WHAT IS WEALTH?
by One Pissed-off Vietnam Vet
(Nov. 30, 2011) — I don’t know about you, but I have my own definition of what being rich is. I know people who, according to my definition, are wealthy even though they make less than $50,000 a year, and by the same token, I know people who make a quarter-million a year whom I would consider poor.
My friend John drives a 1993 import that he keeps in perfect mechanical condition. Just recently, because the economy is shot, he got a fantastic discount on a paint job. John spent a couple of weekends sanding the car and when he drove it home from the auto paint shop the other day, it looked as if he just drove it, for the first time, home from the dealer.
John’s neighbor has a fancy sports car that gets maybe half the gas mileage, plus he’s making monthly payments on it.
Okay, John and his neighbor make about the same every year, but I consider John wealthy and his neighbor poor. You see, for the money that the neighbor spends on car payments, higher insurance premiums, and more money shelled out for gas, John gets his teeth cleaned twice a year, and his teeth are in perfect condition, as is his car. All that I can say for the neighbor is his teeth are not perfect.
Which leads us to what I consider the definition of being rich: the ability to afford the best health care available. That’s it. Being rich has nothing to do with having money but has everything to do with the way you spend your money. The first time I went to college I majored in “How to have a Good Time at a Party.” In my second attempt at higher education I didn’t party and made straight A’s: the difference was how I spent my time.
Remember some years ago when John Kerry gave an interview about his being sick? He said “Don’t worry, I’ve got the best medical care available.” Well, that was big of him since the taxpayer was footing his bill, but he made a good point about one of the perks a member of Congress has: excellent medical care. Kerry pointed out to the rest of the world what really matters in life, money-wise.
So these Occupy Wall Street people are missing the boat. Well, really now, the boat’s sailed and they’re on the pier wondering what happened. What happened was that the ratio of people who are rich is more like 25%, and they’re left behind because they were as I was before I got with the program: not paying attention. You see, in real life you get to take care of yourself. You can’t be expected to take care of others and you can’t expect others to take care of you.. That’s why the family unit has such strong bonds: there’s nothing thicker than blood, because they take care of one another.
I contend that, in any government enterprise, the private sector can do the same job better and at less cost. The main deterrent that the government has is the inability to fire worthless employees. An example of that would be the USPS where, it seems, the more incompetent an employee is, the more likely they’ll advance up the management ladder.
So the Occupy people are making a sales pitch for Socialism; okay, good for them. Now following my definition of what “wealth” really is, maybe they ought to look at how socialized medical care is handled in any socialized country and then let’s see if they, or anyone else, can justify the failure of socialized medical care, or, for that matter, Obamacare.