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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/perhaps-we-should-add-a-sixth-rule-if-you-11906235.aspx

Subject:  Re: Unwritten Rules of Wage Slavery Date:  2/1/2000  2:30 AM
Author:  BlissAK Number:  2781 of 757895

Perhaps we should add a sixth rule: If You Develop the Nerve to Complain, They Double the
Portions of Everything You Didn't Like in the First Place


I like this thread, and think it has drawn some superb responses. To my way of thinking the premise is misguided. For some time I have lurked here and very much enjoyed the ride. However, I have had a growing sense of unease with a certain acceptance of the idea that there exists a "man" lurking in the shadows who through his cunning forces people into slavery.

The idea that work is a "lopsided bargain" and an unnamed "they" make "unwritten rules" of "slavery" borders on garbage. This is my life. The central thrust of this board is taking ownership of my financial life, planning and living it to gain early independence from earned income. Damn, that is a good subject. But, the lesson is bigger and involves taking ownership of the other facets of our lives. Our relationship with people still earning included.

When a business does best by harnessing the effort of happy, fulfiled people the convergence is great. Most businesses aren't good enough to create that environment. That does not, IMHO, justify demonizing employers. Neither employees nor employers always distinguish themselves by top conduct.

The relationship of many people to the early retired person is complicated. So perhaps is the relationship many individuals have with their own concept of not working for a living. Productive people are admired. Remember how the word "lazy" associates with the term "good for nothing"? Leaving the world of earned income does not, of course, make a person unproductive or unworthy but it raises the question. In the minds of others and in ourselves.

It is not surprising that some who remain working, especially if they have not taken control of their own destinies, will cock an eyebrow. Early retirement DOES raise questions of self and self-worth for many people. The employed person has not often yet faced the question how he will feel about this after retirement. Ironically some of this rhetoric against employers suggests that the author may not have worked out for himself all the implications of retirement.

I think this board is about freedom. Not having to work for a living is the particular freedom. Achieving that freedom through sensible thinking and choice of values is the subject of the dialog. Celebrating and learning from those who have seen the light is what it is all about for me.

Do let us remember that once that freedom is gained working is a valid choice. Work can be deeply fulfilling. Mine has been.

There are a number of people who want to retire early but with whom I have nothing meaningful in common. Those that just dislike work, or dislike their current employer, or dislike all employers may well want to retire early. I hope they can find a better more healthy space in life. I doubt that setting up a bogey man who has "Unwritten Rules of Wage Slavery" is a constructive step toward that goal.


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