On the one hand, the request to read and offer my thoughts on the particular weblog post discussed below came as part of a mass-spam of various folks on Twitter.
On the other hand, I am always looking for quick-and-easy blogfodder, especially that no one else has touched on before.
And on the gripping hand, I never would have found this quote of the day otherwise:
My parents taught me that a dollar is not given to you, it is earned or paid back and that dear readers is the problem with my generation. Not all of course, but most. It’s the open hands that bother me. Entitlement is a disease, no, an epidemic and as far as I can tell, there’s not a cure in sight. Welfare is higher than ever, the government hands out more than ever, and we are in debt more than ever. Coincidence that we’re broke? I don’t think so. Sooner or later China’s gonna want their money and I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have them break America’s legs.
To be certain, J.C. said some poignant things earlier in his post, as well as some things I disagree with*, and there is another topic I want to touch on in his closing, but this paragraph is what this whole situation boils down to in its essence.
In and of itself, our modern "money" is intrinsically worthless, and, personally, I think we are the worse for it. However, those little dollars and bills and coins and whatnot else serve as placeholders – tokens that represent fractions of our lives. How much do you make an hour these days? Take that amount and divide it by sixty – that is what a minute or your time is worth. How much is a loaf of bread these days? Take that previous number and divide it into the price – that is how much time you spend to buy that loaf of bread.
In essence, you are saying, "It is worth X minutes of my time to not have to grow, process, and bake my own wheat and various other materials to make this loaf of bread." This generally works fairly well for exchanges of money for goods, but the problem arises when someone/thing simply gives a person money – at that point, the money has no equivalent value of time, and something that has no value to a person is generally treated as such. Likewise, as the other face of the same coin, money that simply sprang into being by means of governmental fiat has a horrific tendency of devaluing not only itself, but also every other dollar floating around the economy… where do you think the term "fiat money" came from?
All of this is dancing around the cold hard truth of reality, though: there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Period. "Free" health care is not. "Free" public transportation is not. "Free" clinics are not. "Free" education is not. You may not be personally, directly paying for that munificence, but someone, somewhere is. That welfare check you are receiving was paid for by someone, and if the money actually came by way of "quantitative easing", then everyone, including you, are paying for it through the devaluation of the American dollar.
While I disagree with his limiting his objections to solely his (and probably my) generation, J.C. is exactly correct – the American people has forgotten this simple truth, and we are all going to start paying for that oversight in the very near future.
"But wait," some halfwitted morons are already exclaiming, "If the rich just paid their Fair Share(TM), then all of these problems would be FIXED! Duh." Uh, yeah, turns out, not so much. Even if you soaked "the rich" for 100% of their income – every single penny they ever earned – you would only cover less than a third of our country’s deficit. Less than a third. Remind me how that is a "solution" again? Also, kind of scary how large our deficit is, is it not?
Anywise, J.C. has a few books out on Kindle (I wonder if publishing houses have yet been able to come to terms with how that little device is changing their landscape right underneath their feet…), and while they are not exactly my cup of tea, unlike a disturbingly increasing number of American people, he can look back and say he actually produced something someone else was willing to pay him for.
(* – I do not view "conflict" as an intrinsically bad thing, nor do I view "compromise" as an intrinsically good thing. So far as I can tell, there can be no equitable "compromise" between a murderer and his victim, a rapist and his victim, and so forth, while a conflict between those parties would be eminently desirable.)