☝️ Upwarding #46: Self-imposed Limits x2, Stop Eating Less, 65% Taxes, Changing Perspectives

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


At age 61, Clifford Young, a potato farmer, entered a 544 mile ultramarathon race.  He showed up in overalls and work boots.  Nobody told him you were supposed to stop to sleep so he ran, slowly but continuously, for 5 days.  And won.  He then decided to split the $10,000 prize between the runners who placed 2nd through 6th, keeping none for himself.


Speaking of running, Wim Hof ran a half marathon.  Barefoot.  Wearing Shorts.  Above the Arctic circle.  This is a guy who teaches you to question your self-imposed limits:


Does eating less make you live longer?

This is very hard to measure in humans, so a multi-decade study was started using Rhesus Monkeys (a close primate relative) in 1987.  The study was much hyped, and anticipated great success in showing how helpful it was to chronically restrict our food intake.  Unfortunately, a few years ago – the results started coming in.  And they were really unimpressive.  For those who began to restrict calories as adults – basically NOTHING changed.  I’m not a monkey, but I’m also not willing to cut calories 30% based on data like these.  Enjoy the cake.


What is the maximum amount of someone’s lifetime earnings that they should pay back to the government?

In Germany they have a constitutional requirement not to tax anyone more than 50% of their earnings (not sure this actually applies in practice).  In some states like New Jersey, the AVERAGE person is paying 50% of their lifetime earnings in tax.  This doesn’t include high earners who might be subject to larger marginal income tax rates – I suspect a high earner in California might be getting close to 65% of their lifetime earnings going back to the government.

At what point do we cross into socialism, and….does this even matter anymore?  Do we even ask the question when we raise taxes whether at some point we hit a limit?  I don’t hear it being discussed, but it feels important.


“A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points” – Alan Kay

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