Can’t Have It Both Ways

Let’s take a lawyer who makes six figures. His lifestyle matches his income so he has a nice condo, a nice car, and expensive tastes. The monthly upkeep is hefty. He has a 401k but is overworked and gets at most one month of vacation a year that he takes in one week increments. Since he is tired, he’ll probably pick a nice beach resort or comfortable European city. His girlfriends are also successful and they expect him to stay successful. Taking random several month breaks to travel or relax is unacceptable; you don’t go to law school and work hard to move up in the firm to save money for a few years and then quit.

Let’s take a bartender or some sort of freelancer. He has low upkeep because he has few wants. His main expense is rent. When he’s tired of his job or his city, he takes off for a month or two at a time, picking up work when he can. He’s free and sees more of the world but money is always a problem and he always has to hustle. He hates his shitty apartment, his disrespectful roommates, and public transportation. And there’s always that nagging feeling in the back of his head that he should have higher status or be more successful. When his girlfriends get mad, they tell him he’s a loser bum.

Where’s the middle ground? How about a 30 hour work-week that doesn’t involve working for a restaurant or bar that pays well and lets you comfortably take two months off a year. Why can’t that be the American dream of owning a McShack, drowning in debt, and spending hours commuting to and from a mediocre job you’d quit if you can?

Even for the people who love their jobs, they are still spending a third of their waking life in an office building trading their labor for an income less than it’s making someone else. I’m sure a lot of those hours can be better spent doing something else.

Either be wage monkey defined by your valuable crap or watch every cent and pray you don’t get sick. Some dream.

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Jack Goes Forth
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Where is that 25-30 hour a week cake walk that will cover my bills and meager drinking/food expenses??

I’m looking…

Meanwhile the screws are tightening and these offers to re-enter a work prison are getting more appealing.

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mike says
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mike says
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this is the fundamental dilemma for those of our generation fortunate enough to occupy the comfortable American middle class. i’m not sure what that sweet spot job is, but i think at least in the legal profession the guys at the top are *starting* to wake up to the fact that even $160k/year isn’t enough to make young people want to spend most of their waking lives in an office. they might do it for a few years to pay off debt and stack up, but the retention numbers at the big firm don’t lie.

the sweet spot job might be where it’s always been: entrepreneurship. you bust your ass like crazy for the first few (or many) years, but then you’re your own boss and can dictate how many hours you work, when you take vacations and for how long, etc. Plus, you don’t have anyone above you breathing down your neck about something they could have done themselves a week ago.

Anon
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Here are some careers that are close to what you’re looking for. But nothing comes for free, and most of these careers require many years of getting your ass kicked in higher education and much sacrifice.

Radiologist: avg $400k, 35-40 hrs/wk, 6 wks vacation

Dermatologist: avg $250k, 9 to 5, 6 wks vacation

ER doc: avg $220k, 14 12-hr shifts per month, 6 wks vacation

Airline pilot: avg $175k, work 2 wks per month

Dentist: avg $130k, 9 to 6

Travel nurse: $60/hr., 3 to 6 month gigs in different cities, subsidized travel housing

Temporary attorney: $40/hr., 3 to 6 month gigs

Professor: avg $76k, spring & Xmas break, summers off

Fireman: avg $45k, work 2 shifts per week

School teacher: avg $35k, spring & Xmas break, summers off

The Dude
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The Dude
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This post is just plain ludicrous.

miik
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miik
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Ludicrous’s job – perform a couple times a month.

govtlawyer
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govtlawyer
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I think I’ve found a pretty good middle ground: attorney, work 40 hours a week for Uncle Sam, make six figures, 4 weeks paid vacation a year (more if I choose to work comp time), and telework from home 4 days a week – so I get to set my own hours and schedule.

Anonymous
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the perfect job you talk about is a government job. decent pay and infinite job security – it takes an act of congress to fire a govt employee. plus you get a guaranteed pension.

mike says
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mike says
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govtlawyer, how old are you (general range is cool if you don’t wanna get specific)? did you work biglaw first?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
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actually its not as hard as you think, you just need to get the heck out of washington dc and go to a smaller, slower paced city

Roosh
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Roosh
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Ive considered being a high school science teacher, but the morning hours would be impossible for me.

Write your own Paycheck
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Okay this is a shameless self plug – but it’s related to the post. If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, you should learn as much about it as you can. Basically you help merchants sell their items online and you get commissions. It’s a great profession, all I need is a laptop and a connection to the net. I can work from anywhere in the world, on my time. And the amount of money to be made is nothing to sniff at. You can make 6 figures easy once you get the hang of it. If you’d like to learn more starting with the basics, follow along at my blog. Click my signature above.

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demeterious
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HOW can I click it qq

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Roosh, you need to mold this “talent” and creativity into a revenue generating venture. The book was the first step. Then you can drop all notions of having a boring 9 to 5.

terps
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terps
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if you honestly love your job and fully support the company’s mission, then it wouldn’t feel like “work work work”… you would probably find it much more rewarding than the job you hate. And you can move up much faster than in a gov’t job, and gain more vacation time eventually. In my new company, the managers and directors have up to 5-6 weeks paid vacation, not counting holidays.

jg
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Being a government lawyer is a pretty sweet gig, however you start out as a GS-11, which means your salary is only between $50-60K a year, which will barely cover your law school loans. I’m at attorney at a smaller firm, and my salary (and my hours) fall somewhere between a government salary and a big firm salary, so I am pretty satisfied overall.

spaceman
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spaceman
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this is the exact situation I am in..

My parents tell me I should grow up because this is how it is for everyone in America.. But I hate being an office monkey, it blows. It feels stifling and mind numbing..

I think running a business in something you are passionate about or some sort of freelance work (writing, consulting, creative expression) is something more plausible for me.

dal
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dal
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Alternately, learn French and move to France. You’ll have to pay a higher tax rate, but you get a 35 hr work week, gov’t-provided health insurance, mandatory vacation time…

anony
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secret asian man
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secret asian man
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airline pilot is a pretty good deal. starting salary sucks the big one, but a couple years in and you’re making mid-high five figures in a red state with pretty good control over your schedule if you’re at a good shop (on-line trip bidding and trading)

you can reasonably expect to hit a hundred grand a year and fourteen days a month with five years in the business. if you luck out and sign for ups, that’s a third of a mil a year – but you’ve got to have time in the space shuttle to get that job.

plus, all the travel you can possibly stomach. the only desk i see that’s work-related is the table that comes out of the first class seats that holds my steak when i travel transoceanic.

the best part?

after my trip, i walk out that cockpit door, put my jacket on, and i don’t think about work until i walk through that door again next week.

anon
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“Ive considered being a high school science teacher, but the morning hours would be impossible for me.”

Some high schools start at 9 am.

If you can’t hack 9 am, you can switch to private afterschool tutoring after a year of teaching and begin your workday at 3 pm.

roissy
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the pic of the dudes all lined up to take a piss is great. i’d submit that one to a travel publication.

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Tampa
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Tampa
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I worked in politics and on and off Capitol Hill for three years. The whole system is the biggest fraud ever put forward.

I worked “doing what I loved” (which is the biggest bunch of bullshit known to man) and I look back and can’t believe people do that. My buddy in Florida started his own business selling health insurance plans to small businesses. He says it sucks, he knows it sucks, but there is nothing better then working for yourself. We have about 4 more years of this crap and then its beach chairs and cold ones for the rest of the way. It will be our CHOICE if we want to work..

If I ever have kids, they are going to start their own business. It is the only way to play the game. Capitalism is not designed to take care of the labor pool… it is designed to create wealth and innovation.

If you want a steady check and some health benefits you are going to pay for it — you pay for it with an exchange of your time.

Do yourself a favor and start your own gig.. I don’t care if you are selling lemons, toilets or magazines. The country was built on a guy or girl – posting shop and selling goods. DC is a total contradiction to what America really is.

Its about earning your keep – not sitting on I-95 for 2 hrs everyday so you can get 2K deposited in your account on the 1st and 15th of each month.

98% of the people in this country who have any wealth and any TRUE economic freedom work for themselves.

Signing up for the 50 hr work week is economic slavery.


“The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you.”

Gordon Gecko

averagejoe
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I disagree.

I’m 35, got about 1.8 mill in the bank for retirement. I work hard now an save alot but i’ll be retired by 40 where i’ll then have 52 weeks of vacation, income of about 160K a year after tax, house paid for, and a few toys.

It’s possible but it takes work. The generation of youth today want all the that comes with hard work without having to do the work to get it. That’s my take.

T.
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T.
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if you honestly love your job and fully support the company’s mission, then it wouldn’t feel like “work work work”…

Problem is, no one loves law unless they’re crazy, remarkably, remarkably dull or have so given up on doing anything else that they’ve convinced themselves they like it as a coping mechanism.

The problem with big law is that (A) for the sheer amount of hours you’re expected to work it’s actually relatively low paying compared to other high-level careers and (B) very few people make it to the big law jobs. It’s the equivalent of using the top actors and actresses to sell the image of acting as a high-paid profession when in reality the average actors makes much much less than the few superstars. The dark truth is that most people go to law school not because of any genuine love or itnerest in the profession but because they’re vaguely clever and somewhat bright, but don’t really know what they want to do with the rest of their lives except be important and command respect. So they go to law school because they can’t figure out any other options.

T.’s last blog post: Nerds, Geeks and Dorks: A Primer.

terps
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“Problem is, no one loves law unless they’re crazy, remarkably, remarkably dull or have so given up on doing anything else that they’ve convinced themselves they like it as a coping mechanism.”

Interesting take. Is law one of the fields with lowest rate of job satisfaction?

I ALMOST went into law, but am glad I didn’t! I’m in the environmental science field with some involvement in energy. Right where I want to be at this point in my life.

Ava V
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Ava V
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work for the government. you get lots of vaction, great benefits, and can leave once you’re contracts up.

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T.
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T.
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Terps, let’s put it like this…Meetup.com has a group called “Leaving the Law.” It exists in almost every city it seems. I tried looking for other “Leaving…” groups just for comparison’s sake, but I didn’t find “Leaving Accounting…,” “Leaving Finance…” or anything. But “Leaving the Law?” All over the place. In fact, books about leaving law are practically a cottage industry now. And a recent article about lawyer dissatisfaction, may have been WSJ, did a professional survey of attorneys and 40% said they would not recommend the profession to another person. And I’m pretty sure many of the respondents were lying to save face.

T.’s last blog post: Nerds, Geeks and Dorks: A Primer.

Anonymous
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The niche I somehow found is doing work online, earning dollars, and traveling around South America as I please.

This lifestyle requires about 5-20 hours of work per month, depending what it is you can do online.

Bobby Rio
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Bobby Rio
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The perfect american dream is to make enough off a blog to live comfortably, travel, and enjoy the things you really love.

and its not as hard as you think

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Sudamericana
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Sudamericana
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To work as a cosultant for international organizations (WB, IMF, IDB, OAS) is good. You can get an interesting and well paid job, travel… and in your case you might be interested in the fact that you meet tons of international chicks. Americans are the exception in that environment.

You may lack certainty, because contracts are usually short-term, but once you have contacts and make friends accross units and organizations (it’s sort of a micro-universe within DC), you can alternate between institutions, get new contracts, etc. Not sure if they look for people with your background, though. And a masters is usually required.

Sudamericana
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Sudamericana
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Oh, and I used to take a once month (or more) vacaction in Summer and another one in Winter.

dpdawson
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Sudamericana,

I just earned an MBA/JD and I am trying to figure out what I should do for work. The consulting job you describe sounds great. Do you know if they look for people with my educational background? Can you give me any more information about how difficult it is to break into the field? Thanks.

Anonymous
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The secret to happiness is moderation. Neither the bartender nor the lawyer are going to be very happy. The sweet spot is the middle.

Speaking from personal experience, I’d say working for a non-profit in DC is a pretty sweet lil sweet spot. Most are low-key work environments with flexible hours and blase bosses. You won’t be making six figures, but who cares…find a bf or gf with a six figure job.

Evan
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Evan
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At the risk of stating the obvious, this is a free country, and it’s a capitalist country. It’s up to you to make yourself happy, according to your definition of happiness. My older brother is a stockbroker and defines happiness in pretty much strictly economic terms. He has five bigscreen TVs and is cheering for Romney for President. My younger brother wants an easy job that will pay him enough to be comfortable, without defining his life.

The problem is scarcity. Your time and energy are only worth so much to other people, and you need to trade them away if you want to get anything in return. There’s no land of milk and honey where you are taken care of forever, while giving nothing in exchange.

I think we are trending towards that sweet spot, though. We have become so prosperous as a society that a comfortable living standard is pretty much assured; now employees are willing to accept less pay in exchange for more time to enjoy it. Hence the problem with France: a short workweek is not a cultural norm, it’s the law. So you may have tons of free time, but precious little disposable income to enjoy it with. And if you’d like to work a little bit more so you have money to go out on the weekends, well fuck you, the government says you can’t. It’s easy to demonize capitalism, but it gives everyone more or less what they want, while every alternative would force one group’s preference onto everyone.

dtcb
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Job, eh. some might say location is key. I’ve met accountants at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, dancing on a bar with women half their age (whatever you say about that; they are seriously not going to care). They didn’t seem to mind the mind sucking boredom of their job as it was in party central.

Hong Kong.

Every company in the World facing Asia is here. I know, I am a Network Telco Engineer, I see all their access.

19 official public holidays.

Most companies here have between 15 and 30 paid vacation days depending on their country of origin.

Planes flying to everywhere all the time.

Cost of living is standard for major global city except public transport is pretty cheap (1 USD for a bus most anywhere, 2 USD for the train, cabs start at 2.50 USD)

HK Taxes are 14 to 17 percent at most. And you can fill it out yourself in an hour; properties, assets, claims and all.

All companies have bonus packages relative to 1 months pay or more.

Most companies will also require some travel to other cities from Hong Kong as it’s their Asia office but, probably not their main office.

As for the job; I’m a network telco engineer and would kinda recommend it. something new comes my way every 3 to 6 months; there’s business travel; pay is good; and I don’t have to totally put my butt in a seat 9 to 5. But, I am on call and globally accessible (which means a 3 to 5 a.m. “hello” from someone somewhere else looking for help at any time). And even though I can occassionally work from home, this means sick leave is really a myth unless you’re in the hospital.

Oh, and for the record been here 10 years have 18 flags under Roosh’s standard for counting. Several collected through travel but, most collected via visitors to Hong Kong. You cannot walk into a bar in hong kong without meeting someone from somewhere else who’s in hong kong for a work visit or vacation.

Anonymous
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“Either be wage monkey defined by your valuable crap or watch every cent and pray you don’t get sick. Some dream.”

You should be a subsistence farmer.

govtlawyer
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Mike – I’m 33. Never worked biglaw. Did some temp work (document review hell) for about a year after law school while trying to get a gig with Uncle Same. Had to live at home for the first year while I was a GS-11, but at my agency anyways you quickly move up (was a GS-14 in 3 years).

Anonymous
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The American Dream (courtesy of Wikipedia):

In general, the American Dream can be defined as having the opportunity and freedom that allows all citizens to achieve their goals in life through hard work and determination alone. Today, it generally refers to the idea that one’s prosperity depends upon one’s own abilities and hard work, not on a rigid class structure, though the meaning of the phrase has changed over America’s history. For some, it is the opportunity to achieve more prosperity than they could in their countries of origin; for others, it is the opportunity for their children to grow up with an education and career opportunities; for others, it is the opportunity to be an individual without the constraints imposed by class, caste, race, or ethnicity.

The American Dream (courtesy of Roosh):

I should be able to work at a fun, interesting, easy job that leaves me enough time to pick up women, hang out at Starbucks, and make myself unemployable by posting misogynistic rants under my real name, yet still pays me enough to impress women.

Emma
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Emma
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Is this problem only affecting the boys? I sorta think so. All the girls I know in school are sterotypically studying to be teachers or nurses (typically lower-paying professions) and I am avoiding job searching the private sector like the plague. We look for more joy/greater feeling from our jobs I think. But then we expect our boyfriends/future husbands to take care of us. Not very fair I guess.

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Lonnie Bruner
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Roosh,

It seems like you’re concerned about the possible directions your life could take after you finish your wanderlust and get back to the real world. Both options you mention seem undesirable to you, obviously.

I wouldn’t worry too much. You seem smart enough that you’ll find something you like.

Or how about alternate scenarios? That miserable lawyer could finally quit once his kids are in college and have enough money to sail the world for a few years — giving educational tours of Greece on his sailboat to tourists. Also, that bartender could work hard enough making connections in his industry to move up in the restaurant world in DC to end up running his own restaurant becoming like that guy who owns Tryst.

It’s a shame that most of the human scenarios you lay out on this blog seem cliche and more reflect your own dislike of various institutions and people in general rather that the countless career paths and possessions that bring happiness to people every day.

“You don’t own posessessions. They own you.” No one who ever got rich and surrounded themselves with material things ever said this. That saying was created by people who’re jealous of others who have more than them — a way of coping with material poverty.

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roissy
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Also, that bartender could work hard enough making connections in his industry to move up in the restaurant world in DC to end up running his own restaurant becoming like that guy who owns Tryst.

from what i heard that guy (who is greek) got a lot of start-up money from his family to open tryst.

roissy’s last blog post: My Advice To The Republicans.

anon
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anon
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1) get certified to teach K-12
2) be a DOD school teacher on bases all over the world

-> you get 3 months off
-> you’ll spend enough time in the country to really get to know it (read: bang lots of girls)
-> you can bounce when you get tired of it
-> your housing is covered so you wont have to worry about being chained to a house
-> the kids are all military brats, and if theyre completely out of control you can get their parents in trouble so discipline isnt that bad
-> no gang violence, no insane US highschool shit

i got a buddy who’s doin it. he’s a ronin. he has a trade. he’ll never go hungry.

JC
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JC
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I can’t believe noone has said ..

Be born to very rich parents.

Brandon
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Brandon
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I have a job working front desk at a hotel making only $14 an hour, but the hotel gives me housing for $200 a month, and it’s really not a bad pad. Most people my age (early twenties) where I live live in really shitty places. I am really stoked to have the job and the place. I don’t do anything at work, in fact, I’m at work right now as I am writing this. And it is a seasonal job where I work June to September and November to April. I can save enough money to go on a vication each off season (I also have a little bit of side income as well), and my girlfriends don’t bitch about me being somewhat broke (probably because I mostly date South Americans). I guess you can say I’m pretty much living pay check to pay check (sometimes), but that’s only because I save money to travel. I deffinitely think there are quit a few jobs where you can still have a great life and just make it by.

Chris
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The American Dream (courtesy of Wikipedia):

“In general, the American Dream can be defined as having the opportunity and freedom that allows all citizens to achieve their goals in life through hard work and determination alone. Today, it generally refers to the idea that one’s prosperity depends upon one’s own abilities and hard work, not on a rigid class structure, though the meaning of the phrase has changed over America’s history. For some, it is the opportunity to achieve more prosperity than they could in their countries of origin; for others, it is the opportunity for their children to grow up with an education and career opportunities; for others, it is the opportunity to be an individual without the constraints imposed by class, caste, race, or ethnicity.”

Lol. Your deluded and inexperienced in trying to realy “make it” if you believe that this is true. Oh, for so many reasons is this not true. People born into the upper class have an advantage in every meaningful way over even the smartest and hardest working of the lower/middle classes. I have many close friends from the upper class, and people not from this class or who do not run in these circles have no concept of how lopsided the playing field is. The upper class dont talk about it and the middle class dont know and are then trained to regurgitate drivel like you posted above.

The hate toward Roosh, who is trying to find a way out of participating in a game in which he has very little chance of truly winning, like most people in this country, is misplaced.

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oh snap, I just realized this was an extremely old post that i had queued up and came back and responded to. apologies.