Chirpy chirpy cheap cheap

Dystopic flinches at the cost of his upcoming vacation/delayed honeymoon, but only a little:

I think in the end, this vacation will cost me on the order of $8,000. On the other hand, I can afford it. I have the cash, it can be done.

It got me thinking, though. On social media, I constantly see friends and acquaintances flying off to exotic vacations, buying new cars, and eating at fancy restaurants. And I know they make far less money than I do. And, paradoxically, they often complain about living paycheck-to-paycheck, apparently not seeing the obvious connection between their lifestyles and lack of savings. Some of them even purport to be Socialists.

Bernie Sanders tweeted that “80% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck” as if this was somehow unavoidable; that they were forced to live this way. It’s a blatant denial of Free Will. You were fated to be a spendthrift. It’s not your fault. You shouldn’t have to fix it.

One word trips them up every time: deserve. “Well, we deserve this,” they say, even before they hide the bank statement from themselves. Merchants are happy to play along with the politics of envy, because they get paid up front. And who’s going to tell these unbudgetable souls that no, you really don’t deserve this? (Hint: Not Bernie Sanders.)

I’ve lived from paycheck to paycheck before. In fact, there were times when I was living paycheck to four days before paycheck. But if there’s too much month left at the end of the money, whom can I blame? A random member of the One Percent? Walmart? Pope Gregory XIII?

No, no, and no, in that order.

(Title source.)

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