I had my first full time job in 1957. I had just graduated from high school. It was supposed to be a summer job as I had intentions to go to college in the fall. In case you hadn't noticed, things happen. I did get to college but not until mid year. So my summer job lasted until December. If I remember correctly, I made the princely wage of $1.15 per hour. It was an easy job but brain numbingly repetitive. I etched the company logo onto circular saw blades. Thousands and thousands of blades
One thing I remember is that I paid income tax. Not much but I paid. I had "skin in the game". It was now, officially, my country. I was a part owner of the greatest thing in the world of which to be a part owner. I was not dependent on my country. My country was dependent on me. At the time I probably griped some about having my pay raided before I even saw it. But now I realize that is a pretty proud thing when you're seventeen years old and as naive as a new kitten.
Time marches on and I marry and start a family. We married young and started a family young. I will tell you it was a struggle. But we got by. We never went cold. We never missed a meal. Honestly, there were weeks in the early going where the paycheck didn't stretch quite far enough. For a while I did work two jobs. After five years of marriage we bought a small house. Any repairs I did myself because we couldn't afford to hire the work out. I learned a lot of new skills in those days. But we always paid income tax. We always had "skin in the game."
Things got better. I went up a little bit in the world. We bought a bigger house and paid at least part of weddings for three daughters. We actually started to accumulate a few investments and things were looking pretty good. Then along came the first housing bust and two market crashes. Guess what, we were still paying income tax. We still had "skin in the game".
It didn't seem to matter how little I earned or what my personal financial obligations were, the government always saw to it that I had "skin in the game". Today, however, forty-seven percent of those that have earnings pay no income tax. Many of these people are earning over forty thousand dollars a year. And that is beyond wrong.
What it is, is that Democrats, RINOs, and squishy Republicans have created a dependant class. A whole class of citizens that are dependant on mostly Democrat politicians for their largess. In response these people agree never to strive for a better life and to be satisfied with their relief from income tax and maybe some extras from their duly elected friends. And to continue to vote for those they think to be their benefactors. They have no "skin in the game".
If the government were less wasteful, smaller, and more even handed we could all have a little "skin in the game" and be a better country for it.