There is something that I really don’t understand. I’ve been watching the stock market rally to try to right itself, even after the government talked about the stimulus package and the “good stuff” spending a whole lot of money that they don’t have will do for the economy. I keep an eye on several key stocks daily, and take a mental note of how well, or not so well they’re doing. I watch a little bit of everything from big player tech stocks like Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft, to utilities like FPL Group (Florida Power & Light), oil companies like Exxon Mobil, to the American fast food chain McDonalds. Of course I watch the just as well known Electronic Arts (Video Game Studio), Disney because who wouldn’t love the Mouse, and Yahoo just because they are the underdog.
Watching these stocks, every single one has been on a loosing streak today. So my question is, what changed between yesterday and today? Are people shedding off, taking their winnings and waiting to do it again next week, or tomorrow? Is this a response to our confidence in our new fearless leader who will lead us to salvation on a stick? Or is this just the economy righting itself again because people don’t want to take the large risk they were taking before, when Google was up to $700/share, Apple was up to $150/share and the world was our collective oyster?
I for one didn’t participate in the last boom, and so I wasn’t affected by the bust if you don’t play, you can’t win! I don’t own a house, I rent. I have a car that is paid off, and I’m attempting to save for college for my children. There are people that I work with that talk about how the stimulus package will help them with their mortgage, because they bought high. What I want to know is, when did it become my obligation to pay for someone else’s gamble? I didn’t gamble, so I didn’t expect to win. But my children and I will end up footing the bill for someone else’s mortgage because the government has decided it is their duty to save us all from ourselves and the stupid decisions we make.
With all of this being said, here in Florida my kids go to one of the best (if not THE best) school systems in the state. Our schools budgets are being cut, and they are talking about changing the high school schedule to more of a college schedule, with the kids going to classes on various days for multiple hours instead of one, and a multitude of other issues. Why are we cutting the heads off of our future? Not only are the schools not technologically up to date (I don’t see every kid walking to class with a laptop like we do at work), but the schools are also having funds cut instead of cutting funds for people who are on social services, or even cutting back on social services. Instead, we will cut education, and have yet another generation ready to step into social services because they don’t have the education to compete in the real world. This is all as if it’s not bad enough that half the kids or more in my daughter’s grade in her A+ school don’t care about their education, their grades, or what they will take away from school.
All of this stems from our children. My generation was taught that the government is the best thing since sliced cheese. It is here to do for you, when you don’t feel like doing for yourself. It has taught at least one of my co-workers that the money I earn should be shared if I make too much. Who is this person to say who makes too much or too little to do for themselves?
I was 18 once, and while I haven’t made the best decisions in my life, I have managed to live a good life, gain a great career — without college, and by using A LOT of drive, ingenuity and a can do attitude — and I can thank my high school Business English teacher, and my family for that. Why? Because my Business English teacher recognized my class’s failure to grasp basic grammar in 12th grade, and his determination that we would not leave his class that way. Because he and my family are the ones who told me I could do anything. They are the ones who helped me push to be a better me. But the biggest thing that helped me was my friends, not the ones in high school, but the ones outside of high school that showed me how stupid I was, and how smart I could be. Peer pressure is really what it was – being picked on for spelling words wrong, improper grammar, lack of understanding of basic terminology that was never used around me. Before I entered that Business English class, I knew I wanted to start my own business, which gave me the drive to want to do better, and to learn all I could. It was the positive kind of peer pressure that you never hear about. It was the peer pressure of the geeks.
I live here in my little world of economics, where I have learned my lessons the hard way, fighting for jobs against people who have gone to college, graduated with their bachelors and masters degrees. I have mastered the job, and excel at it, but find that common sense is not something you can teach the masses. It just doesn’t seem to exist in most homes. My generation has been taught that it’s okay to be self centered, only thinking about those things that affect us directly. We’ve been taught that the consequences don’t really matter, as long as we get what we want right now. As such, we are teaching our kids the same ill-mannered values that our parents let us get away with.
How does all of this have anything to do with economics? The point of the matter is that my generation is now running the government. My generation thinks that the economic stimulus is a good idea. My generation has absolutely no concept of the amount of money they are using, or the amount of debt it will be. We were raised on credit and debit cards, and rarely see the paper dollar. The amounts are just numbers, and as long as it is for the good of someone, it can be rationalized.
The final point of the matter is that we are spending my grandchildren (of whom my children are not even old enough to think of conceiving) into oblivion. The Federal Government has decided it knows best, over and beyond what the states know to be right, and we are turning into a socialist nation, with socialist values, and socialist views.
I believe capitalism is what makes our great nation work.
I believe the concept of getting something for nothing has always been a rip-off.
I believe that there has never been a “money tree”
I believe in personal integrity, ethics and ownership.
I believe that we are driving our country into the ground by allowing the government to meddle in the economics of our capitalist society.
I believe that people who gamble, often loose.
I believe that people who work hard, and make the best decisions they can, will pull themselves out of any mess they could possibly get themselves into.
I believe that sometimes you have to ask for a helping hand.
I do not believe that helping hand should be the government.