About the forced wealth sharing . . .
My parents divorced when I was very young. I don't remember living with my biological father. My mother worked long hours to support her 2 girls. She remarried when I was 6 (almost 7). My stepfather was an enlisted member of the AF who had just come out of a bankruptcy (thanks to his ex-wife who cheated on him while he was in Korea -- and had a kid from that affair -- and who spent everything they had and then some while he was gone). On top of recovering from the bankruptcy and paying child support for his own kids, he also had two new step-daughters to support (our biological father was a dead-beat dad who did not pay child support).
We grew up with what we needed but precious little else. However, my dad (he's my step-dad but he's also my daddy and the only one I recognize) always told us we could do whatever we set our mind to. He helped to establish a good work ethic in my sister and I and would have tried to with his own kids if he'd had access to them (even though he paid child support his ex never followed through on visitation agreements). After high school, I drifted a bit. I didn't know what I wanted to do but that whole time I was working close to full time AND going to school. You see, my dad insisted that even though I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, I needed something to fall back on and as long as I was living in his house I had to be working and paying my own way. So I went to school for "Office Systems Technology" (aka, secretarial stuff) around my day job. I then managed to get an entry-level job at a local military base in the clerical field making just under $9900 per year (before taxes) in 1988 (this was an open announcement and was open to the general public but there was a requirement to pass a subsequent background check to continue employment). During my first 3 years there, I began taking prerequisites for engineering -- at night, after working a full day. When I had my 3 years in, I applied for the cooperative education program (again, this program was open to anyone) and was accepted in 1991. In this program, the government paid for my college education in exchange for me working for that agency for a set amount of time after graduation. I graduated with my BS in ME in 1994 and have been working my way up since then. I have busted my butt and I am now making 6 figures before taxes. I have also just completed my Master's Degree in Systems Engineering.
So, no, I do not agree with forcibly taking money from me to distribute to someone else. The opportunities available to me were open to anyone who could pass the background check and met the GPA requirements. For people whose parents don't have enough money for school, there are Pell Grants and scholarships. There ARE options.
My boys are now in college. My oldest "squandered" his Bright Futures scholarship by not showing up to class for most of a semester. He's now paying what his scholarship used to pay and his dad and I are paying what his scholarship didn't. IOW, he pays 2/3 of his tuition and we pay 1/3. He's learned a valuable (albeit expensive) lesson. My youngest has 2/3 of his tuition plus some of his books paid for with his Bright Futures scholarship. We pay what that doesn't cover. It's still a good bit of money out of our pocket and requires careful planning and budgeting, even with our "unfair" advantage of my hard-earned paycheck. (BTW, both my boys make their own car and cell phone payments, as well, and my oldest pays half his car insurance since he works close to full time and is only going to school part time.)
So, no, I do not agree with what I've worked so hard for being forcibly redistributed to someone else. If someone who had the same opportunities as me who took advantage of those opportunities and is now making 7 or 8 figures? More power to them! Bravo! I would hope they use a generous portion for good but I don't agree with forcibly taking from them.
My husband and I help people as much as we can. Recently we tried helping a local homeless couple who, as it turns out, were only interested in being helped in the way they wanted. I don't want to get into it in too much depth here but we supported them for nearly 3 months and in that time the only thing they accomplished was running up our electric bill, eating our groceries, "borrowing" gas money to "look for a job" and shooting up her Pell Grant. That last one clinched it for us (they had sworn to us they were not junkies and didn't look or act like it when we first ran into them and offered them the opportunity we did). So we had to "invite" them to leave. She's now in rehab (thank God) and he was Baker Acted a few days ago when someone else called LEO on him for making threats on his life. We have, however, taken in their old dog and are caring for him. The poor dog is the biggest victim in this case, IMO, and doesn't deserve what they've put him through. They chose their lifestyle; the dog did not. I hope they get help. I hope they get clean. But we cannot afford to spend any more on them than we already have except for the money we spend on their dog. It still may be a pricey endeavor; he's not young and hasn't been to the vet in quite some time. I would not be surprised if he had heartworms, and heartworm treatment would be way more than we could afford to spend on him (and at his age, the treatment might kill him anyway).
BTW, my husband and I also support a couple kids in Peru. If our pay were to forcibly redistributed, we could not do so.
Let me decide who I want to support with my money. I've worked hard for it; I deserve that much. If I'm wrong, it's on me.
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