China232.com

Archive for the ‘Learning and Improving English’ Category

Money – This is insane

September 6th, 2013

18 Comments »

I’ve been doing a lot of research on the history of money lately.  It’s a topic that less than 1% of people know really anything about, but it’s a really interesting and important topic.  Let me share…

Have you ever wondered why stuff gets more expensive over time?  I remember when my grandma used to tell me that she could remember when a can of Coke was a nickel (5 cents).  You could go to the store and buy 20 cans of Coke with one USD.  Hilarious.

We certainly can’t do that now.  Why not?  You would think that it would be easier to make Coke with all the advances in technology and worker productivity.  Why is it so expensive compared to the past?

And Coke is just one example.  Almost everything was super cheap before, and now it goes up and up and up.  Of course, people’s wages get higher too, but what’s the point in having a higher wage if you have to pay more money to buy everything?

Why can’t we keep prices the same and use productivity gains (the increase in worker performance) to make our stuff cheaper for us?

…OK

Now what about this question?  Why do so many countries owe so much money (huge debts) AND why do they have to pay interest on the debt they borrowed?  It makes perfect sense if they are borrowing it from another country, but often this is not the case at all.  Often countries borrow money from the central banks in their own country.  This central banks make them pay it back, and with huge interest.

And who pays the interest?  The people in the country, and they pay it all with their tax dollars.  This seems totally retarded if you think about it.  If the government is spending our own money (the people’s tax dollars) then why would we have a system where they borrow it from banks?  Why can’t they just create their own money to spend, and at least that way, they wouldn’t have to pay interest on this money.

It’s true that if the government just makes more money, then all other people’s money would become worth less than before, but that’s better than having the government (ie. the tax payers) pay it all back plus interest on the loans isn’t it?

From my research, I found out that this all has a very interesting history.  Powerful bankers are much more powerful than the people (and the government) in a country.  They “call the shots”.  ”Calling the shots” means to make the important decisions.  They are so rich and powerful, and most of this stuff is a secret to most people.  And they want to keep it that way.

It’s not a secret that banks are rich, powerful, and have a lot of money.  But it’s not at all very well known what the hell is going on “behind the scenes”.  That means “outside of public awareness”.

I’d love to hear your opinions on this topic of money.  Please answer:

A) Why does everything keep costing more and more money?  Is this a good idea?  Who is it helping and who is it hurting in your opinion?

B)  Why would a government have a system where they ‘borrow’ money from banks, instead of just making it themselves to avoid having a debt with interest that the tax payers need to pay off?  What is going on?

Even if you have no idea, don’t be shy, just take a guess and share your opinions with us.  We’d love to hear them.

And if you are interested in this topic (which you really should be, it’s awesome when you start getting into it “for both men and women”) then you should check out these 3 awesome full length movies “documentaries” that I have downloaded and put in the kick ass VIP community.  They are some of the best videos I’ve seen.  You will love them, and learn a lot of cool English too.  I guarantee it :)

University and College Education TODAY

August 25th, 2013

24 Comments »

I was born in 1979.

When I was growing up, I remember everyone around me saying that I NEED a university education if I don’t want to have a terrible life.  I believed it.  Almost everyone I knew believed it too.

At that time, university wasn’t SOOO expensive.  Students could pay for school with a good part time job.  They didn’t graduate with a huge debt and crazy student loans.

Things are very different now.  University is unbelievably expensive, and more and more students are going to school.  It seems that everyone believes that having a university degree will somehow just “magically” give them a good job when they graduate.  Well, with so many people having degrees, the “good jobs” are getting harder and harder to find.  Students in the US are paying an average of $27 000 USD per YEAR just to go to school.  Some students are paying a lot more.  When they graduate, they have an insane amount of pressure to pay back a crazy student loan, and it’s harder and harder to find a high paying job just by showing people your degree.  A lot of employers now realize that A) too many people have the same thing, and B) It’s really just a “fancy” piece of paper.

With technology changing so fast as well, colleges and universities aren’t really able to “keep up” with it all, and really prepare students with the proper knowledge they will need for the jobs of the future.

Chinese students have been going to the US in HUGE numbers over the past 10 years or so.  They are growing so fast.  I just read in a really interesting article from the Wall Street Journal that about 70% of them return to China after graduating to find a job, and less and less of them can find a good job.  They’ve almost “wasted” their parent’s hard earned money, and it’s not their fault either.

The price of education is going up fast, the quality is going down fast, and more and more people are joining the workforce with the same degree, the same piece of paper.

They have a huge debt/loan to pay off.  It’s almost like they have a mortgage, but NO HOUSE!

Students in America owe a total of over 1 trillion dollars in student loans.  That is $1 000 000 000 000.  Insane.  Thousands and thousands of students in the US owe more money just in student loans, than the price of a pretty decent house!  I’m not joking.

REAL skills (like learning high level English, computers/internet, and networking) are becoming more important (and not expensive)

Anyway……  Do I think that it’s a terrible idea to get a university education?  Of course not!  But I absolutely think that you should really think about this carefully, and don’t just be a sheep and think that your insanely expensive piece of paper will just magically help you.  You need to think ahead and think “smarter” than most of the other people who just believe whatever they are told by society.

I’d love to know where you are from, how old you are, and what your thoughts are about this topic.  Please share your thoughts about this important topic in the comments below.

I also just watched an AWESOME documentary about this situation and I put that video and the article about international students studying in China here in the VIP community for you guys to enjoy.  You will love both.  There is a lot of great stuff in there that is both really interesting AND will help your English.  I spend so much of my time looking for this kind of stuff for you guys.  I’m sure you’ll love it :)

Again, please let me know your situation, and your exact opinion on this.  If you completely agree or totally disagree with me, that’s totally fine.  It’s great practice for your English to get your thoughts down in writing, and it’s great for all of us (including me) to learn and think about different perspectives.  We can all learn from each other.

The 1 %

August 12th, 2013

15 Comments »

If you watch any political or financial news, or news in general, you’ll often hear about “The One Percent”.

“The 1 %” is a relatively new and very popular term to refer to the richest 1% of the people in society. So, for example, if you had a small town of 1000 people, “the 1 %” of that town would be the richest 10 people.

This term is used a lot when talking about “rich people” in general, or people who should be paying more in taxes, or when talking about the “wealth gap”. That is, the large and growing difference between rich and poor people.

A “gap” is a space. I could say, “She went to the dentist to fix the large gap between her two front teeth. She looks much prettier now”.

So when we hear something like, “The wealth gap is getting a lot bigger.” That means that the rich people are getting richer and the poor people are getting poorer.

“The one percent” are the rich people. They also want to stay rich. Many of them will influence politicians (law makers) to make laws that help them keep their money (low taxes) and help them keep earning more of it easily.

They have been very successful in the USA over the last 30 years. The top 1% of the people in the US now own about 25% of all of the money. (In the 1970′s, the top 1% had only 9% of the money.)

The situation is getting more and more severe as well. Life is amazingly easy financially for the top 1% of the people, and it’s very hard for the bottom 25% of the people. Those people have a hard time buying enough healthy food for their families and clothes for their kids.

Many, but not all, people in the 1% make the argument that poor people are lazy and shouldn’t get any help from the government. They believe they already pay more than enough money in taxes. They believe that if the poor people want more money, they can just work harder for it. No one is stopping them.

I am personally somewhere in the middle. I do believe that people who work hard should be allowed to have a much better stuff than people who sit around doing nothing. I also believe that many poor people are in fact very lazy and believe that they should get free stuff for doing nothing.

But I don’t believe that the rules of the game are reasonable. It’s possible to work for 60 hours a week (ie. not lazy) and still not be able to feed your family healthy food and pay for health care and pay for your kids to play sports and have an education. I think that’s a bit ridiculous.

An economic system that allows for rich people to have their own private air planes and also allow for millions of poor people to not be able to afford a tomato sandwich and a visit to the doctor seems stupid.

I’d like to see economists work towards a new system that allows for a very large and healthy middle class. There would still be some rich and poor people, but the difference wouldn’t be as insane as it is now.

BUT…… Guess what. I really can’t imagine that happening. It seems like we’re in a world where greed is #1. The richest people have so much control of everything and they will do anything to make it stay that way.

So, no matter what you think or hope is true, we’re living in a world where it is important to try to get ahead and earn money. No one is going to take care of you, you need to take care of yourself. The difference between rich and poor is huge, and it is getting bigger every year. Having a good job will pay a lot of money, and getting a terrible job will pay almost nothing, even if you are working hard in both jobs. You need to be more competitive. You need to improve your chances to get a high paying job by doing anything you can. Your hard work now will make your life much better in the future, and your family’s as well.

If that isn’t an amazing reason to start getting more serious about learning English right now (so you can be more competitive and earn more money) I really don’t know what is.

Love to hear your thoughts below.

For the best ways to improve your English fast, join us in the VIP, AND in our high level community. These places are for people who really want to get ahead in life.

Putting in an “Honest Effort”

July 23rd, 2013

17 Comments »

Even though you are not a native speaker and you have possibly never heard this term, I’m guessing you can guess what an honest effort means.

An honest effort, is when you actually try your best at something.  Only YOU know when you are trying your best, so only YOU know if you are putting in an honest effort.

When I was a young kid, my parents, teachers, and coaches were always telling us how important it is to try our best at whatever we do.  I’ll have to admit, I never realized how truly important this was until pretty recently.  I believe that part of the reason was that I was afraid to believe this.  I didn’t want it to be true.  For me personally, I almost fantasize about a successful and happy life without needing to put in a full effort.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want or expect success with no effort.  I guess it’s just that I hoped that hard work wasn’t so important for success.  I somehow wish that intelligence and great ideas were more important than they are.

I kind of hoped that hard work was something that was just for the “stupid” or the “average” people.  I wanted to be more creative, more thoughtful, and attain success from simply having better ideas than the ideas of the typical “hard workers”.

But the truth is that when I think about all the people I know in my own life who are successful at anything, hard and consistent work is almost always the biggest reason.  The most successful people I know are not the smartest people, and they aren’t the most talented either.  But they are the hardest working people.  Even if their ideas and plans aren’t that amazing, they end up succeeding at almost anything they do because they keep working hard no matter what the situation looks like, and they never give up.  If their first plan doesn’t work, they try something else and work even harder.

This is true for people who are successful in business, in relationships, in learning a new language, in fitness, in pretty much anything. Hard work is insanely important for success.  You can make all the excuses you want, and many of your excuses might even make sense, but the real truth is pretty simple; if you want more success in your life, then you need to work harder than you are now.

This blog is supposed to be a little “kick in the pants” for anyone reading this.  It’s a wake up call.  I know you’d like to improve many areas of your life, and your English level is just one of them; and it’s a very important one too.  Even if you already know a lot of what I’m saying, I just hope this wakes you up a little bit.  You need to study harder.  You need to be more consistent with your studying. You know that you need to improve your English, and I hope this blog helps you realize that you shouldn’t waste even one more day procrastinating and making excuses.  Life is short, and we have no time to waste.

For a great way (the best way) to improve your English, try our VIP community.  I’ve been uploading awesome documentaries, books, and now some full length awesome audio books.  When I was in Canada, I read a lot of really great books, and I’m sharing the best ones with you guys in this VIP community.  I’ll keep them there and keep adding more stuff I know you’ll love.  I just uploaded one of the best and most famous books ever about psychology and improvement.  This will absolutely help your English and your life. It’s in there now :)

Of course, the China232 VIP room is pretty sick as well.  Do you know that Add and I already have more than 211 VIP podcasts in there?  If you study all those lessons, you’ll have unbelievable English in less than 90 days.  Just sayin…

Love to hear your thoughts and comments as usual :)  Did this post help motivate you to get off your butt and start working harder?

Different Cultures And Marriage

May 27th, 2013

22 Comments »

I was watching a “light news” video today on Youtube. “Light news” or “Soft news” is the type of news story that is talked about when nothing really serious or major happens in the world.

This video was an American news video. It was talking about a story that apparently happened in China. I say “apparently” because, as you guys know, I live here and I didn’t hear about it. Anyway, I do believe it happened.

Apparently some woman in China was working in some kind of “divorce office”. I suppose she was one person in charge of allowing people to get divorced (I’m not sure which city) but it doesn’t really matter for this story. Anyway, when a husband and wife walk into the office to get a divorce, this woman is supposed to do the paperwork to make it official.

Well, I guess this Chinese woman didn’t like to see so many divorces, so she would pretend that the printer wasn’t working or she would make up some story that would make the couple “think twice” about getting the divorce. Her purpose of making the excuse was to try to save marriages and only give them to couples who are super serious about getting a divorce, and not just in a silly argument. Because of what this lady was doing, the couple would have to go home while still married because the divorce couldn’t happen that day, and if they still wanted a divorce later, they would have to go back to the office and get one.

According to this woman, many couples never returned. I guess they didn’t REALLY want one. I think many young couples don’t treat marriage seriously like they did in the past, and they get divorced for a silly reason like a dumb argument.

Divorces are getting more common all over the world. Some people think this is a horrible and sad thing for obvious reasons. Some people actually think its a good thing because they believe that people shouldn’t be married if they don’t want to be. They believe that if a couple says they want a divorce, just let them, what’s the big deal? It’s their choice right? They also believe that the reason there are more divorces now than in the past is because people in the past who were in terrible marriages (maybe where the husband was hitting his wife or in a marriage where one of them were cheating) would just stay married, even though the marriage was TERRIBLE. It’s definitely much easier to get a divorce now, and more people are getting them.

For me, I’m personally a little bit more traditional. I do believe that more divorces are a bad thing for society in general. I don’t think marriage should be treated lightly or like a total joke. It’s more than just a piece of paper in my mind. I do believe that couples who are truly in a horrible marriage should be able to get divorced, but I don’t think it should be so easy that all you have to do is get in a little argument and say “I want a divorce”.

If it’s so easy to get divorces, why even have marriage? If it’s JUST a piece of paper, then what is the point of that paper? I think we need to be somewhere in middle.

Anyway, the Americans in the video were saying it was WRONG of the Chinese woman to be doing this. They thought that the government should totally stay out of this business of divorce. I think the Americans who made this video were wrong. They were too simple minded and they treated marriage like it had too little meaning in my opinion.

The American woman in the video has especially ridiculous views on this (in my opinion again). I don’t like her thinking at all. I would love to hear what you guys think on this topic! I know some people can watch Youtube and some can’t because of the country you are in, but anyway, for those who can watch it, here it is.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section!   I am fine if you disagree with me on this.  It’s just opinions.  I’d love to hear where you are from, why you think what you do, and how old you are and what you do.  (Or anything you’d like to share with us)

By the way, the new SUPER VIP monthly membership is coming VERY SOON!!  It’s going to be amazing so get ready…

Also, remember to watch my daily free English learning videos here.