What's the Rat Race?

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LukeLewis

LukeLewis

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Now this is true. I'll give Robert this. He's done a wonderful job of describing the lives so many of us live. I was part of the rat race for one year of my life and I can tell you that it was abominable. Absolutely abominable. The worst thing I have ever done. Let me explain.

After grad school, I felt as though I needed to get myself a white collar corporate job. It didn't take much for me to do and after sending out a few resumes, I landed a job at a consulting firm. At first (like the first day), it seemed okay, but as time wore on, I found myself loathing the office in which I worked. I can remember back to those days, pulling into the parking lot in my car, parking, and just sitting there looking at the building. So many times, I wanted to turn around and leave. I asked myself, "How did my life turn into this?" It wasn't until I was on the train, returning from a business trip that I realized how miserable I truly was. It was raining outside in December and everyone on the train was dripping wet in their black raincoats. It was one of the most miserable scenes I've ever engaged in. That week, I quit the job and my life has been so much better ever since. Good thing too, because the business I worked for sold a few years later and everyone was fired. So much for that.

So how does Robert describe the rat race? Like this:

A kid is born, is raised well, goes to school, graduates, goes to college, graduates, goes to grad school, and graduates. The child does exactly like he or she has been programmed to do. We'll say it's a he in this case, so I don't have to keep writing he or she. Anyway, because he did so well in school, he gets a nice professional job. He works in an office, is a doctor, or a lawyer. He begins spending his earnings and the bills begin to arrive.

The child, who is now a man, finds himself a wonderful girl and marries her. She's smart too because she's got a great degree. She works and he works. They do tons of work. As the script suggests, they decide to have a child. They do, which prompts them to move from their apartment into a house. They also need a larger car. As they continue to work, they make more money, which prompts them to have another child. And because of this, they need to sell their Honda Accord and purchase a new minivan. And a new and larger house. The thing is, now that the money is flowing and the kids are here, they need to buy big TVs to entertain everyone and take vacations because, well, that's what families do. Apparently these things cost tons of money, because the happy couple realizes that they need more of it to keep up their lifestyle. So they ask for promotions at work and get them. These promotions require more of their time. The couple also seeks additional training and education, which may help make more money in the future. They continue to work and have another child. Their incomes are rather high now, which puts them into a new tax bracket, one that takes a good portion of their earnings. The house also costs a lot in taxes. Their social security taxes rise. The tax on their new cars are high as well. So much higher than those older smaller cars they used to own. And now that their children are older, daddy needs to start saving for college educations and weddings. And everything else.

It doesn't take long for these parents to learn that much of their earnings goes to other people. Their labor goes to the companies they work for to make those companies rich, the taxes they pay go to the government, to make it (and the sleazy politicians and their friends) rich, and the interest they pay on their loans goes to the banks, which makes them rich. And the harder these two work, the more wealthy they seem to make everyone else. So what do they do? They train their children to do the same exact things they did. And they start teaching those children about colleges when they're young, just to warm them up to the idea.

This, my friends, is called the rat race. Almost everyone who is in it, hates it. But hardly anyone leaves because they've spent so much time burying themselves that they've got no other choice. They'll do it until they die and along the way, they'll teach others how to do it too. I've seen this a thousand times. It's a mentality that's difficult to figure out.

This post is part of a series: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
 
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What's the Rat Race? was posted on 06-05-2021 by LukeLewis in the Finance Forum forum.
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