Pic of the day: "I prefer to be alone, to have peace and quiet, and to spend the majority of the day on manga and games."
Me, mooching off the state
Given my lack of empathy with (tourist) beggars, some of you may recall my casual attitude to a future of getting a disability pension and relaxing for the rest of my life on the state's expense. This option is indeed fairly popular in Scandinavia, although certain groups of foreigners as usual help raise the numbers. As I've also mentioned before, the officially disabled report being more content about their health than those who are working…
So don't I have double standards here? Leeching is fine when I do it, but bad when others do it, especially foreigners? Well, it is not quite that simple. For one thing, I am already paid more by the state for interfering with the economy than I would be for letting it be. To be honest, I have for many years had my doubts as to whether my workplace - all things considered - is doing society a favor or a disfavor. Let us just say that I can think of better ways to perform our function in society. But this is politically impossible, due to the massive envy in the population. Humans live in envy the way fish live in water; it is the only element they know and to which they are adapted. Therefore they always suspect their neighbors, and especially those who actually do business.
But my workplace is there (or rather has been until now) and someone got to do it. I prevailed largely because I was early to get a job with computers and software, helping my coworkers (this feels good) rather than harassing the clients (this feels bad). Also, to be honest, I have taken it as a penance before God, to punish my pride. If I had been as mature when I was 30 as I am now, I would probably quietly have qualified me for an honest job. But it is a bit late now. After a couple years of tertiary education I would be past 50, and you don't employ people in their fifties, except bosses who have jumped out in a golden parachute after crashing yet another company. Certainly not someone from the public sector, which is the trashcan of the Nordic economies. So at this point there is no point in even trying to get honest work. I'll just continue serving the State until I am discarded for real. At which point I will probably be more useful to the world than I am now, since I will have 8 hours more time each day to share my wisdom. ^_^ Unless I share it only with my Sims...
It will probably take its time to get that far, though. Politicians, who have no idea what is really going on, have made worried noises about all the disability. They suspect that people are just faking it, which is a reasonable thought when you see people like Stephen Hawking (who, incidentally, I consider the worst thing to have happened to mankind in my lifetime. Due to his theories about black hole radiation, people are trying to make black holes on Earth, starting next spring. Can't that wait until we have some deserted planet to experiment on, or at least until someone somewhere in the universe at least has observed the so-called Hawking radiation, or until we have a not self-contradictory theory of quantum gravity?). Anyway, the point is that you can be amazingly disabled and still do something useful, or you can be seemingly in perfect health and mooch off the state claiming to be too sick to work. (It works as long as the employers all agree with you, I'd think.)
Politicians and their (not yet disabled) henchmen in the bureaucracy have issued various rules and regulations to make it harder to get a disability pension. Of course, this has no effect except harassing the same people for longer before they get their pension anyway. Once you have the pension, you are safe. You can do whatever you want, except work. If you work even a little, you will be taxed and have your pension cut, leaving you with little more than you had without working, and sometimes less. Disability is evidently supposed to be a full-time job.
Anyway, there you have it. After 27 years of faithful work for a housewife pay, I am stabbed in the back by people who have no idea what my work is and who most likely have never done any honest work in their lives, just spent their youth in the fantasy world of whackademia, then moved on to playing board games with other people's lives and workplaces. But I'm not bitter, just cynical as usual. I expect people to be stupid, selfish, stupid, greedy and stupid. Good and genuine evil both surprise me, but both of them are rare. And I know that in so far as I don't see myself yet, so far am I like them. It is the default human condition. Every society has to work around this in some way: Capitalism by rewarding those who do something useful, and socialism by trying to appease the envious with money and praise. I have the good luck to live in a semi-socialist society, where there is enough reward that some people don't fall into apathy, and enough appeasement that the rest don't riot in the streets.
Somehow I doubt the floating head of Dr Kawashima will convince employers that my brain is actually in its early thirties or late twenties. (Well, it doesn't say that yet, but it will once I get some more brain training!) If I could, I would continue to pay my penance before God, as the LORD spoke unto Adam: "For thy sake the earth is cursed, so that work is gonna suck as long as you live." Oh well. Perhaps I can level up paladins and sell them on EBay. But it is just not the same as being hated and scorned to the point where I don't eat out in places where someone knows where I work. I'll be sure to miss it.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.