Tag Archives: entitlement

College Isn’t All That

Over the last couple of years with the rise of ‘Democratic Socialism’, aka Socialists masquerading as Democrats, the idea of free college has been making a lot of headlines and gaining some traction within certain circles.

Although entirely flawed, the premises for this idea is as follows: There isn’t enough job opportunity without college degrees, which has resulted in unemployed and underemployed Americans, and the only remedy to this is to get more kids into college. Because without a college degree, people become criminals. But we can’t send more kids to college because it’s too expensive. Rather than finding ways to make college tuition itself less expensive, let’s simply pay an exorbitant amount of money to send everyone to college ‘for free’.

So that’s the idea. That horribly flawed chain of thought has led to the popularity of Bernie Sanders. In fact, Bernie said:

Implying that if you don’t go to college, you’ll go to jail, which is the roundabout way of accusing anyone opposed to jacking up taxes to pay for every kid to go to college as a heartless person who wants to see more minorities end up prison. Essentially.

But the fact is that college isn’t all that. There are plenty of ways to become successful without a college degree.

What has me annoyed and disgusted the most with this whole notion of free college for everyone is that it’s based on a series of false notions, it presents a false dichotomy, it attacks symptoms rather than root causes, it’s redundant, and it would in fact have the opposite effect as intended – meaning it would cause tuition to increase thus making college even less affordable, all of which I will explain below and back up with logic.

Camp Kool-Aid

These days most colleges are simply liberal indoctrination camps. I think a huge part of the reason for Democrat’s wanting more of America’s youth to go to college is to drink the liberal kool-aid and eventually join the ranks of the Democratic party. With their anti-free speech safe spaces, pro-Hamas antisemitism rallies, and trying to oust ROTC and Border Patrol kiosks from campuses and job fairs, you can see how today’s American college campus is the perfect breeding grounds for American liberalism.

Many college campuses are now not only anti second amendment, they are also anti first amendment with students and faculty being suspended, expelled, or fired for expressing things considered to be offensive.

False Dichotomy

Forget for a moment the political posturing related to the free college discussion, and lets circle back to what caused it in the first place. If you ask Bernie Sanders, we need to send kids to college because if we don’t they’ll likely end up in prison. That’s the false dichotomy being presented by the liberal left to America’s youth today: Get a college degree or fail at life.

In response to a like remark made by Sanders, television personality Mike Row had some very interesting things to say where he gives myriad ways to become successful without college, include his personal experience.

Neither my mom nor dad have college degrees, but both are very successful. But what about my generation? Some friends my age, who I went to high school with and who don’t have college degrees are also very successful. I know a handful of people who have college degrees and aren’t successful. And there are people like myself (I consider myself successful) who have a degree and don’t use it in the slightest bit. Had I known I could make as much money as I do without a college degree, I would have never gone to college and started out in my career five years earlier. Just don’t tell my mom.

The always-and-only-college mentality has left a huge blind spot in the American workforce. We’re actually experiencing a shortage of much needed occupations such as plumbers, electricians, mechanics, and other blue collar and vocational related trades. Despite the fact that one can make a good living without working at a desk from 9-5, certain occupations have been framed by society as being lowly, which is a shame.

College Isn’t for Everyone

It’s a waste of money to effectively give every student free education because many of those students will end up pissing away the money we spend on sending them to school. Not every person is made for college. This isn’t to say they are stupid, but that college is a very specific model that isn’t compatible with how everyone learns and thrives.

I have a close friend that has been in college for well over eight years without any measurable progress.  A relative of mine has been in college for 11 years without any degrees to show for it. No bachelor’s degree. No associate’s degree. I love both of them, but they are real life Van Wilder’s, and I think it’s safe to say neither of them will get a college degree.

I certainly don’t think it would have been a good idea to subsidize their education with anyone’s tax dollars because it is clearly working out to be a poor investment. My friend and relative are just two people out of nation of millions. Imagine how many other students would find themselves in similar predicaments, and how much tax payer money would be wasted on a large scale if we sent everyone to college.

Musical Chairs

Taking the previous point and expanding on it, aside from the cost factor of sending incompatible students to college, doing so would also make it increasingly difficult for students who legitimately could benefit from college. As it stands, most US colleges are already impacted. Kids with 4.0 GPAs and all the right motivation have a hard enough time as it is getting into the college of their choice, and the class and programs needed to complete their curriculum. And that’s with tuition costs being as astronomical as they are. If we lowered the bar so much that anyone with a pulse could join college on a whim, imagine how much the current problem would be exacerbated.

Cause and Effect

I don’t think too many ‘Berners’ have really put any thought into why college tuition costs are as high as they are – the root causes. Instead, all their efforts are focused on the ‘evil banks’ that finance student loans, – the symptoms – but for some reason they don’t have the same animosity towards the genuinely evil college system that charges such exorbitant rates in the first place.

After all, if colleges weren’t ripping students off with such high tuition, the student debt problem wouldn’t be so much of an issue. And if colleges are being such douche bags and ripping off students, why are parents so hell bent on sending their kids there? How can a liberal dominated college system be both the cause and solution to all of your financial woes?

Pro-college people argue that you need to go to college to get a good job to make money. And these same people are the ones reeling from hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan debt accumulated during their stint at liberal colleges. So what is college? Plague or panacea?

Another relative of mine posted the following image on Facebook back in February that shows the tuition change at Yale from 1970 to 2014, against the federal minimum wage of the time. Oddly, the image’s point is to use higher tuition costs as justification for increasing the minimum wage, as opposed to attempting to simply lower tuition costs, which are arbitrarily set.

yale college tuition minium wage
This image is incredibly misleading if for no other reason than Yale is in Connecticut where the state minimum wage in 2014 was actually $8.70 per hour, and it was $8.00 per hour in neighboring New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

I did some homework. Let’s say this image is accurate and that the tuition at Yale went from $2,550 in 1970 to $45,800 in 2014. That is 17.96 times higher, or a 1696% increase.

We’ll yeah Andrew, it’s called inflation! Duh! Just one minute though…

If we take that 1696% and divide it by the time span in years to get an average tuition percentage change per year, we get 1696 / 44 years = a 38.54% annual increase in tuition.

Compare that with the average US inflation rate of 3.22% over the last century, or even the average US inflation rate over that same period of time (1970 through 2014) of 4.08% (sources). Using these historical figures, Yale’s tuition grows nine times faster than inflation.

Basically, if Yale’s tuition moved at the rate of inflation, that $2,550 tuition in 1970 would have been about $14,815 in 2014. So why was it $45,800 instead? Maybe the problem here isn’t the banks financing the tuition. Maybe the problem is the universities who set the tuition. And perhaps supporters of more affordable college need to be scrutinizing the universities they hold in such high esteem.

Gateway to Extortion

The irony of this whole thing is that there is no surer way to increase college tuitions costs than by giving everyone free college. Liberals are determined to get free college for all at any cost, and they might succeed in ways they didn’t hope to.

If colleges around the country know that the US Government is writing blank checks to cover college tuition, what do you think is going to happen to tuition? It’s going to skyrocket. And it doesn’t matter what kind of clever legislation our politicians throw into the mix, the colleges are cleverer, and somehow, someway, they’ll find a way to take advantage of the situation and rip off the taxpayers.

Frugal Alternatives

These days, those of the left persuasion believe that the solution to any problem is to throw more money at it. This has led to the false belief that if you spend a ton of money on college as opposed to less money on technical or vocational school, it will always translate into higher pay. Or that a degree from an expensive, prestigious university will provide for better job opportunities post college.

Both of these myths have been largely debunked, and even in the rare instances where say a degree from Harvard will earn you higher income than a degree from SDSU, the extra income is negligible, and actually comes at a loss when taking into account the net difference between post-graduate pay and overall college expenses. If you spend 2x more on tuition, and make even 5% more per year after college, it would take you 20 years of working to justify (earn back) the higher tuition cost.

Many students want to go to the college of their dreams. And while following your dreams sounds, well, dreamy, when dreams start to conflict with reality there’s a problem. These students insist on attending some far away university, where they’ll get strapped with significantly higher out of state tuition costs, plus the added expense of room and board. All of which they could have avoided by simply going to a local, in state university and living with their parents for at least a portion of their college career.

Ultimately, college is a financial decision. Not an emotional one. So students, and more importantly their parents, need to start looking at college options closer to home where they can take advantage of the lower in state tuition. Take it a step further and consider attending a community college for as many semesters as possible and students can save tens of thousands of dollars per year on their education.

My freshman, sophomore and junior years were spent at Grossmont Community College where my cost per semester was about $600 (with books) as opposed to the $5,000-$7,000 it would have cost me at SDSU. I transferred to SDSU in my senior year where I finished my bachelors degree and graduated in the spring of 2009 alongside all my friends who went there for all five years, but in the processed I managed to save about $30,000.

We all want to have our dream house, our dream car, our dream vacation, our dream wedding, and go to our dream college, but the simple truth is that those things are often times cost prohibitive and well beyond our budget. It’s stupid to spend $50,000 on a BMW when you can only afford a $25,000 car, and it is just as stupid to attend an expensive college when you can get a degree every bit as good for a quarter of the cost. Some community colleges are also beginning to offer bachelor’s degrees of their own, negating the need for costly universities altogether.

Borrow Wisely

Another problem is that many students simply borrow when they don’t have to. Student loans should be used to cover tuition and books, and not much else. However a lot of students will finance everything they purchase while in college, from housing, to food, to luxury items like recreational spending and even overseas vacations.

This is unwise for a number of reasons. The whole point of a student loan is to pay off an expense you otherwise would not have had: college. However whether you attend college or not, everyone has food costs, housing costs, clothing costs. Just because you are in college, doesn’t mean your breakfast while in college is a college expense. It’s a living expense. Everyone has to eat. Students make the mistake of financing things they would have had to pay for even if they hadn’t gone to college. The result is that when they graduate you aren’t simply paying off five years of deferred tuition, they’re paying off five years of deferred life.

Additionally, students should actually start paying off, or saving to pay off, their debt while they are still in college. When you consider that student loans are basically the only loans in which the borrower is not charged interest for up to half a decade, student loans are actually the most relaxed form of lending on the market. You have 0% financing for 60 months! Don’t wait until graduation to start paying off your debt. Start on Day 1 of freshman year.

Reinventing the Wheel

The other hilarious thing about this recent sensation is that programs already exist to get college loans paid off easier, quicker, and so inexpensive that it is essentially debt forgiveness. About ten months ago I posted a blog written by my cousin-in-law Chris Johnson titled “The Truth About Federal Student Loans” in which he describes in amazing detail the government programs that have existed for decades to help alleviate student debt, and how such programs are alive and well today. It’s funny because democrats are crying for something that already exists.

In Conclusion

Liberals want to send more kids to college to be brainwashed into becoming liberals themselves.

There are many pathways to success, many of which do not included college. College is not a requisite for success.

Not every kid would do well in college, therefore giving every student free tuition would be a gross waste of money.

Because schools and courses are already impacted, sending ill-suited kids to college would jeopardize the education of students who actually are suited for college, by making it even harder for them to enroll in the classes needed for their degree and by spreading professors thin.

Yes, college tuition is high, but don’t blame the banks for student debt. Blame the universities for ripping-off the American public. Colleges across the country have routinely increased their tuition at a rate much higher than inflation would account for. Colleges need to be brought to task, not the lending institutions.

High tuition costs are avoidable though. By attending state universities and taking your general education requirements at a community college students can cut the cost of college in half.

Only finance college costs. Do not finance general living expenses. Students and parents should start paying off, or saving to pay off student loans from the very beginning. That debt should not be ignored simply because it is not yet due.

This is the truth behind, and the solution to the United States current student loan crisis. The fact is, college isn’t all that.

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Arguments Against Minimum Wage Hikes

This is by no means a formal thesis on my stance against increasing minimum wage. Sorry, no statistics, no numbers, no conclusive studies from universities. Just reasoning, common sense, and personal experience.

As always, I have to give a stupid disclaimer. No, I do not think that everyone who earns minimum wage is an idiot, or lazy, or a bad person, or deserves a shitty life. That’s not my opinion. But it doesn’t affect my stance on the issue one bit. Sorry, pulling no punches this time.

Why am I against increasing the minimum wage? Read on.

Employees are Expensive

When people think employment they think of words like company, enterprise, corporation, which all have negative connotations and stir up imagery of monstrous evil entities with gazillions of dollars just laying around. I work for a corporation, and it employs two people, my mom and me.

Expensive personFor many businesses, labor is a HUGE expense. I don’t know percentages. And it doesn’t matter what percentage of operating costs are for labor, but it’s big, and relevant. How do I know? Go to any small mom n’ pop business in your local neighborhood. How many people do you see working there that aren’t owners? 1? 2? None?

If labor costs were the drop in the bucket that Wage Hikers make them out to be then every business on Mainstreet would be flooded with employees. But they aren’t. Because employees are fucking expensive.

And were not just talking their hourly or salary, but also their benefits, their PTO, workers compensation, and then paying unemployment once they no longer even work for you. Then, you add on top of it that employees these days are usually lazy and check their social media accounts for 4 hours, spend an hour in the bathroom, and do a half ass job the remaining hours, you realize that you’re paying your employees 8 hours for 2 hours of work.

Labor Costs Outpace Consumerism and Revenue

The big “counter attack” to the point above is “Well if employers pay workers more, then they can afford to buy more and then more people buy from that business and the business makes more money, and so then it all works out.

The premise is horrible for a multitude of reasons.

  1. It assumes that business revenue will increase. Big assumption. Higher labor could mean higher product costs, which could very well result in less customers, less sales, and therefore less revenue.
  2. It assumes that business revenue will increase immediately. Labor is an upfront cost. Meaning even if business will improve weeks, months, or years later, business can’t write I.O.U.s to their employees and wait for that increased revenue to come in. I have to pay my staff NOW. For many businesses they simply do not have money laying around to pay their workers more. It’s not a matter of fairness or equality. It’s a matter of accounting and budgeting.
  3. It assumes that business revenue will increase for every business. Even if certain businesses do see an increase in revenue, it will not be all businesses. The only businesses that will do better are those which hire low wage workers and whose consumer base is also low wage workers. So for example, fast food joints and movie theaters. Businesses that hire entry level workers but attract well-to-do clientele will not benefit from this at all. So the majority of businesses that cater to homeowners, the housing industry, contractors, real estate, will see their labor costs go up without a coinciding increase in volume or revenue.

People are Hired Based on Merit, not Circumstance

Yeah, yeah. Such-and-such lady is a single mom with two kids and she works four jobs and still can’t make a decent living at the current minimum wage, feel bad, yada yada.

And? Since when are people paid based on their circumstances, and not on their merit? What difference does someone’s sob story make? If and when I ever hire someone, the only thing I will care about is what can you do for me? How are you going to make me more money? Why should I pay you X amount? Now prove it.

If anything else mattered, people wouldn’t send in resumes and applications when looking for a job. Employers would ask candidates “How shitty is your life?” and then pay then commensurate with how shitty of a life they have. But that’s not the way it works because it doesn’t matter.

People Aren’t (Always) Worth Minimum Wage

LA recently increased their minimum wage to $15 per hour. A landslide victory for underqualified workers!

pay

Sometimes I consider hiring someone to help me out with simple tasks like writing thank you cards. My penmanship is absolute shit. I can barely read my own handwriting so that seems like a task worthy of being outsourced. Plus, it takes me forever. Why spend 5 hours writing thank you cards which is maybe $10 work, when I can writing policies which is $200 work?

Okay, so a card writer to work for three hours tops. What qualifications do they need?

  1. Good penmanship
  2. A pulse

That’s it.

Why the hell and I am going to pay someone $15 per hour to write thank you cards?

It Ruins the Pool of Candidates

Building on the previous point, not everyone is worth $15, $20, or even $10 per hour. Fact.

But having a lower minimum wage made it easier to distinguish between different tiers of workers when looking for someone to fill an opening in your business.

A $10 job attracted $10 workers. A $25 job attracted $25 workers.

Let’s say I was looking for an entry level position, again, to write thank you cards day in and day out. That’s their only job. It’s a $10 job, meaning the job is so simple that there’s no benefit to me to pay more than that, regardless of how qualified someone is. I post an opening on Craigslist and get a dozen or so people interested in the position. Let’s review the competition:

Candidate 1 – Very Overqualified: One girl is a grad student who expects $20 per hour. She’s got a bachelors in business administration and very qualified in her own right. Fair enough. She is worth $20 per hour, but my labor is not. I won’t pay $20 for $10 work. Pass.

Candidate 2 – Slightly Overqualified: This girl is still in college working on her undergrad. She doesn’t have a whole lot of experience but she’s working at it, and has good handwriting. She’s also bilingual. She’s worth $15 per hour. But again, I have a $10 job, so she is slightly over qualified. Pass.

Candidate 3 – Quality Match: Then comes some woman, 40 years old. Never graduated high school. Dropped out and had 2 kids. No college. Monolingual. But she does have great handwriting and low and behold, she has a pulse! We have a winner! But, oh shit, I forgot. Minimum wage is $15.

Now I am forced to pay someone $15, even if it is to do $10 work.

You would think this is a victory for the Wage Hikers. They think, “Aha! Andrew is now forced to hire this woman worth $10 per hour to work for him and pay her $15 per hour! Buahahahah! Our misguided plan has worked, and now low skilled people can get jobs paying higher wages! BRILLANT!

But hold on one second… that’s not exactly how it works…. Read on.

It Screws Low Skilled Workers

You can pass a law that increases minimum wage, but you can’t snap your fingers and improve the work force in a flash.

Minimum wage or not, I’m not going to hire a $10 worker for $15 per hour. For $10 per hour, Candidate 3 would have been a great choice, and she would have got the job. She’s worth $10 per hour, and I was willing to pay her $10 per hour.

Gun to my head, if I am forced to pay someone more money, I am going to find a worker who is worth it. Which means sorry Candidate 3, I’m stepping over you and moving straight to Candidate 2. True, I didn’t originally need to someone with college experience and who speaks two languages. However, if I am going spend a certain amount of money I am going to get every ounce of employee I can and sure they are worth every dime.

Example: If I was forced to spend $50,000 on a car, I would not have bought my $25,000 Nissan Xterra. I would have made sure to get a car that was worth the $50,000, such as a Land Rover, or fully loaded Jeep Cherokee.

The minimum wage changed. The candidates did not. When you raise the minimum wage, employers are going to stop hiring entry level workers and go straight to more qualified people who in their eyes would have been worth $15 per hour prior to the wage hike.

Employers are not going to suddenly stop thinking logically, and pay more money for the same labor. If they’re forced to pay better wages, they’ll get better workers, and they’ll fire their current work force without hesitation. Every candidate whose labor is worth less than the new minimum wage is going to have a very hard time finding a job and keeping it.

Conclusion

The long and short of it is that increasing minimum wage might help some people get paid more. But others will lose their jobs and either be replaced, or the employer might just decide to do without their position. It hurts the very people it intends to help. So it’s bad for employees.

It will also reduce consumption, and making hiring more difficult, so it’s bad for businesses.

Prices for goods and services will go up, so it’s bad for consumers.

When someone is bad for everyone, I don’t

 

You’re Worth What You Can Get

If you know me, or have argued with me online, you ought to know that I’m a fiscally conservative dude. People hear “conservative” and they imagine Scrooge McDuck hoarding and counting his endless piles of money while Little Timmy freezes and starves to death outside. The truth is that being a “fiscal conservative” only means that you don’t play fast and loose with your money. You avoid impulse buys, and put more consideration into purchases and decisions that might affect your financial situation. You don’t spend money on a whim. It also does not mean that you are rich.

All of that needed to be said and for good reason. I’m not a huge fan of new regulations to drastically raise the minimum wage. But no,it’s not because I’m evil.

Scrooge McDuck counting his money.
Scrooge McDuck counting his money.

While many people who are against raising the minimum wage claim that “Burger flippers aren’t for $X per hour! This is outrageous!”, my stance is very different. I think you’re worth whatever you can persuade someone to pay you.

If Joe Teenager can convince his manager to pay him $50 an hour to flip burgers, then by all means I support it and applaud it. Sincerely. The key word here though,  is “convince”.

I don’t like the idea of strong arming someone into paying you more, especially when your employment there is voluntary.

All transactions should be mutually agreed upon by both parties; the buyer and the seller. Imagine you’re selling you car and someone offers you far less than you’re willing to sell it for. You have the right to not sell it. Employment is no different. As an employee, you are selling your services in exchange for an income, or benefits, insurance, etc. The employee naturally wants to maximize his income, and the employer naturally wants to minimize his payroll, but unless both parties can reach an agreement, there should be no transaction. Forcing a wage on your employer is no different than forcing your neighbor to buy your car for more than he’s willing to pay for it, simple as that.

The gut-counter-reactions to this might be “But people need a job to live!”  True. you may need a job, but don’t forget that businesses are not in the business of hiring people that need jobs. They’re in the business of making  money. Whether you need a job or higher pay is not the business’ concern – it’s yours.

Before you sharpen your pitchforks, hear me out. Just because I’m against raising the minimum wage does not mean I’m against higher pay. Just because I’m against rape, doesn’t mean I’m against sex. Just so long as each is consensual.

I don’t mind people getting paid more. I don’t mind burger flippers getting paid more. I try to avoid Walmart which pays a “starving wage”. I frequent businesses like Costco and In-N-Out which voluntarily pay well above minimum wage. I also tip well (when deserved). I vote with my wallet. I encourage everyone to vote with theirs. If enough people do it, it could cause some shifts.

Who works minimum wage though? Who should be? Lower paying jobs are usually entry level positions that don’t require much experience or a heavy hitting résumé. Ideally, they are for teens and young adults looking to gain experience and build their résumé in order to advance to a better job.

Entry level jobs are self explanatory. They are jobs for people entering the work force. By their nature, they are meant to be short lived. You get one, grow, learn, and move on to the next level, and the next person takes your place. It’s kind of like kindergarten. They can support a lone wolf, but probably aren’t suited for supporting a wolf pack. So teens be warned! Having kids on a McDonald’s paycheck is probably not a great idea.

Here’s where “fiscal conservative” finally comes into play. Making more money is one thing. Making decisions that result in less expenses is another. People need to think of life in terms of finances. the car you drive, the neighborhood you live in, the clothes you wear, and even when and how many kids you have are all financial decisions.

Would you buy a car if you couldn’t afford the payments?

Would you buy a home if you couldn’t afford the mortgage?

Would you buy a puppy if you couldn’t afford the food?

If no, then you shouldn’t have a baby unless you can afford to raise it. Again, simple as that.

Actual ad from a NYC teen parents awareness campaign.
Actual ad from a NYC teen parents awareness campaign.

Simple as this is. Straight forward as this is. No-nonsense as this, a lot of people hear that and are offended. They’re repulsed at the idea of children being a financial decision instead of a “life decision”.

What many fail to realize is that almost every decision is a financial decision, or at the very least will result in a different financial outcome. Life isn’t free, and so long as that’s true, life decisions are financial decisions.

That’s a whole other conversation and blog post, so let me stop there. Steering this all back on track, the point to all this is simple, so let me wrap this up.

Minimum wage jobs are meant for teens and people with few obligations – not for families.

Instead of regulating businesses to take care of people, people should regulate their own actions to better take care of themselves. If you’re 40 with three kids and on minimum wage, you *probably* made some poor choices, even if it was simple having more kids than you could afford. If you meant to have one child and ended up with triplets, then clearly you’re an exception to the rule.

No matter how old or young you are, if you’re in the work force or entering soon, always be improving yourself and making yourself more commercially valuable.

If you’re a voter, vote with your wallets before you rush to the ballots.

If you’re an employer who can afford to do so, try to help your staff out a little bit. Generosity goes a long way, and happy employees work better.

No matter who you are, remember that every decision is a financial decision, whether you life it or not.

All transactions should be mutually agreed upon by both parties.
All transactions should be mutually agreed upon by both parties.

Finally, you’re not worth what you think you are. In fact, you’re not worth what others think you are. You’re worth whatever you can convince someone else to give you.

Is Where You Choose to Live an Entitlement?

My interest has been piqued lately by a resurgence of the wage debate. Unions and labor forces across the U.S. have been staging protests over how much fast food workers should be paid per hour. This wage debate is nothing new. It’s been going on for years, decades, even centuries. See the French Revolution. In the U.S. this debate seems to flare up every couple years, and not coincidentally before election season.

A friend of mine recently posted on a link on Facebook about a recent San Diego fast food workers’ protest, which prompted a quick and furious online argument on his wall about the issue. But I am not here today to talk politics, or weigh in on this issue.

What caught my attention was that in the midst of all the arguing, my friend made a peripheral point that if people cannot afford to live on their current wage, that there are a number of solutions to their problem. If they cannot increase their wage, they can decrease their expenses, proposing that they move to an area with a lower cost of living. Mind you, this protest took place and my friend and I live in San Diego, California, so that narrows down the list of “Cheaper Places to Live” to practically everywhere else on the planet.

He was instantly hit with backlash. A friend of his shot back at him with, verbatim, “wait, living in San Diego is a privilege? that’s fucking ridiculous – if you were born there or your parents just ended up there before you, yanno, grew up, that’s a privilege, and you should move?

I didn’t reply. But my answer to him is “Uh, yeah dude.

He asked the question as if the rhetorical answer was “Well, um gee, when you phrase it that way, no I guess not.” But the answer is apologetically YES, YOU SHOULD MOVE.

This guy’s thesis is: Once you are born somewhere, living there indefinitely is a RIGHT, not a privilege.

Which is total bullshit, and let me break down why. I won’t use numbers and figures and charts and stats. Let’s break this down using real world practicality.

Personal Experience

I for one have always wanted to live by the beach. The cool weather, the quick job to the beach, the smell of ocean, the drunk college kids puking on my front lawn. Okay, aside from that last part, I’ve always wanted to live by the beach, but I couldn’t because it just wasn’t practical. Okay, you only live once, blah blah. But at the end of the day, paying an extra $200 per month on rent just wasn’t financially practical in my college years. By the age of 24 I had already learned that living where-ever-the-heck-I-want is not a right, was is in fact a privilege.

Micro Level

On a very micro-level, every responsible person chooses where they do and don’t live, based on what is financially feasible. If you have ever been on the market for a new home, and been hunting for the right house with a real estate agent, you know what I mean. One house is perfect. Maybe it has the big garage you’ve always wanted, it’s got a great view of the canyon, a pool, it’s in a good school district, or maybe it’s a 5-mile commute from your office. But reality kicks in. “Honey I’m sorry, it’s just out of our price range.

Macro Level

Now, shit’s about to get real. Show of hands, whose ancestors were born in the US? Most of our relatives at some point or another migrated here from abroad. Every year thousands of people leave their countries and migrate to the United States to call this country their new home. Some come from as close as Mexico like my grandparents did. Some come from as far as Russia, Asian, Africa, and the Middle East. Why do you suppose this is?

Entitled people who refused to leave their home town. (Sarcasm)
Entitled people who refused to leave their home town. (Sarcasm)

I don’t suppose they moved here because they thought the U.S. would offer them a worse life. They moved here because they thought they had more opportunity, could get better pay, land a better job, go to school, send their kids to school, or maybe avoid ethnic persecution. Whatever the reason, they all have something in common: They moved from A to B, because they thought it would bring them a better life.

These people quit their jobs, packed their bags, uprooted their families, moved thousands of miles, across oceans towards a new country, said goodbye to friends, relatives, neighbors, and their homeland, all of whom they’ll probably never see again, all for the shot at a better life. Some of these people cross treacherous deserts and risk death to illegally get hear, which albeit illegal still shows guts, determination, and sacrifice.

These immigrants can do all this, and yet some entitled U.S. born assholes still think living in San Diego, or this city or that city, is a right? Some people still think moving 300 miles out of state, or just to another city with a lower cost of living is unconscionable?

Excuse my French, but that, oh friend of a friend, is in fact fucking ridiculous.