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Rules for Life

Don’t complain about money.

Life is full of choices, and the career you pursue is one of the critical ones. The way you decide to earn money, and the amount you seek to earn is your own decision completely. This is why some people decide to become hedge fund managers, while others choose a career in social work. When choosing a career, potential income, benefits, hours, lifestyle, self-fulfillment, security and skills required are all necessary elements to consider. The importance you put on financial earnings will shape many of your career decisions.

Recently, there has been chatter about raising minimum wage and guaranteeing a universal basic income for all people. These are very idealistic concepts, but both ignore the reality of our world. Workers are not paid based on the idealistic value they provide to the our communities. Actors, entertainers, and athletes are some of the highest paid people on Earth, but they provide little as it relates to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Teachers and law enforcement officers are paid respectable wages, but put them nowhere near the top of the financial food chain. If we paid people based on overall importance to society, things would change drastically, but that isn’t the case.

People are generally compensated based on how much revenue they can generate for whichever institutions they represent. If a hedge fund manager can turn a multi million dollar profit, they are paid a six or seven figure bonus. If a car manufacturer has a profitable year, assembly line workers may get a bonus of a few hundred dollars. It’s all relative to the cost of doing business, and the ability to turn profit.

Sure, first responders definitely deserve to make more money if you evaluated their profession on a scale of “importance to society”. The people flipping burgers, not so much. But we don’t operate on that scale, most evident in the fact that some of the highest paid professions actually contribute very little to the greater good. Is entertainment more important than health care? Is modeling needed more than education? The only reason why these low value / high compensation jobs earn so much money is because we, as a society, have decided we are willing to pay for their services. If nobody paid for movies, sporting events, or high end clothing, actors, athletes and models wouldn’t earn so much.

For anyone that complains they aren’t “making enough money”, they can:

    Find a new job that pays more
    Get a second job (lots of people do it)
    Move somewhere less expensive to lower your cost of living, potentially increasing your overall income (happens every day)

A business cannot be forced to pay workers more money because the worker thinks it’s “not enough”. Not being enough is relative to a whole host of factors, none of which matter to the business owner. The lifestyle a worker chooses to live, and how they decide to spend their money is not the business owner’s problem. It becomes the business owner’s problem when nobody wants to work there because the wages are too low, or conditions are poor. Until that happens, business owners can pay people however they want, or however much they can afford to.

In the USA, we live in a free society; one in which you can choose your job and profession, and also choose how you want to spend and save your money. Other societies / governments dictate the type of job you’re allowed to have, and the amount of money you’re allowed to make. Talk to people in countries like India, China and Venezuela about the freedom of their choices and the amount of opportunity actually available. These people are born into and raised by governments that predetermine the destinies of their citizens, and most of the time it’s pretty bleak and hopeless. There is no “American Dream” there. “Be all that you can be”? Forget it. The more control the government has over what we are paid and how we are allowed to earn, the less possible “the Sky is the limit” actually is. If you train for and work hard at earning a job, nobody should be allowed to stop you. This is why America is so great; it allows true freedom.

To break it down, there are two options, and no middle ground. Either you have choice and freedom to live the way you want, or the government decides for you. Choice and freedom definitely sound better than a caste system, right? Don’t expect the government to financially support you. Be happy you have the choice to decide for yourself, and stop complaining about the amount you make.

The moment you open your mouth to complain about money is the moment you tell people that you are incapable of making responsible decisions for yourself. Your complaining implies you either chose the wrong profession, did not prepare for your profession, suck at your profession, or cannot manage your income/expenses correctly. Want more money? Go make more or spend less. It cannot be any simpler than that. Not sure how to do this? Stop scrolling through Instagram and go to google.com and start searching for information. Stop wasting time and make time for what’s important.

The job you take and the way you prepare for and obtain it are your own decisions. Before making this choice, do some research to understand what the expected income is. Once you’re working and earning a paycheck, your spending, saving and budgeting behaviors are only the responsibility of yourself, and nobody else. It’s not your boss’ problem that you aren’t earning six figures or aren’t able to take that vacation you desire. That’s on you.

Anybody crying about it needs to step up and do something to improve their situation. The economy is strong, jobs are plentiful, and the opportunity to prepare and train for jobs is omnipresent. Our world’s knowledge is aggregated in one place and instantaneously accessible to anyone with a cell phone.

-Your Big Bro