I’m normally a really nice guy. I take care of my family. I pay my taxes. I hold doors for people. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt, knowing we’re all just doing the best we can, trying to make our way in the world.

But I’m angry. In fact I’m more than angry – I’m damn mad.

All my life, I believed that society worked by rules – and that if you worked hard and played by those rules, that you had a fair shot in life. There weren’t any guarantees of course (we’re guaranteed an opportunity for “the pursuit of happiness,” not “happiness”), but we all had a shot.

In 2008, right at “The Great Recession” was blooming, I started to realize that wasn’t actually the case. I began to see that certain people, such as those who run banking, government, and big business, were manipulating the system, changing the rules in ways that benefited them without any regard for the rest of us. And they get away with it, screwing over the little guy (i.e. you and me) in the process.

We have a money system that steals value out of our pockets by design, built by bankers who break the law again and again and just pay a little fine as the cost of doing business. We have politicians who are essentially owned by their big-money donors and pass laws based on their interests and not on the interests of their constituents. We have big business leaders who won’t hesitate to lie to customers, screw over employees, and hurt the country as long as it helps the bottom line.

I catalog a lot of this in an upcoming book called “How You Got Screwed,” which will be out in 2018. But that book only serves as a starting point for people who are learning what’s going on and, more importantly, trying to figure out what to do about it.

That’s where this new blog comes in. I want to continue documenting the ways in which our system has failed, but more importantly, I want to try to answer the question: “What do I do about it?”

I named this site Defiant Living because I refuse to accept the way things are. It’s not OK for people to screw over the rest of us in order to benefit themselves. And I want to live a successful, happy life in defiance of those people, fighting back all the while.

I’m not saying I have all the answers, because I certainly don’t. I’m still learning and trying to figure all this out. But it’s something I’m committed to, and look forward to sharing my thoughts – and hearing yours – as we go forward.

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