May Day Means Payday for the US Government: Instead, Start Your Own Green Business to Make the World a Better Place

10 kW Bergey Wind Turbine at Inn SerendipityMay 1: May Day.

For the average American working for a paycheck, May Day β€” a pagan spring ritual where you dance around a Maypole β€” marks yet another, less festive occasion.

From the first of January until around the first of May, all the money many of us will earn goes to pay our share of income tax to the US government.

Kiss those months — that money — goodbye (the present tax stimulus package is really just a refund).

We followed the advice of our parents, as most children do: get a good education, go to college and get a job — a nice, secure, well-paying one, with great fringe benefits, stock options or profit-sharing. But the bimonthly paychecks — after the government gets its share for income, Social Security and Medicare taxes — aren’t enough to keep up with the bills. Even with raises and promotions, many of us feel that we keep getting further in the hole, since the more we earn in earned income, the more it’s taxed. The reality is that the system is largely devised this way, not to tax the very rich but to exact a fee on the middle class and poor to keep these wage earners on the treadmaster of a job — or “promising career.”

When you’re earning wages, you’re making money for someone else or, often, something else called a corporation and its shareholders. For your job, you get a paycheck, from which income taxes are withheld to pay for an ever-expanding governmental bureaucracy of the size that even the Romans or Greeks would envy, according to William Bonner and Addison Wiggin in their exhaustive and provocative book, Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis.

Besides buying a new car to commute to your job, usually purchased with bank financing, many people acquire a mortgage from another bank to buy a house or condo. Now you have property taxes on top of income and payroll taxes. So you’re earning wages to pay taxes to the government, interest payments to the banks that hold your car loan and house mortgage, and insurance premiums to cover yourself if anything sours.

All the while, you help make more money for the company you work for and the shareholders of the business. You’re working so you can afford to keep paying the bills to keep your house, your car and your life. Meaningful work — working passionately for something you care about — is relegated for those retirement years, increasingly elusive thanks to rising energy, food and healthcare costs. Anyone you know putting off “retiring” because their stock portfolio didn’t deliver enough returns for them to feel comfortable enough to try living off interest and dividends? Either they’re still working or had to get a job to make ends meet.

It doesn’t have to be this way, as many ecopreneurs are discovering. In our unconventional business how-to book ECOpreneuring, my wife and I write about how small business, especially a green business that operates in a way that restores nature and values human life (not exploit it), can be a one-way ticket to keep more of the money you earned while doing good for the planet. Forming your own business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), C Corporation or S Corporation are among many options to garner the greatest return on your investment of life energy into a project and increase your savings, allowing you to do the things you want to do, not have to do. These ecopreneurs, in how they manage their green business, leverage the power of their business to make the world a better place. In so doing, they may earn less income but power their business with renewable energy, operate carbon neutral (or carbon negative), and focus on serving all the stakeholders of their business, including their local community, by operating a diversified portfolio of enterprises that fill niches.

Many ecopreneurs make a life, not earn a living. Today, I planted 30 trees in addition to caring for my son. The tree planting didn’t add much to GNP (a topic for a later blog), but it will help address climate change, help stabilize the soil on the edges of my family’s small farm, provide a future revenue stream for my son if he mindfully stewards the land. I even broke a sweat doing it, burning off a few calories to boot.

This May Day, perhaps it’s time to think about launching the green business you’ve always wanted — either a for profit or non-profit. Isn’t it time to put your life energy toward something greater than just paying off mounting and unsustainable US government debt this May Day (including the cushy retirement packages politicians seem to end up with, while we end up with little or nothing)?

This May Day, we’re celebrating: our wind turbine spinning our meter backwards; our gardens planted to provide about 7o percent of our food needs without the use of chemicals (or a tractor); our good health; and our business that provides enough revenue to support our family and a quality of life that doesn’t have to come at a cost to the Earth.

We’ll dance to that.

One comment
  1. Ross

    Hello Mr. John Ivanko,

    You make a very good and intresting point that I think a lot of people should, but don’t, think about or analize none in their lives.

    It has a name actually. STRESS! What I believe to be the number one cause of premuture death of people.

    I believe the world has become such, that we no longer learn how to be self-dependent. So much ready made products and services are at hand for us to use in our daily lives that we often belive that we can depend on those commodities to always be there for us to use. Even in hard times.

    When they are not there or not as affordable any more as they use to be, we begin to suffer from the stress of worries about how to get by, and pay our bills like the ones you noted.

    Most of the people believe that puting money away for hard times is the best policy. Not true. Though there may be issues where you can put your money to be tax free for now, you will be taxed later when you use it.

    The latest problem/Potential matter of climate issues from energy does open up an avenue for those that think about becomeing self-dependent financially speaking.

    However, like all things, opportunity only knocks once and not that often, and not for long. Opportunities like this is like a train at a staion, it’s only there for a little while then it leaves, with or without you on board.

    To focus on the meat, not the peas, most of the generation from the 1960’s falward are the baby boomers and gen-X people. A lot of which do not have a high school diploma or a G.E.D.

    Technology is alien to these people. These people labour as slaves to the Corporate’s and the also the Government. Because they know nothing better to do to get by on their own.

    Speaking generally, their time and energy is also taxed to labouring for these offices, as most people have to work more then one job to make ends meet. Often, more then not, both spouses must do the same.

    There is a name for this as well. POVERTY. 2/3rds – 3/4ths of the nation is caught up in this catch 22 problem/solution. There is an answer.

    EDUCATION! Learn about new alternate energy systems like windmills, hydro-mills, geo-thermo wells, solar panels, Wave machines, Chemical systems, etc. Education costs, yes. But a lot of the knowleage can be gleamed from the internet now a days for free.

    This is where COMMITMENT comes into play. Commitment to learning is the answer to this issue. THE ONLY ANSWER!! Whether or not you learn the tech stuff yourself, or pay others to do it for you, you have to learn something new/different.

    Tradeing your labour and time for money, then giving the Government their cut, cuts into your profits and puts you under the gun, to pay your bills.

    Sadly, these are the people that shoulder the burden of supporting the nations economy, costs, and wealthy.

    They are the founding blocks that support the nation/empire, (that should be the ones to resolve matters at hand but do not) whilest weathering the elements that erode, like crime, failing economy, legal abuse, neglect, and other facts of life around them that the people suffer/tolerate.

    Instead of giving refund hand outs to stop/slow the recession, I believe the Government should give out grants to people to become more self sustaning and build a buissness that will address the nations concerns like new/alternte energy sources, agriculture development, Housing programs, ect.

    To produce something people can afford in times of good or bad. Run away pricing of commodities is not the way to sustain a nation into progress, and small rebate/refund hand outs is not how to stave off recession/depression.

    Thank you.

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