Beneath our means

In these days of tightening budgets a lot of words have been written about cutting the cost of living. My parents were kids during the depression. While they didn’t have to budget through those times they definitely felt the affects of of their parents lack of funds.

My generation was wedged between the hippies turned capitalists of the 60’s and the “me ” generation of the late 80’s and 90’s. The generation “X” ers are in many ways like the folks from the 60’s but without the rampant idealism. The worst development to come out of all these times is the practice of providing easy credit to anyone with a job and a couple of brain cells.

I am as guilty as most for having dipped into that trough of instant credit. My parents saved for things. They bought the things they wanted when and only when they had the money and then only after some soul searching. I grew up in a different age with television hucksters asking the question,

“Do you need a new big screen TV? Come down and see the King of Big Screens, we’ll take care of you. No money down and 36 months to pay”.

I guess we can partially blame our, ‘move em through’ school system for producing so many barely literate students who are unable to comprehend the difference in the words want and need. Who actually needs a television? Other than replacing the requirement for pesky and expensive after school care, has the television ever been a necessity?

The Rolling Stones have been around so long that all the a fore mentioned generations have grown up listening and singing along to their music. Mick’s message was pretty clear.

(You can’t always get what you want)
But if you try sometimes, well you just might find
You get what you need

I guess many people are so far in debt that they couldn’t even afford to pay attention. I don’t know if we are listening now or not. The society that measures a persons worth by their possessions instead of their deeds gets what they deserve I suppose. I have nothing against wealth and the desire to attain financial freedom, what ever that means. If thats what you “want” to strive for, then good, if that makes you happy. Happiness may be something we need in life but one of the smartest guys to ever write a document was only willing to concede that the citizenry of this new nation be able to enjoy, “the pursuit of happiness”.

No guarantees in that endeavor. One of the big problems I see are the pretenders. When we sell the dream to kids who have been pushed along through life and not allowed to fail based on their lack of performance, we get predictable results.

The message to my generation and the others has been this. Not really making it financially? Don’t worry we have a plan to suit any budget. A realistic, sensible budget would have told our mathematically challenged but promoted students that they couldn’t afford credit.

Maybe Mick can do a remake and it can be the Mantra for a new nation.

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes, well you just might find

You can live within your means.

No, it probably won’t sell.

About Heligypsy

Has it really been forty-seven years flying helicopters all over the world? I guess it's time to share some stories, I hope you enjoy my adventures.
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