- the source for market opinions


October 18, 2018 | Careful

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

“So,” she said, after wading through 200 comments, “why do you put up with this crap?”

I examined the toes of my cowboy boots, stared out the window, smiled weakly and tried to change the topic to the dog. Didn’t work.

“I read the piece on weed,” Dorothy continued. “Okay, you made maybe one dumb comment. The rest was totally about what condo guys and realtors are doing. Where do people think they can trash you personally? You gave them facts. Why do you let them?”

She was being wifely, of course. Defensive. Protective. Caring. All the things you value after years together. This woman has seen me truly under attack in the past, like when the prime minister threw me out of government, live on TV. But what grates her most about this blog is, “the gutless thugs who stay anonymous. Why be their punching bag? They don’t deserve you.”

My defence for publishing the personal attacks?

It’s democracy, I said. Free speech. Plus it’s a window into what the mainstream is thinking, feeling and believing. Of course, I didn’t share with her the dozens of ugly comments that were deleted, or the fact the blog has started to terrify me, too. Melania and I are just so misunderstood…

But, seriously, we need to talk. If I’m going to provide you with this space, filled daily with original content, news, advice and canine pinups, you cannot come here and just take a dump on it. Yesterday, for example, the topic was the effect of MJ on condo boards, owners and amateur landlords plus the buying & selling of resale properties, as highlighted by realtors. The response was a deluge of pot-lovers trashing me, my ethics, principles and standards – none of it relevant.

Days ago I wrote about the potential financial impact of climate change, as outlined by various sources and suggested investment strategies for those concerned about it. More trashing, baiting, ridicule and derision. All of it anonymous. Gutless, as she said. Online bullies hiding behind cutesy screen names, tossing out insults because they disagree. It seems symptomatic of a society in which lucid argument and civil discourse are kaput. Now it’s the Tweet with the Biggest Insult that wins. Common ground is gone. No grays in our black-and-white world. Compromise lost.

That this will lead to social conflict seems obvious, maybe even inevitable. The rise of populism and the fiery, autocratic leaders who espouse it has certainly made some sentiments not only commonplace, but acceptable. So daily I remove comments that are openly anti-immigrant, racist, ageist, or denigrate others for what they believe.

My guess is economic stress is behind the polarization. Debt, job stress, fear of loss, financial failure and insecurity turn people ugly and extreme. They crave powerful, simple solutions and the populists are there to take advantage of it. Long ago I learned the most potent three words in politics: “us and them.” Want power? Divide.

If you seek to improve your life, instead of just trashing those you envy, do it. This blog has given you the tools. So don’t push me. I’ll sic my wife on you.

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October 18th, 2018

Posted In: The Greater Fool

One Comment

  • Paul Trudeau says:

    Hey Garth, I’m a wrinkly that reads your blog and I really appreciate it. Your comments on the real estate market were invaluable for any who would listen. i,too, think that you do have a window into the angst that the general population is feeling and passing that on in your blog is very helpful to understand where we are headed. Thanks and keep going!

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