Have a GREAT imaginary proposal for y’all today ;)
I was talking to an old friend last night about all the random hustles he’s done over the years (eBay flipping, acting, design work) when out of the blue he told me he was once asked if he wanted to be a part of a heist.
“A heist??” I blurted out. “As in, robbing a bank? And get away cars and going to jail when you’re all caught??”
“Yes – that type of heist. Only it wasn’t a bank, and there’s no way we would have got caught.” – He cockily (word?) shot back.
Thankfully we’ll never know because he didn’t end up going for it, but it did lead us down that fun path of what we’d both be willing to do – and not do – in general for money. And particularly a LOT of it. This is when I put on my creative pants and asked if he’d be willing to go to jail *for an entire year* but at the end of it get rewarded with a million dollars in cold hard cash :)
His response was immediate with an “Of course!”
To which I followed with, “Um, HELL. NO.”
For one, I’d probably die on the first day out of sheer panic alone, but even if I survived and didn’t become someone’s bitch in the process (also a high level of certainty) I wouldn’t be able to leave my boys for a year and miss out on that thing called LIFE. The money could help make up for a lot of that of course, but as my wife chimed in when I presented the same question to her – “A million dollars wouldn’t change our quality of life much.”
Which is true in a weird way. If we were given a million dollars today it would literally all go into investments and not affect our lifestyle a bit. On the other hand, a large sum of money like that would shave off YEARS of work down the line, if not decades?, so technically you’d be saving a lot more time in the end when everything’s considered. And you may even be able to retire upon your release! You’d definitely be accustomed to living on less, that’s for sure! ;)
My friend, on the other hand, looked at it more like a research project and felt he was scrappy enough to make it out without a hitch. He also doesn’t have kids or a wife or anyone else to “report to” (nor even a full-time job), so in theory it wouldn’t affect anyone else but himself.
So to spice it up, I then asked if his answer would change if everyone in the jail KNEW he’d be receiving this money too? Because to me that just solidifies my answer even more because the risk levels at that point just shoot through the roof. I always assume the worst when taking on additional risk, however for my friend it only seemed to excite him more:
“I’d use it to get the biggest cell on the block, and then buy my own security while there so no one can mess with me. Everyone would love me! And it would probably only cost about $300,000, leaving me with $700k in the end. “
While he forgets the money doesn’t come until *after* he served his time, something tells me it still wouldn’t work out as smoothly.
At any rate, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all night, so I figured I’d release the question unto you and further help augment my fascination :)
So… Would you take a million bucks in return for one year of prison life? And would it change if everyone there knew you’d be getting this million upon release? For arguments sake, let’s assume a) it’s a million in cash – no strings or taxes attached, and b) you’d be sent off to a medium-secured prison. So not a minor crimes one, but also not a maximum security.
And if those questions are still too easy, try swapping in “solitary confinement” instead and see if that changes your mind :) I could probably deal with that a lot better, but how I’d be feeling upon release would be an entirely different situation, haha… You could literally go insane! And what good would a million dollars be then?
The crazy part is that thousands of people DO go to jail for a lot less money than that, and for a lot longer time than just a year too. So you can’t help but feel blessed just to have the freedom you and I already have regardless of our current financial situations!
Freedom of life trumps freedom of anything else!
PS: If you like questions like these, check out our whole “would you rather” series :)
[Photo by jariceiii]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!