In “You Can Do Better without ‘Free Stuff’” I talked about how while it may appear better to stay on unemployment or welfare than to return to a job, especially a lower paying job, you are really doing yourself no favors. From just comparing incomes, it may make sense mathematically to keep receiving unemployment when expenses such as gas, clothes, and lunches are factored in. In many cases the jobs available may pay lower and not have the benefits of the job that was lost. Still, in general people who work (or run a business) throughout their lives will do better financially than those who don’t. While the initial job may be for low pay and benefits, those working can move up to better things. Those not working remain frozen in place. Those on welfare will also see their standard of living decline as more people start drawing off the system and productive people work less or just move elsewhere. Finally, there is also a sense of pride that one can only get from providing for oneself and one’s family, and the higher need to do something important in life.
There is another reason to work and provide for yourself if you are able. If you don’t you are stealing.
If you were to break into your neighbor’s houses, steal their things, and sell them on Ebay, you might be able to have a comfortable lifestyle than you would from putting in full days at a job even if you only spent an hour or two a day stealing things. You would be able to spend more time with friends and family. You would be able to pursue your hobbies and sleep in until noon every day. You wouldn’t need to fight traffic or deal with coworkers or your boss.
It would be even easier to simply rob people in the streets and take their cash. You wouldn’t need to even sell the stuff afterwards. You could just pull someone out of their car at an intersection if you liked it and drive off. You could even just throw people out of their home and move in if you were strong enough and there was no law enforcement to stop you.
Still, most people wouldn’t do this. They know it isn’t right to take something that doesn’t belong to you, even if it is easier than earning something for yourself. And yet if you take unemployment or welfare when you could provide for yourself, you are being no better than a criminal. When you say that you looked for a job but just turned in an application then didn’t show up for the interview, or when you say you have no income but are making a couple of thousand dollars a month doing odd jobs, it isn’t just some government worker you are fooling or “the Government” from which you’re getting the money. It is your friends and neighbors who are working that you are stealing from.
They are not freely giving this money away – they are forced to pay their taxes or go to jail. Even if they support the government acting as a charity, they don’t intend for their money to go to people who are taking the money under false pretences. Using “the system” to take money from people and give it to yourself is no better than going over to their homes yourself and taking the money from them.
Also, it is your children and grandchildren who will need to pay back the huge debt . Every generation up until now has made it a point to leave their children better off than they were themselves. Now we’re leaving the next generation on the hook for trillions of dollars of our spending. They are facing limited opportunities, crippling taxes, and few government services. You are stealing the American Dream from them.
Quit voting for politicians who will use the power of the State to take money from your friends and neighbors so that you can get “free stuff.” It is not money created by magic or taken from some Scrooge McDuck character. It is taken from the guy who goes to work every day. It is also taken from the elderly widow or the guy with MS who can’t work since they see their benefits decline. Eventually, there will be no money left for anyone if we keep on our current path. (There is probably less than 4 years left.) If you think it is alright to take money you don’t deserve, at least go yourself and take it like a thug rather than hiding behind the government.
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.