Money, Money, Money ...“ love of money is the root of all evil”, etc., etc.
I guess I’m helplessly naïve when it comes to money. I just, for the life of me, can’t see why people need so much of it. I have visions of fat, gluttonous men and women oozing coins from their pores, bills spewing from their mouths and ears… their eyes bugging out while they try desperately to hold on to it all.
And then this thought...”Where does all the money come from?”
The answer, of course, is that it comes from us … the “middle class”.
I was born in 1933, the youngest of 5 girls, to a family that was definitely middle-to-lower class. My dad worked but my mother had to take in sewing to make ends meet. Despite this the 5 of us all graduated from College. I had won a 4 year scholarship which consisted of $1,000 a year and between that and living at home and working part-time I was able to get a BS degree from Boston University. That would be impossible today.
It was in the mid 70’s that I first felt the disintegration of the middle class. That was when the spate of millionaires sprouted up over night and the powers-to-be assured us all that the “trickle down” theory would be the savior of our economy. The only problem was that all the breaks were given to this newly wealthy class and they conveniently forgot to “trickle” anything down to the rest of us. Now it’s 35 years later and we’re at a critical point.
We have a saying in AA…”we need to give back what has so freely been given to us”...meaning that we must never forget where we came from and how lucky we are to have the gift of sobriety and that we need to give it back to those who come after us. I think that applies also to our financial situation as it exists today.
When Paul Newman died I was reminded of his heart-felt philosophy of life. He and his wife, Joanne, decided at some point in their earning careers that “enough was enough” and they put a cap on their earnings. Everything beyond that they gave back in one way or another. Just that simple act of one couple improved the lives of thousands. I know that there are other like-minded individuals and industries in the world but they are few and far between.
We are at the start of a new administration and I pray that the hope that we felt on election day will bring about a change in our attitudes and outlook on life. Let’s grow up America and get back to the days of the real middle class ... where we were content with much less but had so much more.