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03/16/2003 Archived Entry: "Just in it for the money"

I AM A COMPLETE IDIOT. Also a propagandist, a liar, and [gasp!] a liberal. At least I am according to a reader who just responded to one of my articles. "Indignant in Indiana" also made another damning accusation. This particular accusation is often included in letters of this sort and is intended to reveal the truly satanic depths of my depravity: "You're just in it for the money."

For the record, I took a 67 percent pay cut (and sometimes a 100 percent pay cut) when I gave up corporate communications for the pleasure of bringing excitement to the lives of men like Mr Indignant. But it was the right decision. I wouldn't go back.

Thing is, I got to wondering what Mr. I does to earn his money. If he flips burgers or drives a forklift, picks up trash or clerks in a C-store ... isn't he "just in it for the money"? Don't millions upon millions of folks work solely for the paycheck and not for any joy, satisfaction, or meaning in their work? And isn't it terribly, terribly sad that millions of human beings drag themselves to hated jobs every day, just to get money -- and then give 40 percent of their money -- and of their precious working lives -- to the government?

And isn't it odd that we find this state of affairs to be normal?

And isn't it funny that we find it offensive for others to do what they do "for the money" when we do it for the money, too?

Sadder yet are the folks who go to work every day and "for the money" enforce or comply with freedom-robbing regulations, waste billions of hard-earned tax dollars on boondoggles, prosecute the insane drug war, build and maintain the Big Brother databases, and put non-violent men and women in jail. How many times have we heard that the obnoxious bureaucrat at the EPA or the guard at the prison camp is "just an ordinary person trying to get by"? Just an ordinary person whose security comes from stealing freedom. And it's so often all just "for the money."

Funny that folks like Mr. I aren't more offended at that.

All things considered, Mr. Indignant, if I'm going to be in some occupation "for the money," I'll stick with writing about freedom, thanks. And you're free to think whatever you like of it. But any time you want to swap your monthly paycheck for mine, I'm ready to make the trade -- as long as the money you got wasn't stolen from some poor tax-serf.

Posted by Claire @ 03:53 PM CST

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