll never get out alive" -Van Wilder.
  • 2 0
 I read this and realized my life sucks!
  • 2 0
 Nearly 100 comments. Article worked.
  • 1 0
 To change the subject slightly, didn't they have any photos of Levy in which he is not doing his best Godfather impression?
  • 2 0
 Ok, come down guys... why not talking about 29er ?
  • 2 0
 was the moral of the story not to have kids....
  • 1 0
 TV! What is this mythical thing you speak of? My Ipad (provided by work) is constantly on pink bike
  • 2 0
 live, love, eat, shred! listen to SLAYER!
  • 1 0
 Sounds great. All I'm missing now is the trust fund that allows me to not live in the real world anymore.
  • 1 0
 hey everyone ...check out pezcyclingnews.com....it seems pinkbike has become a downer.
  • 1 0
 just did exactly that today jacked work and went for a skid now at home with a beer reading this.chur.sing it mike!
  • 2 1
 Simplify, simplify... and get the priorities right.
  • 1 0
 Bikes and shovels are way more entertaining than TV sets
  • 1 0
 Sounding an awful lot like Mark Twight. Just not as cool.
  • 1 0
 You need to keep your values.
  • 2 0
 Yeah Okay. (sarcasm)
  • 6 6
 Time to switch to vital mtb
  • 2 2
 Two word summary: "Carpe Diem!"
  • 1 0
 Nice perspective
  • 1 0
 amen
  • 1 0
 Mike you got so right !
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