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Episode-2335- Listener Calls for 11-29-18 — 9 Comments

  1. I don’t buy in to the government job slavery idea. People that work for others always resent it at times no matter how much you like the job. I think the biggest problem people have working for the government is that there is often zero job satisfaction or tangible proof of your labor other than a check at the end of the month. Especially in jails/prison jobs. That’s why it is so important to have interests away from work that help define who you are and allow you decompress. My job is what I do to make ends meet and my interests and passions are who I am. You were spot on describing senior government employee attitudes but having a free mind makes it tolerable. Most slavery is a self-imposed mental condition regardless of employment status.
     

    • I am not sure you go the point then.  The caller nor I were saying it is slavery, rather that it has things about it that are LIKE slavery.  Do a lot of other jobs do something similar?  Sure but .GOV jobs seem to do it more than any other, again the carrot at the end is why.

      A cop I know is a perfect example.  When the guy was a 24 year old rookie if he had been ordered to take guns away due to some unconstitutional law, he would have said, fuck off and quit on the spot, or may be even risked more.

      He is due to retire next year, I asked him if Texas passed a law saying they had to go take guns would he enforce it now.  He said he would hate it but he would do it because he can’t lose what he has worked so hard for so many years for, too late to start over, etc.

      Honestly on some level we are all slaves, tax is slavery.  Tax on income is the claim to a right to a portion of my labor.  Slavery is ownership of another person’s labor.  The value of labor is the only reason we have slaves, no one “collects people” just to have them.

      So if owning my labor makes me your slave what does owning 25% of my labor make me?

      •  
        I understand the point you’re trying to make. Perhaps Indentured servitude would be a more fitting term.
         
        As for your cop friend, I would have expected an opposite response. I started in law enforcement at age 23 and would have been more willing to do an unconstitutional act due to ignorance. 25 years of life experiences combined with gaining an understanding of core freedoms in this country has made me more willing to stand up for what is right and it is a principle I try to instill in the newly hired officers. Your friends response is troubling to me from the “bad apple” stand point.
         
        I don’t understand what you are asking in your last sentence.
         

        • The fact you don’t get my last question is likely why we disagree a bit here.

          Okay so imagine that you did own me as slave (you personally).  You got 100% of my labor and it didn’t matter what I did, where I went, etc. you got my proceeds.  In return you kept me in rags for clothes, gruel for food and a shack for a house.  Because a dead slave has no value.  I can’t get away, I can’t fight back, no matter what you own my labor.  And you can borrow against my value too.  I have this slave Jack, he makes me 100K a year profit, so Mr. Banker can I  borrow some money against that?  By the way I also own his son, and his to grand children so Mr. Banker even if he dies I can cover the loan.

          Horrifying no?  And I think we would all agree it would make me 100% your slave.

          So if against my will you have a right to 25% of my labor, nothing in the above changes, what does that make me?  Am I not 25% your slave, and now responsible for my own housing, food and clothing?

          So pick your tax bracket, and consider your multiple masters and all involuntary taxes, (even accepting permits, use fees and sales taxes as voluntary) and tell me John, what percentage of slave are you?  How much are you charged a year for your income and property?  What percent of your income is that?

        • On the cop friend, sadly he isn’t a “bad apple”, he does his job by the book, never violates a right, etc. Of course that is based on how he is trained, department policy and state law.  Note that I said, “if they passed a law”, not just if you were ordered to.

          In that instance he now feels, if he doesn’t, they will do it anyway.  He has less then a year, at that point he has a retirement for life.  His family spends money they don’t have, he is deep in debt (more chains) he simply feels I can’t buck things now, I just have to finish.

          This is the point of government employment being like slavery.   I should note that he was animate about the fact that this is stupid, it is never going to happen, etc.   He was into a few drinks and it took pushing him to well IF, and when it came out he sort of snapped at me as he admitted it.

          You could tell the reality hurt him, he didn’t want to say it but he is an honest man and could not lie about it to me.  This is what the state does to good men.

        • The Slave/Tax concept is one I’ve subscribed to for many years now. The wording on your question was a little confusing to me. However it is a concept independent of working for the govt. is like slavery.

          I know a lot of people like your friend and see the self-imposed shackles they wear. I would be willing to bet he goes back to work somewhere else to supplement his income after retirement because like so many he has failed to prepare for the moment of retirement by reducing spending, eliminating debt and finding outside interests. Realizing just what a govt. job is and using it as a tool to be more independent makes navigating the pit falls of the job easier to navigate while keeping a moral compass.
           

  2. Damn, that bit on gov’t work sharing some aspects of slavery resonates so much with me. While technically private employment, working for a government contractor was enough of an ‘artificial market’ that it shares a lot of the same characteristics. Once you go through all the trouble of a security clearance it makes you hesitate to move to another line of work, and the extra pay that’s often involved makes it even harder.

    Not all but many of the positions are not much more than make-work jobs mostly involving bureaucracy and paperwork, and many of the people who are there for a while find themselves nearly unemployable in most other sectors.

    Seeing many of the ‘lifers’ there who were in their 50’s and 60’s was so damn depressing… many unhappy with their work and/or the environment but convincing themselves it’s for the best and it’ll all be better once they retire (meanwhile eating themselves to death or buying shit to try to find happiness). Imagining myself in their position scared the shit out of me, and I kept that in my mind whenever I started feeling doubts about leaving and giving up that security.

    Some coworkers seemed to think I was nuts for leaving and giving up the money, clearance & stuff, but there were others who expressed some level of envy (“I’d love to get out of this place but I need the money too much” and such).

    From a financial point of view it was a dumb move because I make a lot less money now (especially now that crypto prices are down so much and I’m holding off selling any of my mining rewards), but I’m a lot happier now getting to do the kind of work I want and not watching my time bleed away in a place I hate. Admittedly getting as far away from anything to do with the US government as possible and not get tempted by the money and security of my old career was at least a minor factor in choosing to spend a few years abroad.

    Just about the only thing I looked forward to in my last job was taking my breaks outside and watching ‘Archer’ on my phone. Do I really want to spend 25-30 more years or 40-hour work weeks like that?  F*** that noise…  😉

  3. I know almost nothing about fish tanks, but wouldn’t the razor blade destroy an acrylic tank? It’s one thing if you’re certain that the tank is glass, but I thought one of the drawbacks of acrylic is the ease with which it scratches.  Just thought that might be worth pointing out if it is indeed a thing. 🙂

    • You are correct that you would not use a razor blade on acrylic, but it would be about impossible to not know it was acrylic vs. glass.  Acrylic tanks are expensive you are not likely to find may for free on Craigslist, etc.

      I personally don’t find acrylic worth the added expense and added maintenance.  For certain custom tanks it is the only way to go, but for anything 10-300 gallons glass is fine and just easier in my opinion.

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