Thursday, October 20, 2011

Of Poverty And Class Envy

"It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed." ~ Kin Hubbard

I haven't posted anything for a while. I've been on vacation for the last week with a couple of regular days off sandwiched between two half days, so it isn't as if I haven't had time to blog. I have no excuse. So, I guess it's time I wrote something.

The problem is, I don't have any fresh ideas. I don't like to write the same thoughts everyone else does. Anyone can do that, and just about everyone can write more eloquently than I, so it seems rather pointless to me to simply repeat what has already been said.

As I have often said, I prefer to offer a unique point of view. If I can't, I don't write anything.

So perhaps that explains my lack of attention to my blog, although my computer didn't forget my password. Other than that, as I said, I have no excuse.

I still don't have a subject for today's post. I guess I'll just wing it, and write whatever comes to mind.

I'll start off with some facts about me.

I doubt that either of my regular readers know this, but I am not a rich man. In fact, I am poor.

Rich and poor, of course, are relative terms. What is wealthy to me may in fact, be poor to others.

Roseanne Barr (who recently said she thinks anyone who is worth over 100 million should be re-educated or beheaded) is worth 80 million. Apparently, to her, 100 million is considered rich and 80 million is considered middle class or lower.

I read somewhere that she recently inked a contract for her own television show. I wonder -- if she earns more than 20 million more than she has now, will she behead herself?

One can only hope, I guess.

To me, $100,000.00 is wealthy. To Bill Gates, it is pocket change. As I said. Relative.

Since wealth is a relative term, allow me to define what "poor" means to me.

I recently got my annual forty cent per hour raise. At 40 hours a week (which I rarely get because my company cuts my hours to keep their profits up), and no unpaid time off due to illness etc, my recent raise takes my annual income to over $20,000, but just barely over.

I have no other income. My wife has too many medical problems to work. We exist solely on my income. My work tires me out too much for me to work another job part time. I am close to retirement age now, but, at this point, I don't see how I will ever be able to retire.

Be that as it may, It could be worse. I am grateful just to have a job at all.

I lay awake at nights worrying about how I am going to make even the most basic payments on my bills. If I suddenly disappear off the internet it (probably) won't be because I died (knock wood). It will be because I couldn't pay my cable bill and got it cut off. That could well happen any day now.

We use fuel oil for heat and hot water in this house. The fuel oil company will not even show up to pump more fuel oil into our tank if we can't pay for at least 150 gallons. At today's prices, that's about $600.00. We don't have it. Not even close. In fact, just to have enough fuel to heat our water, I've been pouring diesel fuel (Fuel oil and diesel fuel are the same thing) into our tank every two weeks. If I splurge, I can buy as much as 10 gallons diesel fuel at a time. That's about 40 dollars worth. I can't really afford that much, but we need hot water.

I don't know what we're going to do when it gets cold this year.

If I lose my job, unlike others who lose jobs, we have no emergency funds on which to rely. We would be completely destitute within two weeks, possibly even within one week. We have no savings. I recently had to withdraw my 401K money to pay a down payment on a badly needed used car. It's gone now.

Please understand, I'm not looking for sympathy. I am simply describing what being poor means to me, and how it compares with others who say they are poor. I do not feel I deserve sympathy.

I have made my own bed. It is my responsibility to sleep in it.

So my readers will understand when I have absolutely no sympathy for those whiny bleeding heart Liberal sob sisters who are currently making fools of themselves protesting Wall Street bankers. I will ceaselessly attack them for being duplicitous and hypocritical.

Have you seen pictures of these idiots?

They are camping (incidentally, where do these poor unfortunates get the money to buy tents and sleeping bags? I can't afford them) on Wall street, and various other streets in various other cities across America, bleating about how unfair it is that the wealthy have more money than they do.

Well, wah, wah, wah.

Who said life was fair?

They also recruit other miscreants, derelicts, and ne'er-do-wells to join in their cause by texting them on their Apple iPhones, iPads, and various Android devices. All of these devices aren't donated to them, I assure you. Someone pays for them, and it's not simply a one time charge, either. They have to lock themselves into a two year contract, paying a minimum of $80.00 a month (excluding FCC fees and licenses and taxes) simply for the use of those devices. Where do they get the funds for those expenses? I pay $30.00 a month for my cheap little pre-paid flip phone. I can't afford those fancy cell phones.

Ironically, I sell cell phone contracts for a living, if you can call it a living.

They wear designer clothes. They dress in the height of fashion. Being fashionable takes money.

Last week, my wife wanted to buy me two pair of pants at Walmart to wear, so I wouldn't look so seedy on the job. I accepted one pair, not both. Just can't afford more. I really can't afford one pair, truth be told. But, since it's been over two years (yes, I said two years) since I've had a new pair of pants, I allowed myself this one luxury.

I've noticed the Occupy Wall Street protesters seem to have the time and the money that it costs to drive their new Prius's into the city (some from other states) so they can march past George Soro's apartment building to do their protesting in front of greedy Republican Billionaire's houses.

On my recent vacation, I wanted to drive up to Pennsylvania, making a quick stop at Gettysburg, through Pennsylvania Dutch Lancaster County (because my wife likes to shop for that kind of stuff, even if she can't actually buy any of it), and then to Phoenixville, to visit my older brother, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. But we couldn't. We didn't have enough money to make the trip after paying for our prescriptions and groceries.

Am I bitter? You bet I am.

Am I envious? Guilty as charged.

But, here's the difference between those bitter, envious, Liberal hippie type pinko fags and me:

I don't blame my poverty on anyone else.

I have only myself to blame for my poverty.

I went to college, but I didn't finish. Like the current crop of Liberals, I spent my college years engaging in protests against the "establishment" for the exact same reasons the protesters do now. Class envy. Thinking the government owed me a living without expecting anything in return. Expecting someone else to pay for my education.

Basically, expecting something for nothing.

I didn't finish college, but that's my fault. I don't have a good job because I didn't get a degree. I didn't get a degree because I was foolish.

That isn't anyone's fault but my own.

I've made mistakes, perhaps more than most, but my mistakes and the consequences of them are my sole responsibility. My poverty is a direct result of my own bad decisions and choices.

And, an unwillingness to take chances. That, again , is on me.

Sure, I've had some bad breaks in my lifetime. So what? Everyone does. The difference between me and "them", is, instead of whining about how life treats me and blaming others and refusing to take responsibility for the actions that (most of the time) contributed to my bad luck, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and redoubled my efforts. And, I will continue to do that every time catastrophe strikes until I die.

I do complain. I have that right. But I complain while working.

These poor under-privileged protesters are complaining while begging for help from the very people they are protesting. Who do they think bankrolls their sloth?

Our boy-child President, Barry Hussein Sotero Obama, received more donations from the bankers on Wall Street than any President in history. And he says he supports the OWS protesters.

And, they support him.

How do the protesters explain this apparent dichotomy?

And Warren Buffet (Liberal) says he thinks his taxes should be raised. Well, who's stopping him from voluntarily giving whatever amount he thinks he should pay to the Government? Who's stopping any of these fat cat billionaire Liberal Obama supporters from volunteering their money to the government?

Yea, when it's their money, they are strangely Conservative.

Hey, Warren? If you want to give your money away, I could use a few bucks. (I'm not begging. I know there's not a snowball's chance in Hell that Warren Buffet would ever give anything away, certainly not to me.)

And speaking of taxes, let me explode a Conservative myth here and now:

I pay taxes. Regardless of what Rush or Hannity or all those other Conservative millionaires tell you, poor people like me pay taxes. Every paycheck I get has a healthy portion deducted for taxes, right off the top. At the first of the year, I fill out my tax return. This year, I didn't get a refund, I had to pay the government an additional $1300.00 over and above what they took directly out of my meager paycheck last year.

Even when I did get a refund, I have never - repeat - never - received more of a refund than I paid in during the course of the previous year.

So, don't give me that BS about how the poor don't pay taxes.

I am currently trying to improve my lot in life by working hard and driving my bosses crazy pushing them to promote me into the management training program. Management trainees in our company earn more than double the salary that I make now.

Class envy? Yep. But envy that is a good thing. Without envy, we have no incentive to try to attain the success of those whom we envy.

OK. That's enough of a rant for today. I'm sure I will have much more to say later.

17 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Mark,
Your tax situation sounds so much like mine.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm smothering in tax bills!

As I look back on my life, I do wish that I'd taken a job other than that of Christian service (Christian education). I doubt that I'll have any retirement years. **sigh**

Ducky's here said...

Wait till you get a dose of The Pizza Man's 9-9-9 plan.

You get a 9% VAT and then an additional 9% sales tax. Since you live in Virginia that's what, 12% on food in addition to the VAT.

But asking a hedge fund manager WHO WORKS LESS THAN EITHER OF YOU and makes a few hundred million to pay up would be immoral.
Of course under the 9-9-9 plan he pays nothing, no capital gain tax.

Bend over. YES SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER.

Also, when the left talks about class it's about the wealth DISCREPANCY which is rising constantly and has since your hero Saint Ronnie Raygun started the transfer.

You got
What you want
Now you can hardly stand it though,
By now you know
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
'Til you wise up
-Aimee Mann

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

I recently got my annual forty cent per hour raise. At 40 hours a week (which I rarely get because my company cuts my hours to keep their profits up), and no unpaid time off due to illness etc, my recent raise takes my annual income to over $20,000, but just barely over.
------------------------------

No sick leave? That's probably illegal unless this punk is working the scam where he books you as part time ... if you've been there long enough that's illegal in Massachusetts but I know how you hate "liberal" states.

I simply do not understand why the right doesn't comprehend that the right is not in their best interest.

Mark said...

"You get a 9% VAT and then an additional 9% sales tax. Since you live in Virginia that's what, 12% on food in addition to the VAT."

Ducky, you really need to actually look at Cain's plan instead of parroting the leftist's line.

Cain's plan does not apply to the individual states. If you can't get the facts straight get out of the discussion.

I get sick leave, but I don't get sick. Besides, I can only get it if I am out sick for more than one day. The first day is unpaid, although, I can take a personal day to make up for the loss, but I only get 2 of those a year.

I can't afford to be sick.

Mark said...

Oh, and Ducky, I am a full time employee. I cannot be considered part time even if my employer wanted to, he isn't allowed to cut my hours down to part time. No scam here. Just an austerity program started out of necessity.

Since Obama screwed our economy, consumers cannot afford to buy our products, so, because as I've often pointed out, employers will not take a cut in profits, therefore, they must cut labor expenses and/or raise prices on their goods and services.

The whole idea of taxing businesses more to generate revenue doesn't work because the corporations will always pass the added expense on to their customers, creating higher prices, which in turn, creates an inability to purchase goods and services, which causes more loss of profit, which again results in the employer raising prices and lay offs yet again to compensate for the loss in profits. And on and on and on. It is a vicious circle which will not end until we vote the Liberal Democrat crooks out of office.

I'm surprised Liberals don't understand the logic in this.

Jim said...

"Cain's plan does not apply to the individual states."

What does that mean? It applies to all states. I'm in California, my sales tax would end up being almost 18%.

My brother has MS. Thank goodness he paid into Social Security when he was working so that he gets disability income. Socialism? Entitlement? I don't care what you call it.

"I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and redoubled my efforts."

Good to know that you are living the American Dream.

Mark said...

"What does that mean?"

It means Cain's plan is a Federal Tax plan, which doesn't affect the individual states. How hard is this to understand?

If the taxes are too high in California, you are welcome to move elsewhere. If they aren't too high in California, you are also welcome to voluntarily send the state Government as much as you feel is necessary to keep the welfare cheats and crack heads in free welfare money, if that's what you really want.

If you're worried that the state taxes added to the Federal sales tax will be too much, remember, the Federal income tax will only be a 9% flat rate, which should more than compensate for the higher state sales tax.

Anyway, if the sales tax is on whatever goods and services you purchase, you have it in your power to help control how much state tax you are paying. If it's too high for you, don't buy as much.

But Cain's plan is a Federal tax plan. Not a State plan.

Black Sheep said...

About not posting if you have nothing you think is new or novel enough to say... I disagree. Seems to me we bloggers are the only thing around outside of riots to counterbalance the bullshit propaganda of our media, and I mean ALL of our media, so-called conservative included. They have their own agenda to and it doesn't necessarily involve improving our lives.

It's better to be a voice in the wilderness than no voice at all. Go ahead and sound like a parrot, the more we shout in unison the louder we are and the more we're heard.

And thanks for the visit.

Jim said...

"How hard is this to understand?"

For a minute I thought this was from Dick.

It's hard to understand what your point would be in saying it. Everyone knows the tax is a Federal Tax.

As a result, it applies to people in each individual state.

Marshall Art said...

I can't say that some people might be negatively impacted by a nat'l sales tax, especially if their states do things differently. BUT, and this is a big BUT, the plan results in simplicity which allows everyone a better idea of what to expect. IT provides a reduced tax burden from the income and corporate tax side which allows individuals and corporations more money in their pockets. When a corp has more money in their "pockets" and fewer regs to inhibit their activity (and a simpler tax is akin to fewer regs, especially with less time, money and effort spent navigating thousands of pages of tax code) they have more money to do what they do, including hiring. Cain's plan might not be perfect, but it appears to be far closer to it than what we now have. That's a good thing.

Conservative policy always serves our own self-interest.

Ducky's here said...

When a corp has more money in their "pockets" and fewer regs to inhibit their activity (and a simpler tax is akin to fewer regs, especially with less time, money and effort spent navigating thousands of pages of tax code) they have more money to do what they do, including hiring.

-----------

Whoa, that's the pure stinky cheese.

You've increased the taxes of the income groups who do the most spending and that reduction of income is going to create the growth in demand to promote hiring?

Are you on drugs?

Corporations hire for the heck of it without consideration for demand?

Jim said...

"they have more money to do what they do, including hiring."

Nobody has yet explained to me how having more money to hire new employees creates the customers to justify hiring them.

Can somebody explain that?

Mark said...

Well, Jim, since this post is about me, let me relate my response to my own situation.

I know when I have more money, I can afford to spend more of it.

If someone who wasn't working before was hired because the employer had more of his money (due to lower taxes)to pay newly hired employees, the new employee would then have more money to spend on things the employer and other employers sell, thus the employer realizes not only more profit, but that extra income makes it easier for him to hire even more employees, which in turn allows even more people to be hired, and spend money, and so on and so on and so on.

I would think that would be common sense for one who claims he works in the banking industry, but then, you also claim to be a worship leader in your church, yet you obviously don't agree with God on many issues. Seems rather hypocritical to me, to say the least.

Jim said...

I would think that would be common sense for one who claims he works in the banking industry

I don't claim it. I DO work in the banking industry.

If someone who wasn't working before was hired because the employer had more of his money (due to lower taxes)to pay newly hired employees, the new employee would then have more money to spend on things the employer and other employers sell

This suggests some sort of self-generating employment model based on the theory that "If I hire you, you will have the money to buy my products." At the very least it relies on the "job creator" to gamble that if he hires a new employee, new business will come his way. This puts the cart before the horse.

Where did you learn your economics?

Your explanation defies logic. Businesses expand because there is increased demand for their goods and services, not because they have a few more dollars in their pockets to hire more people.

Furthermore, "job creators" don't need lower taxes to create new jobs. The cost of a new employee is completely deductible and therefore not effected by whether the "job creator" paid a few dollars less in taxes.

Jim said...

Suggested reading.

Excerpt:

And we hate the rich? Come on. Success is the national religion, and almost everyone is a believer. Americans love winners. But that's just the problem. These guys on Wall Street are not winning – they're cheating. And as much as we love the self-made success story, we hate the cheater that much more.

We cheer for people who hit their own home runs in this country– not shortcut-chasing juicers like Bonds and McGwire, Blankfein and Dimon.

That's why it's so obnoxious when people say the protesters are just sore losers who are jealous of these smart guys in suits who beat them at the game of life. This isn't disappointment at having lost. It's anger because those other guys didn't really win. And people now want the score overturned.

Amy said...

All I can say is that you are right: who said life was going to be fair. Of course it is not, and then, taking that into account, we cannot complain. The only thing to do is to work hard to see if you can improve. I met a couple in Argentina when I travelled there and they were trying to buy an buenos aires apartment. It was really hard for them but they finally got to qualify for a mortgage loan and bought a nice place. They were so lucky. I hope everybody can do that and fulfull their goals!
Amy