[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae...

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Feb 13 03:10:33 UTC 2008

On Feb 12, 2008 8:02 PM, Tom Tobin <korpios at korpios.com> wrote:
> On 2/12/08, Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> > ### But this Damocles' sword does focus your mind on the future
> > usefulness of your education, doesn't it? Yeah, I know it's not fun to
> > be in debt but I am trying to look at things in perspective: Going to
> > work every day for 4 or 5 months of the year before ever earning
> > enough to pay your taxes for that year, that's no fun either. I prefer
> > to have to get loans as a young person, if this is what's needed to
> > make a good salary later, rather than have "free" school and then end
> > up languishing in servitude to the taxman for the rest of my life.
> If one's goal is "accumulate as many goodies as possible", and one
> starts out from a secure position (financially, health-wise, etc.),
> sure, I might imagine feeling frustration at taxes.  If one doesn't
> start out from a secure position, and/or doesn't really care to
> accumulate that much, the low-tax low-service bargain doesn't quite
> look so great.  From my position, it looks positively awful; by the
> time I fight my way to decent health care, a paid-off debt, etc., I
> might have spent a third of my life working a job I don't care for
> (but, perhaps, pays well), the health issues might have accumulated
> (since early attention is just *too expensive*), and I'll be left
> wondering what the hell it was all for.

### I am not sure why you have such dismal expectations. Decent health
care costs about 2,000$/year per person (and that's without pinching
pennies), and if you have no preexisting conditions, it's just a phone
call away. A job is usually something you don't really care about that
much, it's a place where you make money, preferably without too much
aggravation. If you really hate your job, it's not difficult to find
another. If you hate everything you can get, well, that's a
non-enviable position, indeed. As an American you have started from a
very secure position, and it's primarily up to you to make the best of

BTW, the point of not being a slave to others is not "accumulating as
many goodies as possible" but being free to choose. I refuse to accept
the legitimacy of any peremptory claims on my life, time and property.
> American society does not treat its fledglings well.

### On the contrary, I would confidently state that young modern
Americans are some of the most mollycoddled groups in the world,
surpassed only by the 10,000 Saudi princes and the like. Almost nobody
else in the world has ready access to 400,000$ per capita in
wealth-producing infrastructure (i.e. companies, legal institutions,
etc.) that can be used to easily get a starting salary of on average
40 to 60k, with a well-chosen bachelor's degree or more.


 If I had an
> ounce of the hard-earned wisdom I have now (at 29), I would have
> rejected out-of-hand quite a few options young adults are barraged
> with (educational debt, credit cards) that haunt for decades
> thereafter. I'd hand back my diploma *today* if it allowed me to
> declare bankruptcy on my educational debt.

### Well, there is a significant premium to a college degree in the
workplace (which, of course, does not prove causation), so the
majority of graduates, especially those who were very careful in
choosing their majors, can expect to easily recoup their educational
expenses, by a wide margin.


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