The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

There go the Joneses

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A piece on NPR about the growing wealth gap (the world's richest man is a Mexican) in the world and this article got me to thinking about something my Aunt Ginger said many years ago.

She said, and I paraphrase, "We are doing just as well as our parents before us and before us and before us. We think we're not doing as well because we believe we must have more."
I like pie.

Truth.


If the truth hurts, yer living wrong. Lemme bring the pain.

Look around you. For that matter, if you are looking straight ahead as you have to be to read this you are using a serious load of things you can live without. Computer. Electricity. Internet. Software. Depending on how far you want to run this train, you can go through shipping, manufacturing, sales, etc etc etc.

Since you are reading this, I am going to state you have far more house than you actually need. House being defined as your domicile, digs, crib, etc.

Continuing this "'cause yer reading this" narrative, you have TV, cable or satellite, cell phones, probably a suite of other electronic gadgetry, none of which existed 100 years ago. Some of it came into existence during your lifetime. Internet access is now being touted across the globe as a "basic human right" apparently on the same level as potable water, adequate food, freedom from persecution.
You can has right to laugh at me?

Ah. We now have an inalienable right to amusing cat videos, bad porn and the ability to get into a lose-your-rationality argument with people all over the globe whom we've never met, never will meet and don't want to meet about things that don't really matter.

There's a WTF moment for me.

In your house, you have a lot of food that requires extensive and unnecessary artificial preservation efforts - chilled or frozen to be exact. The fridge and freezer. The canned and dry goods you have are less than what must be temperature controlled.

Take a real look at yourself. What can you genuinely do without?

I have challenged several people who tell me "I don't have enough money" to let me adjust their budgets. I guarantee them I can cut their expenses by 25 percent.

So far, no one has taken me up on the offer. Why? They know I'm right. You know I'm right.

You can cut your expenses dramatically. You choose not to.

This "standard of living" which you insist on having is not what you need to live. It's what you want to live.

The truth is you can do with a lot less. The truth is you'd rather live the lie than embrace the truth. Hey. You're not unique. The rest of the world is right there with you. Even Mark Boyle, as noted in the beginning, is truly not living without money and still has more than he really needs.

Tomorrow, provided I get a moment, I'm gonna take a look at two extremely economic concepts that relate to this subject. If not tomorrow, then when I get a moment.

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