Appreciating what you have

This mortal world provides all kinds of material things.

Don’t worry, I’m not trying to get all holier than thou in this post, but the subject does deal with the material aspects of life, and how you acquire them. Simply put, you appreciate the things you earn, more than the things you are given. I guess that kind of brings me to the point of this post, and likely has given you an idea of what I’m trying to get at.

In today’s economy, just about everything has gotten exponentially more expensive.  Insurance, food, gas, homes, schooling, etc. Some of this is due to the slow devaluing of the US Dollar (ya, I believe that it is under way, thanks to QE1 and QE2 and the possibility at a QE3). Others are due to increases in regulations and increases in costs and new taxes for items (remember the price you pay is the “retail” price, not the cost of the item itself alone). Now, I will admit right here, I don’t have a degree in Economics, but I’m not stupid by any means, and have a well honed grasp of mathematics and common sense, as well as a well developed work ethic.

Everything I have, I appreciate. Whether it was given to me (gifts), or I worked to get it myself (pretty much everything else).  However, there are two kinds of appreciation.  For example, here’s where it gets into the political/social realm. I have a retirement plan.  I’m only 29, but I’m already working to be able to retire on my own money. There is also Social Security available (though in all reality it is “forced” upon you at a certain age). Sure, I have paid into my SS ever since my first paycheck when I was a Junior in HS, but it’s not the same.  Basically, my SS payments are going to pay for, at the moment, the portion of the baby boomers who did not have the foresight to work on their own retirement plans.  It also goes to those who are on disability, and need assistance (SSDI). However, part of my generation, and a large part of the baby boomer generation, expect to retire on SS alone, no matter how little or how much they worked or paid in. They appreciate the fact that it is there, but don’t really care where it comes from, as long as it’s there.  I on the other hand will have a different kind of appreciation for my retirement, as I will have the knowledge that I worked my ass off and contributed directly to my future.  Almost giving it a feeling of ownership, and pride.

Kind of a side point in this that inn our own individual ways, don’t we all wish that we had more money?  Isn’t that why we each look forward to review time, for that pay raise?  Isn’t that part of why we change jobs?  Isn’t that why we have garage sales or sell things on ebay?  Aren’t we all looking for extra money to spend on the things we want to?  What is wrong with that!?

The left plays these class warfare games because they feel guilty of the wealth they do have or they are envious of wealth they do not have.   In either case, their solution is to tax the wealthy, but what purpose does that serve?  How does confiscating wealth from someone who has earned it legally ease their guilt or improve their own situation?

I read an “open letter to Obama” on the subject of comprimise (which by the way is short sighted and rediculous in my eyes); however one of the comments caught my eye. A fellow named Chris Pruett posted in part of his comment (not taken out of context by the way):

I have “friends” who identify (or, perhaps more accurately, sympathize) with the conservative/ Tea Party movement who are oblivious to the fact that a big part of their agenda is cutting the very programs and services they will come to rely on as they age (or, heaven forbid, they get sick or injured).

This is where this post mostly came from.  He feels that the conservative/Tea Party movement are oblivious to the fact that cutting some of the programs (social security, medicare, etc.) is dumb because they will end up relying on those very programs as they age.  This is where he is absolutely incorrect. The views of conservatives and Tea Party members is that a person should take their future into their hands, and not expect the government to hand it to them.  It’s another view of my favorite phrase “personal responsibility”. Those who are conservative or right leaning, don’t plan to depend solely on a government program to fund them the rest of their lives.  More than likely, they to are working on preparing for their retirement, or are already harvesting what they have sewn.

On the part of his comment “(or, heaven forbid, they get sick or injured)” he is also assuming that they are not paying for health insurance outside of Medicare that is automatically placed on them at 55+. At the moment, I am paying for my family’s health insurance, it is through the company I work for, but I pay my share. I also plan to be researching and shopping around for other forms of health insurance for when I finally retire, therefore not relying on Medicare if I don’t have to.  This is how conservatives think as well.  Why wait for a hand out, when you could be working and planning ahead now?

In the end I will know that I have done my best to provide for my family in the future.  I appreciate what I have more, because I have worked for it.