Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Worth of Work

by Pa Rock

I'm retired, but that doesn't mean that I spend each day snoozing the hours away in a hammock.  There are days, many days, when I feel that I am working harder now than I did back when I was still employed.  Today I did chores twice (fed and watered the poultry), picked up sticks in the yard and worked at getting the brush pile in order, mowed for awhile, and built a wooden frame for a small raised-bed garden.  Sadly, the frame looks like something I made!

I'm retired, and I draw an income from social security and a couple of retirement sources - all due to careful planning over many years.  Most months my income even exceeds my needs.  In one sense, I don't work - at least not for anyone else, but just about every day I feel that I work hard enough to justify my retirement checks.  It feels like I am still employed - but with a more flexible schedule.

There has always been a huge disparity in the amount of work people do and the amount of money they receive for their efforts.  Salaries in America range from the bloated fortunes that some corporations dole out to their CEOs, to minimum wage (and sub-minimum wage) pseudo-slavery endured by fast food workers and others at the bottom of the economic ladder.  The people fortunate enough to be sitting atop the ladder (generally those who had the good sense to be born into the right families) normally only sweat when they go to the gym, while those on the lower rungs live in sweat.  The amount of salary one receives does not necessarily correlate to the amount of physical work one performs.

Ask Dick Cheney.

There have been two stories about income on the internet today that caught my interest.  Poor Bristol Palin has revealed in a court filing that she has had no income for the past two years.  She and her five-year-old son live in a very nice five-bedroom home in Phoenix which she bought for cash a couple of years ago when the market had tanked.  Bristol's most recent "work" history includes two stints on Dancing with the Stars and her own reality television show based on life with her son - a show that died faster than her mother's reality show.  Now she is pursuing her son's father, Levi Johnston, for child support.  She is asking for $1,750 per month to raise the five-year-old - as well as two years of arrears in the same amount.

That almost sounds like alimony - or in their case, palimony.  Nice work if you can get it, Bristol.

The other income story dealt with the stars of The Big Bang Theory.  Work has been held up on filming the eighth season of the very popular television comedy because the stars are all busy pushing the limits of salary demands.  Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny want a raise from $350,000 per episode to a more suitable one million per episode.  One million dollars per episode for doing something that looks like it would be fun to do!  Sweet work, guys!

Raj and Howard are also seeking a raise, though their particulars weren't given in the article that I read.

A million dollars a week to laugh and have a good time!  I need a job like that!  And Bristol, while I believe strongly that all men should support their children, $1,750 a month for a five-year-old is excessive in almost every zip code in America, and certainly in Phoenix.  Get a job, girl, and check out the sales at K-Mart.   There are three convenient locations near you.  (My favorite is the one on McDowell.)

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