27 Jul 2020

First Paycheck

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We can all remember the joy felt upon receiving that first envelope with a paycheck inside. Our own money that we earned ourselves, in a real job, just like an adult. All ours!

We’ve gleefully counted up the hours and multiplied them by our wages, and it comes to, from a kid’s point of view, a tidy sum. Then, we open the envelope and look at the check. Omigod! it’s so much less than we were expecting! And then, we realize, they are going to take just as much next week, and the week after, and the week after that.


Last night, on “Yellowstone,” the nefarious developer offered noble old-time rancher John Dutton $500,000,000.00 ($10,000 per acre) for his ranch.

Wow! we viewers thought, $500 mil, that’s all the money anybody would ever need, all the money any family would ever need for generations. First, we buy something like Llangolen or Carter Hall in Virginia, then a suitable large house in Paris, another in London, a castle in Ireland, and so on.

But, wait, think of the taxes! after the Feds and the State and the County all take their bites out of it, it would be a long way short of 500… (Of course, nobody probably really owns 50,000 acres in the pretty part of Montana, and nobody is going to pay $10,000 an acre in a 50,000 land deal that is not part of Manhattan. But, still…)

2 Feedbacks on "First Paycheck"

M. Murcek

Payroll cashier in Raising Arizona: “Government takes a bite, don’t she?”


my reaction exactly, second week of summer vacation 1967.


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