harriet beecher stowe and uncle tom’s cabin — 10/1/21

Today’s selection — from Don’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis. Harriet Beecher Stowe writes Uncle Tom’s Cabin:


“Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is certainly not the great American novel. It is far from the best-selling American novel. But for a long time it was surely the most significant American novel.

“Harriet Beecher Stowe was the daughter, sister, and wife of Protestant clergymen. Her father, the Reverend Lyman Beecher, was a Calvinist minister who took the family to Cincinnati, where he headed a new seminary. There Harriet Beecher met and married Calvin Stowe, a professor of biblical literature. The seminary was a center of abolitionist sentiment, and a trip to nearby Kentucky provided the young woman with her only firsthand glimpse of slavery. In 1850, her husband took a teaching job at Bowdoin College in Maine, and there, after putting her children to bed at night, Stowe followed her family’s urgings to write about the evils of slavery.

Title page for Volume I of the first edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly first appeared in serial form in the National Era, an abolitionist journal. In 1852, a Boston publisher brought out the book in its complete form. Simplistic and overly melodramatic, the novel was also deeply affecting. The plot attempted to depict the lives of slaves and slaveholders through three primary characters: Eliza, a slave who wants to keep her child who is about to be sold off, and sets off in search of the Underground Railroad; Eva, the angelic but sickly daughter of a New Orleans plantation owner; and Uncle Tom, the noble slave sold to a series of owners, but who retains his dignity through all the depredations he suffers in hopes of being reunited with his family. That family, living together in Tom’s idealized cabin on a Kentucky farm, represented the humanity of slaves, depicting them as husbands and wives, parents and children, in stark counterpoint to the common image of slaves as mere drudges.

“Many of the book’s characters were simply caricatures calculated to jolt tears from even the most heartless. But the book contained unforgettable images and scenes, perhaps the most famous of which was the picture of barefoot Eliza, her child in her arms, leaping from one ice floe to another across the frozen Ohio River to escape a ruthless slave trader. There was the cherubic child Eva, trying to bring out the good in everyone in a weepy death scene; the vicious plantation owner, Simon Legree — pointedly written as a transplanted Yankee — vainly trying to break the will and spirit of Tom; and Uncle Tom himself, resilient and saintly, the novel’s Christlike central character, beaten by Legree but refusing to submit to overseeing the other slaves.

“The reaction to the public — North, South, and worldwide — was astonishing. Sales reached 300,000 copies within a year. Foreign translations were published throughout Europe, and sales soon afterward exceeded 1.5 million copies worldwide, a staggering number of books for the mid-nineteenth century, when there were no paperbacks or big bookstore chains. A dramatic version played on stages around the world, making Stowe one of the most famous women in the world, although not necessarily wealthy; pirated editions were commonplace. The theatrical presentation also spawned a brand of popular minstrel entertainments called Tom Shows, which provided the basis for the use of Uncle Tom as a derisive epithet for a black man viewed by other blacks as a shuffling lackey to whites.

“In a time when slavery was discussed with dry legalisms and code words like ‘states rights’ and ‘popular sovereignty,’ this book personalized the question of slavery as no amount of abolitionist literature or congressional debate had. For the first time, thousands of whites got some taste of slavery’s human suffering. In the South, there was outraged indignation. Yet even there the book sold out. Stowe was criticized as naive or a liar. In one infamous incident, she received an anonymous parcel containing the ear of a disobedient slave. Faced with the charge that the book was deceitful, Stowe answered with A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which provided documentation that every incident in the novel had actually happened. 

“In 1862, Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe and reportedly said, ‘So you’re the little woman that wrote the book that made this great war.’ The copies sold can be counted, but the emotional impact can’t be calculated so easily. It is safe to say that no other literary work since 1776, when Tom Paine’s Common Sense incited a wave of pro independence fervor, had the political impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”


 | www.delanceyplace.com
author:Kenneth C. Davis
title:Don’t Know Much About History
publisher:Harper
date:Copyright 2011, 2020 by Kenneth C. Davis
pages:203-205
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Hammurabi and the forgiveness of debt — 1/26/21

Today’s selection — from Ancient Legal Thought by Larry May.

Far from being barter-based societies, most notable ancient civilizations, including Babylon and Egypt, saw extensive use of debt among the people. In fact, that debt was so pervasive that it often involved debt-bondage and could accumulate to levels “so crushing as to need periodic forgiveness – a ‘clean slate’ act.” Hammurabi likely enacted debt relief measures four times in his 40-year reign:

“This is about debt relief and forgiveness [in] ancient legal thought. …

“In Hammurabi’s Code of Laws, there are many examples of merciful treatment of his people, but there are also sometimes very harsh penalties as well — somewhat in keeping with the idea of lex talionis. Ammisaduqa, the great-great-grandson of Hammurabi, was a later king of Babylonia who issued an edict on debt forgiveness that is the most complete document of its kind to have come down to us. In this first section I will provide a few examples of the legal writing of these kings in ancient Mesopotamia to give a sense of the form of these very early written legal pronouncements. …

“At the end of the prologue to his laws Hammurabi says this about what motivates him:

When the god Marduk commanded me to provide just ways for the people of the land (in order to attain) appropriate behavior, I established truth and justice (Babylonian-misarum) as the declaration of the land. I enhanced the well being of the people.

“The term ‘misarum’ is what many scholars translate as righteousness or as that form of justice called equity. …

“There are several provisions in Hammurabi’s Code that aim at debt relief, but are primarily addressed to illegal acts of unscrupulous lenders. Here are three examples that are in Hammurabi’s Code:

LH# 117. If an obligation is outstanding against a man and he sells his wife, his son, or his daughter, they shall perform service in the house of their buyer of the one who holds them in debt service for three years; their release shall be secured in the fourth year.

“This example is of a permanent release of people from debt slavery after the fourth year, but says nothing about debt enslavement for less than four years:

LH #w. If a merchant … should take … interest and … then does not deduct the payments of either grain [or silver] as much as [he received, or] does not write a new tablet, or adds the interest payments to the capital sum, that merchant shall return two-fold as much as he received.

“Here is a law that penalizes what is effectively fraud on the part of merchants, where the penalty seems intended to deter such activity without interfering with legitimate creditors.

LH #124 If a man gives silver or gold, or anything else before witnesses to another man for safekeeping and he denies it, they shall charge and convict that man, and he shall give twofold that which he denied.

“Here again there is a kind of fraud that is the subject of the law. In each case, Hammurabi, who calls himself a shepherd, seeks to protect the weakest of his flock from oppression at the hands of those who are powerful. And the laws that are propounded seek to curtail fraud as well as sharp dealing — and to do so permanently.

“Hammurabi’s legal protections are motivated by equity in one sense, as we see from the prologue, but there is also another set of problems that operate more subtly and also oppress the people, calling for equity in a different sense. Here issuing a general prohibitory law would not be wise since the practices in question, mainly related to charging interest on loans, are not in themselves things that it would make sense to outlaw. Yet, Hammurabi, recognized, as was also true of his successors, that debt, especially debt enslavement, could be so crushing as to need periodic forgiveness – a ‘clean slate’ act. We do not have the full test of the debt relief edicts that Hammurabi issued, but there is good evidence that at least four times during his 40-year reign such temporary debt relief measures were proclaimed, and issued at least eight more times by Hammurabi’s immediate successors.

“We do have a complete text of such an edict of debt forgiveness from the reign of Ammisaduqa,  Hammurabi’s relative and also subsequently king. And while there are some provisions that call for permanent ending of certain practices by unscrupu­lous lenders, there are also provisions that provide periodic debt relief even though the debts were incurred through legal processes.’ Here are two of the provisions of the edict:

Section 1. The arrears of the farmers, shepherds, knackers, and people working in the summer pastures, and [other] tributaries to the palace, in order to strengthen them and treat them equitably, are cancelled: the collector must not take any legal action against a tributary’s house …

Section 4. Whoever has given barley or silver to an Akkadian or Amorite as an interest bearing loan or as fees, and had a document drawn up — because the king has established equity (misarum) in the land, his document is voided; he may not collect the barley or silver on the basis of his document.

“Here past debts incurred through loans extended by certain public sector creditors, and perhaps also some ‘private’ individuals, are cancelled.”


 | www.delanceyplace.com
author:Larry May
title:Ancient Legal Thought
publisher:Cambridge University Press
date:Copyright 2019 Larry May
pages:61-64

Improvement

It occurred to me the other day that the stereotype of Americans being fat and lazy may be a product of history and culture rather than excessive living. In a day of 99 cent drive through convenience, this may seem like an ignorant assumption, but in my experience, has been somewhat accurate.

I was once in the lobby of a Chicago hotel. Some British tourists were making snide comments about “fat Americans”. Needless to say, I don’t approve of any type of bullying, simply because no one is perfect, and prejudice of any kind is unacceptable. Therefore, I resisted the urge to mention a certain regime that we defeated a couple centuries back, nor was anything said about the oppression of North Ireland.

The infuriating words led me to a few weeks’ contemplation about why the stereotype is there, other than the obvious. I will not deny that many people need to lose weight. I herald the need for diet and exercise even if I don’t always practice them. However, many people try for years to lose weight, and there is evidence that obesity can be genetic.

[Side note: There is the phenomenon of joggers’ hearts stopping in mid-run, having had no health trouble previously. I wanted to mention this because defining “healthy” is a tricky matter.]

First off, and I only include this as necessity, all free citizens do have the right to live as they choose within confines of the law. That means if someone wants to eat, jog or smoke cigarettes, they are permitted to do so without oppression. There are those that take this to excess, but for every one person that does, many more do not.

Be kind and considerate, people. We all have something we need to improve on.

What Do Skunks Eat? The Complete List of What a Skunk Eats!

Skunks are animals well-known for their intolerable skunk spray, which they use as self-defense. This article will give a detailed understanding of what skunks eat and why. The complete Skunk diet – including seasonal specific foods.

But first, here’s a quick snapshot to takeaway, then we’ll dive into more details…

What Do Skunks Eat? Skunks are omnivores and are very adaptable in their diet. However, their favorite food consists of small prey and insects, especially in summer and spring. Plants are usually eaten when food is scarce. In Winter, when food is extremely sparse skunks may invade garbage and trash for food.

Especially during the summer months, when food is in abundance, skunks will use this time to eat lots of food to sustain both themselves and their young better through the winter months. So now let’s take a look at what skunks eat…

Table of Contents

What do skunks eat?

Before we get into the detail, we should mention that skunks – as omnivores are not overly picky animals. To some extent, they do have scavenger tendencies, so this means that their diet is very adaptable depending on seasons and availability – and is key to their survival.

And most importantly, skunks don’t have a proper mechanism to combat or attack animals and to prey on them.

Yes, they do have an effective spray for self-defense, but when it comes to their physical capacity or ability to kill animals, little is known about this.

So this diminished capacity for skunks to attack many animals makes it more obvious then that their diet needs to be relatively simple – and will never include prey that is too large for them to attack.

This also means that if they cannot find prey that they can kill and feed on, they will have to rely on foraging for food that they can eat to sustain themselves and their young, including plants and other edible foods.

a skunk likes to feed on small animals and insects
a skunk likes to feed on small animals and insects

Skunks eat small prey

Although humans consider skunks as a nuisance because of their unpleasant odor, they are beneficial in many ways.

This is because skunks prey on small creatures that are harmful to gardening and a healthy lifestyle as a whole. It’s estimated that on average around 70% of a skunk’s diet is made of up harmful insects.

As such even if skunks may seem and sound like a nuisance, they do still help in getting rid of destructive insects around the home and yard instead.

Many yard pests and other yard creatures and insects make up the bulk od a skunk’s diet, like:-

  • Snakes
  • Cockroaches
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Beetles
  • Beetle larvae
  • Spiders – even the black widow spider
  • Fish
  • Scorpions
  • Rabbits
  • Mice
  • Voles
  • Moles
  • Ground nesting birds
  • Small reptiles
  • Small amphibians such as frogs, toads, and newts
  • Water snakes
  • Bees
  • other small animals.

While these may sound common prey for pretty much most of the animals, what interesting about a skunk’s diet is that skunks are one of the major predators of the honeybee.

Of course, protecting themselves from bee stings is possible with their thick tuft of fur on their bodies. How skunks attack the beehives is also quite interesting.

Firstly they scratch the beehives with their forefeet and long claws. This will firstly trigger the guard bees to come out and they usually are the first set of bees that get eaten up.

Some of the prey that skunks choose to eat are often to teach their young ones on self-defense mechanisms. Especially when skunks targets more treacherous animals like snakes and the treacherous black widow spider.

Apart from being a nutritious diet, they’re animals that teach instinctive mechanisms for attacking and self-defense to their young.

A skunks diet in winter

Skunks do not fully hibernate in winter, at times during winter when a skunk wakes from its torpor – usually, when temperatures are 30° Fahrenheit or above. They may choose to leave the comfort of their den at night to forage for food.

Where possible, skunks will eat forage for

  • Insects
  • Frogs and toads
  • Birds and other eggs
  • Earthworms
  • Grubs
  • Snakes
  • Other small animals.
  • Berries
  • Edible leaves
  • Nutritious grasses
  • Plant roots
  • Nuts

Find out how a Skunk prepares for winter

Skunks eat plants

As we mentioned earlier, skunks are omnivores and their diet also consists of plants. But it has to be said the plant-based diet is mostly only an alternative that skunks turn to during times when food is scarce.

Plants are also consumed by skunks when they cannot find their favorite food easily, either by a simple shortage for that year or because colder weather is beginning to set in.

It has to be said, the favored food for a skunk is mainly small creatures and those listed above. But, mostly during late fall and winter, skunks often do have to eat plants as an alternative, when available, skunks will opt to eat:-

  • Corn
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Other berries

During winter, skunks may also search for and eat:-

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Plant parts on the ground
  • Plant roots

Roots and fruits of plants are one of the favorite parts of their plant-based diet as their available around ground level.

Skunks diet in urban environments

Most skunks, especially when food is not available, will also look to invade homes and feed on decaying plants and other food sources around properties, which is mainly when skunks become an annoyance for humans. So, similar to a fox’s diet, skunks will eat garbage!

Find out What Foxes Eat

Skunks eat garbage

Although this may sound unpleasant to us, skunks are omnivores and so they are very versatile and adaptable when it comes to food.

So they do feed on human garbage and trash. Especially as unattended garbage is also very welcoming to insects, rodents that skunks can also eat.

Plus leftovers and even rotting food from the garbage can could potentially make up a huge meal for skunks that are foraging for food.

Skunks deviously raid garbage and trash looking for their favorite food, which can quickly create a complete mess in backyards and entrances. 

When food isn’t available in trash or garbage, this can bring more problems. This is because when skunks don’t find what they want in the garbage they can often target other food courses, such as:-

  • Bird feeders
  • Compost piles
  • BBQ grills

This often further aggravates the problems that skunks can pose to humans.

But it’s important to remember that skunks, like rats, are animals of routine. This means that when skunks locate a steady source of food from garbage and trash cans, they may forge a habit of visiting your home more often in search of the same food source, especially during winter, when food is scarce.

Unfortunately, aside from the spray, this is largely why humans do not like skunks.

what do skunks eat
what do skunks eat

How and Why Skunks Change Their Diet

Skunks as omnivores generally prefer animals over plants. But depending on the seasons and availability of food, these can differ.

Starting with summer and spring, these are the times that skunks feed on fresh food sources as they’re available in plentiful supply.

During spring and summertime, skunks will feed on grasshoppers, bees, beetles, beetle larvae, and crickets as well as others from our first list above.

During this time, skunks naturally eat fewer plants and more prey. As winter approaches, when the availability of food reduces, skunks will eat food that is not as fresh and those that even fall to the ground and are easily accessible.

This includes fruits and crops that are left rotten or not harvested. It’s also during winter that skunks will dig in through garbage and trash more often. 

Over this cold season and as a last resort, skunks may occasionally kill poultry to eat their eggs. In fact, during this season skunks will usually eat anything edible they come across if it provides sufficient nourishment.

Skunks adopt this eating pattern in winter because since they don’t fully hibernate they need to find food to help keep them active and warm and provide enough layers of fat.

Learning resources

We’ve found the ideal resources to continue your learning at home and at school on amazon. Help support our efforts for wildlife causes and keep this site working for nature. Amazon also donates to Wild-life related charities!

Skunks – Amazing Animals

Beautiful photos are paired with STEM-appropriate text to offer a basic exploration of the appearance, behavior, and habitat of skunks, the musk-spraying mammals. Also included is a story from folklore explaining the unpleasant scent of skunks.

Secret Life of the Skunk

Discover the secret behaviors of a notoriously stinky mammal–the skunk–by following a family as the kits grow from infancy to adulthood.

Related articles:-

Where Do Skunks Live
Do Skunks Hibernate

Video resources

To finish…

We hope this deep dive into the eating habits of skunks has helped you understand a little more about what these creatures eat. What to be careful of when leaving food out and perhaps a little more understanding of the world of skunks.

This content has been checked and verified by a qualified veterinary practitioner. The article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Graveside

I stand beside your grave

A funeral home that bears your name

Another lover, another harlot

Another face, a different name

You still live

You just won’t die

Why must you rise like a zombie?

Like a corpse feasting upon the living?

Am I your next victim?

I’ve been there before

You will not take me again

You’re just consumer

You were worth nothing

You always deserve better

Yet you could not achieve the best

And I am exactly what you sought

In Defense of the Wallet

SELL! SELL! SELL!

Oh, shut up.

You got my attention. I know what you have, and I want it. You know I do, or you wouldn’t be shoving it in my face. Did you ever consider some of us can’t afford it?

Not your problem, you say?

Go get a real job. Learn what it’s like to have to actually work. Your high pressure only results in high stress. Not mine, however. Yours.

You’ve taken no time to consider what it will actually cost someone. Your “cost” is not an excuse for overpricing. Some will pay. Those who would be your most loyal customers can’t. Not “won’t”. CAN’T. Also known as “cannot” or “more important things to pay for”.

If you can’t understand why people don’t “want” to pay for what you’re offering, you are advertising a gross ignorance on your part. It’s sickening, really. Do I really need to sit down with you to explain it?

You’ve got a product, service or skill. That’s not in question. I’ve already said I want it. You’re asking for something I just don’t have. Are you going to simply turn your back on me? On all of us? On anyone who doesn’t “appreciate” what you “bring to the table”?

Now, you’ve made it my problem. You’ve orchestrated the demise of your credibility. People can get a comparable offer elsewhere. The market defines your efficacy. If you’re losing sales, constantly having to defend your “credentials”, or recycling a method not your own because it worked for someone else, I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point.

I appreciate legitimate performance capability. I can even understand a high value item because it’s worth it. I know you need to get paid. I have no respect for looking down on a person because your image of a non buyer is askew or completely false. Either way, you’re lying to yourself and everyone else.

 

Payroll Problems

In a business setting, employees must be paid. Obviously. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people talk about not making enough or not having financial means to pursue other interests.

Perhaps we are looking at this the wrong way. I’ve written before about a “pay yourself first” financial method, but if this is not adopted, what else could be done? We need to improve the lives of our employees and coworkers.

I noticed that an hourly wage was merely keeping me afloat. I had to do something on my end, and it had helped immensely. Looking at the side of the person paying that wage, I can appreciate any potential desire to keep me on the payroll, if only to keep the wheels moving.

Attendance is an end unto itself. Once you realize that full time hours not only get you paid, but maintain a level of consistency, you will show up and you will do the work to your best ability. Schedules can keep us active and improve our lives.

Even entrepreneurs and success “gurus” have their own routines and followed schedules. Organization is very important to operation. Once a routine is implemented, you are in a very good spot to grow.

At that point. the employer (or whoever is paying) needs to consider what will make people glad they’re coming into work. Does the schedule allow for taking kids to school or do they offer childcare on site? Do you pay a living wage?

Many people dread the alarm sounding, because it simply means “get up and go to that dead end job you hate, because you have to pay bills and provide for your family”. I won’t even go into all the options people have (and use) to further diminish their bank account.

I don’t like that “alarm sound” feeling. Since sleep is necessary to humanity, I can tolerate it. What I cannot tolerate is any business not appreciating or respecting an employee’s time. Time is, and always will be, more valuable than money. The worst mistakes made financially can be corrected. Time cannot be manufactured.

[If you can actually invent a way to make more time, I’ll invest in you.]

Employers can do several things to ensure employees’ well being aside from paying more. Pay properly, for starters. Some employees pride themselves on attendance. Pay accordingly. A punctual worker is priceless.

Other employees are satisfied with getting their bills paid, keeping the family fed, and having enough left over for fun. That is not too much to ask for. Too often, these employees get paid less than they’re worth, and sacrifice essentials to get basic needs. This leafs to the temptation to but temporary fixes for all the stress. The vicious cycle continues.

What else? Cover health insurance. Arrange a compensation package that reflects skills as opposed to experience. Help them get an education that is worth pursuing. Defend their job security. Make your work site comfortable before making it look good. These are a few suggestions. In the long run, this is truly cost effective and you will see profits.

To put it simply, your employees are an asset, not a commodity. Don’t let labor necessities overrule the human factor. Everyone is a person. CEO or janitor, HR or assembly line, finance or cashier, manager or salesperson. Never forget that. Make people happy with their work, and they’ll be loyal.

Training Employees (including salespeople)

Several years ago, I worked in a bank. We were required to open new accounts, obviously. However, I didn’t like working there. It was not the work itself. That was fine. What I couldn’t understand was that they wanted us to sell new accounts. I’m terrible at sales.

I’ve studied the concept for years, and I’ve tried to do it, and I just simply a find no joy in it. It’s not for me, or at least I haven’t found the right thing to sell yet. Like anything else, it would take time and practice to get better at it. I don’t deny that I could be good at it or that I have been good at it on certain occasions.

I’ve heard that a salesperson needs to be responsible for their own training and not depend on the company. I can respect this position, but I disagree with it on certain points. If you are wanting to attract the best talent in your company, whether be in sales, marketing, the warehouse, human resources, or even the janitor, you are going to need something built into that organization to make sure everyone can perform their job properly.

I would go beyond that and say that you might as well build something in there that makes it very possible a person can succeed if they are doing their job right. The way life goes is where you will sift through a lot of dirt to find the golden nugget. That’s any job any line of work, any industry,  and any relationship anywhere on the Earth’s surface. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t matter how well or how poorly you built your company or your home.

The point I’m trying to make here is that to neglect training of your employees, especially of salespeople, is highly and grossly irresponsible. The good ones are going to study on their own anyway. The ones who are making all the excuses have no one but themselves to blame. Oh, you are part of the “themselves”, by the way. Quite simply, if they are part of your organization, you are to blame for not providing better resources.

It’s unfair to anybody not to train them for the job. If they’re not using what you have made available, you’ll be able to get rid of them fairly quickly when they aren’t meeting expectations. We’re not talking about a law office where you need a paralegal, or an elected official who has not had any experience in the public eye. Some jobs do need certain requirements first, and if you said that from the outset you want the experience or the education, that’s one thing.

However, how many people are we passing up in in the work world because we simply didn’t want (basically refusing) to train them? How professional are you if you’re not cultivating the people that are already involved in your organization? It’s quite interesting to think about.

There are no excuses for your employees to be doing worse, and that all comes down to the manager or executive. If you’re going to point fingers and say you’re responsible for your own training, you are not only pointing back at yourself, you are pointing a gun to your foot. You will be the one who suffers.

I Hope You’re Ready for This…

I’m sick of student loans. Keep an open mind. This isn’t another rant. Keep reading. I’m sick of paying for something that isn’t worth it.

I’m paying for something I didn’t earn. Yes, I have a degree. That’s not what I’m talking about. I didn’t earn it’s worth. Did you?

I don’t work in the industries I’ve studied. I am forced (and blessed) to learn from the school of hardknocks, in which I have obtained a Ph. D.

Seriously, I’ve learned lessons that can’t be taught. I’ve made mistakes so bad that I would die before I let someone else make them. I’ve seen things that defy my own imagination. No word of that is exaggeration.

And for all that, I get a major debt to pay back. This has all been a scam from the beginning, and we knew it. The American Dream still exists, and it is attainable with hard work and sacrifice. I believe that wholeheartedly, and so should you.

There are those who want to skip a step and demand a legal right to your hard earned (or most like not yet earned) income. We can’t even properly handle what wages we bring home. I learned that the hard way.

[I adopted a modified “pay yourself first” money management plan, which I highly recommend. Please research and adopt this.]

With bills which I am capable and willing to pay, there is an unwanted and unnecessary fiend lurking. It came from deals that look good on paper (depending on who actually reads it) and will never work in practice.

Let’s just pop the bubble. Cancel all student loans. Too extreme? I don’t care. Anyone who actually makes money on this will end up the loser. Their education has been paid. It’s about time they learned something.

The schools wouldn’t suffer. They’d rid themselves of dead weight staff that was merely selling a theoretical degree to a naive teenager. They have been preying on the innocent and underprivileged. They don’t care if the student becomes the valedictorian or drops out having become an alcoholic from all the partying. They demand you pay up.

What’s really sick is that the hardworking, diligent student who graduates with honors will still owe something for what he’s already earned. The dropout didn’t get anything except debt. Either scenario (and every one else’s story) is an equal tragedy. They leave school not knowing what to do with themselves.

They can’t get a job in their field, or they’re working overtime at the warehouse getting pennies. No one is ever stuck, but they’re painted into a corner. They’re in financial slavery.