Thebastidge: Random thoughts on John Galt
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    Saturday, December 06, 2008

    Random thoughts on John Galt

    CLayton Cramer has a post up on "Going John Galt"

    Now personally, I have a hard time with slowdowns. I figure if I have contracted with someone to perform work, then I owe a full day's effort for a day's pay. A full day's effort, obviously varies from day to day, we are human beings, not machines, after all. I'm also not a big fan of strikes- again, if I have contracted to perform work, I feel obligated to do work, or leave, ending the contract. The fairly explicit threat of violence and property destruction by unions when scabs cross picket lines disturbs me.

    However, in a less specific situation, I could see changing my career to something that has less taxable income. Family farm, something like that. I certainly am factoring in the probability that income taxes and exemptions will soon hit me harder, when I make the decision that I want to give up my very lucrative contract position here in Iraq and go home.

    I also make pretty good money as an IT professional back in the states. I can see that at some point the benefit of the better paycheck may be negated by the tax burden, to the point where my leisure time becomes more valuable to me than a marginal increase in income with a corresponding large increase in effort.

    I don't typically make my career decisions based purely upon stuff like taxes. There have been times when I looked at the pros and cons though. I have checked to see if a raise would push me into a higher tax bracket and whether that would negate the raise or not. So it is on my mind. It hasn't (so far) been the singular deciding factor in my decisions: I typically make my job changes based upon career advantage over the long haul, not just pay (but pay is up there at the top part of the list).

    Taxes can certainly make or break the entrepreneur though. I have been trying to get into a position to start my own business for a while. The recent stock market downturn has delayed that plan, because my investment capital in the market and mutual funds is devalued at the moment, and depending on how the tax scheme goes in congress in this next term, could derail it indefinitely.

    The uncertainty of how things will go under Obama's leadership and a Democrat-controlled congress is obviously affecting the stock market. I'm just another tiny datapoint when I say that my own business plans are affected, but surely this is the same kind of thought process that hundreds of thousands or millions of other people are going through as well.

    Just something to think about.


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