Re: virus: Rich and Poor

Sat, 29 May 1999 13:57:20 -0700

James Veverka wrote:

> KMO....Uneducated Homeboy here........After 8 years of teaching skiing
> at Killigton, VT, (That is another story: choosing a poor but zesty
> lifestyle over more money and less living) I went into the skishop to
> buy a headband.

Given what you've said about your values and initiative and your ability to evaluate the actual worth of the brass ring that all the commercials say you should be striving (and spending) to acquire, I'd say you aren't the homeboy I was talking about.

> The first thing that came to my mind was, "these suck,
> I can do better than this."
> The next day I purchased a sewing machine for $15 in a second hand shop
> and then raided the company Black Diamond's dumpster. I made my first
> 6000 headbands on that machine and got enough trash to make my first
> 1600 pieces free. That was 7 years ago.

Right on!

> What country are you from?

There are a great many countries within our politically-defined borders, and I've lived in several of them. I worked on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea under a captain who refused to go into port after our drinking water had been contaminated with sea water and who intentionally sought out Mexicans and other non-English speaking and inexperienced crew who didn't know their rights or how to go about seeking legal recourse when they were exploited. I saw many of these men get seriously injured. When they could no longer work, they got dropped off without compensation and replaced.

I've lived in insular white suburbia, urban America (both East and West Coast), rural America, urban Japan, and rural Japan.

I've spent time in the academic community as both a student and a teacher.

I've worked in high-tech corporate America, and as a result, I'm now job-free and pursuing my own passions.

> I had 3 surgeries in the early and mid 90s.
> While disabled my rent and food were taken care of by our city and state
> human services and the Medical Center at Dartmouth wrote my bill off.

You were fortunate.

> It is there for anyone with honest needs. A utopan (hard darwinian)
> capitalism would shun such "socialist" practices.

Fortunately, the victory of hard Darwinian market values is not complete.

> Did you ever read, "God Bless you Mr. Rosewater"? What a hoot.

I've read some Vonnegut, but not that one.

> There is a whole new block of entrepenuers and "new rich" in this
> country.

I know. I'm one of them.

> This economic expansion has made a lot of homeboys rich, not
> to mention people like me who would rather play than be rich.

I'm with you.

> In my
> business I could be making more but I take steps carefully. My business
> has doubled in the last 2 years and I even had to farm out work, but my
> time is more precious than my bank account.

Score one for conscious evaluation of societally prescribed goals and values.

> This doesnt address your post so much as it just shows that in this
> system the choice variables are immense for the imaginative.

I said in that post, and I'll say again, that this is a time of unprecedented opportunity.

Thanks for the bio, James. Really, it gives me a great feeling knowing that there are people like you who realize that lots of money and an unexamined set of assumptions and values is not a very good recipe for a life worth living.