Tax Time Karma
The board members of Michael Konik Enterprises, the worldwide consortium that owns this Website, among a broad portfolio of other low-value assets – the board understands that the point of running a business or being a person is to earn money. Growth and profits. We all get it.
So, we’re sorry. We did a lot of good this past year. But in terms of income we didn’t do well.
On a weirdly existential-economic level, our pointlessness was underscored this week when we prepared our 2015 State and Federal tax forms. We didn’t make very much money. If we were a family of four, we’d be considered below the poverty line.
Earning very little income, especially when you have savings to draw on, has several delightful benefits. The main one is you don’t spend much time thinking about or dealing with an imaginary concept that sometimes becomes our only reality.
Once a year, though, all of us must face the money monster. Tax time. This is the month that the sweet karmic benefits of being a low earner start to kick in. When it comes time to pay your fair share of taxes, your portion is very much smaller than it would be had you earned more money. (Assuming you haven’t used all your extra income to hire lawyers and accountants to help you avoid paying your fair share). You can feel for a fleeting moment that you’re somehow slightly less culpable in the ongoing crime against humanity that is our war-making industry. You can feel for a second infinitesimally less responsible for enriching murderous Afghani warlords, for helping create and fund ISIS, for the accidental collateral damage on Yemeni wedding parties.
You can feel mildly absolved of sending your tax dollars to aid in the oppression and slow-motion genocide of Palestinians. You contribute a skooch less to that other slow-motion holocaust, America’s failed-yet-still-funded War on Drugs. You pay for one less minute of cockpit time for the B-52 fly-over at the football game. Your labor supports a fraction of a fraction fewer private military contractors getting wealthy in Iraq (107,000 on the payroll at last count, versus about 100,000 active military). Your job, your work, helps pays for one less KFC meal in a Baghdad canteen managed by a Halliburton subsidiary and staffed by Filipino subcontractors paid un-American wages.
And all the other stuff that isn’t remotely righteous.
By the calculus of American relevance, the low earner is colossally unimportant, one step above a homeless person. Not only do you contribute bubkas to the GDP, you don’t buy all the stuff that makes the folks at the top of the pyramid even richer. But here’s the new math: The less you add to the growing billions of the billionaires, the less you participate in consumer culture, the less you inadvertently participate in institutionalized slavery and suffering. The less you participate in slavery and suffering, the better you feel.
So, while the board regrets to inform the shareholders in Michael Konik Enterprises that we haven’t earned much money in the previous fiscal year, we feel altogether marvelous.