Looks like we'll get some kind of state-run health insurance mess jammed down our throats. Our taxes will go way up, kind of like the UK:
Income Tax rates and taxable bands
Income Tax rates and taxable bands 2007-08
Starting rate: 10% £0-£2,230
Basic rate: 22% £2,231-£34,600
Higher rate: 40% Over £34, 600
Income Tax rates and taxable bands 2008-09 2009-10
Starting rate for savings: 10%* £0-£2,320 £0-£2,440
Basic rate: 20% £0-£34,800 £0-£37,400
Higher rate: 40% Over £34,800 Over £37,400
* From 2008-09 there is a 10 per cent starting rate for savings income only. If your non-savings income is above this limit then the 10 per cent starting rate for savings will not apply.
And that's just income tax, national insurance is here: National Insurance contributions.
Obviously rationing is the only way we can make this affordable. Unless...
I propose making marijuana an over-the-counter medication. Like Tylenol, Aspirin, Methamphetamine or Motrin.
Here's the deal. Smoking pot relaxes you, makes you hungry, lazy and messes with your short-term memory. It's a panacea for everyday sickies.
Let's say you get sick today, a cough, sniffles, and a sore throat.
After you get released from Swine flu quarantine, you may go to the doctor. He won't be in, so you see the nurse, who tells you that when she's sick she takes a mason jar of Nyquil and goes bowling, street racing, and eventually, to bed. The next day, she'll say, she'll be up early enough to pull the dead guy from her windshield, cut him into small enough pieces to feed to the dogs, and get a ride to work. By then, the doctor will be in to change his schedule and pick up the new magazines and he might actually look at her throat. So you'll follow this advice for a week or two until the doctor has time to peek into your neck and write you out a prescription for a ski vacation in Utah for the doctor and his family.
Now all of that doctoring costs money.
Under my plan, if you get sick, the first thing you do is to lay in lots of supplies; Doritos, coupons for Domino's Pizza, Visene, and Twilight Zone DVDs.
Next you will go to the doctor's office. He won't be in, so the nurse will make an appointment for Thursday and tell you to go to Wallgreen's and pick up a new bong and a bag of sweet sticky weed.
Follow the directions on the baggie and take two to eight bong hits an hour, or smoke until you become convinced someone is peeking in your second floor windows even though youy live in a rancher.
When Thursday comes around, you may not be any better. In fact, your cough may be worse, but you'll have forgotten to go to the doctor. That's where the savings are, right there.
I expect my plan is a lot less complicated than the plans currently in front of Congress, and I...uh...huh...uh...so like, why couldn't the Professor just like build a boat man?
I have to paint my kid's bathroom today. Which means I have to sand the drywall and that creates dust. Lots of dust. Which sucks. BUT....
It's also my second son's birthday, so happy birthday Dangeresque! 12 years old. My God I feel old.
And so, in the footsteps of old guys everywhere, I'll put on my favorite pair of vaguely urine scented, threadbare corduroys, then go to the party and eat the tiny piece of cake that my nurse will allow me. Then I'll sit too close to my son's closest friend and pick at my ear hair while breathing too hard through my nose on to his neck.
Or, as I like to call it, Friday.
So I write about writers the other day, and why I think some writers are having a tough time of it, and I , of course, come off as a total dick. Well, I pretty much am a total dick, sorry.
But not two days later I find out an internet friend, a freelance writer, is having a really tough time of it. He, like me, took a few months off, but unlike me people still read his site. That costs money. He also doesn't have a job to suck the life out of him, he has some sort of weird internet succubus who's been trolling his site for ages, making the comments section, once a wild free-for-all; funny, witty and (except for my comments) pretty much on topic and smart. I contributed nothing but non-sequiturs, misused commas and dick jokes, but I don't think I was ever a troll.
So now he's in tough financial straights, and I'm in no position to help out. I know he didn't read my screed, but I feel bad for being a cock anyway. It's out of jealousy, really. Believe me, if I ever had his chops...well, I don't, no use pretending.
At any rate, he's a contributor at the QOR. If you can pony up to join, do it. I wish I could.
Here's why I can't, ie. my list of excuses. I have four kids, each of whom can eat corn on the cob through a picket fence, I took a pay cut and lost my car allowance, I've been Dave Ramseyfied for over five years and the money's not in the budget, we just paid off the Kia three years early so we can put the car payment in our destroyed retirement accounts, I've got to finish paying off the loan for the addition we put on, and did I mention the four kids?
After all of that bitching I do have to say that I do realize that I'm very lucky to still have a job (so far) and also to have a wife who still does the books like we're broke-ass kids. It's a blessing to have been a broke-ass kid with a shitty job, a wife at home, and a baby when all of my friends were living large on their dual-incomes and credit cards. Because we know how to do it now, and I know exactly what generic over the counter medicines to take to ward off a bleeding ulcer should we find ourselves back in that position. As I'm sure we will again someday.
So yeah, I was a jerk. But you know what? If I hadn't have married the person I married, and hadn't spent the first eight or ten years of my marriage on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and wasn't an incredibly stubborn son of a bitch, I'd be in the same boat as the people I ragged on. So really, I was just ragging on my id. Trust me on that.
Aside from lack of time,talent and inclination that is...
Writers and Financial Woes: What’s Going On « Whatever
Writing takes a lot of time, if you aren't able to sit down and write for relatively long stretches of time, you're not going to get anything done. Most writers don't really ever get compensated for the time they spend actually doing the work. I say most, because obviously some do, but again, most people who would want to write for a living do the cost/benefit and end up thinking that a good job and a healthy marriage are more important than spending every free moment for a year or so writing a bad novel and having it rejected as not good enough, then doing it again... and again... and again, only to see a rejected A-Team script make it to the top of the NYT bestseller list.
The guy who writes that crap (please God let it be me someday) might make a year's salary all at once, or dribbled out in tiny checks over the next couple until the paperback gets sold or the movie rights. Then he'll get a chunk he can share with his agent and the credit card companies, while the publisher makes a mint and the actor who plays the lead in the movie version gets 10 million for six weeks of work.
Meanwhile, you're still selling comic books, blogads or rare fish over the internet. While your wife works her ass to the bone at some soulless office job for health insurance and so you can afford your quarterly Apple upgrades, your Netflix habit and all that writerly bullshit you bought into, like the high-end whole house sound system, the taste for expensive Scotch, fine pens and LL Bean outerwear. Not to mention trips to Whole Foods for organic, free range otter penis chips for the wine tasting you're hosting. But don't worry, she still remembers how hard you worked on that 700 word piece you sold to snark.com for $25 bucks in 2004. Seriously, she has it printed out in the office, and everyone thinks it's really clever to compare the shows "Quantum Leap" and "Enterprise" with America pre- and post 9/11.
Anyway. To the 10 reasons listed by Mr. Scalzi, we could add that lots of people who write "for a living" don't really, and even more of them write stuff that no one wants to read, add to that a taste for the finer things and an inflated sense of self-worth and, well, you get a writer in financial difficulty.
You'll see this a lot with musicians, teachers, non-tenured professors and stage actors too.
Crusty old blocked bloggers who have a porchful of kids with crooked teeth know exactly what they're worth.