SL 748

What do you think of the guy who hates his job, but can’t quit, because he’s locked into his $1.2 million lifestyle?

Would you vote for Klobuchar knowing that she’s the evil boss from hell? The Devil Wears Sensible Loafers.

Advertisements

41 thoughts on “SL 748

  1. I think a lot of people who make a million dollars get locked into a lifestyle that requires a million. It takes a lot of discipline to live a lifestyle different from everyone else around you. And, even if you can manage the finances, when you earn that kind of money the money itself becomes part of your status, of scorekeeping, lifestyle beyond the money.

    **i felt really bad for him that his wife laughed at a job that would only pay 500k.

    1. If you choose to marry someone who would laugh at you for that, you deserve to be laughed at. Anyone in this situation has to be stunningly shallow. I mean, there might be extenuating circumstances, like you’re paying someone’s medical expenses or supporting an entire village in another country. But I couldn’t stand to read very much of the article.

      I once knew a grad student from Poland who was living on almost nothing and sending the paychecks from his minimum wage job home to his parents. He was a great guy.

      In my small rural town I could comfortably afford my mortgage payment at half my income. Housing is incredibly cheap. It’s absolutely the case, as y81 says below, that people lack imagination. The $1.2 million guy could buy a house for his family here for $100K and probably retire at 40 on income from savings. I get this would be highly undesirable, but there are far more possible lives in this country than most people – at least most New Yorkers – imagine.

  2. I wouldn’t say discipline, but imagination or a leap of faith to realize that people who live on $500K a year (if that’s the number) are just as happy as those who live on $1.2 million. It’s actually a good exercise, to think about how you would live on half as much as money: sell your apartment, obviously, so think about where you would live (on a side street, in a building with no elevator men, instead of a white glove building with Central Park views); sell your summer house and decide where you would go instead (maybe Connecticut shore instead of the Hamptons); only have one car, so decide what it would be (a BMW not a Jaguar), etc.

    1. Connecticut instead of the Hamptons? a BMW instead of a Jaguar? Horrifying. I can’t compare the Connecticut v Hamptons vacation, but I don’t think a BMW is noticeably less expensive than a Jaguar. I think you could still get the Jaguar on a 500K salary, if you wanted one.

  3. It looks like a lot of internet people are enjoying Amy Klobuchar stories. I wouldn’t want to work for her–but she’s entertaining!

    y81 said,

    “It’s actually a good exercise, to think about how you would live on half as much as money: sell your apartment, obviously, so think about where you would live (on a side street, in a building with no elevator men, instead of a white glove building with Central Park views); sell your summer house and decide where you would go instead (maybe Connecticut shore instead of the Hamptons); only have one car, so decide what it would be (a BMW not a Jaguar), etc.”

    It is a good exercise.

    I guess for us it would be sell house, buy smaller house with lower taxes in less convenient location, get rid of half of stuff (to fit into smaller house), buy second car (to deal with less convenient location), put kids in public school, cut down on household help, stop visiting West Coast family. This is not very enticing.

  4. …because he’s locked into his $1.2 million lifestyle?

    Whenever I read stuff like that now, all I can think of is raising the marginal tax rate on higher incomes.

      1. Venezuela has a flat 34% income tax. The problem in Venezuela is kleptocracy and military dictatorship, the first of which I’m very afraid of coming into the United States, but not because of the people pushing for a return to the higher marginal tax rates that were in place when I was starting out.

  5. But how you would live on 1/2 as much is a different exercise than living on 1/2 as much to start out with (and, more specifically, to live on 500K, instead of 1.2M). And, better yet, to figure out how much money you have to earn to have what you think is most important. It’s an important exercise, because making money comes with tradeoffs. So what tradeoffs is one (and, generally, I’m thinking about the kids here) willing to make? A lot of kids engage in magical thinking, where their startup gets acquired for a billion dollars or they become a instagram influencer (both jobs where they imagine making lots of money doing exactly what they would want to do for free).

    Taxes are a way to make that happen (i.e. take away the money, and people making 1.2 M have to live on less). And, the point of that story was that the 1.2M earner didn’t think he was particularly contributing to the welfare of the world, so, taking his money away would have decreased the incentive for him to stay in a job he hated.

    1. bj said,

      “A lot of kids engage in magical thinking, where their startup gets acquired for a billion dollars or they become a instagram influencer (both jobs where they imagine making lots of money doing exactly what they would want to do for free).”

      Yeah, and that latter one is very dubious–I’m sure you’ve noticed how many people burn out online, even making excellent money. If you’re doing it for pay, it may eventually not be fun anymore. I think that this is worth pointing out to kids.

      Anonymous said,

      “It should be obvious who I am. Bwahaha.”

      It was!

  6. OK, I really have to address this Weezer issue, and I’m sorry for what I am about to say because I think you disagree.

    I read that Weezer had come out with a new album. The Teal Album, and even though all I know about Weezer is 1. Buddy Holly and 2. that SNL skit with the competing Weezer fans, I figured Hey, I’ll try it! It has to be good, right? 80s songs! Weezer! Yay!

    OMG, I think it’s awful. I like covers that do something, anything, other than simply sing the song the *exact* same way. This is basically Rivers Cuomo singing karaoke. After about 4-5 songs, I couldn’t take it any more. I almost threw my iPhone at the wall.

    No reading recs right now. Everything I’ve read lately is fine but not rec-worthy. But I hear Julie Anne Long’s new historical, which drops Tuesday, is fabulous. And Helen Hoang just got a 5 book deal for novels about each of the 5 sisters of Michael from The Kiss Quotient.

  7. So we have LOTS of folks who know Klobuchar frantically signaling that she is an asshole. Now, I think our current president is an asshole and his politics are dreadful, and would prefer Klobuchar to him. On the other hand, it’s because of her positions that I would even consider Klobuchar at all, and if I could get the positions (sensible, centrist, nottaprog Dem) from somebody else, I would rather. And I suspect that there are lots of Dems out their who are far happier with a proggy than I am, and for whom the asshole factor would push them towards someone more pleasant. For what it’s worth, the people I know who have had personal contact with Gillibrand suggest she is as unpleasant and humiliating as is Klobuchar, so there’s that. Warren is much too left for me, and there’s the Fauxcahontas problem, which will let Trump beat her like a drum (a tom-tom?) if she’s the nominee. Harris has had an awful lot of deer in the headlights moments lately. Not on fire for anybody, really. Would like to be on fire for somebody…

  8. Higher taxes on the Democrats who work at Goldman Sachs are not going to happen. Right now, our governor is running around whining about how his bffers on Wall Street lost some of their tax deductions. The horror. So no societal change is going to rescue them from meaningless; they will have to figure out for themselves that you can live on $500,000.

  9. The Amy Klobuchar stuff feels like a hit piece and is terribly written. Other senior staffers (presumably, of other senators) say her behavior may violate ethics rules. Ok, which rules? These articles never say. She’s criticized for expecting staff to fetch coffee and clean up (this is what may violate rules from the article, but not clear). Ok, how do other senators handle that? I doubt Kamala Harris is fetching coffee and washing cups, but that’s not addressed.

    She may very well be a horrible person to work for, but someone clearly has it out for her.

    1. I also find the framing around Klobuchar to be sexist. So tell me again how the Democrats are so great for women. It’s not that I think the Republicans are, I’m just sick of the obvious lies that women matter to Democrats. The minute it’s convenient, they use every sexist trope against women (for example, Obama’s campaign against Clinton was extremely sexist, and let’s not forget about women on his staff having to “amplify” to get heard.)

  10. We have recently cancelled our NYTimes subscription on our new “we have 7 years of college tuition to pay for now” budget, so alas, I am unable to read about the guy and his million dollar lifestyle until I clear my cookies. Is it worth being one of my 5 free articles? I’m getting much pickier about what I read now. 🙂

    I have a number of friends in MN who like Klobuchar a lot. (I have not asked them about her staff management, but they think she is very smart and would make a good president).

    Have you seen the clips of the horrid Jacob Wohl going through MN this week, claiming that the Twin Cities have turned into third world ghettos and that they need armored cars to travel safely through the state? How can people lie so blatantly and get away with it???

    1. I saw that myself. Personally, the only way I can see that they get away with those lies is that Obama broke the brains of a subset of white people. This, Trump as business genius, Pizzagate, Alex Jones, etc….

      I get that conservative political thinking with actual thinking still exists and that you can find it if you care to look, but to a first approximation, the conservative movement is now just grifting the rubes.

    2. How can people lie so blatantly and get away with it?

      I dunno, large numbers of people were willing to believe that white racists stalk the streets of Chicago, looking for black gay men to beat up while shouting “This is MAGA country.” Why would someone think that was plausible? Maybe Trump broke their brains?

      1. He didn’t get away with it. He got caught, arrested, and lost his job. That’s the way it’s supposed to happen.

      2. Chicagoans didn’t think that. The neighborhood where the alleged attack was supposed to have happened is about as far from MAGA country as you could imagine.

      3. My point isn’t that nobody believed it. My point is that not enough people believed it for long enough for it to be a viable business plan.

  11. I really wonder about how $1.2 million family can’t see how they would get by with half. I sort of assume he’s implicitly saying he doesn’t want to make the change – not that he couldn’t. It takes a while to build up to making that kind of money, even if you’re fantastically successful. They don’t remember what the household budget was 5-10 years ago? Cmon. Most likely they have a few big discretionary expenses that they can cut fairly easily. Sell the vacation home, move to a cheaper (but still very nice) home and as part of that switch the kids from private school to a top rated public school. Done. Still living a very comfortable lifestyle. And no doubt they have friends they’ve made along the way who do just fine on $600k a year. So when he says they can’t, I think we should read they don’t want to. All things considered, including complaints about the job, they’re happy enough not to really want a major change.

  12. The “workism” article from the Atlantic (linked in Laura’s twitter feed) explains some of the answer, I think, of why someone making 1.2 m can’t quit. His identity is tied up in the job. Though his job might not spark joy, the money itself is an assignment of worth.

    The workism article talks about the dangers of glorifying the non-monetary rewards of a job. That message turns into a tool, that can be used to undervalue work in economies where the jobs are supposed to be intrinsically rewarding (journalism, writing, music, academy, teaching, . . . .). But I think the reverse can also be true — where a job is supposed to be valued because it is compensated heavily.

      1. Waze and other driving apps aren’t mentioned as causes for the spike in pedestrians deaths, but I do wonder if maybe that isn’t a factor. At least around here it is sending commuters down residential streets in larger numbers than ever before and they move far faster than the locals.

      2. Plausible case being made that the increase in SUVs is part of it -worse visibility, and the flat high front ends are such that more collisions are fatal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s