It’s approximately 3:00 a.m. You can’t sleep, so you’re watching this infomercial. I’m here to tell you that you can win by losing. Yes, you, like me, can decide that if we’re not cut out for the Darwinian hell of America, we might as well cash in on our own terms. And those terms are what? Avoiding even attempting to make any cash, period. This inverse pyramid scheme is guaranteed to succeed with only one requirement on your part: dying before you can possibly repay your school loans. I know, it doesn’t sound very personally responsilityish, but let’s put that lie to rest.

My friend, whenever someone dares tell you, “Take personal responsibility for your own actions,” they’re really saying, “It’s all your fault.” But it’s not. Did you create the economy? No! End of story.

Now, understand that the American educational system is itself a Ponzi scheme…and you’re the ponce. That is, unless you work the educational system by not working. You see, the moment you sign up for school loans, you’ve volunteered to become a slave or, perhaps less offensively to everyone but yourself, a wage slave. Most of your wages will be going where? Right back to the banks that financed your education. Nice trick, eh?

Look at you now, lying in a layer of potato chips. You’re trapped. You’ve no employment opportunities. Someone stole the wheels from your trailer; you can’t even abandon your lot. How old are you, anyway? I’m guessing somewhere between 38 and 50. If younger, you’d most likely be passed out in a drunken stupor or on your way to one, rather than watching infomercials in a sober stupor.

Yes, you’ve heard the pitch before: “Better reeducate yourself, because one career per year just isn’t good enough anymore.” But, you think, “I’m too old for that.”

Bull’s eye! Here’s how we’ll invert that pyramid we’ve been enlisted to build and which we shall deconstruct at our leisure. You see, if you enroll in school and continue with the goal of a PhD, you’ll very likely die before you even come close to completing your education. What’s that mean? Well, my friend, it means that unless you’re stupid enough to take out private loans, you won’t even sack your lovely mate with debt because it’s non-transferable. You’ll take your improved brains and increased debt to the grave, having benefited no one.

“Wait one second,” you say. “That’s unethical. Shouldn’t I use my education to better society?”

Listen to me. Better a loan than a dream deferred. You’re going to defer your entire life. In doing so, you can do all sorts of things between online classes, even be creative, which will earn you even less money. That spells “freelance employee” tax deductions! And, unlike moneymakers, you’re not harming anyone. You benefit society by virtue of lacking virtue. Now you’re playing Monopoly, but you’re playing by your rules. Everyone’s money gets pooled on the parking spot, where you park your little silver car. And you’re not going anywhere. Not for a lousy 200 dollars and another trip past Baltic Avenue.

Still putting up a fight? I can practically hear you thinking, “But what about the taxpayers I’m sticking my debt to?”

What about them? There’s nothing to stop them from exploiting opportunity. Isn’t that what America’s all about, exploiting opportunity?

Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, unleash those bootstraps, and take your damn boots off. For God’s sake, why wear boots when you don’t do anything and you’re not going to do anything?

I’ve now supplied the solution to your problems. You will educate yourself to death. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but not as terrible as time wasted rolling “beef” into tacos at $9 an hour. There’s a sucker born every minute, but there’s also a sucker reborn every minute. Baptize yourself in a nice, long, hot bath and get ready for a good night’s sleep because you, friend, are going to be an intelligent, well-informed corpse, and all you have to do to get there is consume a high-fat diet…just to be safe.

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PAUL A. TOTH's Airplane Novel, already a Midwest Book Review Reviewer's Choice and the 9/11 novel, is available now. His other novels include Finale, Fishnet and Fizz. Click here to visit his sites.

17 responses to “I’m in the Business of Not Making Money, and I’m Succeeding!”

  1. Simon Smithson says:

    “Everyone’s money gets pooled on the parking spot, where you park your little silver car. And you’re not going anywhere. Not for a lousy 200 dollars and another trip past Baltic Avenue.”

    I love this game and I want to play!

  2. Paul A. Toth says:

    Don’t worry, you’re playing it whether you want to or not! That’s why I say play by the rules under which you were born. Become the economic equivalent of a card counter in Vegas. Better yet, don’t go to the casino at all…the entire nation is nothing if not a well-disguised casino. The game is rigged, and the only steady winners operate the casino, though we, of course, can’t see them.

    And never forget: Don’t be a People Person; be a You Person!

  3. Irene Zion says:

    Write me a story, Paul.
    I love your stories.
    Anger eats away at your soul.

  4. Paul A. Toth says:

    Oh, you don’t get me, Irene. There’s no way to display a tongue in cheek thingy — what do you call them? Oh, yeah, emoticons. We need a tongue-in-cheek emoticon. Can somebody help me out here? I need a tongue-in-cheek emoticon to post at the beginning of certain pieces. I’ll pay you in free copies of my novels, since they might as well be free.

  5. And if you get bored of that whole going to school thingy, there’s always the Peace Corps so you can take a break. Trust me, I’ve looked into every possible way to avoid being a responsible adult. I’m succeeding at it too!

  6. Paul A. Toth says:

    Excellent thinking! I may just do that. And you raise another point that I didn’t. If you purchase the entire kit for just $2,785.32, you receive:

    * 200 DVD’s explaining the system.
    * 450 Easy-to-read pamphlets.
    * 700 Reinforcement and Affirmation CD’s that you can listen to on your way to not going to work.
    * A one-week stay in Honolulu for an in-person conference with yours truly (travel costs and accommodations and food and beverages not included).

    But I’ll throw in the advice I neglected FREE: Make sure you choose your useless educational path with care, because there IS a federal loan ceiling. Don’t hit the ceiling until you’re close to the dirt.

  7. Paul Clayton says:

    Darn Paul,

    You’re bringing me down. After I just took out a third mortgage on my house – which is worth one-fifth of what my loan is – to go to Maurice Jones’ On-Line University to earn a PHD in Video Rental Clerkship (Curse you, Netflix!)… Now my career path is strewn with pools of vomit and the occasional McDonald’s wrapper and Coke bottle. Geez!

  8. Paul A. Toth says:

    Dear Paul:

    I’m truly sorry you picked what seemed to be an employable career path; that was your first mistake. Secondly, you should have dragged out your education. Go half-time; many universities consider that full-time in terms of federal funding, and half-time is better than playing the game.

    I know it’s too late for you, Paul, but to my other viewers, PLEASE choose non-career paths that are unlikely to disappear no matter how useless they may be in the real world. Rather than Rental Clerkship — though I do admire Paul’s lack of ambition — he should have chosen something like philosophy or literature. In other words, pick something society pretends to admire while dismissing it as elitist nonsense. Repeat after me: “I AM an elitist, and I’m too good to work.”

  9. Toshi N. Casey says:

    Testimonal: This pre-converted, non-working ponze says, “Hell yeah it works!”

  10. Paul A. Toth says:

    That’s right: IT works and YOU don’t! And if you recruit further comments to this page, I’ll toss in FREE (+$99 shipping and handling) the 65 DVD seminar set that explains why you shouldn’t post articles explaining that you’re essentially using federal loans to avoid working and planning to die before repaying those loans.

  11. Lorna says:

    “There’s nothing to stop them from exploiting opportunity. Isn’t that what America’s all about, exploiting opportunity?”

    Sadly, yes, it seems to be the new American way.

  12. Paul A. Toth says:

    Today, I saw in the grocery store the cover of, I think, Newsweek: “AMERICA’S BACK!” Back to what, exactly? The gilded classes may be back, but nobody I know is. “America: It’s Back and Ready to Sodomize Until the Next Bailout!”

  13. Jude says:

    Power to the people! Revolution! I like it!

  14. kristen says:

    I, too, feel done w/ “personally responsilityish.” What a bother. Count me in.

    Also, I like this bit of writing. Thanks for the Tuesday afternoon lift.

  15. Paul A. Toth says:

    Thanks, Kirsten! Any friend of Girl Scout cookies is a friend of mine!

    Please make a note of the new slogan:

    When debtors’ prisons return, and they will, I shall happily serve as your Jean-Paul Marat. Until then, throw that debt in the garbage can!

  16. Kristina says:

    With Quick Cash Advances, it is quite simple to make an application for credit and obtain approved.
    Naturally, each short-term loan provider might have supplemental qualifications specific
    to their institution.

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