Keeping up with the Jones’

Economists tell us we need credit to make the world go round. Rarely is anything bought with cash anymore. Unsecured credit is available everywhere you look. We all want the next big thing before our neighbors. So do we become our surroundings?

Most of us have been there or are close to someone who has. We hear this called keeping up with the Jones.  Mr. Jones bought a new car, oh ya me too… on credit for 6 years at 14%.  What!? Mr. Jones has a new home theatre, well me too… on credit for 3 years at 21%.  Then you find out you’re overdrawn so you make your way down to a Payday loan center and a loan on next weeks check at a meager 300% interest (that is literally what some charge). Man this is the life filled with all this stuff. That’s all it is, is stuff.  Next thing you know you’re bankrupt, drunk, depressed and listening to Billy Joel’s “You’re only Human” trying to find a light in the dark tunnel of your life only to say, “Billy Joel is full of it.”

I say, “To heck with Mr. Jones’ and the overpriced Japanese horse with saddle warmers and a navigational compass that he rode in on. Don’t go over to Mr. Jones’ house on your identical horse and complain about General Motors closing plants. Grab that heavy sack of credit potatoes and peel one at a time. And for our country’s sake, buy American if possible. We are our own worst enemy. Pay cash for your new items, if not hit up the thrift stores, or pay 1,500 cash for a car rather than 1,500 down on a 20,000 dollar note.

Decide if what you are buying is really a need. Take a step back and evaluate your surroundings, you may be surprised to know Mr. Jones luxury foreign horse has been sold and replaced by a good old American mule.

This reminds me of a poem written by Robert Frost.

One Step Backward Taken

Not only sands and gravels
Were once more on their travels,
But gulping muddy gallons
Great boulders off their balance
Bumped heads together dully
And started down the gully.
Whole capes caked off in slices.
I felt my standpoint shaken
In the universal crisis.
But with one step backward taken
I saved my self from going.
A world torn loose went by me.
Then the rain stopped and the blowing,
And the sun came out to dry me.

Life is fast and unforgiving if driven at full speed.  Taking a step back is sometimes the best remedy. Here is a funny music video by Diamond Rio about consumerism.

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