Friday Fumblings & The State of the Economy

So you’re pissed off Obama took money for a speech? Hmm, I wonder sometimes if there’s a psychological diagnosis for people who think money grows on Bernie trees? Or just people who are so far removed from money and their understanding of basic economics that they feel they are entitled to be angry someone else made money. I think these are the same people that are angry a house flipper makes money. A car dealership, a pharmaceutical rep. A bank. I feel sorry for these people. Not understanding big pictures can cause a huge amount of confusion in one’s life. Why can’t I buy a car with a 600 credit rating and no money down? Banks are against me cuz wall street, cuz big brother. Fuck the man. Um, because you’ve proven you make horrible choices like trying to buy a car with nothing and a history of not paying your bills? There’s a lack of logic there. Logic and moral high ground are not the same thing. Logic is how we base intelligence using IQ tests. Logic is when you can come to a conclusion using facts, not emotions. Emotional intelligence has definite merit. I’m not dismissing It because it makes a play in economics. Economist use emotions to determine where to invest money. An investor friend of mine is selling all of his Portland properties and buying in red states using both logic and economics. Logic tells him the Portland market has reached a cap, is top heavy and his emotions tell him the moral highground of Portlanders is chocking landlords and the red states are currently winning in the development contracts. He’s not taking advantage of anyone or anything…he’s weighing the odds. Taking risks that could not work. But if he succeeds, there will be a group of people that think he took advantage of xyz. Just like Obama.

My biggest question with people that think money grows on trees is how would they do it different? I have a friend who writes constantly about these moral high ground decisions. She barely can pay her bills. She recently lost weight from a lack of food. Her moral high ground is high. One she can barely step down from at her age. I have another friend that has to hide her trips to other countries because her following is based on being poor. And clearly if she can travel, she’s not poor. Both are decisions they made about their lives. And yet…they are both angry at people that make money doing what they do.

My second question is how do people not put together that people making money…usually employ people. That whole trickle down theory at play. I hate to use it because Reagan but it is true. How does a guy owning a real estate company that makes money not serve as an employer? Providing other people the means to purchase goods as part of an economy? If you think Obama won’t have an office with employees, you’re wrong. If you think his library won’t have employees, you’re wrong. Providing jobs is kind of an important part of that big picture thing emotional moral high ground people cannot put together. They lack of the logic reasoning skills to understand employer versus employment. Probably because they are an employee, that complains of their employer. So caught up in anger they never stop to look around and see someone had to save the money down to buy the house they live in. Usually 30%. Their house is worth $400,000 so that’s $120,000 downpayment. I wonder if moral highgrounders understand where $120,000 comes from? From a trust fund. Not in my case. From a bank. Not in my case. From savings, not in my case. Where did it come from?

That’s the question I wonder when I walk around and look at businesses. A grocery store was started with someone’s life savings. A hair salon with someone’s 401K – their entire damn retirement plan. A restaurant with their parent’s life savings. An investment company started on credit cards. In the world of moral high grounders these life choices are dismissed as ruthless and perhaps even damaging for our society. Making money is damaging for our society. And I wonder how they eat? How they walk in shoes, ride in transportation, collect their moneys using systems created and managed by people that just figure shit out.

And no, I’ve never been poor. But not in the sense you think you feel. But in the true poor I’ve seen in South America and Africa. I’ve never been hungry for years. I’ve never been malnourished, emaciated, I’ve never lost my hair because of calorie counts. I have been poor enough to know every single thing about being poor is exhausting. That everything is ten times harder to accomplish. I know the feeling of worrying one more thing on top of a huge pile of oh my gawd could just teeter into homelessness. I know that kind of poor and so I do what I can. When I see other people teetering on that same precipice. I wonder what would help? Be their friend, loan them money, give them a job, make a phone call to someone with a job? I have the time to do it because I’m no longer bordering on starvation. I know the difference. Being poor is so damn exhausting but so is anger.

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