Last blog post of the "Is it your duty" trilogy!
A friend was recently ranting about the fact that those who actively choose to work less than they are capable of (e.g. part-time when they could do full-time), consequently earn less money than they could, and in turn pay less income tax than they could, are depriving their fellow citizen from fiscal contributions. If those same "slackers" continue to use income-tax funded services and infrastructures, such as roads, schools, libraries, and health care (especially in countries where it's free, such as Canada), then according to my friend they can be viewed as freeloaders.
So let's say you are perfectly capable of working full-time at a reasonable income, but instead decide to stay on the "slow track" by:
- working part-time
- refusing promotions
- working at a job that is not related to your training, and pays less
- being a homemaker
- retiring early
- trading services instead of exchanging money for them (e.g. your neighbor gives your kids piano lessons for free, and in exchange, you tutor her kids for free)
... are you depriving society of something? Not only of the taxes you could pay, but also of your full professional potential?
Past my initial astonishment, I got thinking: are "slow-trackers" causing wrong to hard workers? Instantly, however, I could think of many ways people who work less are benefiting society. They can contribute by:
- allowing more people to work by sharing the workload instead of taking a full week's work on their sole shoulders
- volunteering (because they have more time for it)
- looking out for family members, friends and neighbors, especially those who need it the most, such as children, seniors and individuals with mental or physical health issues (which then cuts on certain "society costs")
- being an involved activist
- maintaining and facilitating harmonious relationships
- contributing to sustainable neighborhoods
- polluting less (by driving less, spending less on work clothes and generally buying less stuff, etc.)
- being healthier (from exercising more, taking the time to cook good meals, and experiencing less stress), which in turn means they don't use as much health care as their workaholic counterparts
- being more relaxed, which in turn means they are more pleasant to be around (a friend of mine whose wife works very long hours says of her that she is often cranky - but I won't name names!) I know that when I work less, I am less impatient with my family members, who in turn are more pleasant to other people, who in turn... and the wheel keeps on turning.
Now, those contributions are not easy to quantify. But I do believe they can make up for the lower fiscal input.
And honestly, if we are going to look at income the tax money that is lost, we should probably start by focusing on fiscal evasion and corruption... don't you think?
What is your take on this controversial topic?
WEEK 39 IN REVIEW
Eating less sugar still hasn't made me cranky or hungry. In fact, I might feel less hungry than I used to, probably due to the fact that my blood sugar levels are more stable. The only thing I feel more than I used to is fatigue: I tend to eat sweets when I get tired, but when this is not an option, I end up going to bed earlier. Which is not a bad thing in itself!
Your turn to share about your struggles and victories of the week! What did you resist? Did you donate or get rid of anything? Did you face any challenge? Please comment below! And...
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