So I know this couple. One is a schoolteacher who makes under $50k/year. The other stays at home with their 6 kids and makes nothing. They really like their lives. They pay their bills, have a home, work hard, raise great kids, but, living off of less than $50k/year is really hard. Especially with the taxes they already pay in payroll taxes and sales tax, etc...
Sure, she could quit her teaching job and start her own business (if she could get a loan), or try to get a big cushy corporate job (if it existed). But that would mean less time with her family. No, they have made a decision to not chase gold and instead just be happy and live their responsible faith-based lives.
Sometimes, though, they need to take some assistance to get by. Like help with health care, or other types of assistance from the government to make ends meet. It's tough out there. They wouldn't take it if they didn't need it, but with six kids and rising costs of just about everything... they are forced to.
In other words, these people are evil, government-sucking parasites that are everything that is wrong with this country. How dare they not try to make as much money as possible???
Well, at least that's what some would have you believe.
The truth is, and that it appears some of us don't understand is, that not everyone cares about financial riches.
Some people in this world want us to believe that these types of people are lazy, undriven luddites who suck money out of their hard-earned taxes so they can just sit around and do nothing.
Since when did the American way become "You have to make as much money as possible or you're an idiot?"
Not everybody values money. Not everybody wants to be filthy rich. A lot of people have in fact moved in the other direction, where they are focusing on living their lives and their own personal happiness, instead of how big their house is or how fancy their car is.
In my book, Business Around A Lifestyle, I interviewed many people who have worked very hard to build fantastic online businesses, only to figure out down the road that "making a crap-ton" of money wasn't worth it, if they had to work 80-hours-a-week and not see their kids to get it.
The world changed recently if you haven't noticed. Since 9/11, many people have begun to realize that the acquisition of wealth just might not be the biggest issue facing their potentially short lives. But somewhere along the way, it appears that some Americans think those people are freeloaders.
Yes, there are people who exploit welfare and who are truly lazy and dependent on the government, but those are the exception to the rule, and frankly, a tiny, tiny proportion of the wasted money thrown away in this country. No, it's not fair they get away with it. But let's be honest, those people are probably not the cause of your life not being as amazing as you wanted it to be.
I believe that most Americans simply want to live their own version of The American Dream; one that doesn't involve getting as rich as possible as fast as possible, at all costs.
That doesn't make them freeloaders. There is more to life than financial wealth. We all have the freedom, and opportunity, to make money or not. That's what makes this country so great.