Friday, May 15, 2009

The Illusion of Prosperity

from James Quinn:

"In order to get ahead in life you need to invest in assets that appreciate, not depreciate. Does the appearance of wealth and success really outweigh actually being wealthy and successful? Driving a $50,000 car doesn’t guarantee happiness. If it did, we’d be the happiest country on earth. Looking marvelous is a shallow, shortsighted way to go through life. That is fine for those who choose that route, but I’m tired of picking up the pieces of their shattered lives with my tax dollars."

"The biggest and most dangerous illusion for Americans today is that everyone deserves to be a winner. Everyone does not deserve a trophy just for playing. If you screwed up, didn’t work hard, didn’t save for a rainy day, and didn’t save for your retirement, then you lose. The winners studied, worked hard, lived within their means, and saved for the future. The winners have the option to help the losers through charitable means. If the government forces the winners to pay for the bad choices of the losers, our economic system is worthless. This is the reason that anger is building in the country. The Tea Parties were not about taxes. They were about anger towards our government for rewarding the profligate at the expense of the frugal."

"The American government and its citizens have to get over their illusion that they can spend their way to prosperity. According to Zillow.com 33% of all homeowners with a mortgage owe more than the home is worth. At least 67% of all homeowners with a mortgage have 15% equity or less in their homes. The average household has $23,000 of consumer debt. Six million car “owners” owe more than the car is worth. The median 401k balance is less than $15,000. Any economic recovery that is dependent on consumers to borrow and spend will just be a fool’s errand. The illusion of prosperity is coming to a tragic end."

"Beneath the finely groomed blissful suburban fa├žade of America lurk desperation, denial, hypocrisy, and anger. The kids of suburbia today have an entirely different reality than the suburbs I grew up in during the 1970’s. The suburbs have mansion-like homes with spotless interiors, entertainment centers, three car garages, manicured lawns, and no soul. The children of suburbia have been brought up on soda pop and Ritalin. They come home to empty mansions, as both parents must work to pay for the glorious abode. Our homes have gotten bigger and better, while our lives have gotten smaller and less satisfying. One third of all children in the United States are growing up in a single parent household. Many kids feel angry and disconnected from their families, friends and home. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. The kids feel rage and hopelessness at their existence in a suburban nightmare. There are 2 million children who take Ritalin every day. Is this because they truly have ADHD, or it is the painless way out for overstressed suburban parents? Times have surely changed. Bigger hasn’t translated into better over the decades."

More from James Quinn
http://theburningplatform.com/

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