Your money is worthless???

 

coffee and money

By Kenneth Justice

 

~ Whether you live in London, New York, Athens, or Rome…..there is one truth we can’t deny; $100 just isn’t worth very much anymore.

 

The purchasing power of the dollar, the pound, and the Euro has been drastically reduced compared to yesteryear……

 

–) Inflation

 

–) Crazy economics

 

–) Poor government management

 

–) Corporate greed

 

–) Out-of-control spending

 

There are a variety of things we could point to in search of a reason why our money is worth so much less than it used to be worth.

 

But we all feel it when we go to the grocery store and it we can see firsthand how much less we can buy with $100.

 

But what can any of us do?

 

When so many of us are out of work, working a dead-end-job, working at a career where our salary is fixed……there are so many of us who don’t see an end to the economic blight we feel on a daily basis.

 

And so some of us dream…..we dream of winning the lottery, suddenly being given a fortune, or simply dreaming about a better life…..

 

But unfortunately; dreams don’t change our life….unless we make our dreams come true.

 

One of the realities I’ve had to face in my life is that nobody is going to drop into my life and give me all I’ve ever wanted. If I want to see my dreams come to fruition I’m going to have to pursue them myself; I have to put into action the necessary steps that need to take place.

 

Hey, I’m not trying to let the people off the hook who’ve ruined our economies; I wish I could push a button and hold the people accountable who are responsible for the various ills that have befallen society like the housing bubble that burst in 2008, the ridiculous hedge fund betting that took place in Europe and the U.S. during the 1990’s and 200’s, and the poor government leaders from numerous countries.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have the power to hold all of these people to task; I can complain, I can bitch about it, I can write about the injustice they are guilty of…..but at some point I’ve got to figure out a solution for my life……because there isn’t anybody at the top looking out for me.

 

I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative when it comes to the economic problem; I’m a realist. The reality of the situation is that millions of us throughout the Western World feel like life sucks….and for many of us it’s not just a ‘feeling’….it is reality.

 

But at a certain point it is up to you and me to begin doing things different. We must be careful not to be become paralyzed by fixating on faults of others; yes there are people at fault for how we got to where we are…..but if we want to see things change we must make that change occur.

 

I live in a part of the U.S. with the largest concentration of Arabs outside of the Middle East. One of the things I really admire about these Arab Americans is the way they work together; families pool their money and resources together and purchase houses, start businesses, and help each other out. Though they may have to temporarily live together in the same house; it is only until they have saved up enough money to buy houses and automobiles for everyone.

 

Arab-Americans tend to take care of each other and I really admire that about them.

 

But why don’t the rest of us do this?

 

–) It’s difficult to start a business by yourself….so why don’t groups of us come together to start businesses?

 

–) It’s difficult to start a money-making Website by yourself…..so why don’t groups of us come together to start one?

 

Why don’t more of us work together to change our lives?

 

–) I want to see positive change occur

 

–) I want to see people’s lives improve

 

–) I want to see people start new businesses

 

And the longer I think about these things the more I realize that there are no government’s around the world that are willing to help us. There are no banks out there willing to finance small business ventures. Gone are the days when a bank would dish out small business loan to someone with a great business idea. Now-a-days, if you aren’t already successful and have a good bankroll in your pocket, then you’re not going to find a bank that is willing to help you.

 

So what do you think?

 

Am I wrong? Am I being idealistic?

 

I think I need another coffee,

 

Kenneth

 



Categories: Culture & Society

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23 replies

  1. You would have to alter our entire culture. We are a country of INDIVIDUALS. We are not group minded (at least we don’t think we are). A lot of times we work alone, even when we work together. The “rugged individual,” is what we admire in this country. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, mentality. I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone who would be willing to move in with their family for any length of time, unless they were absolute destitute and even then they may think living on the street would be a better alternative. You are supposed to take care of yourself, (although today kids seem to think that everyone should take care of them). I can ABSOLUTELY say that I don’t know any parents who want their children or family members moving in with them. People can barely stand to see their relatives on a holiday. LOL We are opinionated and pretty much unwilling to “follow.” If you come from a culture that has close family ties, lives together, etc., you might have a chance but I don’t know anyone like that. We are conditioned/taught to take care of ourselves…period. We need a lot of space. I couldn’t do it. If you’re from here, not new, then I don’t think there’s a chance you could get people to live that way. The death rate would soar and if people didn’t kill each other they would destroy any relationship they had, or pretended to have. Uh…no. That doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other, it just means that we think differently. Everyone I know loves their families and would help out in a minute but our culture rewards standing on your own two feet and doing things by yourself. Doing things by yourself is a sign of maturity and success. Some people who work with family are seen as people who couldn’t get a real job and are still dependent (bad word) on their parents/family. That’s just the way it is.

  2. It’s indeed true we have to start in our own life. If we want to see things change, we have to do something and not sit back and wait for a miracle to happen. (Although it’s not wrong to have some dreams and hope ^^) I think you’re being realistic instead of idealistic: it might help us all if we worked together more; supported each other so we could all benefit from it. But if people are really willing to do that… I don’t know…

    • I think it’s an element of realism and an element of idealism……

      Realistically; there are people groups, like the one I mentioned, which are succeeding in the current system by working together with each other….

      Idealistically; I’d love to see this occur among other groups but I just don’t know that it can happen because so many of us are too individualistic and unwilling to work together

    • True. True. I have nothing more to add to that 😉

  3. Definitely feel you on this one. I remember when I was younger, my mom would go get $100 worth of groceries and it would be so much! Go grocery shopping with $100 now and it seems like you come back with next to nothing! I wish there was an “Easy” button for money or the economy as a whole, but let’s face it, if there was we would wear it out and be right back where we are!

    I too dream of economic stability for myself and family. Hopefully one day I will achieve it and get out of that damn mill I work at. It is my dream to be able to do this with Growth In Recovery.

  4. I believe that the way things are structured and the way we think is completely wrong and there must be a change. First of about money. It is only a tool, without real value. And yet, more and more people believe in it as having value.
    But I think I am getting a bit obscure here, so a bit of an explanation. Money is nothing but a trading tool, it has no value of its own. Pieces of paper, or numbers on our screen. In order to have any kind of value, at least one person have to believe in the value. The seller. So I am willing to buy from you oil, but you don’t believe that my money is any good. You won’t sell. But what makes some currencies better accepted than others? A belief. A belief of stability. US dollar used to be the strongest currency in the world. Even today that its reign is somehow lost to Euro, oil & gold is still linked to dollar. The sense of stability comes from the fact that US is a mighty strong country, but it has become apparent the last 5 years, that the continuous issuing of new dollar bills is not backed up by anything valuable or productive. Now it is becoming clear to many people, that money (and gold for that matter) should never have become values on their own. But it is too late. People in many parts of the world die of hunger, not because there is not enough food, but because they can’t afford it! They prefer to stock the crops in warehouses or destroy it, in order to keep the price up, instead of giving it away! Also something else: with the new technology only the 20% of the working force in the planet is needed in order to do all available work. So does this mean that the rest will have to accept their fate, and die of hunger, since they won’t be having any money? It is very strange that simple ethics like that (only the men that work deserve to be fed) are unburied by the greedy people in order to justify the way things are going. They have turn food in stocks and they play with them in the stock market, while people die of hunger.
    Maybe it is time a new set of ethics, beliefs and values are set. I find that communism failed because it was a forced system, a dictator ship in all but name, while capitalism keeps going because it feeds from the flesh of the poor dreaming that they will make it some day. But surely there is a way between, and new technologies should have made this passing easier, but alas…

    So if the system won’t change and ordinary people are not given the chance to go back and produce the things needed for their survival (anyone living in a city understands what I am talking about) Then there is little left. No matter if we come together to begin a new business, no matter if we join forces and do it for free. If we allow and accept the system in which we operate, than it is destined to devour us and spit us when it gets what it wants from us.

    • So what is the answer then? Move to a deserted island and start our little country? You would get my vote as the head of our economic system.

      I worked in politics for three years and from that short vantage point I determined a couple things;

      1) there are too many people who support the current economic systems so it’s impossible to scrap them and start over
      2) the current economic systems are too complex and overrun with corruption so working within the system we would only be able to change very little

      The solution seems to move to countries and areas where there are less problems…..no?

  5. You have hit upon the real solution for economizing.My friend is an experienced pilot, airplane mechanic and business model writer. He found a man with money and an interest in a small plane company. This is my friend’s chance to live his dream. He doesn’t have the capital but he has the skills. I hope their idea get’s off the ground….and that leads me to Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel
    And, thus between them, with impunity
    They loused up the entire community
    And even the dinosaurs moved away
    From the messed-up spot in the USA
    Which is why
    our business men never shall
    Allow much to happen
    in La Jolla, Cal
    You read a biography of Ghandi and me, I read one about Dr. Seuss. His success was always due to his use of ironic humor to make a point. He was fist involved with politics and advertising. His children’s books were so successful because the adults loved them. He found that talking about prejudices, pollution and empathy in his so so simple rhymes tickled everyone’s funny bone. It also was biting and complicated in it’s expose of “evil” forces.
    Kenneth I dare say your writing has the same magic. We love the satire in your words and the idealist in the man. Simple? Like a fox.

  6. I find myself contemplating these same things. Why can’t I win the lottery, I asked myself. Of course, I would give to those in need and not just be greedy with my winnings. I always get a feeling right back that I don’t actually want to win the lottery (lies, lies to myself haha) and that it wouldn’t help anything anyway. I guess the universe knows I will change for the worse with all that money. I have been wondering about groups of people helping each other out lately. I think for me, though, I would like to stop contributing my time and money to said corporate money mongers and politicians. Maybe if we could rely less on them and more on ourselves and those around us for the things we NEED. We don’t NEED to have everything. We NEED food, some sort of transportation. But we don’t NEED to keep shelling out millions of dollars to make others rich when we can live quite a good life on our own. I want to get together with some folks and start getting back to the basics, where I can focus on the beauty of the world and the beauty within it, instead of some 401K or something.

    Groceries ARE ridiculously priced, but we could grow our own. Electricity is RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. With the $675 my electric bill was this past month, I could have went in with someone on some solar panels. Imagine the possibilities if we worked together…

  7. hey Kenneth, going to pipe in here. First I think our current economical model is unsustainable. I also believe our economical systems are in fact the result of instinctual drives Socialism arising from the drive for continuation of species, capitalism is the drive for continuation of the individual. These instincts often conflict one another. In western society we have forsaken the We and focus on the Me and therein lies the problem. The American Dream itself is a selfish one. As I said I don’t believe are current system is sustainable and we are closer to the breaking point than we may realize, although evidence shows that governments may not be so ignorant to the circular nature of history and see the revolt of populace upon the horizon. We have already surpassed the conditions that led to the French Revolution in terms of inflation and poverty. I believe that unless we move to a more socialistic system an uprising is on the horizon and will occur in the next decade or two. Side note the earth’s population has already surpassed what the earth can sustainably reproduce. We live on a planet with finite recourses and we act as if there is no bottom to the well and it will never go dry. we ignore the evidence of the all sediment in the water we currently draw that we have already reached the bottom of the well.

  8. you ask “why don’t people…?” its simple. SELFISH GREED. we are all conditioned that everyone else is going to do us wrong because we have seen our leaders in church, government, and business do us wrong that we are conditioned to have the mindset of “stuff it in my mattress” so no one else can get it. We have gotten so wrapped up in how important we think we are that we aren’t even willing to fully give our selves or our time to others as well. Sad.

  9. i think many of your commenters already made points i may have, particularly about our culture being about self. you want the american dream … you have to do it by yourself. people here tend to be selfish, self-serving and very untrusting of others. we tend to take our business models after corporations and they do tend to be brutal, untrusting, corrupt, etc. we’ve changed so much we don’t even see that it’s no longer a genuine free market anymore. there are so many monopolies, despite laws trying to keep that from happening, that it’s incredibly difficult to start mom and pop shops unless you plan to make it a large chain at some point and no longer be a mom and pop shop. i suppose if we lose faith that things will never change, then it really will never change. if even the few continue to hold hope and give good examples, such as what you described, then perhaps more and more will eventually follow. change is needed but won’t happen via governments bought by corporations; it must happen via it’s people who are the ones who are supposed to really be running the joint anyway. as gandhi said “we must be the change we wish to see in the world.” 🙂

    • Very well said, Stormy. And that makes me realize more and more that I need to start doing what I can for my family. I want to be the change I want to see in the world. I get the bug more and more everyday to shed some of this ridiculousness than we have had forced upon us. If I can change, so can others. And if we lead by example (even if we have only touched those around us) then we CAN make a change.

    • totally agree… the ripple effect is certainly a good one and a lovely image. im not sure it’s possible to change the world via large groups but even if just one person at a time is a big change. 🙂

  10. I don’t think you are wrong. I don’t see anything wrong with being an idealist. That’s where we find creativity and innovation.

    We don’t give ourselves enough credit. We are smart. We like challenges. How about that? Now we have a ‘biggy’.

    Do we work well together in our culture. No – no we do not. Has it been a part of our past culture. No, not really. If we had learning/knowledge of an old belief, and we wanted to change that, we would have to wrap our brains around some new ideas. That’s not easy, but I don’t think building new neural patterns and pathways is impossible. Not by a long shot, and that’s what this really boils down to – brain matter. Smart thinking. It will take desire, creativity and commitment.

    I think at a global, continental and national level – our economic systems are very broken.

    I see economic change starting at a more community – grassroots level first. At this smaller level, people will start to self organize. You can see this in the Crowd Source Funding movement, where different communities (whether geographical or ideological) i.e.: like the Holster Frame Project: http://shop.holstee.com/products/holstee-manifesto-poster-in-reclaimed-wood-frame

    The creativity of people on this planet, is manifested in systems like the Internet. Like in virtual places here. Our ideas come together and who knows what will happen next. We are smart. We are creative. We love challenges. We can and are starting to work together.

    Idealistic? Sure. Why not?

    Great conversation BTW.

    • Yeah… meant to say (around the crowd source funding thing) that ordinary people are ‘investing’ in the small/large projects that they want to.

      Avaaz, http://avaaz.org/en/ would be the same type of thing on a much larger scale. Here is where global – ‘feels’ global.

      Someone wrote earlier, about family and caring for family. I have moved past the idea that blood is the only ‘real’ thing that identifies family. At no other time in history, have we ever come this close to understanding what a global family is. We are right on that doorstep. Wouldn’t miss this… for the world! ; )

    • Crap! Stupid iPad! It’s – Holstee – not Holster. Ugh.

  11. Reblogged this on A Blanc Canvas and commented:
    Fodder for thought.

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