I want to live in a boring economy and I’m proud of it

I am tired of risk.

I would prefer a job that I know will be there in 5 years to “an exciting opportunity for career progression”.

I would rather a genie grant me a 100% chance of not being impoverished than even a 50% chance of being a billionaire.

I want a career that supports my exciting life, not a life that supports my exciting career.

I think that people who write job ads in which they ask for “ninjas” or “wizards” should grow the fuck up. Same goes for people who want “exceptional” anything for less than thirty dollars an hour.

Unless you have a fuckton of kids, I can’t even imagine what you’d do with more than 80,000 a year- and even that…

I don’t believe that our society should be run by a handful of people with a taste for gambling.

I don’t want my meal ticket hitched to your lottery ticket.

I don’t understand why bankruptcy isn’t considered failure anymore, and a financially and sustainable enterprise, however modest, isn’t considered success.

I don’t believe this makes me boring or shallow, rather, my life is rich enough without this bullshit.

I believe that many of you feel the same way, but in a discourse focused on “getting ahead”, “disruption” and “Unicorns” we have no voice.

Fuck risk. My kind of excitement doesn’t come from uncertainty about my next pay day.

Capital is said by a Quarterly Reviewer to fly turbulence and strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. Capital eschews no profit, or very small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vacuum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent. will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent. certain will produce eagerness; 50 per cent., positive audacity; 100 per cent. will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling and the slave-trade have amply proved all that is here stated.

-T. J. Dunning, as Quoted in Capital vol. 1

One thought on “I want to live in a boring economy and I’m proud of it

  1. One kid. What I’m currently doing with (slightly) more than $80k/year is pay a $2k/mo. mortgage for a 750-sq-ft 2-bed/1-bath so that my commute into the city where I work is merely 50 minutes each way.

    I’ll admit I don’t budget as deliberately or rigorously as I did in the many years before I had this level of income, and that itself is a marker of obscene privilege these days. On the other hand, my net income (after taxes, health insurance, and a measly 1% contribution to a retirement fund that also seems like an absurdly cushy benefit) comes to just over $4.1k/month, so that mortgage payment is close to half my income, and student loans, hospital bills, etc. consume most of the remainder.

    A somewhat recent episode of Gaby Dunn’s “Bad With Money” podcast offers a few similar anecdotes about how families with what on paper are literally six-figure incomes can still be awkwardly “broke” in the paycheck-to-paycheck sense. Student loans and housing costs are usual suspects here, as are the stresses and time commitments of jobs that pay pretty-well but then actually do demand 45+ weekly hours of actual work (and we non-CEOs don’t get to count “exercise” as part of those hours).

    In any case, I certainly agree with the central thesis here. I’ve only gone the “find a career that makes $80k/year and push really hard into it” route because it presented the most straightforward route to eventual financial security for me and my family. A casual observer would notice that we’re still nowhere near financially secure and the road ahead is extremely convoluted and murky. I’ve noticed that any extra money in my budget ends up purchasing relief — I “buy back” some of the time+energy+wellness that I lost when I did what I perceived as necessary in order to get the money. I’d rather live in a world where I just get to keep some of my own time and I don’t have to keep selling it just to buy it back.


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