All That and a Bag of Mail

All That and a Bag of Mail

Published Dec. 9, 2016 9:18 a.m. ET

It's Friday and I just finished broadcasting Outkick the Show live from Baltimore. I'm going to the Army-Navy game tomorrow so I'm looking forward to that experience. 

Hope to see some of the Outkick crew there. 

Reminder that Outkick Gear is 20% off if you spend $60 or more and use the code "dbap" so go there and spend some money for the holiday season. Lots of great gear there for not very much money.

Okay, on to the mailbag. 


Lots of you:

"What happens with Lane Kiffin now that Houston hired Major Applewhite?"

Lane Kiffin now has one potential head coaching opportunity -- South Florida.

If he doesn't get South Florida then I think Kiffin will leave to take the offensive coordinator job at LSU. Who would Alabama hire? I'm not sure, but it won't be Steve Sarkisian. I'm told that Sark has continued to have some off the field issues.

So Saban would have to go through an offensive coordinator search.

We'll see what happens.  

John writes:

"I am a current resident of Texas and have been for the past 10 years - as anyone with a pulse knows, Texans love to stake their claim that their state is the best. If you ever want to violate the safe space of a Texan and gain an enemy, just claim that Texas is not the best state and watch the situation unfold. This morning I got into such a discussion with two coworkers when I told them that I didn't think Texas was the best state. They were more shocked than a Hillary supporter on election night that I didn't share their beliefs.

So I turn to you to help settle this debate - give us your ten best states."

The challenge here is that a state is a really broad range. There are good and bad portions of every state and your income ultimately matters more than your state. For instance, I'd rather be a rich person living in Maine than a poor person living in Florida. 

But if I had to rank the states to live in and we assume that I'm ranking them for people of average income living in the average part of the state, I'd go as follows:

1. Florida

2. Texas

3. California

4. Tennessee

5. North Carolina

6. South Carolina

7. Georgia

8. Virginia

9. Arizona

10. Alabama

Now I'm biased based on weather. That is, I don't want to live anywhere it's cold. So I'm not picking anywhere farther north than Virginia on my list.

All of the states I've listed have good places to live, but they also have awful places to live. So what you really need to do is rank the cities. So here is my list of the ten best cities to live in the United States. These are large cities that I've visited and would be happy to live in:

1. Nashville

2. Charleston

3. Austin

4. Miami

5. Los Angeles

6. San Diego

7. San Francisco

8. Washington, D.C.

9. Charlotte

10. Houston

Again, everyone can have his or her own rankings. Mine are skewed entirely to warm weather. I know that New York City and Chicago are great places to visit, but the winters are so hellish I couldn't live there. When I walk outside and it's freezing for months in a row, that's a non-starter for me.  

Jay writes:

"With the abundance of snowflake behavior we have witnessed of late I have a question- is it time to bring back the draft? Don't want to serve in the armed forces fine there is the peace corps. The point being to get these people outside of this insular shell and have a REAL look (not something on CNN) at how most of the world really works. Perhaps then they would have a better appreciation of what we have here and maybe even choose to work and make it better. Just something I have been thinking about for about 20 years."

In concept, I love the idea, but the implementation would be a mess. 

I've been arguing for a long time that most people in the United States have no idea how good we have it because they have no concept of how the rest of the world lives. What our snowflakes bitch about would make the rest of the world think they were truly insane. For instance, our poorest people would be, by far, the richest people in the vast majority of the world. To the extent that social media outrage is ever beneficial -- and most of the time it isn't -- I tend to think it would be the most beneficial not being marshaled for anything in America, but being focused on larger global issues. 

Let's talk about wealth distribution, not in the United States, but in the world. 

There are roughly seven billion people in the world. Do you know what you have to make a year to be richer than 99% of the people in the world? $34,000 a year.

So just about every single adult reading this article right now is among the 1% richest people in the world. 

If your family of four makes $136,000 a year then you are richer than 99% of the world population. (A family of four in the United States has to make over $500,000 to be in the top 1% in the United States). 

The global median income is an astounding $1225 a year. 

India's an emerging economy, right? Did you know that the poorest 5% of Americans would be be richer than the top 5% richest Indians?

I always like to say that facts matter, but so does perspective. Americans have a very poor perspective on the world at large and I think that universal service -- either in the military or the peace corps -- would go a long way towards making people less of pussies. 

The biggest challenge here, at least for me personally, is I believe what America does best in the world, at least for now, is empower the individual. So what about the people who are insanely successful at young ages in this country? Do we really want Mark Zuckerberg not founding Facebook because he was living in some hut in a third world country digging a well or jogging around at five in the morning on a military base? Now I understand the argument that we would actually see greater creativity if you exposed our young people to the larger world or instilled more discipline in them at young ages, but I'm generally opposed to more regulation and more requirements on an individual by a state or federal government. 

So while I like the idea in concept, I think our education systems need to do a better job of not coddling students and teaching them that there's power in being offended. 

Because that's really why the rise of "I'm offended," snowflake culture has happened. Because these kids are being rewarded for being offended. There's power and prestige in being a pussy right now.  

I think we need a vigorous push back against this group of perpetually offended people by calling them what they are -- pussies. 

Steve writes:

"Please settle a debate. Do you have to commit to a line? I took this photo earlier today at a bank. Same question applies to pharmacies. I am straddling lane one and two from a distance ready to take whichever lane opens up first. The guy to my right comes in after me and swerves around me to cut me for lane two. Was I wrong to not pick a lane upon pulling up or was he wrong to not wait behind me? My wife says I should have picked a lane and he was right to do what he did. I disagree."

I don't know if I would swerve around you, but what your decision does is, potentially, create a longer line. I think the general consensus is that you pick a line in a car when you're at a pharmacy or a bank. 

This can be frustrating to lots of people because you can pick the wrong line and end up waiting longer than someone else. That can be for a variety of reasons -- because your teller is slower, because the person in front of you has an incredibly complicated order -- have you guys ever found yourself in a food line behind someone who is paying for ten different people back at work and has to do it all individually? I want to murder that person -- or for a variety of other reasons. The line is a democratic symbol, all are created equally. Yet, as we all know, no two lines move at the same speed. Sometimes you get in the slow one. 

So to answer your question I think it's a dick move to wait on one of the two lines by keeping both as options and I also think it's a dick move to cut you off. So I think the two of you were equally dickish here. If I had to pick which of you was more of a dick, I'd probably pick the guy behind you since he jumped you in line. 

By the way, what's the biggest asshole move I see happen every time I travel? The people on planes who jump ahead of their aisle when the plane lands. Really, you can't wait at your seat like everyone else? You're cutting in front of other people so you can get off the plane like two minutes faster? I hate these people.  

Nolan writes:

"I'm a second year medical student who has managed not to kill himself yet. My question is in regards to student loan debt. I'm sure after law school you had to deal with this to a certain extent, and I was wondering if this should be a big concern of mine? (Also, I'm sure a lot of your readers have to deal with a decent amount of student loans.) For context, I'm a 23 year old guy with no plans on being married or having kids in the near future. What should I do?"

I still have law school loans I haven't paid off because the interest rate on them is 2.8%. I'm fortunate now that they don't have much of an impact on my life, but that's not the case for a ton of young graduates. Just about everyone I know took out loans to go to law school and many of you reading this right now will have loans for undergrad or grad school too. Law school loans definitely force students to make job decisions they otherwise might not. For instance, if you owe $150k on a law school loan you're not really able to take a low paying job and feel that comfortable about the decision.


As for whether you should worry about them, you'll be fine if you graduate from med school. Lots of lawyers should definitely worry about them, however, because so many young lawyers graduate from law school and then can't find decent paying jobs.

The toughest call that grad students have to make is whether it makes sense to take out loans for a better school or take a free ride to a cheaper one. I could have gone to several law schools for free, but I took loans out for Vanderbilt. I think that was the right decision for me -- I absolutely loved law school and met my wife there -- but I can also understand why it might have made sense to go to a lesser school and go completely for free. For undergrad I took a scholarship over the quality of the school.   

And that's what I advise most of you to do if you have to make a decision similar to mine, take the scholarship to undergrad and take the loans out for grad school.  

"Clay, I recently graduated from an SEC school and am now 22 years old and in the workforce. I have recently noticed that many of my fraternity pledge brothers have started making some terrible decisions: They are all getting engaged! I just can't understand the logic behind this so I was hoping you could help me. What are these guys thinking? We are 22 and 23 years old what is the rush to get married? Most of these guys barely have any idea of what they will be doing for a living or even where they will be living. What is your stance on this? I have had a girlfriend for a while but my opinion is to wait as long as possible and get hitched in the upper 20's when you're more established. Why would these idiots throw their life away so early? Would love to hear your input thanks Clay!"

I don't think any man should get married before he's thirty.

And I say that as someone who got married at 25 and is happy.

I have three boys eight and under and I was talking with my wife recently and she agreed we'd both be happy if none of our boys got married until they were 30 or older. I just think guys tend to be fairly immature and need time to grow up before they get married and start becoming responsible adults.


In an ideal world every guy would get married around 31 or 32 and every woman would be a few years younger than him. I understand why women who want kids feel age pressure to get married, but men really shouldn't feel any at all. 

Plus, let's be honest, from a pure fun perspective, being single in your 20's is much more fun than being married. Let's say you've found the perfect girl or guy and you're 24, why can't you still hang out together in your twenties before you get married? What's the rush?

The only reason to get married, in my opinion, is to have kids. I think kids need a mom and a dad and the secure family structure that provides. Now some kids don't have a mom and a dad and turn out fine, but parenting is a tough job and most kids -- and most parents -- need that family support structure to do a decent job.

So that's the foundation of marriage to me, having kids. 

The one area that I used to be really liberal on and am now really conservative on is single parent families. Now that I've got three kids I can't imagine raising them alone. Kids are so much more work than I ever realized before I had any of my own. I mean, infinitely more. And if I had one kid by accident and had to raise that kid alone there is a 0% chance I would ever have another kid by myself. Maybe that's because I'm just selfish as hell, but kids are a fucking time drain like no other. 

So all these people out there raising multiple kids by themselves, you chose to get pregnant and have these kids. What were you thinking? It's relatively easy not to get pregnant and it's also relatively easy if you do get pregnant not to have the baby. So why in the world are you making your life so difficult by raising multiple kids by yourself? I just don't get this decision at all. 

The simple truth is this, there is nearly a 0% poverty rate in this country if people can manage to do two things: 1. graduate from high school and 2. don't have kids before you're 25 years old.

That's it.

Is that really asking very much of a person? To graduate high school and not have a kid before 25? I think we can all pull this off. 

So your lesson for today is this -- graduate high school and don't get pregnant, kids.


Thanks for your support of Outkick and have great weekends.