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Friday, July 31, 2015

Money’s Worth

Money’s Worth

Wouldn’t it be nice if our monetary system (economy) maintained a constant value proportionate to everything else that we use the money for (car, house, clothes, pharmaceuticals, groceries, utilities, etc.).  For the longest time 50’s and 60’s, you could plan on a spending budget for a year at a time (economic stability). You could plan on spending $150 dollars for the year on gasoline for driving to work (for the whole year!!).  I based that incredible estimate on 25 cents per gallon on gasoline (4 gallons per dollar times $3 dollars per week at approximately 20 miles per gallon).  The breakdown is 240 miles per week, 48 miles per day.  The majority of the population had local jobs either retail, construction, or food processing in town, or on the farm, certainly within much less than a driving distance of 24 miles one way.

Your strongest argument for my figures might be: “those dinosaurs didn’t get no 20 miles per gallon.”  That of course would be my easiest figure to defend:  Those were times B.G (Before Government).  Our cars didn’t have all the anti-pollution regulations and equipment that was later to restrict gas mileage.  Bread, eggs, milk, and meat were also similarly prices month after month.  You could almost take the exact change to the store if you knew what you were going to buy.  Your phone bill was also the same month after month, as was your electricity, gas, and water bill.  I almost forgot most people had a metal barrel in their backyard where they burned their garbage, with minimal tin cans to dispose of because most of the canned goods were in Mason Jars (canned at home).  The way we disposed of the tin cans was to run a string between cans and turn it into a communications toy, or better yet, simply kicked around a can in a game called “Kick-the-Can.”  The best part of all this is no batteries required.  Simply tying a single rope to a tree limb could entertain us year round taking turns playing Tarzan.

Forgive me for getting nostalgic.  I could keep going and write a book instead of a blog post.
While it seems that I got sidetrack consider all the money that we saved by not having electronic toys or a Toys R US or even a Radio Shack (wait, that’s right, we no longer have a Radio Shack).

Back to “Money’s Worth” subject at hand.  Most people that are in my tight little circle of family and friends would describe me with adjectives that are different but similar, examples: sensible, cautious, careful, frugal, calculating, etc.  Bottom line being that at all times in my life I like being prepared especially when going away from my comfort zone (home).  There was a time when five dollars in my pocket made me feel adequately prepared (consider that one dollar’s worth of gas could get me up to 40 miles away and back.  The McDonald’s commercial once it came into existence was that you could get a hamburger, fries and a large coke for a dollar and get change back.  The joke was that there wasn’t much that could go wrong with your car’s engine that you couldn’t fix with some bailing wire (no computers on board or GPS equipment). 

During the following 10 years (70’s) I needed at least 20 dollars in my wallet to feel at ease while in town. By the 90’s I needed at least a one hundred dollar bill in my wallet, and today I wouldn’t go out of town without a wallet full of credit cards (cause I would need a wheel barrel full of money to make me feel comfortable (one night in a decent hotel runs around $150 to $200, a meal for two at a good restaurant easily $70 to $90 dollars followed by a trip to a hamburger joint cause restaurants now a days don’t really feed you (the more expensive the less food).

I don’t like to point fingers and I even try to change the names of my characters to protect the innocent, but this particular target deserves to be called out.

Corporate Greed
  • Americans might think they know how bad inequality is, but it turns out they actually have no idea.
  • A new study conducted at Harvard Business School found that Americans believe CEOs make roughly 30 times what the average worker makes in the U.S., when in actuality they are making more than 350 times the average worker. "Americans drastically underestimated the gap in actual incomes between CEOs and unskilled workers," the study says.~By Roberto A. Ferdman

I’ll bet you already knew this was the root of our problem.  Stay informed/alert, they are Goliath and we are David.  Goliaths have been cut to size before, remember Enron?  The best is yet to come….

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