Why Do I Even Try?

In case none of you are aware, I am dirt poor. I’ve done well in the past, but over the course of the past 5 years I have barely been able to earn $27,000 per year working. After taxes, this amounts to about $20,000 net income per year. Yep, that’s mighty poor.

A few days ago I became aware that the total welfare spending per household is roughly $60,000 per year, more than double my gross salary. Now, since I live in a small 300 sq. ft. efficiency apartment in the middle of the ghetto, I often get a good view of what it is like to live in government housing, and it is quite luxurious compared to my condition. Further, since I often shop in the same stores as those who are on the public dole, I also get a view of the expenditures of those on food stamps. I’ll just say that while I can only afford to buy a few items per week, those that I see using their food stamps typically have a cart (or carts) full of food.

It is so very depressing to risk your life day in and day out at work, busting your ass, and dealing with the detrimental effects of hard, laborous work, only to find that you’re being taxed to subsidize people so that they can live twice as well as you are. Even worse, they don’t even have to lift a finger to live twice as well as I do, other than filling out the paperwork.

One might suggest that I find another job. No shit! I’ve been trying to find something better for two years now, and nothing is doing. With my qualifications I could work for government or a government contractor, but why would I do that when I can make almost as much money to fill out some paperwork and sit on my ass? Further, if I did find a job that paid more, that would just piss me off more, because due to the progressive tax schedule, I would be subsidizing these people even more than I am now. It should go without saying that working for government and/or living on the government dole are equivalent in my opinion, and both are in direct violation of my personal code of ethics.

I guess that I’ll just have to accept the fact that my life will be spent serving the purpose of allowing others to live off of my labor, in a much better state of affairs than I.

Update: After a brief correspondence with Dr. Thomas Woods, it appears that I forgot to account for bureaucracy. So, let us assume that bureaucracy absorbs roughly 50% of the total figure (an assumption that I believe is too generous), so that only $30,000 is getting to these families to sit on their ass. That still means that they are essentially taking in more than me, yet I am the one subsidizing them. There is something really wrong here.

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5 Comments on “Why Do I Even Try?”

  1. sharon Says:

    amusing

  2. Mickey Says:

    Maybe you should get a cushy job back in the military? I know it’s against your code of ethics … mine too …. but you can finish your 30 years, and retire young with 1000/wk+ guaranteed for life beginning the day you retire … I wish I would have. I did 6 or 7 years then got out now I’m worried that I can’t ever retire and I’m in the auto industry struggling and I’m 51 — too old to go back in.


    • Well, my job when I was in the military certainly wasn’t cushy. I mean, when we were in port it was ok, except we were never in port (we spent roughly 75% of our time at sea, our op-tempo was balls to the wall). I will admit, as an E5 with San Diego BAH, I pulled in about $40,000 after taxes, so the pay wasn’t that bad. However, I am almost 7 years out, so if I were to go back in now I would have to start all over again (E3 at a minimum).

      Yes, you are correct that rejoining the military is against my ethics. I would certainly be more inclined to work for a contractor than I would the military, because the pay is better, the direct involvement in military operations is lessened, and it is still at least quasi-private. Most of the offers that I was getting from the headhunters shortly after I got out of the Navy were offering 5 figure sign-on bonuses, plus a salary that was nipping at the heals of 6 figures. Certainly, if my ethics prevent me from working for one of these contractors, that is even more true for the military itself.

      Now, here’s the kicker.

      Even though I received an honorable discharge, I still have an RE4 reenlistment code, so I can’t go back into the military anyhow (I could to get that changed through great effort, but I am content with it as it stands). What got me that reenlistment code was my own ethics being in direct conflict with the goals and missions of the military.

      Lastly, my gripe isn’t that I make very little money at this time in my life, my gripe is that I am subsidizing people (who do absolutely nothing to benefit their fellow man) to live just as good or better than me. My economic status in relation to the world is my own doing for the most part, whereas my subsidization of others is beyond my own control. I’m a bright enough guy, so I know that given a particular opportunity that I can take advantage of it. That opportunity just has not yet arisen, or I just haven’t noticed it or created it.

      • Mickey Says:

        Thanks for clarifying that for me. I sincerely respect your principles.

        And here’s a tip that you might not know about; if you take contract jobs away from home, you only have to pay taxes on as little as half of your earnings. I’d work one year someplace till the “per diem” ended and then go get a job in another state for a year and so on. My taxable income was usually half of my actual income.


      • Mickey, I don’t know if I have said this in the past, but when it comes to the company that I work for, I tend to seek the out-of-town jobs, primarily due to the per diem.

        As I said, it isn’t my own income that is my gripe, it is my subsidization of those who do nothing. Also, I know that my position in life is primarily of my own doing. The company that I work for, while family owned, has quite a large establishment of in-house politics. If I would play the game I would certainly do much better in terms of income. The problem is that I don’t play those games.

        I’ve often wondered if being principled is more often than not a masochistic endeavor.


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