Thursday, October 06, 2005

To Job or Not to Job?

"But what about the benefits? The pension? The security?"

These are the questions asked by the proponents of throwing in the towel on self employment and getting a regular job. No, let me rephrase that. These are the questions asked of me by those whose lives are ruled by fear of the future and the unknown. As such, they are driven to ask me questions that really have an underlying assumption: The assumption that I share their values and beliefs about jobs and the working life. The assumption that their dogma is my dogma. It ain't.

I have never been a person who has been inclined to be trapped by O.P.T. (other people's thinking). I reckon I fancy myself a maverick. In any case, I've almost always followed my own heart and intuition when it comes to decisions about my work life (I'm slightly allergic to the word "career"). I know myself; my beliefs and mode of being make self employment not just an elegant choice for me; it's the only choice for me. I have in fact had jobs. I'm here to tell you, I hated every minute of it.

But what about the Benefits? the Pension? the Security?

First and foremost, to me, it just ain't worth having that particular log shoved up your ass known as A JOB. I just can't trade away control over my time and life for what is offered in return. But in fairness, I will address each of these concerns.

Benefits; the health plan that my family has, Kaiser Permanente, is decent. It's also expensive. But as I am established in business, it is an affordable prospect for me. I split it with my wife. We can debate the fairness of that, but it makes my contribution very do-able.
If one is just starting in business, health care could be a tough expense to make, true enough. So, I recommend the following: A) Be young and healthy when you start your self employment scheme! B) Buy a high deductable catastrophic care plan. I used to have such a plan before I was a family man, and it was very affordable.

Pension; go and start an IRA or 401K or some goddamn retirement plan yourself. Start young. Pay it every week. Or just have a savings account, put something away on a regular basis. Pay your taxes, and you will be paying into Social Security, which Bush hasn't destroyed yet. By the way, I figure it's even money that the world economic system will even exist in it's current form by the time I retire. What do you think? If the glass house crashes, so does your precious retirement plan. So keep some fresh water and canned food around! And some good weed.

Security. Don't make me laugh. Where do I start? I've kept myself gainfully employed though three or four economic downturns of varying degrees of intensity. As a young man, I started my business and looked for a regular job simultaneously, early in the Reagan era. Never did get a job offer, but I sure as hell did build a successful business. Working for myself is simply unbeatable for security. I have built a cash flow engine that no one can take away from me. End of subject.

Do I seem testy on this subject? Ha ha, I am! Let's just say that my socio-ecomomic status has been commented upon lately by persons ignorant of my splendid philosophical outlook and business acumen.

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