Shucking the Trades


 Oh yeah. You say that again. Times ain't rough; they're crazy! I mean, take me for an example. Who ever thought I'd be hurting like this? When I was a kid people figured auto mechanics would never go broke. But with the rising taxes and environmental laws, my gas station's about as much a gold mine as a savings and loan.

 Yeah, taxes went up again. And business down. If it wasn't for repairs I'd have bone broke years ago. Who can predict profits with the way oil goes up and down?

 Sure, I put on plent of sales. 20 minute oil changes. Tune-up half price. But in a business as small as mine that loses money, too. Especially with the national chains opening up shop all over the place.

 When I went into it, I thought an auto mechanic had it made. Even if I got on bad with the business, there were always union shops or the city motor pools. But look what's happened to the unions. And the city? It's a joke. My dream was to make enough money to get my elbows out of the oil and grease. Maybe get so I could dress up like the real rich people do.

 But hell, you and I both know where the real money is. Don't let the crash of a few years ago fool you. Those stock brokers did all right for themselves. Even the honest ones. And those other crooks got away with millions before they got caught. Sop what did they pay? A few thousand in fines? Now they're living in Rio and not worrying about a thing, while you and me pay their bills.

 It's always been the working slobs that pay the collector. Look at this thing with the banks. People screaming about how they've got to be saved. What for? I don't have no hundred grand saved in any of them. If I did, you think I'd be up to my neck in muck?

 No, we're saving the rich. They got account upon account briming at the hundred thounsand mark and when the bank's go under, they cry foul. And who pays?

 Back in `80, I voted for Reagan. I figured he was a man of the people, and he would put a stop to all these welfare cheats. Now they're out on the street and the rich have got the money, while the rest of us don't have what we had.

 I know they've talked about trickle down. But nothing's trickled down to me, I can tell you that. So I figure since I'm never gonna get rich, I might as well shuck the trade and go collect welfare like everybody else. Hell, if enough of us do it, maybe the rich people'll have to pay their own bills.


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