Truth to Power

Thoughts on the drive in

Sorry for the delayed TTP (I know, some of you can’t start the day without it…ha!) but freakin’ Microsoft patches getting loaded on my machine caused it to restart a half dozen times this morning. Excuses, excuses, I know…

But on the drive in, listening to WSB radio as I do, I heard Clark Howard’s 2 minute bit. For those not in the know, he’s a annoyingly cheery guy who has a radio show helping consumers with air fares, ripoffs, etc. He’s great at telling you why you shouldn’t use debit cards to pay for things, or why not to get those extended warranties on electronics, but when it comes to economics he’s (in my best Jon Stewart voice) not so hot.

Todays bit was about why, if the economy has been getting steadily better, do most people feel negative about their own financial situation. His reason was, that from 1997 to now, actual wages have stagnated or actually lost ground to inflation. Thus, you feel negative about the economy because, unless you’re one of 20% of this country that controls 80% of its wealth, you haven’t had a raise in 8 years. And this is certainly true, and when you factor in health care costs, energy prices and the lack of good paying jobs, yeah, the huddled masses, yearning to live free are chapped. For good reason.

Ask yourself this. Are you better off financially than you were 8 years ago? How about security wise? Feel safer? Or are you afraid for you and yours? Now myself, I’m far better off than I was 8 years ago, but that has more to do with what I do for a living, and how I choose to do it, than anything else. If I was in an industry linked to manufacturing, transportation, or things like that, well, then I’d be hurtin’, along with other folks.

Of course, I’m a much richer man than I was a year ago, but that has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with…well, none of your business. Just suffice it to say, I’m wealthy in ways I never knew existed.

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