Who should we blame for society’s mistakes?

The news recently came out that a lot of high profile athletes are being sued for being part of commercials promoting the cryptocurrency firm FTX. Steph Curry, Shaq, and Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are some of the biggest named athletes that are part of this lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that the aforementioned athletes were useful in misleading “unsophisticated investors” into giving their money to a cryptocurrency firm that wasn’t the most solid. The case, brought by Edwin Garrison, describes FTX as fraudulent and estimates that investors lost $11 billion. According to Madeline Kenney of SiliconValley.com, the Golden State Warriors and other institutions had partnered with FTX in ways ranging from endorsements to running in venue ads.

It is sad that so many Americans lost so much money. No one wants to see their fellow countryman, or anyone around the world, lose hard earned money. We might not be what we should as a global society, but I think most people’s hearts reach out when others go through hardship and catastrophe. I want to stress that I am not looking down at the investors for going through this. The economy stinks right now, the stock market stinks, the inflation rate rising stinks, the government stinks, the way people treat each other stinks, everything and everyone stinks right now. We are in a hard spot, but the greatest thing about our country is that we have made a history of taking events that stink- Pearl Harbor, Great Depression, attack on Fort Sumter, et al- and coming back as a stronger nation. One day down the road, we will overcome all these hard times because that’s what we do.

Despite our resiliency, we also have to look at some hard facts. The first is that we shouldn’t venerate sport’s heroes. I don’t know what cryptocurrency even is, nor does Steph Curry. In one of the commercials, Steph Curry is quoted saying that he isn’t an expert. Shoot, Steph is dressed as a mime and paints a model unicorn. What in the name of everything that is good and right in the world would make me think that a unicorn painting, mime knows anything about crypto, especially when he says that he doesn’t know a freaking thing about it. The fact that we want to buy something based on someone cool speaking about it is a childish vice and needs to be left to childhood. Being an adult means thinking about consequences- risks v rewards.

People should only take the risk if the potential reward is worth accepting the consequences of that risk. We all take risks with money all the time. When I said that I don’t understand crypto, I wasn’t sharing a shameful ignorance. I’m sharing a truth that we all need to understand- money is a hypothetical construct. Money isn’t real. I go to work every day and receive a string of numbers sent to my bank account. I take some of these numbers and send them to Consumer’s Energy, my mortgage company, and several other places to pay bills. These companies take my numbers and give them to their employees, who repeat the process. My bank also sends some of my numbers to places in order to invest numbers into another company to make more numbers to pay numbers (interest) to increase my numbers. None of this is real. Paper currency isn’t real. When the zombie apocalypse happens, you’re little green paper won’t even keep you warm if you burn them. I haven’t even got to cryptocurrency, but let it suffice to say that this type of currency doesn’t even put the effort into pretending it’s real.

So, is the risk really worth the reward? Of course it is. We want to be rich; we want to be like Steph Curry and Tom Brady. We all want it for different reasons. I just want to be able to retire. Others want to be like Tom and marry a supermodel. Others want to trappings of the rich life. It doesn’t matter why we seek fame and fortune because we are all going to take the risk of doing it. The key is that we are investing in ourselves that we can figure a way to beat the system and make money. Curry, Brady, and Shaq beat that system using their bodies. Real investors try by using their minds.

How we go about beating the system leads to the crux of this issue-who is really responsible. The people that bought into FTX and crypto did so because they either thought that they were getting in before everyone else and would get rich or because they saw a person that they wanted to be like. The former is an understandable risk that usually fails but can succeed to amazing results. The latter is a thing for children. The former requires thought, while the latter requires lack of thought. Steph Curry has a degree in sociology; Tom Brady has a general studies degree with a minor in psych and management; Shaq actually would go on to get his PHd in education and a Master’s in business. None of these people got a degree in Finance or anything that would qualify them as an expert in investing.

I still wouldn’t trust them on a commercial even if they had the right degree because I know that they are probably not super knowledgeable in the company. I don’t know much of what goes on behind the scenes of the two companies for which I write or for my main place of employment. I’m hired to do a job; plus, bosses don’t really like people poking behind the curtains. I’m hired to do a service, and at the end of the day, I get a string of numbers for my service that I hope actually had a reasonable value of the service that I provided. I can’t be held accountable for what others think about Mental Dimes or any other place I frequent.

People need to start holding themselves accountable for their own actions. Sure, sue the upper echelon of FTX to get your money back if they were a scheme, but this isn’t what Garrison is doing. He is suing people with money to get even with them for his desire to have what they had and how he was willing to take avoidable risks to get to that goal. This is like going to a seafood restaurant with a group of friends, knowing that you might be allergic to fish, and suing the newspaper that sent you a coupon for a BOGO. You wanted to be with the group. You took the risk. You! You! You! You took the risk, and now, you must take the responsibility for handling the situation properly.

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