Tag Archives: politics

Am I Really That Crazy?

If someone tells me they want to give me something for free, 99% of the time I’m going to run the other way. Why? Because I was once a whole lot stupider than I am now. Unless you believe in love or religion, nothing comes for free. It pays to be skeptical. Let me tell you some of the schemes.

There is a reason why credit card companies set up booths on college campuses. I fell for it too. Heck, I used to carry at least 5 department store cards and 3+ VISA/MasterCard/American Express cards. I thought the plastic gave me status. And somebody also threw me this line about building my credit. Believe me, it’s all a big lie. They want gullible people to spend more than they have and then charge them 5-20% interest rates. They want you to be in debt to them so they can take everything you have. And then you only pay the minimum amount every month and max out your limit. You are throwing money away and not even knowing it. Pay everything in cash. Or, if you have a little bit of financial sense and are frugal, have one Rewards credit card and pay it off every month. Never carry a balance. Don’t write checks that your a$$ can’t cash!

Why do you think they have PayDay Loan places near depressed communities? The same reason why pawn shops are only in the worst parts of town. They want to charge you to float your hard earned paycheck their way for a fee and a quick turnaround. Its those who don’t have any patience in the world who think this is a good deal. There is a reason why they don’t put these places in middle- and upper-class neighborhoods. Smart people don’t fall for these traps.

There is actually no such thing as “predatory lending”. There are only new suckers being born every day. Bill Clinton pushed the idea that everyone should own a home. So they opened up the housing market saying people who couldn’t afford a home should be able to buy one. Only, this opened the door for lots of scammers to jump into the market. They’d offer ultra-low interest rates and low or no-down payments just to get you to sign the dotted line. Then, after 3-5 years, you’d have an interest rate that you couldn’t afford and would go into foreclosure. Then the bank owned your home and you were out on the street. Don’t sign the dotted line on those kinds of deals. If you don’t know what you are doing, ask a real financial advisor or attorney. Better yet; educate yourself!

Actually, this goes for NEW anything. People want status symbols. There is a reason you see people in dire straits with the latest clothes and shoes and a shiny new car, but you go to their homes and they live in a dump. People want to LOOK rich when they are ACTUALLY drop-dead poor. Forget status. Instead, do the hard work, get educated, learn a trade, and work for a living. Don’t lease a car to own. You don’t need a new car every 2 or 3 years. Buy an old jalopy and learn how to fix it up yourself. You don’t need to carry a car payment…EVER! A car is NEVER a good investment. Its always a money pit. Save money and wait for the right time when you can pay for it with cash (if you need a car in the first place). Learn how to save! You don’t need the latest iPhone or cable TV package. Believe me, you won’t die without one.

OK, its safe to say that rich people don’t buy lottery tickets. Its only people who spend $40 a week on a carton of cigarettes and blow $200 on a Friday night at the bars who play the lottery. Stand at the local 7-Eleven and see who buys lottery tickets. It isn’t the rich people since they are busy storing leftovers from a home-cooked dinner in a GladWare for their lunches the next day instead of blowing $10 at McDonalds. The people who win the lotteries are the same people who quit their jobs and live it up for 2 or 3 years, then are dead broke again. They didn’t know how to handle money in the first place and didn’t know what to do with so much wealth. They buy homes knowing nothing about property taxes. They buy expensive Jaguars not realizing how much maintenance costs are for those things. They let their nephew Jeffrey who has a few college credits under his belt or Pastor Ed who they trust to manage their money for them. Its like buying $1,000 worth of fireworks and shooting them all off in less than 20 minutes. It’s fun while it lasts. There is a reason why these people fail.

There are no good get rich schemes. Learn to invest. Learn to save. Educate yourself and climb the ladder. Learn contentment and satisfaction in people who really love you. Don’t listen to scam artists (and politicians) who sell you pipe dreams that will never happen. Don’t look for instant gratification. Think long-term and find grounding in what is real. Don’t look for free tuition or free anything. Money doesn’t materialize from dust. Somebody has to pay for those things. Rich people are rich for a reason. I know you think they step on people and are always corrupt, which is how you think they got rich. It doesn’t usually work that way. Its because they put in the hard work to get there. If you think they are going to pay for your education or any other kind of welfare, then you go ahead and buy that lottery ticket and hope for the best.

NOTE: There is an interesting book called “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. If you want to succeed financially, don’t take advice from a poor person (or politician who has always lived off the taxpayer). Its like taking diet advice from someone who is morbidly obese; or like getting marriage tips from a celebrity who divorced 4 times. Just don’t do it!

Stands With A Fist

stands with a fist
There is a character depicted in the movie “Dances With Wolves” with the name given to her “Stands With A Fist”. She was a Caucasian woman taken in by the Lakota Sioux for a reason I don’t remember. She had been with them for so long that she no longer spoke English. Apparently, she was given this name because she didn’t take any gruff from anyone. She wasn’t a weakling of a person who sought special privilege. She Stands with a Fist. You have to admire a person like that. Someone who isn’t looking for a handout. Someone who makes the most of every situation.
When you are proud, you try to do things yourself. You appreciate help, but you don’t seek it. It is about personal responsibility and value of self-worth. In that time, a Native woman would wander off to a lonely place in the woods to give birth. It was a completely different mindset. Don’t get me wrong. I like all the accouterments of modern life. But you have to admire the mind of someone who does something on their own. Its why I like to fix my own car. YouTube is good for that. There is nothing that we are incapable of doing these days if we have the courage to put our minds to it.
It doesn’t take the government, or some official, or a college degree to tell me if or what or when I can do something. I will do it. And always on my own if I have the tools to do it. We should all learn to Stand With A Fist!

The Cost of Education Today

All is not pleasant in the Land of Lincoln. I have friends who teach at the University of Illinois where I used to work on the faculty. Even when I was there, they continually sought cost cutting measures to survive. They consolidated departments and either cut or did not renew administrative positions. Administrative support staff went to a third or quarter of what it was in just a few years. They kept talking about salary freezes and shut-downs due to budget impasses at the State Government. They are currently without a budget and threats of the same remain.

Another friend works in the Admissions office. There are record numbers of students coming in despite talking about putting a cap on enrollment. Buildings are still going up and diversification of revenue is ongoing. They are trying to attract large companies to enter in the Research Park for collaboration and student mentorship. Yet despite all of this, there is so much fiscal unrest.

The community college in town has frozen employment. I keep tabs on this since I would like to teach a few classes if I can. Yet they keep expanding and student numbers rise. Tuition rises and academic incentives decrease. The effects of the State budget impasse and possibly poor management internally at the colleges is causing havoc in the system of higher education.

Yet, politicians talk about free tuition, absolving student debt, and other freebies that make no sense at all at a fiscal level. These politicians have no clue what it takes to run education, let alone a country. I’m not sure how you pay professors who put so much into their own education. I was lucky in that my doctoral education only took 12 years of study. Some in liberal arts take much longer. That is 12 years when I am not contributing dollars to society or making money toward retirement. If I became a carpenter or plumber out of high school, I would have much more toward retirement from the git go. It makes you wonder what education is worth if you don’t reap benefits from all that work. We raise tuition, we try to raise salaries of professors to get the best and brightest in the world, and we try to make living on campus attractive as possible. Yet, somehow politicians think all of this comes out of thin air. I really don’t get it.