There were two types of interesting reactions to my last post. A number of readers think that I'm a closet Obama supporter who would never support a Republican candidate. For the record, I think neither Obama nor McCain come anywhere near the minimum requirement I would like to see in a president. For example, I'd like a president who preferred science over superstition, just to name one thing. So if you think my writing suggests that one of the candidates is slightly less unsuitable than the other, that's unintentional.

I've only once donated money to a politician, and it was McCain. But that's because I made the mistake of telling one of his fundraisers, a friend of mine, that I'd donate money if the surge "worked." Admittedly that was more like paying off a bet than supporting a candidate. But time does seem to be vindicating the surge strategy, no matter what you think of how we got into the mess in the first place.

For the record, I would support a Republican candidate in the mold of Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California. As far as I can tell, he supports whatever is common sense and good economics (as experts advise him), doesn't care much about what anyone does in his or her private life, and favors science over superstition. I'm sure he's made his share of policy boners, and you will be happy to point them out, but I use him more as an example than anything else.

In my last post I joked that Obama wants to take my money and give it to people who don't work as hard as I do. As with all gross generalizations, there are plenty of exceptions. But how does it hold up as a generalization?

When I was a kid, I was mowing lawns, working on my uncle's farm, shoveling snow, washing dishes, waiting tables, and anything else I could do to save for college. Meanwhile I worked hard enough in school to graduate as valedictorian, getting a few small scholarships that helped a lot. My mother took a job on an assembly line to help pay for my college, while my dad worked his job in the post office during the day and painted houses on nights and weekends.

In college, I generally had two or three jobs along with my full course load. After college, at my first job, I got in the habit of waking around 4 am so I could put in a good twelve hours before going to night school to learn computer programming. I tried several times to use my meager programming skills to start my own business while continuing to work full time. I almost always worked nights and weekends trying to get ahead.

Eventually I got into graduate school and worked full time while taking classes nights and doing homework most of the weekend. That was the hardest three years of my life, work-wise.

And then there was Dilbert. For the first six years I kept my day job and made Dilbert comics nights, weekends, and holidays. I didn't take a day off for about ten years. At one point I was doing all of that plus writing a book that became The Dilbert Principle. The only time I saw the sun was walking to the mailbox. And I believe that all of that hard work was necessary for the good things that happened.

The average work week is something like 35 hours. For most of my work life I worked about twice that much. I'm writing this blog post on the 4th of July, and have several deadlines to satisfy. So yes, as a generalization, Obama promises to take a large chunk of my hard-earned money and transfer it primarily to people who don't work as hard. That's just a fact.

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Jul 8, 2008
I do not think it is sensible to strive for what many see, possibly erroneously, as the socialist ideal - everyone earning the same. What is more sensible, and more in keeping with the American way, is a certain equality of opportunity. That means that by working hard it is possible to reach, or approach, your desired standard of living. This seems to be less possible than ever in America right now, as the gulf between rich and poor seems to be becoming almost unassailably wide.
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 8, 2008
Remember the time you went out without a coat in the winter, had car trouble, and almost froze to death? If I recall the story correctly, you were lucky enough to get a ride from someone who was (apparently) smarter and more fortunate than you.

The world is a better place today because someone stopped to help you.

The John McCain's of the world would have left you to die on the side of the road, secure in the knowledge that it was your lack of personal responsibility that caused your death.

Just a thought...
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 8, 2008
I don't remember a time when I didn't work. From 10 I was babysitting around the neighbourhood. By my early teens I was the regular "party organiser" for other little kid's birthdays - coming up with games and keeping kids entertained in the days before parents paid professionals to do it.

I got my first official job at 15 in the local supermarket as a teller working Fridays from 2pm until 8pm, and Saturdays from 7am to 2pm. I used to dream of tills and punching numbers. I got a BA through a correspondence university in the 80's. I went into advertising as a copywriter, I became an editor of a magazine, and then got into corporate intranets. Now I have my own business doing websites and I'm studying a BSc through correspondence.

I'm the happiest person I know. If you read articles on happiness there are some themes that come through. Being productive is one of them. People who "do stuff" are generally happier than people who are incompetent. Of course people who are competent are generally kept busy, while people who are incompetent tend to coast through since no-one wants them working on anything.

The fact is, if someone stole all my money (not unlikely since I live in South Africa!) I could do it all again. I got nothing. Not from my parents and certainly not from either government my country has elected. The first government (Nationalist) hated women and english-speakers, the second one (ANC) hates whites. I've been taxed to death since I was first employed I've never had the opportunity to claim a cent in unemployment, health benefits or social welfare.

I have been well supported by friends and colleagues, but I have in turn supported them and when anyone gave me a chance, I gave back 120% energy and enthusiasm. I have done my best to make sure that no-one is sorry they employed me, gave me work or invited me on a project.

I am happy because I feel that I have made the best contribution I could to my economy and my planet.

I think if you don't have any skill or energy to earn enough to eat and shelter yourself, if you have never done anything to win over a friend or relative to keep you alive for a month or two that it takes to get on your feet, and if you've never saved enough to tide you over between jobs, then you are a poor specimen of the species and its better to don't live long enough to breed.

Our heavy tax burdens are the result of 200 years of allowing the stupid, lazy and thieving criminals to overpopulate the world, while the disciplined, hardworking ones are too busy working overtime to have kids. Let evolution do its work. Or if you prefer, let God feed the deserving poor with loaves and fishes.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 8, 2008
It was a nice post Scott. Really touchy. Obama, is a politician. He need to satisfy the people in his country or more precisely give the funded money to so called poors. I am spending too much money for several things but never thought of my hard work behind it.

I'd happy to help a disabled person. I'd happy to help if someone struggles for better studies. but I'd never help someone only for the reason they're financially not sound. They could make it out. Once he begins, the world will favors to reach his destiny...
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 8, 2008
I guess most people here still can't let go of the 'american dream'.

As for me, I don't WANT to work more then 40 hours because I have other interests outside of my work. And my work is not my hobby, unfortunately. If you work more then me you should earn more, that's just logical.

The part where the luck comes in is that the talent that you have is one that is very much in demand with a lot of people. That, together with all the hard work you put in got you where you are, and I will try not to envy you.

Jul 8, 2008
I am so confused. Scott gives us his life story, and then concludes from it Obama's tax initiative. Then everyone starts talking about random things: why hard work is a good thing, why people should help the needy, being lucky, remembering to vote, Donald Trump's daughter.

What is going on??!
Jul 8, 2008
I am so confused. Scott gives us his life story, and then concludes from it Obama's tax initiative. Then everyone starts talking about random things: why hard work is a good thing, why people should help the needy, being lucky, remembering to vote, Donald Trump's daughter.

What is going on??!
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
Obviously there is more to equation than "hard work =fabulous wealth", but I think we all agree that "hard work=more success than not working hard"

I find myself in the category of "not fabulously wealthy", but actually quite the opposite "restarting with nothing after bankruptcy"... because of working really hard to try to make it (and making a few mistakes). But I wouldn't trade the opportunity to work hard and try to make it for anything. And I am going to restart, work hard and get ahead again. I think this post I copied from JumboJoke says it all:

Donald Trump's Daughter
Category: Money & Politics & School

Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals she was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs -- what her dad dismissed as "redistribution of wealth."

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, and a rich one at that -- a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his, rather than benefit society.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. "You don't need to spend money on these expensive furnishings in this huge house when there are people who need to earn more than minimum wage and better food!" she lectured.

To her shock and amazement, all The Donald said in reply was "Welcome to socialism."

That's it? she thought to herself -- no argument? But before she could even think of a follow-up, he actually changed the subject! "How are you doing with your studies?" Trump asked her.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing?"

She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."

The Donald was closing in now. He asked Ivanka, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

Ivanka, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair!? I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"

The Donald slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to capitalism."

Posted February 21, 2007 8:00 AM on JumboJoke.com (here is a direct link to the joke on it's original site: <a href="http://www.JumboJoke.com/donald_trumps_daughter_989.html">Good joke: Donald Trump's Daughter</a>)

Jul 7, 2008
Scott dear,

A high energy level, a supportive and united family while you were growing up, powerful motivation, definite talent and a high IQ all contributed to your success. You could *not* not be successful. Unless you believe in Free Will?

Love you anyway!

Jul 7, 2008
Most people will never be as well of as the small percentage of millionaires and billionaires, no matter how hard they work. The majority of the population aren't rich, so it is only fair that the rich pay a higher percentage in taxes.
Jul 7, 2008
My apologies. I have enjoyed Dilbert for more than 10 years, but I always assumed you did not do much work.
I have read you blog before, and I have come to understand you are intelligent, but sometimes you come off as elitist because it seems you think people with faith must be stoopid.
I know you worked hard to keep trying to submit Diltert, and I was glad to see you diligence paid off, but I admit I assumed you 'just got lucky'
Even reading the preamble of this post, I was thinking- "wow - what a waste; He worked so hard, now he is wasting all the money his parents did for him"
Then it hit me: you STILL work hard. You only 'made it', because you worked so much. You parents are probably still proud (or perhaps prouder that you are not an engineer)
and there is an extra lesson in there for me: if I had an open mind, I might have been able to see through to you point to HAVE an open mind.
I applaud you sir. Thank you for the hard work though out the years, I hope you can keep it up - I still enjoy the strips and now will participate more in the blogs.

-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
3 things to comment

1st: People need to take responsibility for their politicians, after all they are supposed to be chosen by the people!! If you don't vote for any candidates, that is your right however I also think that should have no right to complain about a) the result or b) the decisions they make after they are sworn in. If you don't have the guts to put your privates on the block, you have not rights to be critic. (What's the say.... you need to walk the walk not just talk to talk)

2nd: Although I do agree with you about giving your hard earned money to those that don't deserve it, you need to remember that there are those people that work as hard if not harder then you doing the jobs that people don't want to do yet still can't make ends meet. Don't forget, fuel, food and just the general cost of liviing is more expensive now then ever before and people are just struggling to make ends meet.

3rd: I wish I learned about this one a lot earlier then now. People don't need to work that hard to get by, yes your hard work got you to where you are, no question about it and I commend you for it. Dare I say it, the world may even be a slightly better place for it, however money is not the be all and end all of life. People need to learn how to make their money work for them, not work for your money. Things we don't learn in school that we should: interest rates, stock market, property investment, business investment. These are the things that the rich learn to make them richer, and the poor never learn so they get poorer. My accountant told me recently, the difference between the rich and the poor is not money or upbringing, its their education about money that makes the big difference. The rich (mostly) make their money work for them, they never work for money!
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
It amazes me when people say I am lucky. That I have all I want. And everything seems to work out well for me.

Bull. I have worked hard all my life for it too.

Congrats Scott
Jul 7, 2008
I have no problem with someone choosing to sit on a beach all day; or watch Lucy re-runs - but I do have a problem with the govenrmant raiding the earnings of the productive to pay for it.

It is a free country. You are free to work hard, work smart or not work at all. But no one should be required to buy you luxuries (including health insurance) if you choose not to earn your own way.

On the other hand, all work and no play really sucks big time.
Jul 7, 2008
Charity. People giving of their time and money VOLUNTARILY. You don't want to give, don't. The gov't does it by force and try to make believe it is a good thing. It's not.

I can't believe all the people who approve of the gov't taking things by force. And by popular vote we can take anything we want from anybody, right? I guess you people don't mind, as long as they are !$%*!$%* somebody else.
Jul 7, 2008
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Switching blog site makes Scott very dull boy.
Jul 7, 2008
People that start out with less and work hard to make something of themselves should be congratulated and appreciated.

People that start out with more and work hard to make something of themselves should be appreciated.

People that start out with more and do nothing in their life should be frowned upon because they have an advantage but choose not to capitalize.

People that start out with less and do nothing in their life should be endured but not appreciated.

Go ahead Scott, do your thing. Your hard work and humourous insights are appreciated.

-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
That last post got a little intense,

Did your readers just make you DMD?

FYI, You already crueled your followers with this site that is almost intolerable (but not quite enough to kick the habit) If your going to give your readers greif at least add some humour so we can laugh while being insulted, it makes for a more enjoyable time.

Anyway, I,ve worked above the 50hour a week mark since leaving school and think that, while society is imperfect we should reward hard workers as opposed to those who bludge, we just have to find a better way of descerning who is doing what, other than a tax war. (cause the rich guys are going to win that one hands down)

Maybe we should get taxed less for each our we work Eg 50% on the first hour and 0% on the 50th hour, id like that.

Jul 7, 2008
I have to agree with you on this one, Scott. Those who make over the magic number (I think it's 250K if you're married) are going to be paying a lot more taxes if Obama is elected. I'm already in the top bracket and it's getting so the increase in taxes will inspire us to be less ambitious and quit working so hard if more money is just going to be taken away from us.

While some of my high school friends were doing drugs I was studying and working my way through college. While they were happy with their low-paying 40 hour a week job, I was working overtime (on weekends) and taking additional classes at night trying to better myself and get ahead in my job.

Why should we now be punished for achieving financial success and have to help support those who choose a different path? If Obama is elected get ready for more programs to "spread the wealth" to those who don't want to work hard to get it.
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
"this one: "I don't see any problem with money being taken and given to people who don't work as much. Hopefully, it will bring more happiness and more productive memebers of society." - the happiness of society cannot be maintained by means of thefts "
Theft is defined by the govnerment, who in turn control taxes. If the society has high taxes, it's not theft, it's defined by the leaders, who are supposed to represent the people.
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