Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's All Game The System

Frank Bruni, whom I rarely read takes on Tim Ferriss whom I've only read about:
"Having exhorted Americans toward six-pack abs and schooled them in 15-minute orgasms, the personal improvement guru Tim Ferriss turned his attention more recently to travel advice. It appeared in The Times on Sunday,and it said a lot about what's wrong with our country."
Ferriss has apparently started giving travel advice. He urges his disciples:
One of the tips he shared in The Times was this: if you must a check a bag, pack an unloaded starter pistol in it,so that the Transportation Security Administration will flag the piece of luggage, thus diminishing or altogether eliminating the possibility of its loss. It's extra work and fretting for them but, hey,you get peace of mind. Isn't that what counts?"
According to Bruni, Ferriss also suggests parking illegally and paying the parking fines if those fines would happen to cost less than the fees. If Ferriss were advocating civil disobedience because the TSA frequently targets passengers unjustly or the airport pricing schemes make loan sharks seem charitable, his tactics might have merit.

Ferriss, however, seems to be indicating that all systems should be gamed. Ferriss's financial success means that he has access to lawyers and has made connections that insulate him from the consequences of his actions. Someone who makes $50,000 and tries these stunts may well miss a flight or face more severe consequences because it's easy to make an example of her.

Finally, are Americans really that forgetful and stupid? The country is still suffering from the worst economic downturn in 80 years because a bunch of people gamed the system for individual gain.

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