It's not called Laborism


By American standards, I’m a long way from rich. Though I’ve had tremendous advantages in this weird & wonderful life, I grew up mostly below the poverty line. I didn’t come from family money, and neither of my parents had any (at least when I was young). I paid for the vast majority of my college education myself, and graduated without debt because I worked the whole time (and because I was lucky enough to live with parents while going to school).

I’ve worked hard my whole life. Harder at some times than others, granted.

When I was 10 years old working the cash register at my mom’s gift store, I wasn’t putting in an 8hr day. When I was selling CDs and merch at my Dad’s gigs, loading/unloading the van, soundchecking, etc. it was arguably more work though in less time. When I was building contact databases for my stepmom’s PR business or folding thousands of mass mailings on the kitchen table, it was easier. All that was before I was old enough to work legally. Then I got real jobs bussing tables and working in kitchens, and weird jobs like being a Star Trek alien at a theme park and making drum noises with my face. I’ve been willing do roll up my sleeves and dig ditches or tackle other physical tasks my puny body was ill-suited for. Though my mental efforts have paid off much, much more.

From hard labor to easy labor to weird labor, I’ve done a lot of laboring in the last 30+ years. I know how to work. I know how to put in more time than others will and not give up when others do and get more creative than others seem to want to.

But none of this equipped me for handling Capital very well. And I’ve recently realized that I’m not that great at it, frankly. I have a lot of the theories down pat, yet in practice…I still just resort to working harder.

And that’s simply not how the whole rich thing works. I know enough rich people to know, because I grew up around them too. I was born in Napa, California. Raised between there and the affluence of Marin County. Lived and spent time around most of the most privileged parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. I really should know better.

I should know that it’s money + interest that creates riches — not hard work. And that’s why I’m not rich by American Standards.

I’ve always used excuses like “If I cared about money, then I’d have more of it” which is indeed true. It’s also a cop-out.

While I’m an interesting blend of liberal and libertarian, politically, I think it’s fair to say that I support Capitalist ideals. I’m no fan of how it’s been deployed in my country, but I like the idea. I’m just not very good at it. At least not yet. Even though I’ve had my own company for the last 15+ years, looking back I’ve probably acted more like a Laborist than a Capitalist. Looking at the meager savings that remain after this wacky 2020 year, and the preceding 6-months of labor high-ground that failed to deliver any actual capital, I’m certain of it actually.

Money has always had all these emotional stops for me. Trust, deservedness, permanence, illusion, meaning, fairness. It’s just all wrapped up and tied down and never got out from under all that weight, in my case. Fortunately I’ve lived a very rich life anyhow. When I tell people about my life thus far, they tend not to believe me. Sometimes I don’t believe it either, it’s that beautiful and even more odd.

Here’s to the continually odd adventures of yours truly…and hopefully with a bit more capital-mindedness going forward. Capital idea, that!

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