Apr 282016
 

A 50 Dollar Lesson in Personal Responsibility

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I’d like to share this joke I found on tumblr.

I recently asked my friend’s little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents are liberal Democrats who support Bernie Sanders. They were standing there beside her.

So then I asked the little girl, ‘If you were President, what would be the first thing you would do?’

She replied, ‘I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.’

Her parents beamed with pride.

‘Wow…what a worthy goal.’ I told her. ‘But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.’

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, ‘Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50 directly?’

I said, ‘Welcome to the Republican Party.’ 😛

Her parents still aren’t speaking to me.

The point of this allegory is clear; There’s an untapped market of homeless people who could be doing yard work & making $$$ 🙂

It also addresses the hapless reality of economic inequality even in developed countries. If we want the poor to succeed we need to give them the opportunity to pursue their own dreams instead of enabling them to continue living in poverty. Government run redistribution programs are part of the problem. Giving money to the homeless without any strings attached robs them of their dignity, economic potential, and the chance to develop the internal motivation to succeed. Besides, the government doesn’t have money in the first place so when it gives money to the poor it has to take that money from somewhere else.

Some children think that their parents are all no-ing. Even so, we understand it’s wrong and destructive for parents to do their children’s homework. It undermines their children’s intelligence, sets them up for failure in life, and is not fair to other students. We also understand it’s wrong to feed fauna at the local park.

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It’s hard to say no to a begging squirrel, but we resist the urge to feed it because we don’t want it to be dependent on our generosity. We don’t want to rob these hungry creatures of their ability to be self reliant. So I think we should help the homeless through education rather than simply giving them free money with no obligations.

The ultimate freedom in life comes from being able to internalize personal goals that give us meaning and purpose. 😀

If we are kind enough to offer these gifts of self-discovery, personal accomplishment, and self worth to children and animals, then I think we ought to extend this same offer to financially unfortunate people as well. 🙂

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Random Useless Fact:

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Jul 192012
 

Recently read and was inspired by this article to reflect on how people have changed throughout the generations, and really put things into perspective. We all know about generation Y (hey that’s me), generation X, and the Baby Boomer generation (such as my parents.) It’s no secret that we don’t always get along with each other. Boomers sometimes talk about how hard their lives are because their pensions might be cut, and they complain about how spoiled and lazy the younger generation has become today. On the other hand, people in their mid twenties are having  a difficult time getting any job and complain that their parents have spent the country into debt and now the younger generation have to pick up the bill, with interest.

Well there’s one other generation I haven’t mentioned yet. We don’t talk about them much, but I think every other generation can learn a lot from them. Of course I’m talking about the Greatest Generation (people who are 88 to 111 years old today.) These people were brought up during the great depression  (O_o) when unemployment was over 20% in America. Before things could get better for them WWII began and they had to go to war. And when the war finally ended they came back home and worked their butts off to make the United States into the world’s largest economy today. They were humble, hard working individuals, who understood the value of making a better life for them and their families. They sacrificed and worked harder than most people do today, without complaints. They really are the Greatest 🙂

image source: markmeynell.wordpress.com

Today’s generations (X, Y, even Z) are often saturated with whiners and excuse makers. But the Greatest Generation took responsibility into their own hands. They embraced new challenges, and simply got things done. Back then people didn’t need to buy a new car to feel good about themselves. And when they bought something they would use it until it broke. Then they would fix it themselves and continue to use it rather than buy a new one. They treated relationships the same way. That’s why divorce was uncommon. If they had marital problems they would just work it out, instead of playing mind games on each other, and then breaking up.

I have much respect for these people and thank them for all their contributions to society.  I try to incorporate much of their attitudes towards material wealth, work ethic, and frugality into my own life. Our problems today are nothing compared to their’s 50 years ago. If you think your pension is in jeopardy then do something about it.  I’m investing in large-cap, dividend stocks today to ultimately create my own pension plan, because the Greatest Generation didn’t rely on other people for their future financial security, so neither will I \(^_^)/

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Random Useless Fact: I took an online IQ test for fun recently. Got 130. I think that’s normal for Canadians.

IQ Test

May 132012
 

I don’t talk to my mum about our financial situation much. But by watching how she spends her money over the years I’ve picked up a few important tips from her. For example, saving to buy the important things rather than the non-essentials. Although she likes to travel all her life, in the past she only took one vacation every few years because she was always so busy looking after the family and working.  But now that she’s semi-retired she is spending more time to relax, go on cruises, and all that. Most people can’t afford to quit their 9-5 job in their 50s, but my mom did because of the sacrifices she made when she was younger, so I’ll try to do something similar. Delayed gratification comes at a price but she thinks it is well worth it and I agree. Instead of traveling a when I’m young, I would like to save more money now and travel when I’m slightly older, like maybe in my 30s. Happy mother’s day.

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