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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-4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
sure..my neighbor's daughter doesn't like Obama because he wants young children to go to school and study hard.

+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
I very seldom agree w/ scott but he slam dunked it on this one. If you work hard, and make good decisions you will have more success than someone who is less motivated. Like him I worked two and three jobs to put myself through college. Someone had the gall to tell me I was lucky to go to college. I worked my a$$ off academically through high school to get into college and then worked to pay for it while still carrying a full load. DON'T tell me I was lucky and don't steal my money to give to someone who has made poor choices and DOES NOT work as hard.
Jul 7, 2008
The Genius of Stupidity.

I used to subscribe to the theory that 'it is better to keep quiet and let people think you're stupid than to open your mouth and prove them right.'

After reading Scott's blogs for a year or so, I realise how wrong that is. If you keep your stupid ideas to yourself, and keep believing them, it makes gaining knowledge and intelligence difficult. If you put your ideas out there, and let people see them, comment on them and tell you where you're wrong (and where you're right), you're going to learn where you're wrong, and where you're right.

I get the felling that Scott has learned a lot from responses posted here, and he does so by freely admitting to a point of view that might be stupid.
Jul 7, 2008
I know a single Mom who works that hard. She's a manager at KFC and will never leave the poverty line.

Hard work is important, but luck also plays a big part.
-7 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
McCain, on the other hand, would like to take your money and use it to blow up people who would LOVE to have a chance to work as hard as you do, if only they could stop getting shot at. So, pick your poison I guess. Of course, McCain will take slightly less of your money and borrow the rest, trading the country's future solvency for his immediate political popularity.
Jul 7, 2008
Falsediety -

I have a hard time trying to get to sleep at night, so therefore, I count sleep as work. It is like a chore. So, I basically work 24 hrs/day and put 7-11 to shame when it comes to my availability. At least that what some study I read somewhere one time said about stuff.
Jul 7, 2008
Source for numbers: "Modern Times, Ancient Hours: Working Lives in the Twenty-First Century" by Pietro Basso. He includes "unpaid" work.
Jul 7, 2008
Since you work longer hours than Apu from the Simpsons, it sounds like most of your taxes would go to people who work less hard than you no matter who was president.

I'd like to point out that any visitor posting a comment here is not working at that moment; however, when Scott posts, he is. It seems that this latest posting shifts the made-up statistics just a little further in his favour. He's a wise fish and no mistake.

www.worth1000.com are currently running a competition to photoshop the phrase 'Dance Monkey Dance'. If you like this site, you'll find fun there, too.
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
There are two ways to interpret your post: One is if we operate under the assumption that how hard people work is independent from how much money they make, and you work harder than average, than any random group of people (in this case, poor people) work less hard on average than you. On the other hand, the more contentious argument is that, on average, hard work correlates with income. Therefore increases taxes on the wealthy to provide social support programs for the poor equates to taking money from people who work harder and giving it to people who work less hard. So which argument are you making? I, for one, totally buy that there is a correlation between hard work and income.

Also, people who count "chores" as "work" are dumb. It's not like rich people don't need their clothes cleaned and their children's diapers changed. Either they do it themselves, in which case the addition of chores to work hours for the rich and poor cancels out, or they pay someone to do it, in which case their effective income suffers, and they are not as rich.
Jul 7, 2008
After further research, it appears that the < 40 hours worked/week come from averaging in part-time workers, the study that I quoted refers to "employed" people, presumably full-time people. Scott would have to decide how to count part-time workers (many of whom are working mothers with many hours of unpaid labor) in his determination of how lazy the rest of us are.
Jul 7, 2008
Falsedeity, I think your numbers are way wrong or completely made up. Can you give a link to where they came from?
Jul 7, 2008
Two points:

1) "According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, the average employed American works a 46-hour work week; 38% of the respondents in their study worked more than 50 hours per week. "

2) McCain also wants to take a big chunk of your income, just a little less and borrow the difference. All that borrowed money will have to be paid back or inflated away, so you will *still* have to pay for it.
Jul 7, 2008
The average American male works over 65 hours a week and the average American female works nearly 85 (once household chores are factored in). That includes those who Obama wants to give money to (in the form of tax breaks). Please do not assume that those who make less than you do so because they do not work as hard.

Of course, if you worked three hours a week, I am sure we could find someone who works even less. The point is: you do not know how other people work or how long.

By the way, I am not a supporter of Obama and would never vote for him or McCain. That's just a fact.
Jul 7, 2008
Thanks for the clarification. I agree, neither candidate has what it takes.

I'm impressed you work so hard. I enjoy all that you do because of it and so I say, thank you.
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
Hi Scott,

You wrote this on the 4th and it got posted on the 7th, you call that hard work?

Looks like some of the posters hit one of your buttons. No matter what you say some people will never equate white collar work and advanced education as being hard work or believe that wealthy people work hard. I'm sure there will be lots of posts about people who claim to work just as hard as you. For some people hard work pays off with lots of money, others just wind up with a sore back and no insurance to cover decent treatment. My wife works much harder than I do, but because she is in human services she gets paid much less than me.

I don't work as hard as you or as hard as many people. I still get angry when the government wants to take more of my money and give it to people who may well work harder than I do. I am far from having a socialist mentality. Lots of people accuse you of being some kind of liberal leftist but you certainly don't talk like a socialist.

Would you still be mad if you found out your tax money only went to people who work harder than you?

Jul 7, 2008
Hear hear!
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 7, 2008
My goodness, you have worked hard! And yet it is your creation of Wally that has made you a god in my eyes.
Jul 7, 2008
As far as I can tell, the majority of this post DOESN'T appear to be about the Federer Vs Nadal match. Am I missing something?
Jul 7, 2008
I am a work at home mom and a newbie to your blog. I have been laughing my head off reading old posts this morning.

Could you define superstition? I am wondering if you are meaning God since you set it up versus science.
If you did mean God, I would lean towards the word Super Natural.

I think it's awesome that you banter both sides of the political party. With the skewed media, usually the republican is the only one attacked. Your method is brilliant and I see why you have so many readers!
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