36 Comments

“My book might not be the one to get elites to truly pay attention to what has happened to kids and families in this country. But my hope is that it will help to pave the way for the more worthy and talented author who writes the book that will.”

Saw this on one of your recent “X” tweets, and it filled me with hope.

I read half of Troubled on a an annual trip to DC recently where I was discussing the effects of banking legislation and regulations with industry leaders and legislators. It helped me frame a lot of the perspectives I had in “luxury beliefs”.

It’s a great book and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I can relate to a lot of it from my own life experiences. Unfortunately, I inadvertently left it on the return flight home.

That means someone now has a free copy of it, and I will also be reordering it to finish it.

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Great conversation starter. Thank you. Another way of thinking about reframing our luxury beliefs, mine included, is to ask, “Do my beliefs hurt other people? If so, how? Maybe I should adjust my perspective to consider how my beliefs inflict costs on others, especially those less fortunate to me, in this country and other countries.”

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founding

Rob, I have learned so much from your newsletter in these past months after accidentally discovering it on Substack. I am a paid subscriber and am currently reading your book. Like you, I did not get into politics until 2015. I get most of my news from Substack augmented with Apple News and the mostly biased now al.com (formerly The Birmingham Newspaper). I rarely watch the news unless there is a government hearing I’m interested in.

I love your writing because it says so beautifully what I believe and feel. I identify with so many of your experiences at 46 years old. I’m definitely snagging the book you mentioned about believing in the Devil but not God.

Maybe it’s a sort of midlife crisis, but maybe it’s more of a midlife awakening for me. At 45, my life took an unexpected turn or an inevitable one. I’m not sure yet. I guess I found your writing at the right time. I have always been a voracious reader and think that this is what saved me from falling into the cult of Trump here in Alabama.

I wanted to be a writer as a young adult. I dreamt of studying at Oxford in middle school, which is not very common in rural Alabama. I have to thank my parents for this dream, because they always encouraged my love of reading. Unfortunately, they didn’t believe that being a writer was a good financial decision. My parents steered me toward medical school instead. I ended up a pharmacist, but it is not my first love. Whether or not I write in the future, I am very grateful for yours!

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If these four paragraphs are representative of your writing, then yes, keeping pursuing your dreams of becoming a writer. I appreciate clear, no-nonsense communicators like yourself. Why not start a Substack today?

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founding

Thanks for the encouragement! I have been on the fence for a couple of months about writing on Substack due to an unexpected health issue. I lost my access to a drug that allows me to somewhat function as a human being. My rheumatoid arthritis relapsed with a vengeance. I recently was able to get back on it thankfully, so I will see what the future brings.

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I hope you feel better. Does exercise help with your arthritis?

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founding

Yes, but it is very easy to over do it. My perfectionist, ADHD, Type A personality is very hard to turn off when it comes to exercise. The whole “all or none” mantra🤣

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I used to suffer from that! Fortunately you can change!

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founding

It’s a slow work in progress. Two steps forward and one step back. I am currently skimming your Substack and have landed on some interesting reads. I highly recommend others who like Rob Henderson subscribe.

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Great post, Rob. Very inspiring to see your platform grow and ascend to the top heights of Substackistan! Been enjoying your content

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author

Much appreciated, Rav! Looking forward to chatting soon.

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“True that bookstores didn’t want to host any book events. True that the NYT didn’t list me on their bestseller list.” This tells me they aren’t “with it.” You are it. You established a beachhead that inspires many others to share their stories. Thank you.

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I'm confident your book will still be read in 10 years. Particularly your emphasis on childhood instability rather than poverty as the root cause of negative outcomes as an adult.

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Hola, señor Henderson.

Sospecho que soy el primer usuario del idioma español en escribir un comentario (o al menos, el primero que exhibe que no maneja el idioma inglés).

Leyendo los escritos que ha redactado, me parece que es una excelente idea el haberme suscrito a su contenido.

Larga vida y prosperidad le deseo a usted, señor Henderson.

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Very glad to be a paid subscriber - and looking forward to your future writings!

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“All this implies that if you want people to read your book, start a newsletter.” Love this Rob. Thank you.

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Looking forward to more from Rob!

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Last week, I was pleased to hear Greg Gutfeld, mentioning Luxury Beliefs on his show in order to wrap up the review of some events. On the other hand, your articles are important to me, and it is amazing that I can relate to your memoir despite the fact that I grew up in a Communist country from the infamous "Eastern Block." Also, I can recall how power movers of that regime had many Luxury Beliefs even if they were of a different kind, mostly to sustain a fake socioeconomic status. Thank you for all your effort!

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Your book is was outstanding. I appreciate you sharing the story of your life to date, so that others can learn from it. I hope people in positions of authority and influence will read it and take note of the lessons you learned the hard way. There are many kids throughout our country who are depending on us acting on those lessons.

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Apr 7·edited Apr 7

I just finished reading your magnificent book. It helped crystallize something I have been pondering for a long time, the distinction between having little money and "being poor or living in poverty".

Growing up, we, our extended family, and most of our friends mostly had very little money (extending as far as lacking indoor plumbing). Never the less, we considered ourselves middle class and us children had "middle class" life outcomes. We knew poor people, with the lives that that implies, but lack of money wasn't the difference. Grown up now, I have had much more experience with observing "people lacking money" vs "poor people" in both rich and third world countries as well as in different eras. The differences between the two classes were clear to me yet difficult to explain. As Troubled clarified, the difference is not monetary capital or income, nor any "identity" variable, rather it was stability vs chaos in the families / social matricies.

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Rob, is there a page with links to all of your public writing here, mailchimp, psychology today, NY Times, your thesis, etc.? It would be vastly useful!

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author

No, that's a good idea.

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I hope our author doesn’t mind, but I did the math. Paid subscriptions are nine dollars a month, so let us say $7 profit and 2350 paying customers , so about $16,500 per month or about $200k per year.

How much does a university professor earn: tenure and non tenure. Of course they have job security and a pension.

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author

The graph contains gross annual revenue. Thanks for double-checking Substack’s math.

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So, is it similar money? Similar money to being a professor at a State College?

Given the high quality of your work, I see no reason why two or three years hence, you won’t be at 5000 paying subscribers.

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Rob - Thanks for this excellent post. I’m grateful to be an annual-paid subscriber. Thanks for highlighting your best work from the past year. Congrats and enjoy your vacation. Scott

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Yes please to this one->What does it mean to be an “outsider?”

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