Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lottery Winners...and losers

SO the first question I had was - are they winning the 192 million power ball or is it just a measaly couple of mill from the local ticket?

Perhaps it matters less to my main characters because they don't pay taxes - one small benefit to being a mercenary on the wrong side of the law. On the other hand living a life like that tends to burn up cash:

Souped up Turbo- charged Humvee (With armor plating) - $187,000

Roof mounted rotary cannon or 7.62 mm minigun - $571,000

Doppler - side scan and vertical scan radar, $900,000

Advanced groiund to air missiles
(American) $3,000,000
(Russina) $1,200,000
(Chinese) $458.29 (Everything is cheeper when you make it in China.)

Ability to destroy your enemies on land, sea or air - Priceless

It ain't cheep being a top notch mercenary these days. To begin with, all the tin pot dictators of the world now EXPECT you to pay your own airfare into their little Banana Republic war zones. Used to be transportation was provided. Either you hopped a free shuttle or at least rode a dirty old bus with chickens and goats. But no more free rides, not even a car pool.

Also - wars have become BYOG events (Bring Your Own Gun) - and since you have no idea what anyone else is going to bring, you have to BYOA (Bring Your Own Ammunition) as well.

And then once you get there and fight and win there is far less payoff than before - once upon a time you got paid in gold or a share of the gems or oil that your blood, sweat and tears had secured. Thing is that kind of incentive is gone, for the most part its a flat hourly rate, and once they take out Medical (very costly for mercenaries), Dental ( same thing - a lot of teeth get busted out in bar fights), and Banana Republic taxes ( the bad countries not the semi -okay store) you barely come out ahead.

So if my characters were to win the Powerball I think they'd be okay and able to arm themselves for whichever coming struggle was actually coming at the time. And if they won the small lotto - well - all it gives em' is enough money to retire on. So I guess that's what they'd have to do.

Still want that Hummer though - I don't think you'd have to worry about anyone cutting you off on the highway.


Rebecca Cantrell said...

What a great list of prices! What catalog mailing lists are you on? I get stuff about knitting (sent my sister a knitting present once), computers, books, and weird allergy products. But never surface to air missiles. Clearly I'm ordering the wrong stuff.

Kelli Stanley said...

Geez, Graham--sounds like mercenaries are facing the same kinds of cutbacks as authors!! ;)

Wonderful post and very cool stuff!! :)

Graham Brown said...

Yes Becky - were talking something slightly more thn the Sky Mall catalogue. But I think its printed by the same people.

Graham Brown said...

Hey Kelli - unfortunately you are right. According to "Mercenary Today" magazine. Many of our most hardened soldiers of fortune are out of work or under-employed. Often picking up part time jobs in Sylvester Stallone movies. Its sad really.

Gabi said...

A regular shopping list complete with current price list. I think you should submit this to Soldier of Fortune magazine. It would prove invaluable to anyone thinking about their 2011 budget. Just because they work in a non-traditional profession, doesn't mean they don't pay taxes. Al Capone and Heidi Fleiss only went to the big house because they dodged the IRS. Their "daily activities" weren't their biggest problem. And everything on your list would be eligible for deduction or capital expenditure treatment on the old 1040.