Do you make your own luck? The Landlord’s sin of pride.

Dtcwee has written an awesome post on one of my favourite topics – Pride.

I’m not a landlord, but his treatment of the subject has broader application. One of my favourite parts:

“We make our own luck” is a popular aphorism among the ignorant. However, Robert Frank has shown that luck plays a far bigger role in our lives than we give it credit for. Also, if you say that you make your own luck, you’re probably ignorant to how much it makes you look like an asshole.

Read the whole thing: http://dtcwee.blogspot.com.au/2017/08/landlord-sins-pride.html

And check out the rest of the series: Envy, Wrath, Greed, Lust, and Gluttony.

Doing the math, I’m expecting one more to complete the set!

Seven Deadly Landlord Sins

I’ve been sick lately, and have tried not to push myself in the meantime. Or is it that I haven’t tried to push myself? Perhaps we should ask dtcwee, whose latest post invokes Thomas Aquinas on Gluttony to address the temptation to over-landlord:

It’s the dead of night. I get an email from the agent. It’s a problem, nothing urgent. Yet, I draft and re-draft a reply. I call them to try and work through it, and get agitated when I hit voice mail. I’m getting worked up. I can’t sleep. What if it was something I did? What will be the impact?

That’s not me being diligent. That’s me indulging.

Not in food, but in landlording; another activity that, while in moderation provides sustenance, In excess is simply imprudent.

http://dtcwee.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/landlord-sins-gluttony.html

I’m pretty impressed with this application of gluttony to the temptation to excessive diligence. It’s an excellent moral metaphor, and while I feel there ought to be something in Aquinas that addresses the question directly, trying to find something in the Summa without knowing already what it is in Thomistic terms is a recipe for frustration and a temptation to….excessive diligence.

Consolations of a reflective landlord

Dtcwee has a great post today about the trials and tribulations of being a landlord:

There’s plenty of practical advice for landlords on the internet, like how to fix water heaters or evict problem tenants, but much of it is area-specific, and being demoralised makes it hard to even act on it. Sometimes I already know what needs to be done. The only thing stopping me is feeling like I’m fighting a losing battle.

So here is what I remind myself of whenever landlording difficulties leave me despondent.

http://dtcwee.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/sympathy-for-landlord.html

I laughed out loud at the first point: No plan survives contact with the enemy.

I’ve had one very brief experience as a landlord. It wasn’t much fun, even though the tenant was great. Seeing how other landlords operate is a bit dispiriting though. The first thing we did when we moved into our unit was replace the kitchen cabinets, which were more than 40 years old, cockroach-infested, and essentially unusable due to consistent neglect. Not good enough for me to live with, but for a tenant…?

Yet Dtcwee is right – he’s providing a service for those who need it, and knowing him, the kitchen is likely in much better condition!

Dtcwee’s working holiday

Dtcwee has posted an intriguing piece in which he wonders:

Could you treat work as a travel destination?

What if I have been subconsciously treating work as a travel destination instead? That quite fits. I holiday widely, and consistently gravitate towards maximising novelty, autonomy, and budget. I go to great lengths to avoid commitment or expense. Although I have made a few life-long friends, I generally don’t keep in touch with colleagues and fellow travelers. I like what I like and I go apeshit on TripAdvisor when it is refused.

And here’s the important part: I have little inclination to re-visit places, and even less inclination to re-visit crowded tourist traps.

http://dtcwee.blogspot.jp/2015/10/working-holiday.html

My only concern is that the conflation of work and travel might encourage people to use the term “career journey”. Otherwise, I think this is an excellent example of thinking through and around mindless social conventions. Has anyone ever before thought that work is like a travel destination? Perhaps unconsciously, as they murmur over and over “I want to go home!”

Brooding on breeding

Dtcwee has had an article published on ABC Open. Check it out:

Much of the difficulty, I think, comes from the notion that children are a choice. There is even more baggage in the modern world surrounding self-determination.

Ironically, this baggage is involuntary. The truth is that circumstances play a huge part. Just as many are not childless by choice, many pregnancies are unintended; about 40 percent worldwide. Of those, quite a proportion are brought to term.

https://open.abc.net.au/explore/97611

“We cannot all be Charlie Hebdo”

Never one to let an opportunity for economically-minded insight drift by, dtcwee has posted an instructive albeit strangely depressing reflection on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, or perhaps more appropriately, the responses to the responses to the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

We say that we are Charlie Hebdo because we want to be Charlie Hebdo; white, affluent, critical, irreverent, conflicted, and persecuted. Perhaps this helps us maintain our special snowflake self-image when random violent death threatens to bring us level with peasants a continent away.

http://dtcwee.blogspot.jp/2015/01/baga-ne-est-pas-charlie.html

Dangerous Aussie Fauna

Dtcwee responds to the Sydney Siege with his characteristic yearning for the bigger picture:

Consider that threatening or causing injury (i.e. terrorism) is a crime likely punishable by imprisonment.

81% of Australia’s prisoner population is Australian born.

Although this reflects in part the greater proportion of Australia’s population born locally (72.3%), the Australian born imprisonment rate – prisoners per 100,000 population – is comparatively high compared with those from other countries.

http://dtcwee.blogspot.jp/2014/12/i-knew-you-were-trouble.html

I always knew the locals were a bit suss. But surely this only reflects good old fashioned true blue Aussie varieties of crime? What could be more Australian than ‘acts intended to cause injury’ and ‘dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons’? Might as well criminalise binge-drinking and morbid obesity.

The Kid Handicap

Over at ‘Jumping to Conclusions’ friend dtcwee has an interesting post taking issue with the ‘children are expensive’ narrative.

Yours truly is tired of the assumption that his wealth is due to being child-free. Although children imply expense, they do not as such prevent saving. And yet, the sheer weight behind the ‘children are expensive’ narrative stifles me.
[…]
The sticker shock of AUD$400,000 per middle-class child has to be spread across 24 years. Adjusting for inflation at 2.7%, that’s about $230 per week; the cost of two smoking habits. For a single working parent, it would be tight but do-able. For a couple with one and a half incomes, a breeze.

http://dtcwee.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/the-kid-handicap.html

As a parent seeking to enjoy a richer life despite a drastically reduced income, it helps to read incisive critiques of prevailing narratives that depict having children as potentially financially ruinous.