Saturday, October 18, 2014

A third of nothin' is nothin'

Is an old adage of commercial fishermen.  It goes back to the way fishermen are paid. They get a percentage of the catch.

Of course, the bottom line for a fisherman is how much money he gets to take home after the trip is over and done with.

Back in the day I fished herring one season and had agreed to a 30% share because we were fishing a two man boat and I was not having a share fuel, bait or groceries deducted.

We didn't catch a lot of herring and as a result I worked for about six or eight weeks for under a grand when everything was over and done with. Fortunately I had no rent or other expenses to worry about at the time. I was living in a camper-trailer and the landowner let me stay there for free just to keep an eye on things.

Actually I took the job knowing I likely wouldn't make a whole lot of money but would get to see a lot of pretty good scenery. I have no regrets looking back on it. It was a wonderful spring and I got plenty of fresh air, exercise and a pretty good adventure out of the deal.

On the other hand I fished a halibut opening and was generously given a 10% crew share on a 5 man boat. The boat's share was 50% and the rest of us split the other 50% of the catch.

I did quite well on that trip because we caught a lot of fish.

I learned early that the newbies were the ones that worried about percentages. If you had half a clue you simply decided who to fish for by looking at the actual dollar amount of the checks the skipper wrote the crew.

I recall the time I was offered a fishing job from a skipper that didn't have a very good catch record. He offered me a 15% share which was considered generous. I didn't take the offer and later a friend of mine asked me why.

"Fifteen percent of nothin' is nothin'," I said.

Incidentally a job comercial fishing is not a job in the normal sense. It is an opportunity to make or lose money.  It is gamble, a real crapshoot. You can go out and make a fortune or come in broke.

Once I listened to the father of a college kid griping that it wasn't fair that his kid worked all summer and had so little for his season. I pointed out that had he made a fortune the skipper would not have put a cap on his income. He rolled the dice and lost. They don't give losers their money back in Las Vegas.

Fishing is one of the few places left where you can see that kind of opportunity. No minumun and no maximum.

A lot of people are masters of the snow job. A big piece of the pie sounds pretty good and may very well may be pretty good. 

It depends on the size of the pie.

While we're on the subject of percentages...

I have been a proponent of an across the board flat tax rate. There are a lot of people out there that say that the rich will be skating and not paying their fair share.

I have an answer for this: Pig's puckey.

Do the math.

Using ten percent as a figure for taxation this means that someone in the lower end that makes 25 grand a year will have to cough up $2500.

A guy in the upper middle making a hundred grand annually will pay $10,000 to Uncle Sam yearly.

A big shot that generated a million bucks for the year has to cough up $100,000. The rich guy will pay more, the poorer guy will pay less.

The guy making a million a year will wind up paying ten times as much as the guy making a hundred grand.

Sounds reasonable to me.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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