Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, a house, a flatscreen TV, an iPhone, cable, a new car,...

You have to love the path we're on, huh?


Krista said...

WTF???????? Are you effing kidding me? This is beyond ridicilous. I heard a rumor today in one of the offices that I call on that some of the states are wanting to succeed (spell?) from the union. Can we do that? Get me the hell outta this socialist country.

I had a quote emailed to me the other day that is perfect:

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of
freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must
work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that
the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people
get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to
take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good
to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear
friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing

The late Dr. Adrian Rogers , 1931 to 2005

Doug said...

It's interesting that less than two years ago, Josh, you were praising George W. Bush for, among other things, the fact that home ownership had gone up during his presidency. Well, guess what -- these were some of the folks who were "owning" them. Not that I think anyone has a "Constitutional right" to own a home, either, because I don't -- I just wish that home ownership wasn't held up as the be-all, end-all goal of American life in the first place. Why does anyone care whether people in this country own or rent? And what's so spectacular about "owning" a pile of bricks in some neighborhood anyway?

Megs said...

Well, Doug, it has to do with wealth and where it's kept. And the more Americans who own homes, the more money is invested here, in America, keeping our economy thriving.

I mean, if you look at it another way, who is getting rich if you buy a house? Well, nobody, really. The previous owner is getting back whatever he put into it, plus perhaps a little return on his investment. But he's also not throwing money away, down the tubes, gone. Which, in a way, is what you do when you rent. Most landlords have multiple properties they rent out. The rents often completely cover (and then some) the cost of the mortgage on that property, and any additional costs (taxes, maintenance, etc.). The renter is effectively paying for somebody else's property.

The idea of home ownership is important in that, instead of a lot of people (many of them with lower incomes) contributing money month after month after year, with nothing to show for it the day they move out of the house other than the fact they've had a roof over their head for the last x years, you have people who are able to keep the money they've spent toward their housing, essentially. They can sell the house and use that money for other things, invest it, retire on it...it provides security. I think home ownership is a good goal, and I'm aiming to try it sometime very soon myself. It is only not such a good idea if you want to be able to access your investment quickly; in a market like this, someone who needed to sell quickly would face difficulty. But most home owners are aware of this.

When I think of how much money I spent on rent in NYC: over $40,000 in 3.5 years. And I'll never see that again. I would have done much better to get my parents to co-sign a loan and buy an apartment and sell it when I left the city, but hindsight is 20/20. My friend Alan did that and he is now the owner of over $1 million in property in NYC.

But that's the point. He became a landlord, then rich, then richer. The tenants of his places are just like I was, throwing money at him while he takes trips to India, etc.

Rich richer, poor poorer.

And Krista, when I pay my taxes, I do so happily. I know that some of my dollars will go toward things I sometimes disagree with, like inflated government contracts to firms in Iraq or Afghanistan, but I know some of my dollars will go toward helping people who really need help, for one reason or another. I GIVE that money willingly, because I know I am well-off enough to take care of myself and my family and that I can eat and get medical care if I'm sick and house myself, and there are people who can't, and I want to be a part of helping my countrymen in that regard. And I know that I will see the benefits in my community and across the nation. It's worth it to me. So maybe you should try picturing all the good things your contribution to the country you have chosen to live in will do, rather than the negatives of what you can no longer buy for yourself because someone taxed you. You might be happier.

Josh M. said...

Megs: It's not paying taxes that bother us - it's what the money is going toward. The country should help the people who can't help themselves, but Washington seems intent now on helping those who CAN.

We're bailing out companies that should have been allowed to fail, we're bailing out idiots who shirked personal responsibility and spent more than they could afford. And in doing so, we're basically saying "Don't worry, do it again. Mama government will be here for you."

And that's it right there. The ruling party in Washington is legislating with only one thing in mind: to make the people of this country more dependent on government. The free market and capitalism are suddenly devil spawn - you know, the things that made this country the most prosperous in the planet's history. Instead, we're getting watered down socialism, an ideology that has NEVER WORKED. EVER. An ideology that stifles initiative, and grinds productivity to a halt.

Nothing the Democrats have done is going to "stimulate the economy," and they obviously have no serious intention to do so as their moves make no economic sense. Raise taxes on people making over $250,000 when 60%+ of those are small business owners? How does that create jobs?

It seems the only worthy jobs for Washington these days are government jobs, but taking money from taxpayers just to create somebody else's paycheck is not going to help the economy. And plus, there's no long-lasting benefit anyway. Nobody seems to understand there is a difference between "jobs" and "work." Working in an office or restaurant or store is a job - do well, and the job will likely continue indefinitely. Building a bridge is "work" - once that is over, once again, the builder is looking for more work.

The thing is, I think Obama's honeymoon is already over - even with a lot of his voters. I don't see much actual defense of his performance so far, only protests that OH NO BUSH WAS WORSE.

By the way, lower taxes and charitable contributions would go through the roof. Let people decide how their money should help others - I guarantee they'll do a better job at it than some bureaucrat pandering for votes.

Josh M. said...

Love him or hate him, Neal Boortz is on fire today. Read basically from the top through the Barney Frank section to feel what I'm'a feelin'.