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Weekend reading: Meeting The Man

Good reads from around the Web.

Post of the week goes to the annoyingly talented David Cain, and his interview with The Man – the faceless figure of big society who gets blamed for all our woes.

Writing on his website Raptitude [1], Cain asks The Man why he doesn’t care about his employees:

Cain: You don’t take any responsibility for the condition of your employee’s lives? Work is a huge part of life.

The Man: You’re touching a nerve here. Listen, I run a solid business, and I don’t think I’m going to run out of employees or customers any time soon, so I’ll spare you the company-spokesman runaround — no, I don’t take responsibility for the state of their lives and I don’t see why I should. Particularly when they don’t take much responsibility for their lives themselves.

Do you know how people with hoards of money get to have those hoards of money? They make some money, and then they don’t spend it all. They keep some each time it comes in, and they use it to make more come in next time. That’s how power is accumulated.

Instead of accumulating power, most of my employees accumulate objects in their homes, or they just burn the money as it comes in, on booze and expensive sandwiches. What I see is people setting up their lives such that they become dependent on powerful people like me, which is exactly the opposite of how one ought to build wealth.

That’s why I’m The Man and they work for The Man.

They’re free to do this. I pay a fair wage, in thousands of different areas of work, each of which they can take or leave. I find they don’t pick very good ones for themselves, but they just stay with it rather than starting over somewhere else.

Then they get grumpy, and instead of finding a more personally appropriate way to earn a living, they stay on the payroll and go through the motions and try to “stick it to me” by stealing pens and playing rock music.

I’ve broken half-free of The Man’s grasp in a couple of ways – I am self-employed, and I’m accumulating a ‘F.U. The Man’ fund – but in other ways I’m not even as pseudo Bohemian as I was in my early 20s.

The Man has me living in London, wondering when I’ll ever buy a house and fearful of decamping to somewhere cheap and underpopulated to write novels and learn to play the trumpet.

It’s The Man’s fault! He gets to us all.

From the blogs

Making good use of the things that we find…

Passive investing

Active investing

Other articles

Product of the week: NS&I is cutting the interest rates paid on three of its popular savings products on Thursday, reports [14] the Telegraph. The paper suggests Tesco’s [15] Instant Access Cash ISA paying 2% and Britannia’s [16] Select Access Saver paying 1.75% on non-ISA savings as alternatives.

Mainstream media money

Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view these enable you to click through to read the piece without being a paid subscriber of that site.1 [17]

Passive investing

Active investing

Other stuff worth reading

Book of the week: Has anyone out there read The Einstein of Money [31], a biography of the value investing guru Benjamin Graham? I stumbled across it on Amazon this week, and I’m tempted to spring for the Kindle edition. The reviews look good?

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  1. Reader Ken notes that: “FT articles can only be accessed through the search results if you’re using PC/desktop view (from mobile/tablet view they bring up the firewall/subscription page). To circumvent, switch your mobile browser to use the desktop view. On Chrome for Android: press the menu button followed by “Request Desktop Site”.” [ [36]]