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The modern approach to wealth, success, and self-fulfillment.
For money makers and cheddar chasers. 



PASS is the New Wealth Model               

When people talk about money goals, they usually do so through the application of labeling individuals as either being rich or being wealthy.  And, lately, the FIRE movement - Financially Independent Retire Early - has been the latest en vogue finance model.  Through a previous publication on A. J. Smith 365 (“Rich vs. Wealthy vs. Self-Sustaining”) I have briefly talked about PASS, but not in detail.  This publication intends to focus on PASS, a terminology that has been exclusively developed by A. J. Smith 365, and explain why it will become the future benchmark for determining financial success.

PASS is an acronym for Pathway to Achieving Self-Sustainability.  The reason why PASS is a more superior means of gauging financial fitness over the labels “rich” and “wealth” is because PASS is actually measurable, it reconditions individuals’ mindsets and processes towards attaining financial independence, and it aligns more with socio-political issues that people face in the 21st century.

When you look up the terms “wealthy” or “rich”, you get nebulous explanations of the two.  Ironically, they both are defined as “Having a great deal of money, resources, or assets.”  The problem with determining who is rich or who is wealthy is that both terms are not really quantifiable; not at least on a level where the masses can reach consensus.  For example, in Chris Rock’s Never Scared (2004) comedy special, he did a comparative analysis of rich.  In his example, he classified Shaquille O’Neal, who has a net worth of $400 million dollars, as being rich and the owner of the team that signs Shaq’s checks as being wealthy.  He even went further than that.  He said that Oprah Winfrey - worth over $1 billion dollars - was rich and that Bill Gates was wealthy.

I’m pretty sure some of you, as am I, are scratching your head at such remarks.  Shaquille O’Neal is not wealthy?  Oprah Winfrey is not wealthy?  That’s because the terms “wealth” and “rich” don’t have any quantifiable metric that we all can agree on.  The status of being wealthy and being rich are subjective.

The pathway to achieving self-sustainability (PASS) is not really a financial model.  PASS is a lifestyle model that promotes the ability of an individual to become self-sufficient.  PASS gauges a person’s ability to provide the necessities that human beings need in order to survive.  We’ve identified those necessities as being food, shelter, water, security, and the ability to regulate one’s body temperature.  Some of you may say, well, most people can do that right now.  Most people already have access to those essentials.  Well, not really.  It’s not just the ability to access these essentials, but to also control these essentials.  Thus, PASS is easily measurable, while being qualified as wealthy or rich is not.  You can go through a checklist and determine who PASSes and who does not just by seeing if one controls their food source, their water source, their shelter, can cool themselves or heat themselves so that they don’t either freeze to death or die of heat stroke, and can defend their personal possession and themselves against antagonists.  [NOTE: PASS model understands one cannot outright own their property as property taxes and the threat of eminent domain will almost always be present.]

Most people obtain their water from a government-provided source.  They may have shelter, but that shelter typically has a mortgage associated with it.  Currently, most people’s food source is obtained by way of a third party, usually some commercial vendor.  And, most people regulate their body temperature through some sort of cooling and heating system that needs a power source provided by a public grid owned and operated by some managed service provider.  But, PASS gauges self-sustainability similar to how, in fact exactly how, a prepper would.  It is not enough for one to have access to these essentials, but they need to control these essentials.  PASS looks at self-sustainability from a worst-case scenario.  What if World War Z (2019) becomes a reality?  What if global warming actually creates droughts across countries or floods-out cities.  Or, what if some other unforeseen event wipes out the power grid?  We can currently point to areas like California and their wildfires or South Africa’s “Day Zero” water rations and see how these scenarios are not merely scenarios at all, but reality.

I would highly recommend you watch the show Preppers or research preppers online and you will understand what PASS is about.  PASS takes the premise that people should not rely solely on currency to ensure their self-sustenance.  People should control as much of their necessities as possible.  People on the show Preppers far exceed the qualifications of being PASS-certified.  But, they are on the right track to ensuring that they can survive in both “normal” times and catastrophic ones.

People should look to control their own food and water sources as one cannot exist without nourishment.  To rely on a vendor or the government to provide you with food and water is assuming that the government will always be there to support you, that the government will always have your best interest at heart, or that the government will always perform their jobs competently.  I’m sure the people of Flint, Michigan would disagree with those premises.  People should look to grow or herd their own food; it is the only way you can assure yourself that you will be able to eat should something go wrong.  By acquiring and managing your own power source (solar, wind, etc.), one can provide the necessary heating and cooling systems to maintain a normal body temperature. At a minimum, you should be able to manually generate your own heating system and have the resources (wood, flint, kindling, etc.) to produce a heat source at-will.  During California’s wildfires of 2019, the electric service provider has been conducting controlled blackouts to specified areas impacted by the fires.  This has caused several people to have to flee their homes to provide the electrical power needed to sustain themselves.  And, finally, one should be able to defend themselves and their resources.  The scope of one’s defense system may include cybersecurity defences in addition to physical defenses of one’s resources and selves.  By having a proper defense system, people will be able to keep what they have and protect themselves against wildlife or other humans.  By verifying and validating a person controls the aforesaid items, you can quantify PASS.

The concepts of rich and wealth are also based on currency (dollar, rand, euro, naira, peso, yuan, etc.).  Thus, the mindset of people who aspire to become rich or wealthy revolves around the attainment of some form of government currency in order to qualify as being rich or wealthy.  These people are concerned with material wealth as opposed to self-preservation.  They assume their currency can buy them the necessities they need to sustain themselves.  Their thought process is focused on social status labels and purchasing material goods that align with being middle class, upper class, rich, or wealthy.  So, they approach wealth from a process of how to attain more money as opposed to how to ensure I can survive 5 years from now… 10 years from now… or 50 years from now.  But, what if a currency crashes?  What if currencies are wiped out due to some catastrophic event such as global warming?  Most government currencies are no longer based on a gold standard.  And, even if they were, in a severe economic scenario, I doubt the government would allow you to collect the gold that your paper was based on.  In these instances, a person who was once considered rich would now be considered indigent.  But, people following the PASS model operate outside of the boundaries of monetary or socioeconomic labels; thus, they would be able to sustain themselves whether the currency rises or falls.  Their mindset is not based on attaining wealth, but ensuring the highest probability of self-preservation.  Thus, the processes they implement are ones that lead them to attaining the essential resources for preserving life.  And, another great thing about PASS is that PASS does not discriminate against the rich or wealthy.  You can have material wealth and be as rich as you want to be, but you also have to control your essential resources.  So, PASS allows you to own a Lamborghini and have access to well water concurrently.

Finally, wealthy and rich labels have a weak alignment with current socio-political issues of the 21st century.  Currently, people labeled as being rich and wealthy are vilified.  Politically and socially, the gap between the wealthy and the rest of society (middle- and lower-classes) are continually rising.  As a result, we continue to see pushback from both citizens and politicians about human wealth and the gap that exists between the two.  Politicians are responding by introducing legislation to tax the rich so that relief can be provided to the lower classes.  People pursuing PASS do not have this problem.  Well, not all of them as some rich people can still qualify as PASS-certified.  Again, PASS is about basic necessities and not material wealth.  The other weak alignment of wealth and rich labels with socio-political issues is that they cannot shield one from social issues such as climate disruption, wars, or anarchy.  However, PASS has a strong alignment with 21st century socio-political issues.  PASS prepares people to weather the effects of climate disruption, civil unrest, and anarchy.  Being able to shelter in place, protect your surroundings, generate a heating and cooling system, and nourish oneself during these scenarios will be vital to self-preservation.  Having a government-backed currency may or may not be able to buy you necessities during times of civil unrest, but there are no guarantees you will have access to your capital.

I hope some don’t think that I am a capitalist hater, because I’m not.  But, if you ask me if I wish to be rich, wealthy or self-sustaining, I’m going to PASS every time.

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