Join me and 99,000+ others on my Substack to upgrade your life.

Normalized Scams We’re (Mostly) Not Even Aware of Anymore

by | Jul 4, 2022 | Life Hacks

Scams are everywhere.

Yet they become camouflaged when we live with them for so long. A tweet from Austin Rief asking about normalized scams got some interesting answers. Let’s dissect the best ones.

2% annual inflation targets

I can’t believe there aren’t global protests over this one.

The value of your money is outside your control. Through inflation and money printing (dollars created out of thin air) we’re given a hidden tax.

This tax is applied whenever times get tough or society needs free money to fund a bat virus. It seems smart but it’s not. Messing with the value of money through inflation has destroyed price discovery.

People say “my house went up 20%, mate” when it often didn’t go up at all. The value of the house is measured in dollars. When there are more free dollars in the system everything goes up.

We feel good about houses going up. But we’re being tricked.

The part that makes my blood boil is inflation isn’t 2%. That’s based on a government calculation designed to make the hidden tax as small as possible.

When you run the inflation numbers yourself you’ll see inflation is astronomically higher.

Just ask people barely getting by. Just ask the middle class.

College costing $200K+

For what you get it’s a joke.

Except for medicine, engineering, and lawyers the college education is overkill. The worst part is the piece of paper guarantees you of nothing — not even a job interview or a google coffee mug.

Imagine a content creator said “buy my course” … and it was $200K. Wouldn’t you at least ask “what’s the guaranteed ROI amigo?”

Drug costs

Many drugs get sold to us to solve medical problems. Then they create even more medical problems requiring, you guessed it, more drugs. Scam.

Thankfully an American hero, Mark Cuban, is trying to sell pharma drugs at a much smaller margin than retail.

The best drug is using diet and exercise to treat illness for free.

Guacamole costs extra

Every time you eat Mexican the restaurant wants more cashola for guac.

I mean it’s freaking healthy. It’s a standard ingredient. It’s not like they’re adding billionaire truffles fresh off Jeff Bezos’ yacht on your burrito or anything. The guac price should be included.


In my hometown of Melbourne we don’t tip. Nope.

When I went to America every restaurant wanted tips. I feel for the service workers because they work their asses off.

Makes no sense why the restaurants don’t just pay their workers fairly, so they don’t have to beg customers for tips and feel like charity workers when the work they do is a critical part of our global economy.

Cities built for cars

In most places bikes and walking are an after-thought.

You’ve gotta be careful not to get hit by a gas-guzzling redneck in an overpriced SUV who thinks they own the road. Tragic.

Everyone owning a car is the least efficient way for humans to get around. And forcing everyone to live next to big cities so they can attend a cubicle is stupid too.

Let’s normalize work from home and get some cars off the road.

Health insurance system

In Australia we have free healthcare. Yet you still have to buy health insurance for a lot of stuff. Americans have it the worst though.

You break a leg in America without health insurance … and you could go bankrupt. People literally choose jobs in the US based on health insurance coverage.

How did this happen?

Health insurance became a business rather than a public service.

Digital privacy

We all know Zucks spies on us in our underwear.

He even joked about it. All these trackers and cookies and free software that’s really an elaborate scam to steal your data should be illegal.

We’re getting there.

Two-party political system

We need more political parties.

Two isn’t enough in most countries. It’s way too easy to manipulate. While we’re at it we should set the retirement age for presidents to 65. The world would move faster if we did.

80% of school

Memorization and access to information are the core philosophies.

Yet you can learn online for free and access to information isn’t a hindrance. We’re drowning in information. What we need is more execution and experimentation. And we need to learn from a young age to take more risks.

Needlessly complex taxation

I just spent the last 6 weeks learning the western tax system.

OMG. What a time suck. Nothing makes sense.

The whole system is set up beautifully for the rich people to pay high-priced accountants and lawyers to dodge the system and pay the least amount possible — while the uneducated and middle class, who often don’t know how it works, pay the most. Clever.

Tax should be simple. The more you earn the more you pay.


I dodged this scam. Mine cost less than $1000.

A church full of people with some food shouldn’t cost more than a car and require a credit card to pay for it while you spend the rest of your happily married life paying it off (along with college debt).

Sunday church is free. And when you book a restaurant for a few friends they normally don’t charge you tens of thousands of dollars. Scam.


Same sh*t different smell.

Why does burying a dead person in the ground cost so much? They’re dead. The box with their remains doesn’t matter. A few nice words and an extra-long station wagon aren’t crazy hard to execute. Scam.

The funeral parlor gets you nicely cause your mourning of a loved one blocks your better judgment — and they know it too.

Having a baby

My daughter is cooking away in my wife’s belly. She’s due in November. We went to buy a few things for her arrival. Holy crap. As soon as you say “baby” the cost of plastic junk you’d normally buy from the $2 shop goes up 20x.

“Having a baby. Awwwww congrats snookums. $2500 for a pram please.”

The baby tax is ridiculous. Don’t get me started on maternity wear prices.

Buy now, pay later services

How about no?

If you buy now you pay now. This whole idea of buying stuff and forgetting about it in the hope you win the lottery some day has got to stop. It’s why the world is drowning in debt.

Don’t get me started on the buy now, pay later global economy we live in.

2020: “Here’s a few stimmy checks”

2022: “Here’s 8.6% inflation”

The ultimate Buy Now ‘Pay’ Later scheme — Conor Mac

The 70 billion dollar supplement industry

Eat healthy food and you don’t need supplements.

Most of these fancy vitamins are just expensive piss that doesn’t help your body function better at all.

…Because your body is smart enough to tell the difference between real nutrition from whole foods and fake nutrition made in a factory and loaded with chemicals. So when you ingest fake nutrition your body gets its revenge by pissing it back out.

“There you idiot” says the body.

Credit score system

Financial racism is real.

How do I know? I worked with some of the biggest banks in the world. Your credit score is how bankers make a bunch of unfair assumptions about you.

Buying water

Nothing to add. Makes no sense for 90% of the world.

Starbucks coffee

Large coffee milkshakes that mess with your body’s natural energy levels and cost a fortune are scams. The coffee becomes addictive after a while. Soon you need coffee to function.

Coffee is a psychedelic. That means most of the world is full of drug addicts.

Social media content stolen for $0

You post on Facebook/Meta. They sell ads against your content. You get $0 revenue share, yet you create much of the value. Makes no sense. Stop giving your creative creations away for free to get Zuck bucks (likes).

The ownership of ideas

Several others have remixed this article idea. What’s sad is people accused Austin Rief (who I got it from) of stealing this idea. LOL.

Most ideas aren’t original. It’s what you do with them that counts.

Trying to own a monopoly on all ideas and screaming theft is stupid. We’re all borrowing from somewhere unless we have Einstein-level genius.

Are You Operating With Maximum Energy?

For those who are tired of dragging through the day, who want to get back the fire they once had, who are ready to reclaim your natural energy… this is your book.

Unleash the fire within