One of the members of Team Sovereign Man just arrived for the first time in his life to the United States.
This is pretty unusual, especially for the incredibly well-traveled members of our team.
Peter, an Australian in his mid-40s who has been living in Asia for most of his adult life, is taking a few days rest in Arizona in transit from his home in Bangkok to our headquarters in Chile.
What can past market crashes teach us about the current one?
The markets have largely recovered since the March selloff, but most would agree we're not out of the woods yet. The COVID-19 pandemic isn't close to being over, so it seems that volatility is here to stay, at least until the pandemic becomes less severe. Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more At the Read More
It’s not every day that someone I’ve known for several years comes to the country of my birth for the first time ever, and I thought his impressions were quite interesting.
I’m forwarding them to you below:
I’ve been to 30 countries, so I’m not widely traveled by Sovereign Man standards, but I do have an interesting perspective: I’ve never been to America. Until now.
I was expecting everything to be big and awesome and based on consumption, but I simply wasn’t prepared for what I was going to see.
Old town Scottsdale, where I’m staying, is beautiful, clean, and full of fun people.
The biggest 4x4s I’ve ever seen cruise up and down the roads, along with golf carts, a Thai tuktuk, and some contraption with eight young women pedaling while they drank cocktails (they had a sober driver) and waved to the odd Australian who was actually walking.
Nobody seems to walk here. I asked about the comedy club which is a 10-minute walk from my hotel. They told me it’s a 3-minute drive. Everything is an x-minute drive away.
And everything is mind-bogglingly big.
I walked into the convenience store and they had seven types of hot coffee, five types of cappuccino, and a larger wine collection than most wine shops in Bangkok where I live.
There were two long walls of fridges: one for soft drinks and one for alcohol.
And the breakfast at my hotel had six types of coffee cream for God’s sake.
Simon reckons that America is the best place in the world to be a consumer. I had no idea how spot on he was until I arrived here.
The place is tidy, quiet, and has everything you could possibly want for a good life. I keep thinking, “Yes, this is a place and a lifestyle you would fight to preserve. And it’s a damn shame how quickly it’s disappearing for so many.”
After seeing a small piece of America and talking to a few of the locals, I finally understood the feelings behind the two strangest things that I witnessed at the airport.
The first was the high regard Americans seem to have for their military:
- There was a welcome message over the public address system from LA mayor Eric Garcetti, with a special message for service men and women.
- Convenience stores have donation boxes so that an American serviceman can make a phone call home. (They haven’t heard of Skype?)
- Billboards and notices on the wall had welcoming and thank you messages for service men and women.
This is bizarre for me. Nobody in Australia (where I served in the Army Reserve) or any other country really cares one way or the other if you serve in the armed forces.
Heck, when I joined the Australian military and told the interview panel that I “want to serve my country” the senior officer just shook his head and replied, “You can serve your country just as well as an engineer working at a private company.”
But here in the US of A, I can really see what they want to protect.
People here do seem to feel that this lifestyle could be in danger from radical Islam. Maybe so.
But it’s even more in danger from exploding national debt, endless money printing at the Federal Reserve, and a mountain of laws and rules that get passed each day.
The second strange thing that I witnessed was the two women ahead of me in the security line at LAX getting a “second level” screening.
I was shocked.
Female officers felt up their entire bodies: boobs, crotch, and backside included.
What was most strange to me, though, was the way the lady in front of me took the body search. It didn’t faze her at all.
I caught up with her after security and asked her about it.
“I think it’s something to do with the baby formula that sets off the machine.” (She had a 2-year old daughter and her husband with her.)
“Are you ok with it? Has this happened before?”
“Yes, many times. I’m used to it now. Thanks for asking.”
And just like that, Stockholm Syndrome has set in.
People just accept that they have to send soldiers overseas and have to submit to government intrusion for the price of being free.
Everyone knows it doesn’t make a difference, but everyone just accepts it because they don’t have the power to change it and don’t want to think about what the government will do to them next.
This is a wonderful country, but it’s clear to me that the Land of the Free has already lost a host of freedoms… and a bunch more will be on the chopping block under either Clinton or Trump.
At least the woman’s daughter, who watched her mother willingly submit to a humiliating body search by government officials, will grow up to be an accepting model citizen.