How I learned some facts of life…by reading this gov release

Not often do I see anything from the Securities and Exchange Commission that commands my attention. But just now, on Twitter, I picked up this terrific release from the SEC, headed by a solid intro from Gary Gensler, the SEC Commissioner.

It’s a clear, well-written advisory about fraudulent schemes which use social media as their vehicle into our pocketbooks.

Lately I’ve been considering how fear — rather, the use of fear — has become the primary instigator for getting us to do things. Buy things, actually. From those devices which say they guard your home and report to you whenever someone is approaching your front door, to Prevagen, which warns you what will happen to your mind if you don’t use it.

Thing is, what the SEC release makes clear, if tacit, is that the choice to avoid being conned by defrauders, or commercial salespeople, is entirely up to us.

We have agency, i.e., the power to say no. Our government, no matter how excellent, can warn us but it can’t stop us from being schmucks. We have so many choices in life; let’s choose not to be schmucks in the first place.

And it’s so easy! Just. Do. Nothing.

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