The reason the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in the city on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes "Boots" theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
— Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett.
I've been reminded of this quote again this morning, and it's not just because my first pair of Doc Martens – which illustrated this point so well through my final year of high school – really are giving out (the gaping hole in the side is your first clue). The LJ Permanent Account sale went on today.
I've been on LJ for six and a half years now. I've been a paid account holder for about five of those years. This means that, were a permanent account purchased at the beginning of that time, it would have very nearly paid for itself already.
I had been planning on buying a permanent account. I use LJ a fair bit. I'm probably likely to still be here in six years' time; it would certainly be useful not to have to renew my paid account in a year, and the exchange rate is pretty good at the moment. The thing is ...
The thing is, my last car service cost me over $800. We're thinking about getting rid of said car, but before we do, we're going to have to get the side panel beaten out, and the last few repairs made. I dread to think what that will cost. And the $800 was all of my savings of the time. If I had that money in reserve, I'd buy one without a second thought. But I have about half of that, now, carefully built up over the last while. And I owe the house about as much money as I have in savings. I am going to be working for my mum next Tuesday, which will help, as I get paid well there.
I only make $240 per week. I was supposed to be supplementing this with freelance editing, but Mark hasn't given me another editing job since I finished the puberty book. So: $240. With the exchange rate, a permanent account would cost me $180.
Dammit, I really, really want one. And if I had a better paying job, I'd snap one up. Oh, well, I have a few more days to twist myself up about this. But for the moment, no perm account for me. At least I have a roof over my head, food, a fridge to keep it in, and internet access. This still makes me one of the richest people in the world.