Looking at the spreadsheets I maintain and seeing what we can afford, it strikes me that we are the American dream. We’re high school drop-outs you know; the pair of us, underachievers, kids who adamantly refuckingfused to live up to their potential. We could but we don’t. It’s all relative. I hate working this hard, an exercise in futility. We made it. We have more possessions than our parents did, more money than our grandparents had. We could take a vacation, we choose not to.
You know you’ve arrived when people try to sue you. You know you have something other people would like to have. You probably don’t understand why. You’d stop working as hard except you respect the people you work with and you honor that respect with the gravity of responsibility. The people who work with you make a decision to return each day. You hope they do that because they understand the affinity you have for one another. You wonder if they understand that you walk through the door as equals in the morning and you leave as equals each night. Do they know that you bear the responsibility of their hopes and dreams, the trust they place in a paycheck?
The people I work with earn more than my best friend and I ever have. She has a bacculaureate degree. They don’t. The top earner grossed $95k, that’s unskilled labor-labor, not sales and no commission. I don’t begrudge them one penny. Work is stealing the life out of our lives.
I don’t understand why, if you’re doing better than your neighbor, you don’t want to extend a hand to help them up. A cooperative effort will eliminate poverty