Enjoy the Decline Book Review

The Decline is Accelerating

Aaron Clarey of Captain Capitalism fame published Enjoy the Decline back in 2013. Clarey, a self-described “motorcycling, fossil-hunting, tornado chasing, book-writing, ballroom dancing economist,” made his strong grip on economics clear throughout the 204 pages of Enjoy the Decline. One of Clarey’s primary concerns back in 2013 was the government deficit. Having recognized that the government failed to build a surplus during a market upswing, Clarey figured further taxation would be the only way to cure the United States out of its self-inflicted disease.

Now, seven years later, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and further built upon our debt problem. The US is therefore in an even more rapid decline with crippling taxation as the only remedy. Clarey’s insights into the issues plaguing the United States continue to ring true to this day. But, you don’t need to get worked up about our nation losing its place atop the global world order. There are ways to Enjoy the Decline. Below are some tips Clarey shared.

Live a Minimalist Lifestyle

Clarey asserts that we, citizens of the United States, are the hosts to the most powerful parasite in the world: the US government. The US has an incredibly high tax rate, yet has little to show for it. Decaying infrastructure, slowing growth, and increasing divisions among its people indicate a very poor allocation of capital. What could be a symbiotic relationship is unfortunately one sided. So, how do you kill a parasite sucking you of life? Shrink the host.

Clarey advocates living a minimalist lifestyle. Rather than working for the man, you can work for yourself and live off of a modest income. Practice frugality and enjoy your life. By reducing your own needs, you’re in turn reducing what the government can take. Importantly, by adapting to a lifestyle devoid of material things, you’re preparing for a SHTF event. You can pack up at a moment’s notice, which makes you well prepared for whatever life throws your way.

Develop Your Own Intellectual Pursuits

If the US education system fails to engage your mind, you don’t need to simply throw up your hands. Develop your own intellectual pursuits.

“Good conversation, debate, studying history, pursuing new hobbies or studies, philosophy, talk radio, mathematics, etc., a limitless treasure of knowledge, thought and intellectual challenge is out there for everybody to avail.” (71)

I’ve previously underscored the importance of studying history. Clarey notes that doing so will give your life more purpose. The state of affairs both inside and outside the US are horrible. Stop reading the news and engage in something more enriching. How else can you Enjoy the Decline?

Don’t Get Caught on the Corporate Hamster Wheel

How can you assure your misery? Start running on the corporate hamster wheel. In Enjoy the Decline, Clarey mentions that death is one of life’s few guarantees. Before you get there, you might as well enjoy the time you’re spending on this planet. Finding yourself stuck in a never-ending grind isn’t really living. Clarey suggests you enjoy hobbies, nature, and time spent with your friends. By avoiding the corporate hamster wheel, you’ll have time for each.

Be your own boss. This doesn’t require you let your own business consume you. Rather, work enough to support your minimalist lifestyle. More money doesn’t just create more problems. It enlarges the host. Kill the parasite and “Go Galt.” If the American Dream is dead, that doesn’t mean you can’t Enjoy the Decline. Live life on your own terms and make the most of it.

More from Clarey

Aaron Clarey also runs Asshole Consulting, a consulting company without the BS. He’s written a number of other books, such as Bachelor Pad Economics, and Worthless: The Young Person’s Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major.  You can also find Clarey on Twitter @aaron_clarey. I recommend giving him a follow if you’re looking for perspective without concern for political correctness.

So, what do you think? Did you like Enjoy the Decline? Leave a comment below or contact me directly.

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1 thought on “Enjoy the Decline Book Review”

  1. Lol, the US has an incredibly high tax rate? It actually has one of the lowest tax rates of all the Western countries, and considerably less than Western European ones. That’s precisely what the US is infamous for, those super low taxes but at the same time an almost draconic lack of social safety netting that Western European countries all have, and because of which becoming very ill or heavilly injured out of one’s own’s fault won’t bankrupt you and make you destitute in Western Europe while it very well might make you homeless if you live in the US.


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