Friday, May 30, 2014

Balancing a budget

I have a question for you all, and I'm hoping that you'll be able to answer it the way that I tend to answer.

First off, when you pay your bills, and balance your budget, do you figure into your budget how much you're planning on spending the following pay period? And does that amount increase exponentially each pay period?


You mean you look for ways to cut back on extra expenses, and then you make your payments in order to get your budget and finances on track, right?

Why can't our nation figure this one out?

I mean, it's a noble gesture for any campaigning president to say that they aren't going to raise taxes, and that the middle class isn't going to bear the brunt of the repayment of our deficit.

The truth of the matter is far from noble, though.

Tough times call for tough actions. I don't like the thought of having to pay more in taxes, but I dislike having to pay in perpetuity the expenditures that our nation keeps piling on itself year after year.

Our budget keeps growing, we keep spending, and we don't look to try to balance anything out. But we will make promises about not raising taxes, or having the middle class carry the burden of helping pay back what we owe.

Let's get real here.

We need to take steps to get out of financial ruin, and in order to do that, each class is going to have to face some ugly factors.

The rich folks are going to be taxed quite heavily. So are large corporations. Not only that, but these corporations are not going to be able to "sharehold" these expenses to their subscribers, so this means that the high-end jobs are going to take a serious paycut, and some low-end jobs could be lost.

The middle class is going to have to pay more as well. There's no getting around it. About 70% of the income in this nation is done by the middle class, and if you're going to cut out 70% of your earned income before trying to pay bills, you might as well use an eyedropper to fill a 50 gallon fishtank. It's not going to happen within anyone's lifetime.

Lastly, the lower class is going to have to take some hits as well. Food stamps need to be cut down. Welfare needs to decrease. We need more stringent guidelines for all folks with state or government assistance, just to make sure that they really DO need the assistance, and aren't just trying to skate by doing as little as possible, and getting the most that they can.

Put these steps into practice, and you're not going to be very popular, but you will get the job done.

The problem is that for the job to get done, you're going to have to become the villan, and villans don't tend to get additional time in office.

This is why no political official is EVER going to be able to get our deficit brought under control.

We like having power, and we like being in places of prestige. How can you have either of those if you upset the folks who put you there in the first place?

Then you have issues like Detroit having to declare bankruptcy. Yup, the motor city looks like it's going to have to get reposessed. Sure, the inner city looks nice, thanks to the millionaires who have funnelled enough cash into the city to make the areas where they live and work look really good. However, the rest of the city looks like photos from a demilitarized zone.

Did you know that it takes almost an hour for police to show up for an emergency call in Detroit?

That means you can get a pizza delivered faster than emergency services!

We need to start deputizing pizza delivery drivers, so that we can not only feed these folks, but also have protection in 30 minutes or less!

Then the most amazing thing I found about this was that the major car production facilities in this great city have had record-setting years financially, and are not about to try to help "bail out" the city they call home!

I just don't get it.. Do you?

Truth.. Well, sort of!

Time for truth!

Well, at least truth as I see it. You all get to read my opinion, and if I choose, I might read your responses. However, there aren't many folks who read my blog anymore, since blogging seems to be a dead art form. Anyway, it's still a really REALLY good way for me to exorcise my demons, and not go completely postal on an unsuspecting public..

Speaking of which.. Who truly believes that video game violence begets even more violence?

I don't. I believe that we all make choices. Some are good. Some bad. Some folks make choices and because of their upbringing or family station have an impact on many more lives than others.

To me, it's more about a lack of morality and accountability rather than a game or mental stress.

Check that. I think mental stress might be a good and valid reason. If someone else stresses me out today, there might be an added goodie in my trunk when I head home tonight!


I feel that a lack of active parenting and teaching of strong and ethical morals is the leading cause of our troubles right now.

Back when I was growing up, my grandparents raised me so that both my mom and dad could work to support the house and family. Because of this, I have a perspective that is older than my years can actually credit or account for. I have plenty of people my age who keep wondering where my "old soul" opinions and beliefs come from.

I believe in hard work. I believe that if you do a job, you do it to the best of your ability, and get it done right the first time instead of planning on coming back and fixing things "later".

I believe in the "spare the rod, spoil the child" mentality. I choose to believe that negative reinforcement in parenting is a very effective tool. It doesn't work for all children, but for about 90% it was quite efficient. The other 10% needed something more creative. The problem is that we as humans want a "fix-it-all" solution, and then try to apply it to any and every situation instead of evaluating the situation, and making adaptations to our actions to tailor it to our needs.

It's like giving a hammer to a caveman, and then wondering why he's also trying to use the hammer to kill flies, mosquitos, fleas, and lice... He complains because either he can't hit them, or he hurts himself, and we're to blame because we gave him the hammer!

What is up with this overwhelming drive to raise the minimum wage?

I don't get it. Minimum wage was set in place so that folks who had no skills could get a job, improve their skills, and get a better paying job. NOT stay at the same entry-level job and expect to support themselves and a family!

When I started working, the minimum wage was $2.50. I did inventory work, because the shop owner who hired me couldn't stand numbers and stocking. I was very good at it, and was even able to make use of an early computer program to get an early database started for his store inventory.

Did I expect to make a living counting bags and cans?

Absolutely not.

I did take the skills I learned while doing this job to get another office job at a larger supermarket. From there, accounting and payroll skills came my way. And so I learned and grew. I didn't just sit on my hands and expect my boss to want to pay me more and more to do the same job over and over again. THAT IS JUST LAZY.

I know lazy. Trust me. I can be as lazy as anyone when you give me the chance! I just choose to NOT be lazy when my income and livelihood depend on how well I apply myself to my work.

If we were to increase the minimum wage, we then start to de-value those people who have done everything they can to improve their situation. Why would I pay some college whiz-kid $20 to work when I can have some snot-nosed high-school teen do the same job for $15? If I don't like the work, I can recycle plenty of teens, and still save myself that $20 an hour position..

What does that say for the folks who have worked for me for years, have been getting regular increases, and then find that they are making barely more than the new kids I brought in off the street? Do you honestly think that companies are going to increase wages across the board to make things "fair"? I don't. I bet you wages will stay RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE, and folks who were making a decent living will suddenly be scraping by, starting at square one again trying to work up the ladder, while the new kids sit back, and expect us to pay them just for giving another body at the workplace.

Where did this sense of self-entitlement come from?

I don't know, but this is yet one more disturbing trend that I am seeing, and it really bothers me.

I have come to terms with my grief!

I know, I know.. Big surprise, right?

It is for me.

I have never been good at expressing my feelings to people in person. I can rant and rave anonymously to perfect strangers about very personal things in my life, but I can't hardly give a differing opinion to someone I know about dinner selections. I'm just a very easy-going individual when it comes to going with the flow.

Tell you what. You go ahead and raise the minimum wage. I'll sit at home on unemployment, expect you to pay me, and pretend I'm killing you all on my newest video game first person shooter.

How's that grab ya?