It’s all about the money

  •  A professional athlete [a golfer, no less] begins a free-fall from grace as his hidden life is exposed to an ‘accepting’ public. The youngsters with stars in their eyes sum it up best: It’s no biggie. Today, everybody cheats. Everybody lies. Without winning a tournament for 2 years, he still makes $75 million@.
  • A professional athlete goes to prison for taking part in an interstate dog fighting ring. Within 2 years after being released, he signs a 6 year $100M contract. His supporters try to minimize his transgressions by saying they were only dogs.
  • One of America’s largest and oldest businesses is losing money hand over fist and brings in a no-nonsense hatchet man to trim the budget. He fires almost 10,000 people; shareholders reward him with a $125M bonus when he leaves in 30 months.
  • In 2008, signaling the end to a way of life unrivaled in the rest of the world, the taxpayers of the U.S. go on the hook for $850B to bail out Wall St., the banks and insurance companies. Soon, like spoiled little ingrates, the big-wigs start paying themselves multi-million dollar bonuses with taxpayer money. Congress investigates. Not one person goes to jail for the fraud. And Congress wonders why nobody likes them?

     Money is the barometer of society’s virtue. [Ayn Rand]   OUCH!! That really doesn’t speak well of the U.S. Where does that leave the rest of America, y’know, the majority that lives somewhere between New York and L.A.? And yet, when the rest of the world looks at us, it looks at the robber-barons on Wall St. or it looks at La-La Land on the West Coast. Don’t you see yourself as Donald Trump? Maybe one of the Kardashians? Who says that money isn’t important to the rest of us? The vast majority of Americans were taught that money by itself won’t make you happy because the more a man gets, the more he wants. Instead of filling the proverbial hole, it just makes it deeper, so maybe we tend to live vicariously through the ‘Coaster’s’.

      When we were kids and studied The Good Book, we were taught that if we wanted to feel rich, then we were supposed to count what we had that money could not buy. I guess that still holds true today, does it not? But I did learn a lot from an older gent when I was a teen-ager. Mr. Harrison had the benefit of 6 or 8 years in graduate programs but he insisted it was what he learned after he was done with school that made the biggest impact on his world. A good education will make you a living, Michael, but self-education will make you a fortune.

      Those of us now in our early 60s can attest to the fact that there are now more important things than money. Time would be one of them. You can always get more money but will that money buy you some more time? Answer that one honestly. Health would be another. Some of us, some of our family and/or some of our friends are looking at the end of their days and all the money in the world can’t give them back their health.

      In any society, there will always be the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’s’. That’s just a fact of life. Some will borrow from Peter to pay Paul their entire lives and some will always be sitting in the clover. That by itself doesn’t make one better than the other but, I guess, you could make the case one way or another. In the final analysis, did we use everything that was at our disposal, which includes money, to make our world better for those behind us? Rich or poor, we’re all going to have to answer that question. At least, that’s the way I see it. God bless. ML Proko (2011) Mike  

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 7:37 pm  Comments (2)  
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