This was written by a good friend of mine down in Florida. She has a right to her opinion as do you. Remember to respect her views, as you want yours respected. Be opinionated without being rude, disrespectful, or just plain hurtful.
Now, enjoy her post:
Hi there friends- I just wanted to share a lesson learned—it’s a multifaceted realization that I wanted to share w/ my friends – so perhaps you’ll take something from it as well…Or perhaps not… perhaps you disagree…
In a conversation over politics w/ a family member (cousin) a debate ensued. I was sharing my disgust for our G. Bush & she was sharing her love for him. She was saying she felt safe w/ him in power & she was worried that the dissent among the public was going to make the majority vote for a democrat.
I delve deeper into her feelings- by safe she didn’t mean the war…she meant financially. She stated that she has grown much more conservative over the years (she’s our age) and now she has much more money than she had when she was 20 or so. She feels safe because she’s free to funnel that money into whatever she needs to – and one day she will be rich (her words). I was so disgusted by the conversation. This is my underlying reason for not liking our current presidential administration in the first place--- big business is protected, big money is protected, and the American people are being pushed aside- not even taken into consideration.
So, I didn’t say much to her after that… I’ve just been pondering the whole thing for over a week now. To me, she represents so many people of our country. Her family income is about the same as mine. But- she doesn’t work…her husband makes all the money.
Let’s compare household mentality:
In my household both Chad and I work very hard. Also, we are concerned about leaving financial security for our kids & for our retirement. So, we went into a major saving strategy- saved for our home & got it, we save for our retirement, we have college funds for the kids- etc. And we live comfortably but not over board… we take perhaps 1 vacation a year but then throughout the year we go visit family here & there, take mini trips- maybe a weekend at the beach, a camping trip, a canoe trip…things like that… and we plan on living in this house for some time. It’s fine…it’s a nice house on a nice piece of property, we’re adding our special touches to it…but we got a steal on it & have a nice low mortgage payment and want to keep it that way…we also have 1 car-
Now- her on the other hand… doesn’t save much- but spends a lot…they take 4-5 big vacations per year(this year they did skiing in vale, trip to Bahamas, trip to Mexico, few others cant recall), have 2 nice/new cars, have moved 4 times in the last 5 years (started w/ a condo, then had a house built then flipped it 6 months later, then moved into another house – lived there 1 year & sold it, now are in the mini mc mansion – paying almost $500K for the house in the gated community on the golf course)…so their kid gets into the best public schools…no big deal right- it’s their life & they are making choices that work for them and their family. That’s the beauty of America … make money, spend money…
However this is where it gets disconcerting….this is how most people in America live. So many people out there worry only about themselves- having the nice cars, having the bigger house every few years, chasing after whatever it is they are chasing… biggie sizing their lives… and no concern is being paid to the issues facing our society. The make money spend money philosophy doesn’t just affect that individual family—these are voters who go out and vote for whomever is going to protect their pockets…so it does affect all of us. Do we go on living our life & electing officials who protect our interests only- or do us try to plan a society w/ dignity, values, and morals. We have so many social issues at hand in our country that have been ignored the past 8 years because big interest & deep pockets have paid hefty prices & lobbied hard to keep the issues buried.
I told you I’ve been thinking about this for days…it really has perplexed me. I just have been trying to figure out why 51% of our population voted for Bush the 2nd time and how we’ve let our country be taken over by this mentality of just living life to make more money and ignoring everything else going on around us. Then, I started just thinking about my cousin and myself… we were raised in the same family—came from similar backgrounds- went to the same college- had many of the same friends- yet had some very fundamental differences in our upbringing… so—here’s where the lessons are learned for me… as a mom- I need to remember this- and be sure to instill these values to my kids. As much as I’ve complained about things my parents did in raising me I realize not all of it is in vain.
I was raised in a relatively poor environment- my dad had me young (raised me alone) and was still attending school (community college) when I was growing up. He even took me to class with him occasionally if he didn’t have a sitter – I was about 4 years old at that time….so he finished school and got a job and I watched as he worked his ass off to raise me. I was 9 years old when he bought his first house. I went from living w/ him and my grandma & getting hand me downs from my aunts & shopping at consignment stores…to living in our own house, having a nice car, getting new clothes…etc. I learned the value of money the hard way…I watched my dad earn it from start to finish. I paid my way thru college, worked my ass off… started off dirt poor after graduating college, had to hustle and find a job, worked hard…saved money- bought my first house… I still understand the value of money. I know what it takes to make money- I know how quickly it can be gone… I know money isn’t everything-
My cousin… her dad worked his ass off to provide her everything. Her mom stayed home. They didn’t have too much money- but they had a house, her mom would overspend… I remember her mom & dad fighting because she spent all their grocery money on toys & clothes for her. Her mom bought her everything she wanted… new clothes, new toys at whatever the cost. Being late on mortgage and spending food money didn’t matter- as long as she had whatever she wanted. She was given a new car at 16. They paid her way thru college- she dropped out of many classes at one point and almost quit school- but she started back again. They paid all of her expenses while she wasn’t attending school as well as when she was in. After graduation her husband’s mom gave them money to put down on their first condo… Her mom secretly paid her car payment because she couldn’t afford to buy the new red Honda that she wanted on her own.
There’s so many other things having to do w/ work ethic & learning the value of money… that I could go on and on…
But I really think that is the fundamental difference and that is how -when kids aren’t taught those lessons- it so easy for them to grow up and just not understand how hard it really is to make money… and that is why its so easy to let big business run things – & ignore our social issues. Because not many people understand the cycle of being a poor working class or middle class citizen in this country. Thankfully I’m not poor. Thankfully I broke that cycle. I can afford groceries, dinners out, 2 cars if we wanted, a bigger house if we wanted, the newest trendiest clothes if I wanted, etc… but the fact that I came from that background and had to earn what I have I realize it’s not that important. And it makes me sympathetic to those parents who have no choice but to put their kids in public school- so I’m concerned about our education system.
I’m sympathetic to the ?% of our population who work hard & yet can barely make ends mends and cant afford health care…and I’m concerned about those sick people who do have insurance but the treatments they need aren’t covered. And I’m concerned that we’re a nation of over fed & undernourished children & adults. I’m concerned that we are raising such an over abundance of cattle that the nitrogen is polluting our rivers and contributing to the ozone depletion, and I’m concerned that although these heavily addictive & under studied & not recommended for under 18 years of age psychotropic drugs are being prescribed to kids as young as 5 years old… and the list could go on and on….and if you look closely at many of these issues- you’ll find big business lobbying behind them.
Ok I’m done…guess I need to write a blog or something. Writing is carthartic for me. I’ve been pondering this for sometime…and had to get it out in an organized format.
One little side note that I heard on Oprah that now has me a little scared… thinking in the back of my mind… Einstein said that if there were no bees- that civilization would only last 4 years after they disappeared…hmmmm. Scary to think – what if he was right??
Sidenote #2…I thought I was among a small minority who feel the American dream is dead and big business has taken over…I just found out I’m not!! There is an author who has a new book out on this topic & I’m waiting impatiently for it to arrive in my mailbox… called “The Shock Doctrine”… I’ll let u know how it is… perhaps you’ll want to read it sometime.
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