Sunday, September 28, 2008

Words to live by

Trying to make sense out of the current meltdown of our financial system is very difficult for those of us not directly involved. There are many theories and enough blame to share, which is enough for me to put that aside in my attempt to state what to date, I at least have not read or seen on a news report. I am referring to who is getting bailed out and the forgotten who are off on the sidelines wondering if in fact we were stupid or not savvy enough to get on the gravy train or just plain gullible.
Let’s start with who will be blessed by the bailout and other legislation hurriedly being enacted as Congress prepares to resume campaigning.
1- American auto makers; Ford and G.M. They get 25 billion to retool. These companies did all they could to delay the inevitable. They built and pushed the least fuel efficient vehicles they could. G.M built electric cars a decade ago then pulled them back and crushed them to remove all traces that they ever existed. Both companies build fuel efficient cars in Europe. If they can do it there, why not here? Lastly is this not unfair to companies like Honda and Toyota who have spent billions on factories in America and as of now are the leaders in fuel efficiency?
2- The CEO’s, their Corporate staffs and Board of Directors who are so highly paid and in my opinion realized that the government would have to bail them out. They get to keep all of their ill-gotten gains and for the most part will remain except for those who chose to take their marbles and go play somewhere else.
3- Those people who will claim to be duped but none the less should have realized that the homes and goodies being acquired could not possibly be kept without retaining a safety net to cover adverse circumstances. Interest only mortgages, credit cards maxed out. They acted totally irresponsible and in my view should just suffer the consequences and start over. No, no. They will stand in line and be saved.
Now let’s get to the purpose of this letter. I want to talk about those who will not receive handouts except in a peripheral way, meaning that perhaps their assets will not be harmed anymore than they already have. These people in their naivete' have tried to live their lives using religious principles such as;
Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Neither a lender nor a borrower be.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
Don’t covet your neighbor’s possessions.
Live frugally within your means.
Don’t be a financial burden to your parents or your children.
As parents, sacrifice as necessary to provide for the children in your household.
Support the charities and your house of worship as best you can.
Prepare yourself and your family in such a way as to be protected in case of emergency including health issues.
Have sufficient life insurance to cover the loss of the breadwinner’s wages while your children are still of need.
These are the people who live in abodes that are within their financial capacity. They maintain a zero credit card balance. Should for any reason this not be possible, then they cut back on unnecessary expenditures until they can once again pay off their debts. They may go to Goodwill or other used clothing stores rather than shop the mall.
They don’t succumb to the need to have everything their neighbor has.
They don’t gamble or buy lottery tickets excessively trying to strike it rich. They don’t play with the stock market. They instead look for stable investments which can provide gain with the least amount of risk.
These are the forgotten Americans who have lived by a moral code. All that they will receive is the self satisfaction that comes when you live responsibly.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
September 28, 2008

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