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As Long as We Remember...

March 27, 2008

Consequences of Irresponsibility

Joan Marie Aquilino

Before it's too late and you and I are left holding the entire bag, do something for me, please. Start screaming; make it so loud that the local, state and federal governments finally hear you.


Tell the government to stop all the bail outs. Don't let up, don't take no for an answer. We all have enough on our plates; we don’t need the government looking to us to bail them out yet again. The banking industry got themselves into this mess. Let them get out of it. Adjusting interest rates is one thing but “saving” them is yet quite another.


Stop feeling guilty or assuming that’s just the way things are going to be. Until we say “No” to more government spending and bail outs, we’ll never see an end to this nightmare of unaccountability.


We all have free will to make choices and every action does have a consequence. We must learn to deal with those consequences. I'm sure there are exceptions to every rule I can put out there, but our government is making the exceptions to, "The Rule", rather than the other way around.


Twenty or even 40 year olds are not entitled to a house until they have worked hard and saved the money to buy it on their own. Owning a home is a dream for many, but it is not by any stretch of the imagination an entitlement.


We, the American taxpayer, are not here to do it for you. If you want something badly enough, work for it, sacrifice and earn it. This all takes time, years and lots of determination. You may not be able to afford the house next door to your work or where you grew up. Get rid of the tunnel vision and broaden your scope.


You don't go for the McMansions your first time out. Go back to the basics. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. The mortgages offered to many were exactly that, to good to be true. Yet so many turned a blind eye and took them anyway.


Why you ask? They wanted what they wanted, when they wanted it and be damned with the fall out. Now we, you and I, are left to clean up the mess of their mistakes. This hurts every one of us, not just the ones losing their homes.


If you look at a situation and are able to deal with the worst case scenario and can survive it, then maybe you are ready to dive in and do it. If not, step back and rethink it.


Think beyond just today and actually plan for your tomorrow. Don’t expect it to just happen and don’t expect others to do it for you. Forget the days of just keeping up with the Jones; nowadays many want to step over them and join the Trumps and the Gates of the world without putting in the time and work to get there.


Sure, we all make mistakes; but unless we suffer the consequences of those mistakes, we'll never learn from them and are destined to repeat them time and again. You won’t be the first or the last person to fall flat on your face. Big deal, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and try again. Failure doesn’t come from mistakes, it comes from never trying.


Case in point, government in general doesn’t learn from its mistakes. We the taxpayer pay for them. Government either keeps repeating or compounding them by making new, more costly, ones. It is not held accountable, therefore it never learns.


Do your own homework, work hard and the American Dream of owning a home can be yours. The pride in that accomplishment will be well earned.


Get rid of the expectation of others owing you something. Planning for, earning and finally attaining the goals you’ve set for yourself is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Experience it for yourself. As a child I was taught that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.


A few life lessons we can all use.

1.  If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.

2.  Have, at the very least, a minimum of three months (six months is better) backup savings. The unexpected happens, plan for it.

3.  If it sounds too good to be true… it is.

4.  Depend on no one but yourself. Pleasant surprises can happen, but don't bank on them.

5. Be thankful for what you do have, give what you can and then a bit more.


Never expect a return on your charity. True charity without expectations is good for the heart and soul and will always reward the giver in ways immeasurable.


I know that last one might have thrown a few of you. But those that live their lives that way will understand. Those that don’t ‘get it’ need to try giving instead of taking. Government is not a charity even though it may think so.


We Americans need to grow up and take responsibility for our own actions.


…till next time



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