Suppose you are a housekeeper.
The house that you clean to earn an income is also the house that you live in. The person who pays you an income for doing this work doesn’t live in the house, but pays you to clean your own home all the same.
You make $10/hour to clean up messes that you, yourself, create.
After getting used to this arrangement, your standards start to go down. Why put the house in perfect order, ever? You can always leave a bit of a mess, and always have something to clean when you need more money.
But at one point, noticing the prices of things going up in the wider economy, you decide to ask your mysterious employer for a raise.
“How much do you want?” He says.
“Well, how about $15/hour?” You venture, expecting it to be shot down.
Elated, you enjoy additional pay for doing the same work that you create for yourself by dirtying and cleaning your house.
You start to notice after more time that every time you ask for more money, it’s granted. No matter how big of a pay raise you ask for.
20 years in, you are making $650/hr.
You take longer and longer to get the same amount of cleaning done, hold your cleaning processes to a very minimum standard, and spend money lavishly on new things for your home, even building new additions to the house and buying up neighboring lots.
But of course, why not? Your employer seems to have unlimited funds and all you have to do is occasionally show photos of cleaned rooms to continue receiving these outlandish paychecks.
Now then, suppose you are a part of the military-industrial complex. But I repeat myself.
(This was originally written June 21, 2022.)