In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Economical Christmas

I've been listening to NPR a lot lately, and there has been constant talk about the economy. I've followed the auto manufacturers during their TWO trips to Washington, DC. One pilgrimage was made in three separate private jets. The next was made in a caravan of hybrid cars. Yet, I don't feel bad for them.

A few years ago, Richard and I watched a wonderful documentary entitled, Who Killed the Electric Car? It told the story of how GM had electric car technology as far back as the late 1990s, yet they completely scrapped the project, taking the cars away from customers and removing all evidence that the electric car even existed. Now, we are being told that we need to wait another two years for the Chevy Volt. Why? If they made one electric car, why is it so hard to make another one?

That's not what I wanted to talk about today. I wanted to talk about politicians that are so fearful of raising taxes that they refuse to lift a finger to help real people. Their logic is that when the economy is bad and money is down, then the government shouldn't be taxing more people. They think that the people will resent having their taxes being used to repair crumbling bridges and highways. They think that people don't want their taxes being used to move our country away from the oil addition. Perhaps they are right. I'm sure there are folks out there who don't want to give any of their money to help society. They feel they are fine on their own.

But I don't even want to talk about them. I want to talk about how the essentials of our lives are becoming more expensive, but the crap that we don't need is getting less expensive. The price of a new flat-screen, high-definition television is dropping, but the cost of my food is going up. Toys are getting cheaper all the time, but heating oil is rising. Wal-Mart will now carry the iPhone for really cheap, but my insurance rates are rising.

I don't mind paying taxes to help our society. What I don't want is to pay my taxes so that my doctor has to pass most of his money onto a lawyer, an administrator, and an insurance company.

I'm sorry if I'm harping on the economy so much in these last few posts, but really, it's something that we all need to think about. We got into this mess because people took out credit that was too much for them in order to purchases houses that were too big for their families. Businesses continued to take risks and operate as if nothing could go wrong. Well, now is has. Instead of crying to the rest of us, maybe you should be making a product that will make sense in this day and age.

AND...(this is my final point in this little rant)...the answer is NOT for us to go out and drop a lot of money on CRAP that no one needs. There is no reason that people need a Christmas gift, just "to be able to open something." Donations are good gifts that people can open. Experiences and travel are just as exciting as a doll or a DVD player or a digital camera. I don't need to "open" anything. I have all the stuff that I need. I just want to eat a nice meal with the people I love. OK - I want a trip to New York too...but that can come in good time.

Soapbox Off!


Blogger Michael Dodd said...

Such a clear and simple observation: buying crap will not help the economy, but that doesn't mean we can't buy stuff that we need, and that will help the economy.

I have tried to write a longer comment, but I keep detecting a nasty note in what I am saying, and that is no help to me or anyone else.

Keep up the clear-sighted reflecting. That is a help!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get off your soap box. I know you like opening packages as well as I do. G

8:11 AM  

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