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Parable Of A Good Man; Do You Know Him?

July 13, 2011

Current Events, Financial

There once was a man. A good man. A kind and generous man. He regularly gave money and gifts to friends and family. Some even said he was generous to a fault, giving more than he could actually afford. But he gave out of the goodness of his heart.

Despite his generosity, many did not like the man. They did not like what he said or what he did. They criticized him in private and sometimes in public . All the while accepting his gifts and his acts of service.

Overtime the man’s own appetite grew. His spending on himself and his family and his friends increased year-over-year. Those close to the man, and those who loved him dearly, began to question his spending habits.

Eventually the man found it difficult to make ends meets. He began financing a lot of his purchases, but continued his lavish lifestyle and generosity. Many thought he had lost the discipline that had made him a great man in the first place.

The man would routinely go to his boss and ask for a raise to help pay for his spending. Sometimes he would get get it. Often he would not. His boss grew weary of being asked for a raise and grew skeptical of the man’s ability to manage money.

Undeterred, the man went to his creditors and asked for more and more credit. Eventually even his creditors became worried.

Those whom he had helped, those who had been the recipients of the man’s generosity, did not look favorably upon him, for his gifts sometimes came with strings attached or even bullying.

Finally his boss and his creditors had had enough. They refused to allow him more money. Panicked, the man began living from his emergency reserves, the food and money he’d saved.

And the friends and family of the man shook their heads and wondered what it happened to this great man.

Do you know this man?

America, this man is you.

A Look In The Mirror

It wasn’t very long ago that America was hard-working, industrious, and benevolent toward its citizens and allies. America, and in particular Americans, expected to work hard to provide for themselves. We had a pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-boot-straps mentality. We didn’t expect the government to take care of us; we expected to care for ourselves as individuals and collectively as communities. We were generous toward others who had fallen down on their luck. And the government reflected those values.

But, that seems to have changed over the past fifty years. We now expect the federal government to take care of us. Spending on entitlements has grown unbounded since 1970. Our national debt has skyrocketed. If you break the national debt down per person – how much every person would have to pay to pay down the debt – every man, woman, and child in America owes over $42,000 each. That’s staggering.

The federal government is not behaving the way our founding fathers envisioned or intended. It’s a massive bureaucratic behemoth with an unyielding appetite.

Currently, two of the three branches of the government are arguing about raising the debt ceiling. Again. Recently the U.S. dipped into its strategic oil reserves to stem off the effects of a decreased amount on the world market. We’re trying to borrow more money while dipping into our rainy-day fund.

Like it did fifty years ago, the federal government today reflects the average American family. But now it’s not quite so pleasant of an image – it’s living beyond its means, struggling to stay afloat amidst massive amounts of debt. Yet unwilling to curb its spending habits by making hard financial decisions.

It’s Not Too Late

America is still a great country. Its citizens enjoy freedoms and liberties like few other places. It’s no wonder that people around the globe still come to America for its opportunity.

It’s not too late. America can return to the values upon which the country was founded. It can return to the sense of independence and hard-work that helped it to become a great Super-Power.

We can once again make this country the land of the free and the home of the brave.

But as Ronald Reagan once said: “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” We must look to ourselves and say “enough is enough.”

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9 Comments on “Parable Of A Good Man; Do You Know Him?”

  1. Jarhead Survivor Says:

    You nailed this one. I’ve been saying right along your best bet is to become debt free. I’d like to see our country do the same, but there will have to be some kind of MASSIVE shake up in order to steer our politicians away from the crazy spending they do.

    Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Thanks Jarhead! I don’t know if the country mirrors the individuals or the individuals are mirroring what congress is doing. In either case, something’s got to give or things will be bleak for us all.

      Reply

  2. scrambo Says:

    its definitely a symbiotic relationship sooner or later the host will die though and then what

    Reply

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