Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've gained a huge pet peeve in the last few years and namely it's this:

I hate it when people complain loudly about a (usually governmental) problem, yet they, themselves, offer no viable hint of a solution.

You don't want to hear what I feel like telling people who complain that way.

And well, I know you're all dying to hear (heh) how I feel about our Country's 700 billion dollar stimulus package, so here goes...

No, I'm not elated by it, but neither am I marching along with this quote which I've seen flung around lately:

"The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits." -- Plutarch (c.45-125 A.D.)

To me, it is far, far too simplistic to just say, "The government shouldn't be giving anybody anything. Those of us who have done things right shouldn't have to pay for those who messed-up and got into debt over their heads."

Me? I'm trying to be like the biblical Mary who "pondered all these things in her heart." I'm keeping quiet, mostly, because I have no usable, legitimate answers for our economy. And truthfully? I am grieved by the people (many of them Christians) who spout, "It would serve those people right to lose their homes and go homeless. They deserve it."

That, my friends, makes me angry. Feeling so righteously justified that we'd wish homelessness upon families with (or without) children horrifies me. Or to do it all so cluelessly, even. (You do realize, I hope, that it's possible to wish such things without realizing we're doing so?)

Is there a better way to fix the mess our Country is in? Probably. Most likely. But for anyone who does not know of such an intelligent, valid plan, I hope you will think twice before suggesting we do nothing except to just recline back in our own personal comfort (because we did things right) and watch families march by droves into despair and into homeless shelters.

"But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Psalm 86:15

"I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." Psalm 37:25

"Let him who is without sin throw the first stone..."

And I realize this is not a pure correlation to my post, but it is something to consider anyway:

9"The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'
13"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' " Matthew 20:9-15 (See the whole chapter for the whole story.)


Anonymous said...

I try to avoid politics with friends so I'll simply say this:
I don't wish homelessness on families.
I do feel and pray for those who have lost their jobs.
But those who are gainfully employed yet gambled on bad home loans should not be bailed out.
Furthermore, what's really wrong with this stimulus is not helping homeowners in bad loans.
Its the millions in earmarks that have nothing to do with stimulating our economy.
The ends doesn't justify the means.

Debra said...

Hmmm. But Jujita, what are your doable, viable, legitimate, practical *solutions*? That's what I meant by this whole post and the pet peeve thing. And I was hoping no one would complain in my comment box without offering those kinds of real solutions. Frankly, I'd love to read some real solutions right about now. :) Blessings, Debra

Debra said...

To Anonymous: My policy is to not publish anonymous comments in this blog. Sorry. I feel if you truly stand behind what you are saying, you will proudly publish your name.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Good for you, Debra. We are our brother's keepers. I hope the experts in the government will find ways to fix this. What angers me is that so many of the millionaires whose greed led us to this state are not sufferring at all. Many of the people who took these bad loans were people who had little insight into financial reality. This is not something we teach well in school. That might be one place to reform.

oma aka meme said...

I pray for folks to understand that this too shall pass and maybe we will learn that less is more- I do not have solutions for USA or Canada- it is a good thing to start thinking on though-
you always make me think--LOL
hugs from Meme

Anonymous said...

I'm not an economist, just a taxpayer and one who pays their bills on time and do that by living within my means. I leave it to the elected officials to work out our problems, it's their job. However since we the people elected them, it's within our scope to let them know when we don't like their decisions. Sen. Arlen Specter who turned off his phones and computers due to hundreds of thousands of taxpayers protesting his vote will definitely not get my vote or many others should he choose to run again.

I say this bill should have been reworked. It has too much pork for nonsensical projects that can wait. Tax cuts for the small businessman and the entrepreneur who will buy goods to sell and hire more people to sell it, thus more people to produce it is one way to go. No bailouts for million dollar pensions for Wall St. and the auto industry's retirees high pensions and perpetual health benefits. Build better cars that will sell. Energy independence. Drill baby drill. It can be done responsibly and also create jobs. Personal responsibility and hard work, not entitlements is the American way. I believe one who is facing foreclosure due to illness, job loss or other catastrophe not of their making, and didn't buy above their means should benefit. Don't send millions of dollars overseas to facilitate abortions. That is not our responsibility, particularly since I consider abortion to be murder of the innocent.

I oppose Socialism.


Anonymous said...

On another note. Our big cities and some small are filled with abandoned and boarded up homes used as crack houses and dangerous for squatters and prone to arson. Hire people to tear them down, contractors to build reasonable homes and sell them at reasonable prices to those who qualify. The result is jobs, homeownership, cleaner cities and taxes from homeowners who require utilities and other services as with all homes.


Debra said...

Hmmm... the worst thing we can do is become bitter about all this. Bitterness makes people sick and susceptible to disease. The main thing? The main thing is for us to be excellent and teach by example. Knowing what we did was right should be its own reward--but it shouldn't make us resent others. We should feel pity for those who act in ignorance and again--who amongst us have never sinned nor made mistakes? Maybe we are wise financially, but foolishness in other areas can affect our world, too. No one gets it right 100% of the time. No one.

Also, I believe in government for the people and by the people. I believe in one person being able to make a huge difference--history has shown that. And I believe we shouldn't just complain to officials, but we should offer other solutions and go out and show our support of what we believe.

I also have to ask who is going to sift through records of thousands of families and decide who really *deserves* help and whose motives were pure when they bought their homes? I'm not for socialism, but I'm also not for any of us playing God and pointing fingers and throwing stones. It would horrify me to have to decide who should be helped and who should not. It would break my heart to take a home away from *anyone*.

I like your ideas of fixing up derelict homes. But I have to ask who is going to put the money up front to pay those people working on them? Construction costs are higher than ever before, plus, building on speculation nowadays is a huge gamble.And so many cities are so broke nowadays. These are just some things to consider but I do like how you are thinking of ideas!! Too many people have only complaints and no solutions to offer--and that is partly why we are where we are. sigh.

Thanks for your comments, Everyone...Debra

Anonymous said...

The money for the home projects should be part of the stimulus. Again, take out the pork. Also there must be oversight as to where the money is going.

Sifting thru who deserves help must be a priority. It goes back to the realtor or bank where they got their mortgage in the first place.

I throw no stones. I point out those who cannot pay a mortgage...can't they read when they sign? They know their income, they know the payments. Many have two cards, enormous credit card debt, ipods, cell phones, jewelry..the list goes on.

Illegal immigration that costs billions in welfare must be eliminated. Immigration is good for the country....legally done. I have countless ancestors as do millions of others who did it the hard way.

May God bless America. She's weathered it before, she'll do it again.


Karen said...

"The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits." -- Plutarch (c.45-125 A.D.)

To me, it is far, far too simplistic to just say, "The government shouldn't be giving anybody anything.

Ah well, this may not be the only time my Facebook page gets me in dutch with someone. :-) (I'm assuming you saw that quote on my page.)

I don't think that was Plutarch's point. To me, understanding how we got into this mess is the first step to getting out of it. Unfortunately, I'm not sure our government is interested in understanding what went wrong in order to make better decisions on how to help fix things. But back to Plutarch - I think the point there was that when a government hands out all sorts of goodies that don't have to be worked for, people come to depend on them. Any person or group who comes to depend on handouts is not free. They are enslaved to the giver of the handouts. Now, one could argue that we are dependent on a lot of things our governments provide, such as good roads, police protection, fire protection, etc. But we all know that those thing are not the sorts of "bounties, donations, and benefits" being referred to here. One of the "goodies" handed out was a requirement for lenders to provide mortgages to people who wouldn't otherwise qualify, under the presumption that everyone should be able to own a home. Hence, the subprime mortgage market. ARMs, interest-only mortgages, etc, and no requirement to show income or ability to re-pay.

Solutions? - My personal solution is to take responsibility for how, when, and where I spend money, and to not spend more than I take in. (No, I'm not perfect, but I'm trying to be.) The more people that do this, the better. We as a country are way too entitlement-minded. We "deserve" this, that, and the other thing, preferably "free" (no such thing). And government is eager to provide these things, because it helps a great deal when it comes time for a politician to get re-elected. It is the natural way of governments, and this was recognized by our own founders, who had probably read Plutarch. :-) Not to mention that they were just really smart guys.

I would recommend everyone get a copy of Suze Orman's _2009 Action Plan_ and read it. It's not long, and not expensive, and it has a very good explanation of how we got into this mess. There's plenty of blame to go around. But besides that, the book is chock full of good advice on how to improve and safeguard your finances.

And for the record, I don't wish homelessness on anyone either, regardless of how it may come to happen to them.