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My opinion on debt has changed in the past few years... due, in no small part, to being in debt.

For a long time, yeah, that debt felt like sin. Those red numbers were a failing on my part, they represented insufficient work ethic and gluttonous indulgence and poor planning. Sure, I was making the required minimum monthly payments on my credit card, but I had a negative balance and I was bleeding away interest with every passing month. How irresponsible, how stupid, how low-class of me!

But, as I've come to learn, most humans on this rock have a negative balance of some sort. Many of the "richest" people you see are actually thousands (if not millions) in the hole, when you total everything up. Being rich isn't about the total amount of money you have. It's about what you can do.

Am I in the red? Yes I am. But if I lost my dayjob and somehow Patreon was outlawed tomorrow, I know I could keep the lights on and keep food on the table for a few months while I looked for a new employer. I feel financially secure, and that feeling of security allows me to do more things.

And y'know what? A lot of that feeling of security is due to being Canadian. I know if I get laid off or if I have a heart attack, the government's got my back. I feel wealthy because I live in a rich nation. I've often said that the wealth of a society is determined not only by the height of the ceiling, but by the depth of the floor. A few nice, cushy, overlapping social security nets promote risk-taking - new ventures, new businesses, new jobs. This comic right here is living proof.

Of course, I also feel that the average person having a negative net worth is unsustainable; a symptom of the decay of late-stage capitalism... but hopefully we can scare up some bread to offset that particular cumulative burn.


...too far of a reach with that metaphor?

(Tuesday night, INT: Capsaicin Lounge kitchen, ChA and GO are eating soup.)

ChA: To be honest, I only took this job because I was desperate. Got a lot of debt.
GO: Once again, join the club. We have a lot of club memberships in common.
ChA: I dunno. I always feel weirdly guilty about it. Like I'm failing at life, being in the red.
GO: Hey, fuck that, you are not failing. Everybody on the planet owes somebody something. You're in the red? You run hot, that's what that is.
GO: Say it with me now - I live life, I take chances, I run hot.
ChA: I live life, I take chances, I run hot.
GO: Again!
ChA: I live life, I take chances, I run hot!
GO: Hell yes.
GO: Take it from a successful small business owner, Ames - wealth isn't what you have, it's what you can do.
ChA (fanning mouth): Speaking of running hot, this soup's got one of those cumulative burns to it. Don't suppose we could scare up some bread to go with it?