It has come to my attention that many people enjoy arguing with me. Unfortunately, my time is a limited commodity. I run a luxury catsitting business, I co-manage an arts nonprofit, I pursue a number of artistic endeavors (writing, film, performance, etc.), and volunteer for a number of community organizations. I also occasionally like to eat, sleep, watch Netflix, go party with burlesque dancers and carnies–you know, live life.
I have many opinions that I enjoy sharing with others, but invariably someone disagrees with what I have said (note: these people are wrong). Or wonders if I had considered a different aspect to the issue (spoiler alert: I have already considered all aspects that they are planning to bring up). Or is curious if I have citations on the issue (dear curious: the citations are right there–the little highlighted parts called links. Just. click. on. them.)
Often these online arguments go on and on with no end in sight. Sometimes it is matter of slight differences in opinion. Other times it is a divergence in overall philosophy.
For instance, I find myself most frustrated by libertarians because our fundamental worldviews cannot be reconciled. My essential belief is that old people, sick people, and children deserve to be alive, and well-regulated public programs (like Medicare) are the best way to assist these populations. Libertarians believe that there is some free-market/volunteer solution that would magically happen if the government would just leave everyone alone, already. While the free market is great for things like pizza and smartphones, it is not particularly effective in offering social services.
So this presents a conundrum. I want to assist readers who are just asking questions, but that would leave me little time for anything else. So I have come up with a solution:
Pay me to reply to your questions about my blog.
I am stone-cold serious. I have a PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org, and my fee schedule is as follows (all prices are subject to change):
Extra citation links = $1 per link
Single sentence reply = $5
Short paragraph = $25
Longer paragraph (with citations) = $40
3-point essay (with citations, opening and closing statements) = $250
Note: all replies will be posted publicly, so no, you are not getting away with me writing your college paper for you.
This really seems to be the most equitable way of handling this situation. This way I’m being fair to my readers who want to learn more, but in a way that respects my time as a freelance educator.
Free market, y’all!
(BTW, I am not the first to have come up with this idea, but, of course, I can no longer find the other blogs that have an “argument clinic” fee schedule. If I find them, I will link.)