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Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 7:52amSanction this postReply
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In the Dissent forum, I entered a sketch about self-liberation publisher Jim Stumm.  Jim quit his job as an accountant at a bank on the day that President Richard Nixon announced a freeze on wages and prices. (That was August 15, 1971.)  Many other Objectivists also walked off their jobs that day, those of us who were not already working below our level of achievement.  The loss to the largest corporations of creative, motivated people evidenced itself as "stagflation" and "malaise" in the 1970s.  In 1973, my wife at the time convinced me that since (a) we were not going to retreat to Nova Scotia with the Tannehills and (b) the world was not coming to an end this morning that I needed to find something that resembled a career, if not a job. So, for aesthetic and economic reasons, I  chose transportation.  I got a job in the receiving department of a store and later enrolled in an associate's degree program in traffic management.  ("Traffic" in the sense of freight rates, rather than street signals.)  I worked as a truck driver, warehousman, and dispatcher.

We took Reagan with a grain of salt, but it started to look pretty good with bootleg egoism in the bookstores and budget balancing acts in Congress.  There had been a running light display in NYC that showed the national debt.  They shut that off.  Newt Gingrich, Gramm-Rudman....  it all looked pretty good for many years.

I had been programming computers for most of that because I got my wish when Reagan decontrolled transportation and my knowledge of ICC regulations was no longer needed.  Computer programming was unregulated (still is) and all I needed was the ability to do it and the willingness to work hard at a task based on logic. 

Then came 9/11... 

We made it through the Dot.Com Meltdown, but with the offshoring of computering, I looked for a new career and settled on private security.  I complete an associate's in criminal justice next week and next year at this time, I will have a bachelor's.  I am currently employed by Securitas, the largest private security firm in the world, with several hundred thousand officers in several dozen nations.  I have a passport.  I am good with languages.  Right now, from here, it looks to me like the only question about November 2008 is whether it will be President Clinton and Vice President Obama or President Obama and Vice President Clinton.  The Republicans, in order to win, are going to have to steal the election at gunpoint, which is equally possible.

What would it take to make you walk away from what you are doing right now?
And what would you do if you did?




Post 1

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 11:35amSanction this postReply
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What would it take to make you walk away from what you are doing right now?

I think I'm about at that moment in my life because I cannot live in a world where collectivism is accepted as the norm, and my life is forfeit for the sake of others.

And what would you do if you did?

I will probably buy land in New Hampshire and help out with the Free State Project, while I do private research for my non-Turing AI theory.

-- Brede



Post 2

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 7:32pmSanction this postReply
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Wyoming also has a free state project.



Post 3

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 8:56pmSanction this postReply
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What would it take to make you walk away from what you are doing right now?
It would take someone stepping in and telling me how to run my own business, as I am self-employed, and telling me instead of being paid for the job I have been training most of my life for, that I have run successfully myself for almost 8 years, I would be forced to "volunteer" my time, and to teach under their regulations. Fortunately, in my profession, this is pretty unlikely, though I have dealt with people trying to tell me how to coach before...but no one has ever stepped in to change my wages- though they have asked me to volunteer, which I declined to do as I got no benefit from doing so.

And what would you do if you did?
I would walk away proud of what I have done, and I would move on, doing my real work for myself, but not contributing my talents, I suppose. I would work, but I would not work at my capacity- I guess I wouldn't teach, but it would be impossible for me to stop actually dancing or skating for myself, I think. I'm actually not entirely sure what I would do- I love my job(s), I love what I do, and it would be difficult for me to not do those things. Maybe the free state project, maybe not. I hope that there is no place or time when this would be required of me.

 




Post 4

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 2:09amSanction this postReply
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Well, about 3 years ago the state of Washington denied me my right to receive a license to be a security guard, because I accidently omitted some information that was necessary, and then they informed me that I would have to wait 4 years before I could apply for it again. So, in another year I am going to re-apply for my guard license and quit my UNION job, for a job that I truly enjoyed.
  So, for me it isn't a matter of "if", but "when".




Post 5

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 3:34pmSanction this postReply
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This is interesting to read.  I like that people have internalized Rand's message.  The point should still be made that many of Rand's characters shrugged the burdens forced upon them by others, but we are oftentimes plagued by burdens we impose upon ourselves - ie "I can't leave my job, because nowhere else will pay me as well, and I need to pay for that Lexus in the driveway."

As for burdens forced upon me though - I would like to walk away from paying income taxes.  I disagree with the concept, and find it wrong, as I know many of you do.  What would happen if I did?  I think that I would certainly go to jail.  The only thing I can do is fight the law politically, organize movements, etc.  Can you call it shrugging if a fight is required?




Post 6

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 10:30pmSanction this postReply
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Joseph,

I would like to walk away from paying income taxes.  I disagree with the concept, and find it wrong, as I know many of you do.  What would happen if I did?  I think that I would certainly go to jail.  The only thing I can do is fight the law politically, organize movements, etc.  Can you call it shrugging if a fight is required?
There are rare cases when folks have beat the system. The last case I remember was a woman who got out of paying her taxes (because there is no official "law" in the books that says that U.S. citizens "must" pay taxes).

Ed




Post 7

Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 10:44amSanction this postReply
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I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY.

Some people have gotten out of taxes by getting it to jury trial. It's a big gamble.

I AM NOT AN ATTRONEY.




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Post 8

Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 3:44pmSanction this postReply
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At the risk of totally highjacking this thread with the fraud of income tax, there is an incredibly meticulous argument presented here:  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7521758492370018023&q=income+tax The maker of this documentary, Larken Rose, has served at least one jail sentence of 15 months, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_protester_history#Larken_Rose).  Other prominent tax protestors have served time.

I agree with Chris Baker.  Judges have said tax protestor arguments are frivolous, and accused people like Rose and Irwin Schiff of wasting a great deal of their time by spreading such messages.  I don't particularly want to take that risk at the moment.  Especially when the very task of verifying those arguments is about as intimidating as an auditor at my doorstep.

By the way, hello everyone.  I've browsed your forums for maybe a year, and I'm pleased to finally make a contribution.




Post 9

Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 6:27pmSanction this postReply
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Welcome, Mr. Fischer (and thanks for the links)!

Ed

p.s. One of the 2004 Libertarian presidential candidates (Russo, or something like that) also has a video on the unconstitutionality of income tax.

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 4/26, 6:27pm)




Post 10

Friday, April 27, 2007 - 3:13amSanction this postReply
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Joseph, Ed Brown might let you in his compound. I hear he is a religous nut though...



Post 11

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - 11:10amSanction this postReply
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What would it take to make you walk away from what you are doing right now?
And what would you do if you did?
It was in the late 1980's (in high school) that I lost some interest in computers. It was my involvement with the movement that got me back into computers in the 1990's.

Like many computer people, I am pretty much disgusted with the entire profession. I know that I can do the work. But there is too much incompetent management, backstabbing, disorganization, and inefficiency.

My best two years in this profession were spent with a non-profit working as their sole techie person. My experiences with techie companies and techie managers have not been positive at all.

Anybody who is smart enough to succeed doing computer work is also smart enough to get out of it. Here is a great article "Debunking the Myth of a Software Labor Shortage."

http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html

In the computer world, Atlas is definitely shrugging. It is sad to watch a once vibrant and prosperous commit suicide. But here in the USA, that is exactly what is happening.

I will be completing my Master Practitioner in neuro-linguistic programming in June. I plan on writing a book which could launch a new career in NLP.

If you know any bright teens who are considering computer work, tell them to go somewhere else.




Post 12

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 10:18pmSanction this postReply
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Hank Rearden's working for his own destruction had little to do with Dr. Floyd Ferris and everything to do with his wife, brother and mother.  Cuffy Meigs was a problem for Dagny Taggart only after the Board of Directors rubberstamped the presidency of her brother, James.  According to libertarian political theory, Ivy Starnes had every right to try her plan at her factory. John Galt did not quit to protest something done by Mr. Thompson and the National Legislature.  We think too easily of the government and not so clearly about those seemingly voluntary associations. 

I recruit for my company by talking to college classes in my curriculum.  I made up posters for the classroom.  For the jobsite, I made up business cards with the front desk phone number and site office number on them.  Today, I was told to destroy the cards because they infringe on the company's copyrighted logo and I was told to leave recruiting to human resources.  I was told this by our account manager, my boss's boss.

How motivated do think I am right now? 

My company wants the absolute minimum from me.  I know this because I work with people who spend hours on the telephone with friends and family -- 1:20 on the phone in the boss's office and then another hour sitting outside on the cellphone.  I have them on the security cameras and you can read the body language as they think about actually doing what they are paid for but then decide not to and going back to slouching and loafing.  They refuse to accept radio calls.  When asked to perform an assignment, they point to the clock.  Though they will be paid for the extra five minutes, they see the end of their shift as the end of their obligation.

Who am I working for?  
                                      Who benefits from my labor? 
                                                                                       Who is the guiltiest man in the room? 




Post 13

Sunday, June 3, 2007 - 7:31pmSanction this postReply
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I'm familiar with the corporate environment, Michael, and know what it is to be expected to be stupid by management. Long ago when I worked as a cook we called it the "law of busboys." A busboy, being stupid and lazy, is the best of employees, he'll never do anything more than he's told, he'll never do anything unexpected.

The fact, however, that your company doesn't want you recruiting may, (and I do say may) come from less cynical motives. First, by acting as their agent, you may open them to unexpected liabilities. What if you hand those cards out to pretty young girls with your number on the back, and they get sued for sexual harassment? Second, what if you are recruiting for nepotistic or conspiratorial reasons? They have a legitimate concern, being in the security business, not to have groups of people with external relationships and possibly conflicting interests to be under there hire. If you wanted to rob a joint, what better way to do so then to get your gang on the inside?

Of course, you are most likely right in what you say. But just because you are reasonably "paranoid" doesn't mean that they shouldn't be watching you with suspicion.

Ted



Post 14

Monday, June 4, 2007 - 1:35pmSanction this postReply
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Interesting topic.

What would it take to make you walk away from what you are doing right now?
In my industry (newspapers), more and more good journalists are walking away every day. They don't like the corporate pressure. I love it too much to leave it and I'll hang on. I'd like to see more news companies go private.

And what would you do if you did?
If I had to leave, I'd go back to school to study philosophy and then I'd teach at the junior college level, which is where I fell in love with philosophy. ... Or I'd start my own newspaper.



Post 15

Monday, June 4, 2007 - 10:29pmSanction this postReply
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Becky, can you give a link to something of which you are particularly proud or think would be interesting? I used to sell advertising. Couldn't get a permit to write tho, since I was a registered Republican.

Ted



Post 16

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 5:10amSanction this postReply
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Ted: Becky, can you give a link to something of which you are particularly proud ... 
If you read her bio, you will find a link to the Arizona Republican Online.  You can find here works in there, perhaps.  Becky Pallack has been around for a couple of years, but she posts seldom.  So, we have to take the monologues as they are. 
Becky wrote:   If I had to leave, I'd go back to school to study philosophy and then I'd teach at the junior college level, which is where I fell in love with philosophy. ... Or I'd start my own newspaper.
Allow me to suggest that leaving your job as a reporter to become a college professor is not shrugging.  Leaving your job as a reporter to drive a newspaper delivery truck is more like shrugging. 

When I was taking classes towards an associate's degree in traffic management in the 1970s, my peers were in the traffic departments of industrial firms, or else working for the state regulators.  When I graduated, I stayed out of that.  I worked blue collar, temporary jobs, often in the free market for cash, showing small businesses how to set up shipping and receiving.  When computering came along in the 1980s, I did that specifically because it was unregulated.  When President Reagan's leadership saved the economy, I returned to the mainstream.   I worked for GM, Ford, the DoD, NASA, Ameritech-SBT, Verizon, etc., etc., but always as a contractor, consultant or temporary.   Following the Dot Com Meltdown and 9/11, I chose private security for my career. I finished an associate's in criminal justice and I can complete the bachelor's in the next semester or two.   If I stay on track, I move into middle management with the largest private security firm in the world.  If I were to shrug, I would remain a guard.

The point of shrugging is to deprive your oppressors of your intelligence.




Post 17

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 9:42pmSanction this postReply
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F*rget "shruggin."

Lathe biosas!



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