by Matthew Chase
Well here we are all over again; I hope that your week went well! I had a very interesting few days myself. I made my bank account dwindle pretty badly while getting my new computer internet ready. The frustrating thing is that there is no way for me to be able to connect to the internet from home short of shelling out a good chunk of change. I have equipped the computer to be wireless, which is a cool and unique tool for being on the go. I just happen to lack the modem thingy that it will take to make ‘at home surfing’ possible. The funny thing to me is that there are plenty of wireless signals that I suppose I might be able to use, but the signals are all encrypted or whatever, what I think this means is that there is no way to use the signal without either a password or whatever the hell I need. (I have no idea what a hexadecimal thing is or whatever it asks me to enter.) So I happen to be no better off when I am at home than I was before, though I have a nifty new writing tool.
Though I remain woefully disconnected to the world while I am at home, I finally have a place to actually write my articles in peace without people harassing me for extra towels, or for an extra bar of soap. So here I sit in my living room, in my favorite chair typing my little heart out. So what to talk about? How about money?
Cash, it seems to me; is the bane of my existence. People spend all the time in the world at work to earn it, and yet what they get is never enough, unless they happen to be one of the few who simply inherit large amounts of it, or do something ridiculously easy to achieve mass amounts that no sane person would really know what to do with… Like say the heiress, Paris Hilton, here is a chick with OODLES of money, and she did nothing to really earn it, aside to being born into a wealthy family. She tried her hand at singing, which I suppose would be commendable, but you know, there are enormous amounts of people who could do the same thing if they had the kind of cash to pay for the studio time, the band members, and the mixing that it took to actually make the album what it is. I think I might respect her music a bit more if I knew that she’d been a broke homeless chick with nothing but her guitar, like Tracy Chapman. She used to sing on the street and collect cash from passer-bys until she was discovered by a chap who then helped her to make “Fast Car” a song that is really quite well known.
So what about the rest of us? What happened to the working man who puts in a 40 hour work week to just barely get by? And what about the single people among us? Why is it that if you happen to be married with kids you get a better deal with taxes? Federal and state help for your kids? Even more, sick time to take care of them? I can’t tell you how many times I wind up working for a parent with a sick kid, when I never call in sick to work…and I wind up earning less than they do… how is that even remotely fair? Why is it that I spend all of my time working to earn a paycheck that never has enough to pay all the bills and have anything left over for me to take those vacations that everyone seems to be planning? Why is it that when I get paid for my time, the money is already spoken for? Why do I work then? (Right, to have my place to live, to have a phone that connects me to my family, and to pay for food that I need.) So, here I am completely broke, with a phone, and my family of animals and little else. Ok I do have my stuff furniture and the like, I’m not completely destitute, but really, what do I have to save? NOTHING. Why?? Because it seems to me, this day in age that we aren’t meant to be anything but paycheck to paycheck people… We don’t get healthcare for free, we have to pay for that…We also have to pay for dental work. We pay for shelter, we pay for food, we pay for electricity, and we pay for it monthly, not to mention that I have to pay annually for a car that I already own, on top of routine maintenance on it. If we manage to be lucky enough to have a house, we pay for that every year… So why own it, if it’s not ever really yours? What would happen if every year you had to pay a buck for every CD you bought? What would happen if annually, you had to give money to your boss for the privilege to work for him? Isn’t that the way things look like they are going? I just think that it sucks. Every week I bust my ass so that someone else can get rich. I know that if I were to stop doing so, they would still be rich, and I wouldn’t have an income at all. So how do I make the kind of money that it takes to live in a comfortable small home, with a decent, yet reliable car, with food in the fridge, and a little extra cash to do with what I please? Why does it seem like every single fucking time I manage to get a raise, the cost of everything goes up? So I continue to spin my wheels and get nowhere. I hear “Go to college, go back to school…..” Yeah, well where does that put me? AHHHHH yes, in debt! So not only would I have gone to school, but I would have a piece of paper that says I am all knowledgeable, and I would still wind up at the bottom of the ladder because in this day in age a college degree means you know what you’re talking about, but you have absolutely no experience to back it up.
I could get a degree in writing and actually write a book, but no one would publish it because they are looking for experienced writers, and until you prove yourself in your chosen field, they want nothing to do with you. Well just exactly how do you prove yourself worthy, if no one will publish what you have? It’s the same for most fields of work. You see; the thing is, that without us… The commonplace workers, there would be no THEM, the upper class idiots who own the companies we work for. Yet they always think it’s ok to let us suffer while they go yachting and talk about the millions they have to blow...
Bill Gates is so amazingly rich that he’s a billionaire… Why not put that money to good use and balance the national budget? Or better yet, donate it to actually help poverty? With that kind of cash, the hunger in third world countries could probably be solved permanently. I’m no mathematician, but he could do a lot and still have enough left over so that he could still live in style.
Actors in film are paid millions of dollars for a couple months of filming. Julia Roberts was once given 11 million dollars for a flick she probably spent 4 months filming. I don’t think that’s a good idea… Granted, she is a great actress, but I work for four months and manage to make only a couple hundred dollars, and I make it work. Or at least I attempt to, so what does she need all that money for, if the studio pays for her airfare, food, and accommodations while she works for them? Why does anyone need that large sum? Why, in a year she could make four films and have MILLIONS of dollars. While I make just enough in that time so that I don’t starve? I suppose the most foolish thing I can see, is that this past year I TRIED to make more money… I worked SIX days a week at two jobs, and you know what, it didn’t do SHIT for me. At the end of the year I have to pay taxes on the money that I earned. HOW in HELL does this happen? Why is it that the less I work, the more I get back in taxes, and then the more I work, the more they take? Shouldn’t we be rewarded for working hard and doing what is necessary to keep the economy afloat? Shouldn’t the single people out there be rewarded for picking up the slack from all the parents out there who call in to work all the time? Why do we all work ourselves to the bone just to help some asshole sitting in a chair wage war on the rest of the world? We pay for social security, but I won’t see that money ever. By the time I get old enough to collect it, there won’t even be enough money to buy a tank of fuel for my car. Retirement fund? Who in hell makes enough money to pay for all the insurances that one seems to need in life, rent, taxes , food, electricity, water, in some cases, car repairs, clothes, and medical bills? Where should this money come from, when you work 40 hours a week for a few hundred dollars every month? How can I spend 400 bucks on a prescription to cure an ear infection, 500 bucks on rent, another 100 bucks on my electricity, 70 on a phone bill, 60 on fuel for my car, and 50 on food when I earn maybe 800 dollars a month before they take 100 dollars out for taxes on the money that should be mine? So the rich people continue to get more rich, while the rest of us work to support them, and barely get by. So much for the land of opportunity… It seems to me that the only way you have an opportunity in this world, is if you have a few million bucks to blow. I have my plans for the future, there are things I want to do for me. One of which is to write a book. I plan on doing just that. But I know that someone somewhere out there will find a way to make it so that I have to pay them for material I made. Because nothing in this world is your own folks. I may seem to own what I have, but I don’t. It can all go away at the wave of a pen. The bank could seize it, the collections people could take it, or I could be taxed to death.
The thing I need to try and remember are that there are things we don’t pay for in life. Rainbows, beautiful sunsets, a warm hug, and any emotion that is in the human spectrum. So take a walk, and remember that when we leave this place, the money disappears. Because in the end, we aren’t truly measured by the money we make, but by the amount we loved, and were loved by others. It just gets my goat that things here are so out of balance until then.
But don’t worry about me, I am a drag queen, what do I know?
Things have been looking up since Matthew discovered the ecological, economic and health benefits of aluminum can collection.