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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Money matters (10/15/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns

Extravagant spending? There's no such thing. Today it's accepted behavior. It's a broken record: "Can't live without it!" "I've worked hard - I've earned it." "Please Daddy!"

What purpose do they serve? They're all over the place! Oh gosh, political signs were stolen again! What do they tell you? On television, headlining newspapers, the butt of jokes on late night TV, cafe conversations, and barstool banter - what more do taxpayers need from these political contenders?

Do the homeless read the signs? "Skip the rhetoric and send money!" Those signs invite vandalism, tomfoolery, theft, and malice.

Wasteful spending is rampant all over our land of the free. Think of how much quality retirement time a guy squanders during one afternoon at a casino! Mama spent her S.S. check again, but she earned the privilege to blow the whole darn thing. When her funds are depleted, the state will take care of her.

Why is the consumer forced to purchase all the fat on a butchered chicken and on cuts of beef and pork? It's a hard thing for a big family to swallow. It gives "chew the fat" a whole new meaning. Oink! Oink!

Everyone's "good old days" are over sooner or later. If, like me, you've stared down sixty in a distorted mirror, a walk down memory lane brings back things that no longer exist. There was something called a "penny arcade." A kid got a fifty cent weekly allowance if he or she showed some inkling of ambition. Fifteen cents went in the collection plate during Sunday morning church services (while Mom was staring you down.)

Brothers and sisters sharing bedrooms, clothes, and popcorn and pop at a movie isn't often heard of today. When I was a kid the living was easy. There weren't hectic schedules or never-ending competitive activities. It was such a laid back era that little ones willingly took naps. Teens actually hung out at home and not at malls. Every kid had a part-time job in the summer.

We baby boomers harbor our share of money memories right out of the stone age. Some of the catchy song lyrics from before our time seemed to have endured for eons. "Put another nickel in - in the nickelodeon!" "Ten cents a dance," "Three coins in a fountain," "Secondhand Rose," "I found a million dollar baby in a five and ten cent store!"

Banished from small town streets, "a shave and a haircut - two bits!" Is there anyone who would give one red cent to see Tiny Tim again, serenading Miss Vickie with "Tiptoe Through the Tulips?" A penny for your thoughts!

Back when Frankie (ol' blue eyes) and Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney were in their heyday and sang "Fly Me To the Moon," it was merely a wish upon a star. NASA recently announced that, after fourteen more space shuttle flights, the next mission will be to fly to the moon. Taxpayers, do you recall budgeting this expenditure into your generous contributions?

Wal-Mart continuously blows its own horn to drum up business. Customers march in to beat the band. It remains confusing whether U.S. employees losing jobs to cheap foreign labor or paying lower prices, as customers, for those products, is the worst of two evils.

We're sacrificing more than American jobs. What about American pride? As we jeopardize our country's prestige and clout in this global world, the hardworking middle class will be left with mountains of worthless stuff, residing on corporate-owned properties...paying the price for blue light specials, two-for-one deals, and 4th of July fireworks "made in China." 


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