Saturday, February 21

Let Them Eat Cake

Eat Me!Well, the stimulus package has passed, hasn't it? There hasn't been a day that has gone by without all kinds of criticism from every corner.

I think the only way to stop the criticism is to declare a war on the economy. This way, whatever level of spending is attained can be justified. After all, anything goes in a time of war. We've been hearing that mantra for nearly a decade so I doubt anyone would dare refute it.

Short of that, I'm afraid we'll have to let them eat cake!

That's what I'm hearing. All those poor losers who are too stupid to look after their financial welfare should just look after themselves. If they can't afford to buy bread, well, perhaps they should eat cake. This is the brand of criticism I am seeing most.

Oh my god. Somebody who isn't irresponsible may have to bear some of the burden of someone who was. Yes, it's true.

However, the way you feel about that really speaks about how you see the rest of society. Perhaps they are the underclass, the dregs, that you look down upon and suppose they should wallow in discontent until they, too, lift themselves up. Alternately, perhaps they are hard working people who have fallen on tough times.

Both types are out there. How about we try to find ways to help people who are hard working and avoid setting up permanent programs which would, by design, reward bad behavior. I don't know about the rest of you but I see a looming economic crisis as something of a one-off event. Just like a war, it's something out of the ordinary which calls for a temporary change of rules.

Didn't we learn through previous economic collapses that the time to tighten the purse strings is during times of relative wealth? Clamping down violently on spending, during a crisis, is precisely the recipe that will make the downturn as severe as possible. I think we can tell who is relatively secure in their comfort by how loudly they proclaim that others need to suffer as much as possible.

I guess it comes down to two world views. One is that life is tough and you either look after yourself or you suffer the consequences -- which sells. The other is that we help each other in times of need -- which also sells.

Instead of the ideological posturing which amounts to saying 'Let them eat cake' let's work on not sending money towards those that truly are not deserving. This is the basic point that the right should be making -- and they should be helping to craft legislation which upholds these values. However, at the same time, the left need to understand that some of them really are bleeding heart liberals who will create entitlement programs that do provide unintended disincentives. Not everyone with a hand out is pure of heart and strong of character.

I wish we could get the government to put the discourse at the right level. That's what will create effective legislation. Instead, we get posturing for political gain, which is certainly not "country first".

These damned fools need to work together, seriously work, to guard against the views of both the callous and the weak, and forge serious progress.

P.S. I lifted the image from these fine folks... so if you are in their neighborhood and need a cake, please go check out their web site.

Frugal Guy said...
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47 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you are a bank they will pull you up by the boot straps out of the hole. If you are an individual they will kick you to the curb to die if you go broke?? Who is to blame? Obama said "they tell you to pull yourself up by the boot straps but, what do you do if you don't have any"? What is the answer? Let them die? What if they do not have Mommy and Daddy to help or did not inherit a dime? Where does the answer lie???

Anonymous said...

Is it jobs because, there sure are not any jobs? Many want to work but, how can they with no damn jobs? Mommy and Daddy kick them to the curb too. Get Real America!!

Anonymous said...

I know I know just keep rounding them up plus setting them up and put them in the Natzi style concentrations camps called prison. That is the easy way out. They don't need money. They are just SLAVES to us. They are just parasites without a dime. Who cares? Religion is bogus anyway. Who gives a shit what Jesus would do? Danny G.

Frugal Guy said...

Anons,

I wish I could do more than simply thunder about in vain. It's tough for me to sit by and watch issues twisted by ideology. I don't much like being powerless...

Anonymous said...

We are powerless!! Just let them eat shit and die. Who would care anyway. They just want to take money out of your pocket. Who cares if they have 6 kids and could have used a condom we are supposed to pay. Just like that nutcase Mom with octuplets recently living on social security and welfare. Those kids will suffer. Just get a gun and shoot them all. The elephant party rules. Just give the poor guys peanuts and book them into a cremation soon.

Frugal Guy said...

Anon,

You are so over the top I can't be sure you are being serious.

Anyway, there certainly are examples that are easy to hold up. However, you are making a very big mistake when you do that.

There are always examples of excess but the mistake is in thinking that everyone is acting in that kind of wreckless excess.

I went through a period of unemployment after the dot-bomb following Y2K. People with ten years experience more than I were out looking for entry level jobs I should have been able to apply to.

When I applied for jobs outside of my industry, nobody would hire me because they were afraid I'd just leave when a job in my own field came along.

Would you blame me for that?

I'm back on my feet. I earn a good wage again. However, I suffered dearly for years and am still going to be feeling the effects of that period for many more years to come.

Again, I know there are bad people out there, but you have been taken by ideology if you think that all people in tough circumstances are just looking a way to avoid being responsible for themselves.

However, as I tried to say in my post, you are right. There are bad examples out there -- and we have to make sure that whatever the government might do that it does not encourage them or give them the ability expect ongoing support.

Finally, I must disagree about your comment concerning the octomom's children. Those children are not at fault for what they did. We are a civilized society and we should give them a chance at a decent productive lifestyle.

Unfortunately, to do that the mother may get somewhat of a free ride. It's life. It's also better for all of us if her children get an education instead of joining a gang or otherwise inflicting an even more terrible cost on society.

Let go of the anger and hatred, realize that not all people who feel differently than you are bad. Accept that there is going to be some waste -- nothing will ever be perfect -- and then work towards making things as good as they can be.

Anonymous said...

Me Danny is a hard core Republican conservative. Why should I have to pay more taxes for a Single Mom with no job or husband to bring children she cannot afford into this world? If you want to pay for her do it. Pay more taxes and send her donations. Her house is in foreclosure. Poorly planned scam of hers will cost her big time!!! Those children will end up in jail because, current welfare and social security do not pay enough to support them. Vote for you to pay for those rates to go up so, they will not end up dead from cancer or in jail. Some get less than $100 a month. You cannot buy enough food, clothes or shoes for one child with that. I can understand disability payments or unemployment. This woman worked in a nut house where she may have got a virus herself that will cause all of these children to be poor nuts. That is no life for anyone. There should be laws to protect these kids. Would you want to be a starving child with no food, clothes, shoes or toys with a nutcase mom to care for you?? Hell no and she said she is going back to college. Bullshit college loans do not even pay for college she cannot support those kids on that like she said she will. What will they eat dog shit? Come on get real. Danny G.

Anonymous said...

Her Mother is fighting with her about it. It is hard enough to bring one or two kids into the world to support. 14 is insane. Ya it is life but, what kind of life? A life of hardship, suffering and despair? If you believe that is ok then you will be the next Hitler. Mary M.

Frugal Guy said...

Danny,

I know where you are coming from. My post is not about some rare one-shot strange situation like the octomom.

Your mistake is thinking that all people who use tax dollars are of that bizarre mentality. It simply is not so.

Your instincts are right, in that you should keep an eye out for waste in taxpayer dollars, but in my opinion you've got too much ideology in there.

Name one system, anywhere, that isn't tainted because of the frailties of people. Greed, waste, nepotism, cronyism and other ills of business and government follow us around everywhere. It's not due to some left versus right ideology.

It's human nature.

However, as I hard core conservative I would expect you to also believe in the importance of the strength of your nation. The strength of your nation is enhanced when it isn't divided internal, with large segments of population using tax dollars being incarcerated instead of getting a productive education with those tax dollars.

Which expenditure do you think represents a better investment in the future? Ideology has gotten in front of long term future welfare of the nation too often.

The chickens have come home to roost and now we are going to pay for that ideological rigidity in spades.

Neither of us has to like it... but hopefully we can both learn from it.

And, again, I will agree that early old style liberal programs did cause issues of entitlement and encouraged inappropriate behavior, however, don't let the talking heads convince you that we can't change the nature of the way we do things to avoid such ills.

Frugal Guy said...

Danny,

Reading over this again I see I've gone off on some tangent perhaps.

The part that makes sense is considering whether her children end up taking our money in jail or taking our money and becoming productive members of society so they can contribute to the costs of being civilized too.

There's only one insane octomom on the planet (at least in our jurisdiction), you can be angry about her, but we shouldn't consider such an unlikely outlier as indicative of how our money is spent.

Really though, my post is about the plight of unemployed, so that's why I keep going back there...

Anonymous said...

Unemployment is different or disability. She is using children for money that will suffer. That is wrong. Just like the foster care people. I grew up with Foster kids. They do not have clothes or enough food ect.. Thier foster parents use the money to pay thier bills and expensive house payment ect.. They spend very little on them and most of the ones I know have gone to jail ect.. They are all messed up. That is dead wrong. IF my wife went and had 20 babies we cannot afford you cannot tell me that is ok. You cannot pay for it and most people would not. We should not expect that. Danny G. She is a mental case. Unemployed people pay unemployment insurance for thier benefits while working. There is nothing wrong with getting those benefits or disability that was paid for through wages ect..

Frugal Guy said...

Danny,

I don't really see a lot of options available for dealing with the octomom.

Really, in a civilized society, we just have to accept that sometimes we don't like what people are doing.

You can't punish the kids for her mental problems and still call yourself a decent human.

So, we can all gather around and condemn the woman, and the acts she did, but that doesn't solve anything.

Any good ideas?

P.S. Thanks for the spirited conversation!

Anonymous said...

Prevention is the key. There should be laws to prevent this kind of suffering. Why let an innocent child starve and not have enough basics for survival due to living in a fantasy world like they said she is on tv? The children are crime victims and should be protected. Maybe they should limit the amount of children a single or couple can have to save the children from a life of hell. Prison or a mental institution is no place for anyone. Prevention is key. Since this did not happen they should get federal benefits from the wallets of people like you willing to help. Pay them social security so, they can eventually go to college and be someone. They need clothes, shoes, toys, food and basics. They don't have to be brand new or expenisve. They need a decent life. Not to be her slaves. Danny G.

Anonymous said...

They offered her $1 million dollars to do porn movies. If she does this then we know it is not the children that are important to her it is the money.

Frugal Guy said...

Hehehehe. I don't know. That sounds like an urban legend to me.

However, at the same time, who are we to sit around and judge how someone legally provides for their family?

At some point we, as a nation, need to get beyond worrying about people who make different, but legal, decisions than ourselves.

For example, there are a lot of people out there who aren't frugal and I can still sleep at night.

Anonymous said...

This was on tv where they said that about the porn. About the decisions of others that money will come out of your pocket too. IF you are willing to pay then pay it but, remember your taxes will go up too. She is insane.Being frugal is one thing but, letting babies die that is not. That is wrong. Frugality is good and not everyone is but, that is unjust. All the government spending affects us. IT is all up to us. WE can change the world if we will get off our butts and fight. Danny G.

Frugal Guy said...

Danny,

Just because you don't like something, or worse, something is generally agreed to be wrong, doesn't mean we don't have to live with it.

This doesn't mean we should promote it, or be happy about it, but it does mean that we can't erase what happened no matter how upset we might be about it.

I don't like the fact that somebody took their wheel off of the controls and we've ended up in one heck of a financial mess. However, you and I are going to be dealing with it for a long time.

I agree with you that octomom did something wrong. However, I recognize that there's pretty much zero I can do about it. I don't see that we have a system that truly encourages any sane person to be an octomom. So, it's not worth my effort to worry about it any further.

Sometimes you have to get a different perspective to see things straight. For example, many poor people spend very large portions of their life in prison, and no wonder, once they've been to prison getting a job is nearly impossible.

The sane answer is prevention... in that we make sure people have the opportunity to become contributing members of society, but instead we would rather complain about this segment of society and blame them for all of our ills.

Give people the means and ability to provide for themselves, and most of them, once they are adults, would gladly do so. This is what I find many people miss... assuming everyone is out to steal from someone else.

That's nonsense, and it says that you think people are at base simply scum. That's wrong too.

Anna said...

Conservatives and liberals need to stop bickering and recognize that the majority party of this country is now disenfranchised unenrolled/third-party voters who have bailed from their ridiculous entrenched viewpoints. They need to get real and heed the parable of the Little Red Hen.

Little Red Hen owns a field, seed wheat, and a nice kitchen to bake bread. She invites her neighbors at every step of the process to help her plow the field, plant the seed, harvest and mill the wheat, and bake the bread. However, once the bread is baked, anyone who was too lazy to help out is told to take a hike.

The conservative viewpoint is that Little Red Hen earned her wealth and should not share it. Let her import cheap sharecropper labor from Mexico to harvest her grain and hire men with guns to shoot anyone who tries to sneak into her field to feed their family.

The liberal viewpoint is that Stalin Fox should step in and redistribute her wealth to her neighbors. However, Little Red Hen will then stop planting her fields and pretty soon everyone starves because nobody else ever learned how to get wheat from field to table.

The majority viewpoint in this country is that it does not behoove Red Hen to hoard her wealth and let her neighbors starve because they will simply find unsavory ways to deprive her of it, such as sneaking into her field in the middle of the night to steal what they need (or rise up in revolt and behead her like Marie Antoinette). By inviting her neighbors to share both work and bounty, not only does she have less work, but her neighbors now know how to go home and plow their own amber waves of grain to make their own bread.

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for taking the time to share that parable. This is tongue in cheek, but maybe we can develop a centrist ideology? ;)

Anonymous said...

In other words "Everyone work together or else"!!

Frugal Guy said...

Or else?

Not sure where that comes from. However, we do have to decide what it means to live in a civilized society.

Part of the problem is that folks who refuse to live by the collective rules of society, ever present since the dawn of time, have nowhere to go on the planet that isn't ruled by such a collective.

The wild west is all gone.

There is a military to support. There is law enforcement to support. There is public infrastructure to support.

We don't get to opt out. Most, meaning the majority, as in democracy, don't want to opt out. So, where does that leave us?

Anonymous said...

Problems, corporate crime and insanity. We need the Old West laws those with the biggest gun should win. Otherwise they will crap allover you. They do and will continue for the all mighty dollar. It's money that matters in the USA!!

Anonymous said...

OR Else war,destruction, crime and a crappy economy. Sign of the times!!! Those who have it want to keep it and not share. Those that don't have it are gonna steal it to survive.

Anonymous said...

Just stick a gas can up the people you don't like's ass like the Mexicans are doing in California that will solve it. Not those dirty bastards. Don't let them trick you anyone. They are trying to kill off anyone who is not Mexican.

Frugal Guy said...

That's about all the ignorant racism I'm going to tolerate.

If you don't have an intelligent comment to make please feel free to visit another blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of illegal immigration or how imbalanced (legal or illegal) immigration by one particular ethnic group is deluging our country faster than we can integrate these new citizens or teach them what it means to be an American. However, we need to remember that we are ALL a nation of immigrants and a controlled, steady influx of a broad variety of new ideas benefits our society.

Are people aware there is a precise scientific theory that predicts how much "cake" a society can "eat" before it starts to break down? 10-15% "flux."

Illya Prigogenes Theory of Dissipative Structures describes both evolution and the evolution of societies. If there are no stressors, the organism/society becomes rigid and fails to evolve when suddenly subjected to a minor stressors. The law of entrophy takes over. The fall of Rome is an example.

When the organism/society is subjected to a controlled degree of what Progogine called "flux," it reorganizes itself into a higher, more complex order (evolution). This is what happened for the first 200 years of our nations history, when immigration was tied to the ability to contribute and Alexander Hamiltons' "American Plan of Economics" protected fledgling U.S. industry from too much competition from foreign nations.

When an organism is barraged with too many stressors at once, the organism/society cannot reorganize fast enough and rapidly falls apart. For example, stressors such as imbalanced immigration, merchantilism disguised as "free trade," underfunding education and tax policies that either benefit the rich or reward the poor for bad behavior. It's a perfect storm for the crisis we're in right now.

The good news is that by systematically reducing (though not eliminating) each stressor until the total amount of "flux" is below the "flux" threshold of 10-20% quickly brings the organism/society back into a steady state of reorganization.

Unfortunately, the Dems are still touting "free trade" and foolish reward policies while the 'Pubs still tout killing education and helping the rich. Until they address the problem, this recession is just going to keep dragging on...

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. From my own point of view it's important to look at things through the lenses of reason and history.

Unfortunately, this is often derided as it requires some education to consider issues deeply. One of the things that bothers me most is how education and educational institutions have been derided a ivory tower bastions of liberalism.

Knowing how to think and being able to look deeper than the rhetoric of the day should never be wrong...

Anonymous said...

REPUBLICANS SUCK!! GOT SLAVES?? PAY YOUR SHARE LOOSERS!!!

Frugal Guy said...

Sigh.

I'll have to make some new posts and drive this one into the doldrums... lest I suffer the rapier wit of political commentary!

Prigogenes Princess said...

I'm no liberal. If the 'Pubs hadn't been overtaken by the radical right I'd probably be a conservative 'Pub. However, facts are facts and science is science. Society gets into trouble when it starts trading facts for convenient slogans that ignore truth ("global warming is a hoax") and trades in rational scientific reasoning for wishful ideology (such as religious or corporate ideology).

It all comes down to analyzing the anticipated rate of "flux." The fact of the matter is the U.S. birth rate is dropping steadily and as the baby boomers retire those workers are going to need to be replaced. We have three choices:

1) stop all immigration and eliminate social security benefits to new retirees (Japan is in this boat right now);

2) continue to allow unfettered immigration (both legal and illegal) of unskilled workers, but because they mostly fill low-wage jobs, social security will need to be reduced for all seniors (the status quo);

3) Carefully craft a policy of controlled legal immigration. This means policies should aim to fill anticipated job shortages and only allow immigrants with training to fill those slots so native-born U.S. citizens aren't shut out of decent-paying jobs. Make mandatory "living wages" so employers can't get around hiring U.S. citizens first by importing cheap labor. Go to the best universities around the world and invite the best, brightest, smartest, and hardest working people from a broad variety of countries (so no one ethnic group dominates) to come live the American dream. Include citizens from "enemy" nations such as Iran and North Korea, but screen applicants carefully with psychological as well as background tests to make sure they aren't inclined towards radicalism (or spies). Make learning U.S. civics and history a mandatory part of obtaining citizenship so new citizens understand what it means to be an American. Then, baby boomers can to retire on the social security benefits they have been counting on their entire working lives.

Anonymous said...

Eat some cake, drink some whiskey and bitch about it in the morning!! Illegals stop stealing jobs from Americans and working for 25 cents an hour!!!

eyepatchman said...

Hi all,

Here's an interesting one for you.

An analysis of the current economic crisis we are all unfortunately facing but looked at from a slightly different perspective.

This analysis looks at past banking crises and how they have effected various aspects of the economy.

It is titled The Banking Crisis - Where are we now? (follow the link should you be interested) and has particularly interesting points about how the previous banking crises has effected assets including property prices.

Hope you enjoy.

Anonymous said...

17 banks have failed and more are on the way. If people do not have enough money, how can they pay thier bills or stimulate the economy? The college educated are hurting too. Loosen your wallet miser bastard bosses. You are losing money too dumb asses. All your crosses are burning back from your slaves Dumb shits!!!

alex said...

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So I have a little offer for you....

The company I work for would like to pay you to put a text link to a credit card site on your blog. I have not seen any other deals already, but would love to make you an offer anyway. I'm sure we can come up with some good terms?!

The website is called creditcardmenu.com and we will be launching a new fantastic looking credit card review and comparison service which is free to our customers; let me know your thoughts.

So let the bartering begin??!

Oh and keep up the great work!

Alex Preece
Bad with my money, great with other peoples!
Negotiator
(I am based in London, England so excuse the weird times you get this email!)
Giant Investments
E: alex.preece@giant.org.uk
T: 01273 224002

Anonymous said...

Feed the economy bastards!! Pay the employees a living wage and you will get it back in profit brain donors lol

Anonymous said...

Save not only the entire world but, all of us now before it is too late. IF people are not paid they do not buy. The employer gets poorer too. Wealth is something that has to be spread around or it does not grow. Why can't these morons see that?

Anonymous said...

How to improve the economy: 1. Be born wealthy. 2.Go to college paid for by Mommy and Daddy. 3. Get a kick ass job. 4. Spend, Spend, Spend. 5. One burbun, one scotch, one beer and then you will be so drunk you won't give a damn what you spent the money on. lol

Anonymous said...

How to stimulate the economy? Don't live too frugal a life that you don't enjoy yourself and remember a coffin is free. You don't have to pay anything once you get there so, there is such a thing ,as being too frugal!!!

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Anonymous said...

How to improve the economy buy,buy,buy and pass the buck onto more job growth. Frugality is no fun anymore if you can't find a good paying job.

Anonymous said...

Stimulate the economy rob all the banks who got free cash in the bailouts and shop like a pro lol

Frugal Guy said...

Okay, solicitations and silly comments. I really need to write something on-topic so the unruly mob will settle down...

Anonymous said...

How about how to survive in today's horrid economy without ending up a bag lady or man on the street corner like some CEO's in this area? Collect cans or whore it lol

Anonymous said...

The best way to survive is to buy what you need and not what you want. Pay the bills you have to pay. Don't buy extras like pay per view and bogus crap. Like the Rolling Stones sang" You can't always get what you want, you get what you need".

Anonymous said...

Just do what the government does steal and sock it too em'!! Killing is ok with them too. It is easy cash but, hell will be hot lol

nicholas said...

lol money cake looks tasty lol yum :P

Lawrence said...

As we have seen at this point, big brother is continuing to take care of the big guys.