Barters and Small Business: Chartered Planes, Horse Boarding and Dog Breeding Businesses

The Barters and Bootstraps column shares success stories of people who barter and open small business ventures, includes stories on chartering a plane, horse boarding and dog breeding businesses.

| February/March 1996

The Barters and Bootstraps column shares success stories in barters and small business ventures. 

Barters and Small Business Success Stories

Shortly before she died, Margaret Mead gave me seven words of  advice. Now, years later, I follow them religiously. I had attended a lecture of hers and volunteered to drive her to the airport, knowing I could pick her brain. After having nodded off during a fairly one-sided conversation in which I enthusiastically articulated my career plans, she was suddenly awakened by a speed bump.

Apparently not happy to be awake, she grunted, "Don't be a clone. Get a life." She had a terrific economy with words.

Man, it is not easy getting a life when you are in the "40/40/40" crowd, along with the job, kids, mortgage, car payments, social commitments and taxes. No, 40/40/40 does not represent age/IQ/waist size, it indicates age/income/net worth. It wasn't long ago when the guiding principles were "sex, drugs, and rock and roll;" now, looming on the horizon are "hair loss, taxes and death:'

If you're married and making roughly $40,000 per year you are paying out about $10,000 in income and social security taxes. The total tax burden for the typical family consumes 45 percent of its income, according to the National Taxpayers Union. This means that we work until May 6 to pay the tax bill, then the remaining income earned the rest of the year is ours to keep. Sound enticing? I thought so. Yet there are a few perfectly legal, simple, and understandable ways to take the bite out of next year's bill. Lend me your ear.

Don't get me wrong, some taxes do good. Tax on gasoline pays for road upkeep, property taxes pay for schools, sales tax pays for civic improvements. But your federal taxes go primarily to Department of Defense boondoggles and cost overruns, which gets 20 percent of the budget for $500 toilet seats and $15,000 cross-continental flights for generals and their cats. Social Security gets 23 percent of the budget, which doesn't look too secure, 25 percent goes to welfare, and interest on the 5 trillion-dollar deficit gets 23 percent. I have no problem with rendering unto Caesar, but I've rendered so much lately that I can't even feel my wallet anymore ...or that side of my leg for that matter.

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