Believe it or not, this is a post about early retirement. Think about how much better off you and your family would be if women were given sole leadership of every nation. All you have to do is turn on the news to see how much men are fucking up the situation.
Given the chance, I believe women would work together to end the proliferation of pew pew guns, bombs, and nuclear missiles. I believe they’d work together to end hunger and human suffering.
Why? Because they don’t have a certain appendage that seems to cause a lot of problems in society today.
In the course of history there have been a growing number of women in leadership positions. In many instances, they’ve succeeded where men would likely have botched it.
Improving our chances at early retirement
With the latest tax bill as exhibit A, it’s clear that when old white men are given the chance, they’ll push through a tax cut that benefits corporations and the super wealthy (i.e., “Donors”.) The middle class get peanuts, if they don’t wind up paying more.
Do you believe, for example, that a tax bill designed by women would strip away the deduction for school supplies paid for out of teachers’ pockets? Similarly, would a collective of the fairer and wiser sex intentionally leave 13 million people uninsured of health care coverage?
On the contrary, I believe a world ruled by women would radically improve the fortunes of more than just the select few of us FIRE-ees:
- Health care would be universal. No individuals (particularly low-income children) would be left to suffer out of ignorance or spite.
- Prioritization of maternity and paternity leave for new parents. No more fathers stuck with a measly 1 or 2 weeks off to help with massive new responsibilities. And no longer would new mothers be stuck with a meager three months of leave.
- Money would be spent on bridges, schools, and oh yeah, healthcare, instead of guns, tanks, bullets, and missiles. Any leftover money goes to lower taxes (which of course accelerates early retirement for everyone – blog theme covered!)
- Equality and science would reign. Concepts about sun worshipping from the Bronze Age would no longer apply.
- Zero tolerance for violence. Background checks for firearms would be strict. Firearm free zones would be expanded, as the 2nd amendment is properly interpreted to only allow muskets and tomahawks.
The economics alone should make you think
Women have a long way to go to reach parity in this country and even in Western Europe. The rest of the world lags behind.
Studies have shown that if globally, women were able to participate in the workforce on par with men, GDP would surge by 33%. The Economics of Women in Power is an excellent summary of the opportunity we’re missing out on.
But the trends are unmistakable. So there is hope.
As recently as 1978, there were ZERO women in the U.S. Senate. Today, the senate is made up roughly of 20% women. They’re the only ones with balls enough to challenge Orrin Hatch it seems. So it’s definitely a good trend.
Mrs. Money Mustache brought us Financial Freedom through Badassity
If you’re a big fan of Mr. Money Mustache, and you’ve got posters of his top-hat donning alter-ego hanging over your head-board, well, I get it. I’m a big fan too.
His writing style is engaging, and he picks apart a given topic with the care and details of a scientist. He puts the rest of us blowhard bloggers to shame.
The secret behind his success is his wife. She’s the one who orchestrated the creation of the infamous personal finance blog we all love and follow like sheep.
There are now thousands of followers of that fine blog. Many have changed how they live their lives because of what Mrs. Money Mustache inspired a few years back.
Changing the world one reader at a time is a big accomplishment. Were they not Canadian-born, I’d nominate Mrs. Money Mustache for president, and her witty, handy hubby as the Secretary of the newly formed Department of Get off Your Ass and Ride a Bike.
The “Bitch Factor”
Such a nasty word. And yet, our society can’t help but call out women when they challenge men openly. “What a BITCH!” they exclaim. And sadly, some saying those very words are women.
The Market Mogul article referenced earlier hints at this phenomenon. When women speak out to challenge men (like Sen. McKaskill’s dressing down Sen. Hatch), people tend to think lesser of these women.
And perversely, when men speak out to challenge other men, they come off looking better. I’m not sure where this attitude comes from, but it’s ridiculous at its core.
Look no further than the last election to see how this backwards attitude can affect judgement at the polls. We still have a lot of work to do to progress as a society.
Oh, and if there’s any bitches worth caring about, it’s these bitches.
Go see the film, “The Battle of the Sexes”, for inspiration
On a date night a few weeks back, Mrs. Cubert and I went to the cheap theater to see “The Battle of the Sexes” with Emma Stone as Billy Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs. Great film. I highly recommend it.
You can’t help but come away from a movie like that inspired about what women are capable of. If you’ve ever been a skeptic or a doubter, it simply means you need to educate yourself more about the topic. In this case, equality for women.
Even as recently as the 70s, attitudes about women were dominated by stereotypes and myths. Howard Cossell’s live commentary during the infamous tennis match was off the charts sexist. It was then for women a bit like it is today for many Indian immigrants, faced with caricatures like Apu on “the Simpsons.” Ignorant, sadly popular, and seemingly de rigueur.
Not ALL women should rule
Of course there are always bad apples in the bunch. There are plenty of women causing mischief just like their male counterparts. Consider Carrie Tolstedt, former banking executive at Wells Fargo.
Ms. Tolstedt allegedly orchestrated the opening of over 2 million consumer accounts without the consumer even knowing about it. And she is from Nebraska, for Pete’s Sake!
Then there’s Imelda Marcos. Who can forget the shoe collection that dwarfed even Ivana Trump’s? Now THAT’S a garage sale that could last for weeks… Oh, right. She was also known for siphoning millions of government dollars to personal offshore bank accounts. D’oh!
Women are better with their money too
Shoe collections aside, and not surprisingly, women tend to do better with their finances than us men. It could be that because women earn $0.78 on the dollar compared to their male counterparts, they’re less inclined to take dumb-ass risks.
The statistics bear out some interesting findings. Women do in fact take fewer risks with their investments. And we all know what tinkering with our nest egg often leads to in the FIRE community, right?
If you don’t know, the basic premise to becoming wealthy is to “set it and forget it.” We preach about the importance of investing via low-fee firms like Vanguard or Betterment, in low-risk offerings like S&P 500 Index Funds. Not very sexy, but very effective.
Contrast that with Gambler Joe who puts his paychecks down at the track. Or Day-trader Vince who can’t help but try to beat the market, despite very scant information on the health of a given company.
In our household, Mrs. Cubert is a strong balance to my risk-taking tendencies. She is frugal (there’s that word again), hard-working, and a quick study on just about any topic.
I’ve written about it before, but she has been the key driver behind my run of success career-wise and with our rental business (much like Mrs. Money Mustache… Though I’m just a tad behind Pete and his quest for world transformation.)
Is she perfect? Of course not. If you ever catch me playing blackjack at the $5 table, odds are you’ll find Mrs. Cubert sitting right next to me as we try to entertain ourselves while not losing all $80 we put down. “How ya doin’, Gambler Joe??”
We often dance around the topic of how to improve her business income. Making money for the sake of well, making money, isn’t why she’s in her chosen field. I’ll carefully inject my two cents to make suggestions on lowering costs and ratcheting up revenues.
But her focus is squarely on her patients’ well-being. Really, where it should be.
In Summary, Women Rule (and they should Rule)
I’m not looking to score brownie points from Mrs. Cubert with this post. Nope. I’m just calling it like I see it. Look at the statistics, and consider the folly of men in power through the ages (and especially today.)
If you’re curious how it might work in a raw, untamed setting, go read the Mutiny on the Bounty Trilogy. Based on true events, the last book in the collection describes how the men killed each other off based on senseless squabbles, leaving only one man to survive among dozens of women. Sounds truly awful, no?
Today Pitcairn Island is an interesting little community in the Pacific, with a lot of very interesting history behind it. I’m not suggesting we need to recreate the Pitcairn scenario on a global scale as a means to improve the lot of women.
It took Europeans two world wars in close succession to figure out they needed empowered women for a better society. Hopefully we don’t need to go through hell just to make obvious steps in human progress.
Are there things that men clearly do better than women? I’m not actually sure. I suppose there’s some areas where men typically have an edge, like causing catastrophic injury in tackle football, or throwing a 100 MPH fastball. That’s kinda neat.
Otherwise, the fairer sex is clearly up to the task of ruling the world. I’m hopeful they’ll get the chance. And soon.