Saturday, December 01, 2012


40 years ago today, the day I turned 15, I started my first job earning an actual paycheck at KFC on Rogers Avenue in Fort Smith. I thought I was going to make $1.20 an hour, but quickly learned I only netted $1.00 an hour after payroll and income taxes. I didn’t mind though; I felt good earning spending money and being able to contribute to my government.

I’ve never minded paying taxes. I want to contribute to my country as well as my family, my church, and other important causes. Good government, essential to an ethical society, has real costs. However, I don’t know how an ethical society can survive with more people taking from government than contributing to government. It seems to me that everyone who can work and contribute, should work and contribute, including those on Social Security, government pensions, and some even on disability.

My pledge, as I start the second half of my sixth decade, is to put off retirement and social security as long as possible, work as long as someone will pay me for my time or service, and encourage others, especially peek baby boomers like myself, to continue to contribute as long as they can. I don’t want boomers to be the generation that ruined the American experiment.