Now that, thankfully, Mitt Romney has confirmed he is not running for President in 2016, more attention is being put on some of the lesser nationally known contenders for the GOP side of the race. Predictably, with some national attention being directed to Wisconsin Governor Walker, middle aged Wisconsin public school teachers are outraged.
I thought for a long time that their angst against our Governor was purely because with Walker's budget reforms, they had to personally contribute more to their union pensions and the State was going to put less in. That really shouldn't be a big deal in my opinion, but then again I'm a fan of Dave Ramsey and follow the principles of his book: The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. If you're a middle aged school teacher, you should be at the point in your life where you're putting 15% of your income towards retirement. If you have to put more into your union pension, you just put less in your Roth IRA and your budget is not affected.
But Walker's reforms are working, and I didn't see why they middle aged teachers are still being so spiteful, until I realized a trend in comments left on Facebook posts about Walker. They all like to make fun of him for his lack of education and while there is no proof, claim he has gotten where he has due solely to corruption.
Yesterday the light bulb clicked on for me to the root cause of their spite: their education and where they are at in life. They are comparing their personal education, career paths, and how much they've achieved in life to him; and they come up short on the achievement end. That's where jealousy sets in.
They look at themselves and see a person with a Masters Degree, who pays their union dues, who works hard everyday and pays their share of taxes. They live a honest hard working life, yet they still have student loan debt, a mortgage, and other debts & bills that keep them from living in prosperity.
Then they look at Scott Walker. A guy who drops out of college yet becomes very successful at business and now very successful in politics. They see a man who has become very wealthy and powerful in a short time without a higher education.
Then they look at themselves again, a person with a higher education who has worked hard for many years and is struggling to get by. They've done everything right and honestly with little to show. So when someone succeeds wildly without doing exactly what they've done, they can only assume he did it dishonestly. While there is logic to that thought, the spiteful middle aged school teachers leave a major factor out of their thinking.
The private sector does not work the way the public sector works. In the public sector the longer you've been there and the more degrees you have, the higher you go. In the private sector, degrees & seniority can help, but the harder and smarter you work the higher you go. This concept can be completely lost on a person, who for all practical purposes, have never left the classroom.
I've seen this in my personal life. I know first hand a few self-made millionaires who got there by starting their own business and working their asses off. Personally I doubt I'll ever make it to that level, but I do not live paycheck to paycheck, and if I continue my modest yet comfortable lifestyle I will be able to retire early with dignity. All with a meager 2 year degree.
Of course not everyone can achieve that. You need the right skills, the right ideas, the right opportunity and a huge pile of luck. But the most important things you need the drive, the focus, the desire to work for it. Most of us don't have that, but all of us can make excuses and be jealous of those who do.
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If you're bored enough to read more of my political rants & ramblings here are some of my favorites:
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