Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Breathtakingly Venal

Terse post. In hurry. No time for composition. Probably didn't have time for this introduction*.

Had a dinner party with some thoroughly progressive people. After discussing Watergate's meaning (Republicans are evil) and how terribly funny Stephen Colbert is (very!), it was suggested that one teenage daughter's upcoming college tuition might be defrayed by taking all payments for the parents' freelance work under the table, allowing them to go on food stamps and qualify for aid. It was further suggested that she attend Berkley (diversity!), avoid USC (rich people!) and use her mother's birth-Judaism to help her get into college, even though no one but us attended any kind of religious services or were even vaguely aware of basic religious precepts.

Unable to think of an option other than screaming, "You venal guttersnipes!" I said nothing.

What would you have said that would allow you retain these people as friends? Since then, I decided that I might have gently suggested the young lady attend synagogue and learn something of Judaism, but other than that, I'm at a loss.

* - Or that sentence**.

** - Or that footnote.


tim eisele said...

"taking all payments for the parents' freelance work under the table, allowing them to go on food stamps and qualify for aid"

Well, maybe start by pointing out that you really hope they are joking because this is straight up tax evasion and fraud, and is the sort of thing that ultimately got Al Capone sent to Alcatraz?

I mean, this isn't even a question of ideology. If they were serious, this is conspiracy to commit a crime. I'd think the most friendly gesture would be to try to talk them out of it.

K T Cat said...

Tim, that's a good one. It comes from a kind place and that's what I was looking for, but couldn't find.

B-Daddy said...

One might question the value of retaining them as friends. In my experience, people with those kinds of attitudes cannot really be counted upon for true friendship. They basically told you to your face that they are willing to misuse the tax dollars that you pay. What if you had told them that you could pay for your daughters education by taking kickbacks at your federal job?

Doo Doo Econ said...

Finishing up my personal taxes tonight.

This is the first year in my life that I have switched from a patriotic feelings about paying taxes to the feeling that the money is being used to usurp constitutional rights to end individual human freedom.

Has it become a patriotic duty to minimize our tax exposure? Has it become a moral duty in light of the immoral behavior our system is promoting?

K T Cat said...

DDE, the HHS mandate changed my attitude about the government in a big way.

Mostly Nothing said...

it definately has to circle into the fair share realm. And in tax evasion and fraud.

It all goes back to the joke about how the liberal is all for taxing or taking something that other people have more of than them, but not what they have.

Rules are about keeping other people in line so I can do what I want.

Jedi Master Ivyan said...

I'm with B-Daddy on this one. Are these people you really need in your life? My thoughts are colored by a recent blow-up with someone on facebook. I thought I knew her fairly well. But she turned out to have the character of a snake. And she wasn't even considering defrauding the gov't.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, in Marin, I knew a couple who free-lanced. They got good money, owned a decent house (small, nice, good neighborhood--which in Marin is still quite pricey.) They didn't declare a lot of their income. They also didn't buy any health insurance. For medical care, the went the "alternate healing" route. She started having terrible back pain. Went to acupuncturists, herbalists, chiropractor-ish people. Nothing worked. She wound up in the emergency room, too late. She had breast cancer that had metastasized to her spine. She died in less than two weeks.

My point is--your free-lance friends are probably worrying about the wrong things. Prison may do them some good.

IlĂ­on said...

"What would you have said that would allow you retain these people as friends?"

I'd not have wanted to remain "friends" with this sort of hypocrite -- these are very sort of people who demonize me (and you) for simply wanting to openly and honestly keep what you earn.