Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No one has given me a thing.

In the March 16 Letters to the Editor, Jim Bryant, in response to Bob Koestier’s March 11 letter makes the following statement:

I know I have been working extremely hard for the past 23 years and have been increasing my worth each year. No one has given me a thing.

Nancy, my assistant made 1/3 of the salary I do. I make 1/2 the salary of our Division head. Which one of us is working harder for what we are paid? I will contend that I have personally and professionally benefited from the low salary we paid her. And now that she is gone, and has not been replaced, I really know her value. Earnings have little to do with how hard one works and more to do with how your work is valued.

What I take issue with is Mr. Bryant’s belief that “no one has given me a thing,” or, in other words, his increase in wealth is completely the result of his own doing. I beg to differ with you Mr. Bryant. First of all, you are where you are at because of the community in which you live.
Lots of people gave you the things you needed to make the life you are living now possible.

Assuming that you make over $250k a year as you indicate, do you realize that the teachers that taught you, that prepared you and encouraged along the way make 1/5 of that amount? What about the firefighters that put their lives at risk to save your property, thereby allowing you to keep your wealth, did you know they also make about 1/5 of that amount. This also goes for the surgical nurse and anesthesiologist technician that made sure you made it through surgery make less than ¼ of that amount. And let’s not forget all the volunteers that helped you along the way. Those that gave up their free time to coach you, supervise you, or mentor you in an effort to help you succeed later on in life.

No one has given you a thing?

One of the things about material wealth that a lot of folks forget is that it occupies a fixed total amount - a pie so to speak. That is, as one gets wealthier someone else becomes less wealthy. It is simple economics at play. Goods and services are priced at what the market will bear, not at what they are really worth. This means that the hotel maid, taxi driver, cook, waiter, hair stylist, secretary, line worker, or janitor you depend on must have an income substantially less then you in order for you to increase yours. Technically, your wealth increase either directly or indirectly off the backs of others.

No one has given you a thing?

The next time you fly Mr. Bryant, ask yourself when you are at 30,000 feet how much you value that pilot’s skill, knowledge, and experience. We as a society value it at less than half of $250k, this is good because it means you keep more of your money when you travel which increases your wealth. And when you land safely and jaunt off to further increase your wealth in some other endeavor repeat to yourself one more time:

No one has given you a thing.

Source: http://www.theeagle.com/letters/Letters-for-March-162009-03-14T16-01-56

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