Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Another Guest Post from my friend Ken, who's either a Nihilist, a Realist or a Satirist. Or all three.

Pay Your Fair Share
(or: No One Believed George Orwell Either)

As we all know, the dangerous state of our American deficit compels us to make some hard choices.

Entitlements that we have long considered sacred must now be cut. We must curtail future spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.

But this will not be enough.

In order to protect the future of our children, cutting these entitlement programs can only be a minor beginning.

In the patriotic interests of mutual shared sacrifice among all Americans, I offer the following idea.

The 150 million or so Americans who work in offices need to consider slashing their entitlements too. If you work in an office setting, you know what I'm talking about. The dirty little secret we all carry around inside. The collective guilt we all know is there, but we never talk about. But the time has come.

It's time we step up and pay our fair share for our work places. And the services and amenities they provide.

We have been freeloading far too long.

Do YOU get free electricity at home? NO.
Do YOU get free computers at home? NO.
Do YOU get free internet access at home? NO.
Do YOU get free chairs at home? NO.
Do YOU get free desks at home? NO.
Do YOU get free phone service at home? NO.
Do YOU get free faxes at home? NO.
Do YOU get free heat at home? NO.
Do YOU get free air conditioning at home? NO.
Do YOU get free water at home? NO. 

Do YOU get free toilet paper at home? NO.
Do YOU get free pens and Post-It notes and paper clips at  home?
Do YOU get free space to exist in at home, without rent or mortgage or property taxes? NO.  

Our employers are paying for our heat, light, facilities, electricity, not to mention other expenses such as worker's compensation insurance, fire insurance, etc.

Because you pay for these services at home, you realize just how much our employers are paying to give us facilities to work within and resources with which to accomplish our daily tasks.

And what about parking? For those of us who park for free in company parking lots, don't you think our employers could use those parking lots more efficiently? Rightfully, we should be paying for our parking, too.

Now, you might think I'm just being wacky ol' sarcastic Ken, but think about it. Your employer isn't paying the $4.09 per gallon of gas (or transit fare) it takes to get to work. They're not paying for the shopping, laundry and/or dry cleaning required to maintain a business wardrobe. And most aren't paying for the Blackberry and monthly rate plan mandatory for 24/7 tethering. So why are you entitled to keep freeloading off their bandwidth and air conditioning?

How asinine is it to be expected to pay workplace usage fees when there are literally hundreds of people who would take your place in a second, even if it means bringing not just their own coffee to work, but file folders and notepads and a chair they can get cheap at Walmart?
If we began to pay our fair share of these ongoing workplace expenses...say, five to six hundred dollars a month...we would relieve our employers of TRILLIONS of dollars of unfair overhead expenses that they have been paying for YEARS.
Relieved of these enormous cost burdens, do you realize how many new JOBS our employers could create to help out our fellow unemployed Americans?

Also, all of us would be able to claim these work related expenses as legitimate TAX deductions. This would save all employed white collar employees BILLIONS of dollars of taxes. Do you have any concept of what a fantastic stimulus that would be to our ailing economy? It would be an absolutely extraordinary boost to all of us as consumers.

The place is right here, the time is right now. Let this be the beginning of the grassroots movement to "Pay Your Fair Share!"

Don't wait for a leader. Each and every one of you should go back to your place of employment and urge your fellow employees to examine their consciences, step up and demand to "Pay Your Fair Share!" Make sure you let your employer know that you are urging your fellow employees to "Pay Your Fair Share!" too. Your efforts will be appreciated and  rewarded.

It's your patriotic duty. Let the virtue of sacrifice guide your actions.

In the words of our beloved former president, John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." 

Or at least the corporations that run it.

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