For those who know me, and for those who don't, I just love a good Facebook conversation. Yes, because of a broken marriage I'm going through the typical financial situation as a result and I must admit to being somewhat stressed about it. Not to make an issue of my own personal issues, I reached the point where I went off on one of my friend's friends. She accused me of being selfish and childish because I, as a self-published author, am against taxes for libraries. She accused me of not caring about education or society. She accused me of having a temper tantrum. Here is my response:
"I AM having a tempter tantrum!
"In spite of the fact that I have been living my life as an honest man, all that I have ever worked for is gone except for three guitars, some clothes, some computers, books, and a broken down 1995 Chevy.
"I have never asked for anything from anybody that I haven't provided a fair and willing product or service in exchange for. Now I'm so surrounded by collectivist bloodsucking leeches who have no concept or consideration of individual human rights that I can't afford to live.
"Regarding libraries and authors, think it through. It's the worst possible business solution. Authors get, more or less, three dollars per copy. The library buys one. If five thousand people read it over the next several years that's three dollars for the author. The library has one book.
"However, if five thousand people each buy a book for themselves the author gets fifteen thousand dollars. And some of them, let's say a hundred, hypothetically, of the five thousand, might be persuaded to donate their copies to the library for the kids to read. They might even donate them to every school's library in the district.
"Fifteen thousand dollars would get my house out of foreclosure, make a down-payment on a new car, pay my child support, pay my medical bills or any number of other things that need done. With that money coming in I wouldn't have to work sixty hours a week just to keep my nose above water. Then I would have twenty hours a week to work on another book for another fifteen thousand dollars and free copies of that book could be donated to every library in an area of the country. Then I'd make more money for my own private donations to the education of my children and your grandchildren.
"So the situation is; by taxes, I'm paying sixty dollars a year (let's make that small) for a library, taken from me under threat of penalty of the law and being used against my will, to pay for my own competition, just to give people the option to buy less copies of my own books so that I will make less money. And still people call me selfish? Or childish for being angry about it?
"You are not alone. You recognize the current system sucks. It is the positive attitude that says, "by communicating and informing other people I can help foster the idea that something is wrong and change it; and I'm going to do so regardless of what names some people call me in their uncomprehending incivility." It is the negative attitude that says, "I can't do anything about it so I'll just remain silent so nobody calls me names."
"That the two of these concepts have become so confused is an indicator of how far our society has fallen and how much work we have to do to recover it."