14 September 2011

Humpday Happenings...
Because of last week's fun time at the courthouse, I neglected to post a military quote, so THIS week, we have a "twofer".
So, with any further delay....time once again for "WHO SAID THAT?"
1) "If man does not find the solution for world peace, it will be the most revolutionary reversal of his record we have ever known."
(hint - got nothing to do with the Revolutionary War)
2) "The price of greatness is responsibility."
(hint - it's the 20th century)
* * * * *
And there we go...off to the races.
Answers will be posted at the top to tomorrow's post.
Now, onto less interesting fare...
*** Remember the saying "It's the economy, stupid" ?
Well, we can take it from off the mantle, and dust that little adage back off, because the new POVERTY figures have come out.
Now I KNOW that we will always have poor people...
The Bible says as much in the Gospels (Mark 14:7, John 12:8, Matthew 26:11) as well as in the OLD Testament (Deut 15:11), so I take that to be fact.
"God said it, I believe it, and that settles it", as we used to say.
But, the lines have been sadly BLURRED when we think to DEFINE what poverty really IS in America.
I've belabored the point HERE all too often, decrying those that "game the system" in order to keep doing nothing in life, at the cost of those honestly IN NEED.
And our government keeps shovelling tons of money (read hundreds of BILLIONS) into the furnace of "public assistance", with obviously NO appreciable difference in the statistics. If anything, the situation is worsening.
We could blame it ALL on the "economy", and we'd be correct in doing so, considering the precarious state this nation finds itself, as well as the rest of the world. We should not thrust ALL the blame on our economy, however.
Much of the blame rests squarely upon the shoulders of our very own government, who has seen fit to keep tossing good money after bad all these years (since Johnson's declaration on the War on Poverty back on 8 January 1964 and his Economic Opportunity Act).
And how's that been working out both for this nation's economy as well as for those in poverty, hmm?
We have MORE folks on the dole than ever, and in one of the MOST prosperous nations on the whole damn planet, I have to ask HOW COME?
America has MORE opportunity than any other country, and that means ANYONE with the gumption and drive can succeed...if they so choose.
What about those that don't "want" to succeed...?
They certainly don't FEEL like failing, do they?
Hell no, and that's why the government has stepped in to "guide" them through life, holding their hand at the expense of those who ARE trying their damnedest to better themselves and make something OF themselves.
The government constantly attempts to "level the field", and I for one, am damn sick and tired of hearing that hackneyed phrase!
The field has BEEN level...for a long time, and NO amount of "landscaping" is gonna change that, got it?
Here is the source article that refers to the new poverty figures across America:
And here is the link to Indiana's ranking:
I find it interesting that the Hoosier state has hit a THIRTY-YEAR high in poverty levels.
I suppose it has to do with the CARTER YEARS?
It did take Reagan a little while to iron out THAT mess.
Yet, we can't blame it all on the democrats. Republicans have added to the mix over time, and not done much to REDUCE poverty levels or the shameful amount of money being dumped into ALL the assistance programs (last count was around 400)!
We can trace much of this back to the era when America began moving away from being a manufacturing society, to one of information-gathering (late 60s through mid 70s). That was when we started to see OUR jobs head out of the country in droves.
And the labor unions pretty much stood the hell around, still raking in the dues, when they SHOULD have been trying to keep the jobs HERE.
These were the same unions that wound up raising pay scales for their workers, basically pricing them OUT of the market here.
And cheap labor was still to be found in Asia, and South America, so the unions cut off their noses to spite their faces.
I saw this happen at my Dad's place of work.
But companies had to turn a profit in order to survive...and that is always the bottom line.
Ever wonder WHY the price of a new car has RISEN from decade to decade?
It's the cost of LABOR that demands it.
Now, take this back further into the fields that grow our sustenance (plants or animals)...the workers and farm owners want to be paid MORE as well, so they RAISE the price of the foods they produce, and THAT cost is passed along to the (union) workers being paid more to PROCESS the foods, which cost more in turn, as they wind up on our shelves.
A very vicious circle has been created, and there is NO easy way to keep it from spinning faster, or from growing larger.
Add to this the amounts we EXPORT, which depletes what WE have available here, and other sundry additions, like alternative fuel (ethanol), and we actually wind up with a DEFICIT crop of corn, for example.
And you have to consider natural effects on growing seasons...(floods, droughts, etc), and you have a further depletion, with the expected RISE in costs, which keeps the "circle" intact and growing.
It's little wonder we have MORE "poor people"...but we should understand the TRUE MEANING of poor to be able to read between the lines of articles like the aforementioned above.
Poverty level is $22K and change for a family of four.
Hell, I used to MAKE that much a year decades ago...and when added to my father's paycheck, didn't make our family of THREE any "richer".
Then again, we weren't in any way living off the government (read taxpayers).
When you add in ALL the available programs and monies TO that family of four with the $22K, you can often wind up in the $50K range (or higher)...
Are they STILL considered POOR then?
According to the "bottom line" they are...still making less than that $22K a year.
I swear you can give yourself a damn aneurysm if you try to figure it out, and I think it's DESIGNED to be that way.
We are not "meant" to know much about any of this.
That is our greatest weakness now...the lack of knowing.
But, we can change that...starting now.
We can educate ourselves as to what IS going on, and perhaps effect some sort of change for the better.
I never claim to have ANY of the answers required, but when enough of us begin to question things, that will be the starting point we all need.
Remember, it's better to be poor in finances than poor in character OR spirit.
Money is a tool, and if used as designed will serve you well. Misuse it, and it will hurt.
Character is something we can't go out and work 40 hrs a week to obtain, nor can we drop into a deli and order up a 1/2 pound of it, thinly-sliced..
We have to WORK at it...all the time.
We BUILD character...we hone it into sharpness, and we use it to cut through the veil of deception.
And THIS is the best nation to accomplish that feat.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Momma Fargo said...

I'm feeling the poverty, Bob G.

Great post. One of your finest assessments.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:

We really DO have to make a distinction between poor and entitled in this country.
It's "breaking the bank", as they say.
we simply cannot support the latter, but we DO have to help the former.
It's all about NEEDS v. WANTS.
(that case seems like it can never be settled)

Besides, how many POOR people did perfectly fine AND actually pulled THEMSELVES back up, and BETTERED themselves LONG before our government became the "nanny state" it is today, hmm?

Dad used to say "we're NEVER BROKE...just BADLY BENT"...LOL!

Hey, thanks for taking time today to roll on up and comment.

You stay safe out there.

ms nk rey said...

Reading this caused me to check my income against the poverty level. Should never have done that. Now I am way depressed. Just what I need more statistics. Just kidding Bobby G, I do good on my small income, all bills are paid in full every month and I have money left over. But I am hoping for a raise in my Social Security next year. My guess is Churchill.. (greatness responsibility) nkr

Bob G. said...


Dad would say we had to pinch our pennies SO damn much, we used to make LINCOLN CRY...LOL!

Really, it's all about GOOD financial management, and my father had yet another saying for THAT:
"Watching yer money gets REAL EASY when you ain't got that much."

God, how I miss all that sage advice.

Actually his generation lived THROUGH some REAL rough stuff ( over 20% unemployment rates), and we'd all be wiser to speak to those FROM that era, and learn how they made out...because they DID.

As to the one quote?
You just might be onto something...
* wink - wink *

Thanks so much for taking time to stop on by today.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe down there.