Charlie's Blog: Wealth Without Work


Wealth Without Work

"Work?" Callano said with a laugh. "Me work? Only suckers work."
From the interview Only Suckers Work

Work is for suckers. Anyone who spends any considerable amount of time with me will hear me say this line. I say it with sarcasm. It sums up what I think of so many people in this unjust world. I say it with sarcasm but not bitterness because I am one of those suckers who has to work for his living. I am smart enough to get money without working, but I'm not sleazy enough to actually do it. The simple fact is that conscience is the only barrier between you and fabulous riches.

I divide the world into two basic classes of people. There are those who work for a living producing things of value and serving the needs of humanity, and there are those who are on the grift parasiting off of those who do real work. The grifters can be subdivided into those who grift legally and those who grift illegally. Morally, they are no different.

The problem with the world is that we assign value according to what people earn in dollars as opposed to what they produce of value. Money becomes the final arbiter of what is good, right, and just. By this logic, the well paid stripper has greater value than the humble but hardworking schoolteacher. But I don't abide by this logic at all. Any fool and sleazebag can get paid. It takes virtue to produce value. So, I appraise people not by the size of their paychecks or the cars they drive but by what they do and produce. I like to see callouses on the hands and dirt under the fingernails. As a result, I hold the waitress at the Waffle House in higher esteem than the Queen of England.

When people think about wealth without work, the first image that springs to mind is the welfare queen living large on the checks she gets from Uncle Sugar while the rest of us taxpayers work hard to keep her producing children out of wedlock and smoking her dope. Along with the welfare queen is the disability slug who has conned the government into giving him a check for not working though he is able bodied and the leech collecting unemployment checks and managing to remain jobless until that last check is cut. At this point in the essay, the Fox News watchers are cheering this bit. But hang on. You will feel the sting before I am done.

If welfare is getting paid for not working, then by the same logic, retirees on Social Security are also welfare parasites. At this point, I have lost the AARP crowd. The irony is that the vast majority of these welfare geezers watch Fox News and curse the welfare queen with a few racially charged terms to rub manure into the wound. Their response? "Well, I paid into it." This is correct. Thanks to the law, everyone who earns a living has to participate in the Social Security ponzi scheme. But today's beneficiaries are being paid from today's workers who are unlikely to see Social Security checks in their old age. If we apply this to bike theft, I can go and knock some guy off his Cannondale and take it to make up for the bike I had stolen from me ten years ago. I earned that bike, dammit. Sucks for you.

If you are getting some kind of government check beyond a tax refund, chances are that you are a parasite. Most government workers are parasites. Members of the armed forces, police officers, teachers, and firemen are safe from my writer's wrath, but I think every member of Congress is a crook. This also goes for their well paid staff members, the POTUS, the Secretary of Whatever, and those nine unjust justices sitting on the Supreme Court. What value do any of these people create? When did you ever thank the Lord for the work of some government bureaucrat? Every dollar that government spends comes from the pockets of hard working Americans. This begs a question. What do the citizens receive in return for all those tax dollars? I would say very little. But you can bet that many of those government parasites pull down at least six figures with a generous pension and Cadillac health benefits that the rest of us can't afford. This farce is called "public service." The only sacrifice these bloodsuckers ever made was forfeiting more lucrative opportunities in the private sector for the more secure paycheck of a government job.

Government workers make a fat target, but the fat cats in the private sector are no better. It's too bad I lost the MSNBC crowd at this stage with my disdain for government workers as I now aim my sights at the corporate looters. The worst sector of the private market is the financial services sector which makes its money from usury and deception. These are the ones that the hard working Americans had to bail out back in 2008. These people create nothing. Yet, they are paid millions and billions for putting wealth at risk with a government backstop to keep their casino afloat whenever their greed overwhelms their common sense. Between money printing from the Fed and assurances from Big Daddy O, it has never been better to be in the financial services industry. And we know who suffers. This would be every sucker in America that actually makes a living the old fashioned way by earning it.

The rest of Corporate America is little better because they also get subsidies, tax breaks, and bailouts from the government. Inside of these companies, the hourly employees are squeezed for the last penny, urged to go on public assistance, and denied living wages with the implicit threat that even cheaper wage slaves can be had once you've been terminated. Meanwhile, CEOs, middle management, upper management, consultants, and the like get paid fat cash to blow wads of money deceiving shareholders, beating down the workforce, cheating customers, and escaping with their golden parachutes once their chicanery finally earns them a pink slip. What value do any of these people create?

The reality is that this economy has a growing class of parasites and a shrinking class of producers. If you look at dollars paid, it is hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Buf if you look at who works and who doesn't, the good guys are easily distinguishable from the bad guys. Once the work question comes up, suddenly, every parasite is quick to point to some blue collar roots, cite long hours on the job, and make dubious claims to "earning it." The funny thing is that these people who don't earn anything can find a way to insult real working people as uneducated low class slugs the rest of the time. Real working people have to account for every minute of their day to some management rat that can't even tell you what it is that they do.

What do you do? What value do you create? How do you make the world a better place? And why should you be paid what you are paid? These are important questions. The simple fact is that there are those who produce real wealth, and there are those who steal it. If you believe work is for suckers, you are a thief. If you don't work for a living, then you steal for a living. And if you feel the need to knock on the working poor and dehumanize them in every way, why do you need our dollars to keep your lazy ass rich?

I don't know how much longer this game will last. I'd like to say that justice is coming swiftly, but I've seen this sort of thing my entire life. The history of the world is replete with examples of those who work and those who grift. But I can also say that the bad guys fall with regularity like Bernie Madoff. On the individual level, I see the toll of the grift. I've never met a rich person who was happy or even secure. But I see happy blue collar workers every day of my life. I have wondered why the honest working masses don't rise up and cut throats and burn down the mansions of the parasites. But I think it comes from equanimity and the knowledge that the best revenge is to not become like your enemy. For me, I see it when these rats can't look me in the eye but cast them down to the floor in shame. They know what they are. A thousand lies can't cover the singular truth that they are thieves who produce nothing of value for anyone. They lack the virtue required to make an honest living, and they will pay for it with their souls.