Archive for February, 2009

The news is full of news of the Great Bailout. The panicked cries of Obama to pass the stimulus bill – a bill with so many zeroes in it that one cannot comprehend the amount – fill the air.

An article for Reuters by Thomas Ferraro says in part:

“This agreement is not bipartisan,” scoffed Republican Senator John McCain, who lost the 2008 White House race to Obama.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” McCain argued that the package is twice as much as needed. He also noted just three Republicans in the 100-member Senate back it.

McCain said he believed the rescue package “may help a bit,” but will also saddle future generations with increased federal debt.

So, what are we to make of this mess?

My own opinion, for what it’s worth, is that we need to return to individual responsibility. If you lose your job, find another. It may not pay as much as the last one, but you can work up to your previous salary over time. If you are still employed, rejoice in your job and do an even better, more productive, more ethical job than before. Give your employer his/her due. Cut expenses – just as people did generations ago.

Repair that which is torn or broken. Step down the cuts of beef or pork or chicken you eat. Hunters, hunt for meat – don’t throw away anything that is safely edible. Grow a vegetable garden. Use cloth rather than paper. Wear your clothes more than once before you wash them – this requires some care.

There used to be, and I discovered there still are, clothing protectors called shields. They protect garments from perspiration, thus enabling people to wear things 2 or even 3 or 4 times between washings.

Purchase well-made shoes. They may cost more initially, but they will last longer than 3 poorly made pairs. Find a good shoe repair shop, and use it to keep your well-made shoes in repair.

These are only a few of the things we can do to help ourselves. If you do a Google search on the word “frugal,” you will get thousands of “hits.” But it almost all falls into the category of “make do, reuse, and repair.” Couponing may help your grocery bill a bit, but it won’t make you money.

More than anything, though we need honesty and positive ethics in public life. We don’t need the government to “bail us out.” We need honest political practices. We need honest Senators and Representatives. We need ethical politicians – not people who take bribes from all sorts and conditions of low-lifes, not people who add pork to bills. We need ethical business men who will keep the customers as well as the stockholders in mind and will honest in all of their business and personal practices.

Individual responsibility was one of the guiding principles of the Founding Fathers. We need a good dose of that in public, business and private lives, now.


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