Having enough

Posted By | September 9, 2019 2:41 pm

Last Updated: September 9, 2019 at 3:01 pm

The Right Stuff – By Donald Holman

So, it was Labor Day 2019, and I was wandering around Harbor Freight with a few bucks in my pocket, but I couldn’t find a single thing I needed nor a single thing I really wanted. It got me to wondering – what exactly does it mean to be wealthy? For sure I think we can all agree that to be “well off” is to have the necessities taken care of without too much worry. But what is wealthy? How does one get there, and how does one KNOW when they have arrived?

I remember my father saying to me when I was in my 30s, “Son, I think I am pretty well off. I can have anything I want as long as I am careful what I want.” I always thought to myself that any of us that had low expectations might could say that.

But this Labor Day, at 60 years of age, I couldn’t really think of anything I wanted. Oh – I would like to do more traveling. But I did quite a bit of that when I was young. It takes a lot out of you to wake up after hours of plane riding and changes, time differences, food differences, and, once you arrive, you must get out and go to see the sites or else why go? Every time I think about going back to Europe, or wherever, I think of all that chaos and effort, yawn, and go take a nap. I think I have decided I don’t REALLY want to go. I want to see the sites and experience a new and different culture, but that nap sounds pretty good.

As for possessions, the wife and I both have a car and a truck born in the year 2000 that run just fine. Why should I go get a different one? A new one is only new for two or three years, and then it’s – nothing new. We have more house than we need, more work than we can do, more chickens than we can count, more cattle than I like to think about – on and on it goes.

My parents (Preacher J.T. and Floria Holman) raised eight kids on a preacher’s salary and left us all 30 acres and a good chunk of change. Not bad for a man with an eighth-grade education and such high standards in his religious life he found himself leaving churches he had built when they chose to go ways that he could not.

So, they left me more land than I need. It is my hope to honor them and their memory to pass that on one day to the next generation. I certainly don’t need any more land!

My point to all this is that I am 60 years old, born in 1959.  I spent several of my early years drinking and partying. Yet, once I straightened up and decided to pursue a future, the great United States of America was there for me. I managed, with my feeble talents, to make it this far without too much hardship. Some might say, I should have suffered more considering the life I led, and I would be hard pressed to disagree. I have no doubt my praying father and mother delivered me from many close calls.

But I look around me at the booming economy and the shortages in the labor force, and I know there are a lot of opportunities out there for hard working men and women. Yes, you might have to start off on the low end of the scale. But if you are half as good as you think you are, will you not, like cream, rise to the top?

Every young person I know with discipline and talent are on their way to the fortunate situation I am in. If they save a few bucks, invest those wisely, and lead a normal life that doesn’t insist on purchasing every new toy or drug that comes down the pike, they can retire and have plenty. And isn’t that kind of a life exactly what President Trump wants for all of us?

The president looks at places like Sparta that previously had all these manufacturing facilities and says that can happen again! Just a few short years ago, I could name you 10 or 15 factories, in White County, that paid good money and afforded their workers a good lifestyle. Don’t we remember where those factories went? They went to Mexico and China, didn’t they? And our president is fighting to bring them back home – not for himself or his kids, but for giving millions of plain old everyday Americans a chance at the dignity that comes from making your own way through life. The independence of thought and action that you have when instead of worrying about voting in the next president to increase our welfare benefits, we can do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay and live our life with our heads held high. The simple dignity of “I did it myself!”

Recently, we have seen a spate of Democrats talking down the economy. They insist we are teetering on the edge of a recession – all this while labor participation numbers rise as more people change from welfare to work. New job growth every month is above the required level to meet those entering the workforce so that right now we have more jobs than workers. So why talk recession?

Remember when things were just creeping along, and the Obama administration was insisting we were in a recovery? Those same geniuses are now talking down our economy. And for a reason, consumer spending accounts for about 65 percent of our economy. If we all freeze in place, we can cause a lot of damage to our economy. That is their deal. Right before the election next year, expect to hear it again. They will do their best to talk us into a recession just about the time we start voting. Will you be fooled? I hope not!

Until next week…

comments » 4

  1. Comment by Eartha

    September 11, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Hey look, another boomer editorial talking about how they made it during a time of historic economic strength, high wages, and a 90% marginal tax rate funding education. You are ignorant of how increases of productivity and GDP have been detethered from any real wage growth since the late 1970s, how credential inflation has led to degree requirements for even entry level jobs, and how many of those “job opportunities” are for part-time work that do not provide health benefits.

  2. Comment by Eartha

    September 11, 2019 at 11:34 am

    *writes essay about bringing manufacturing jobs back to USA*
    *leads by describing a trip to Harbor Freight, a store where every product is made of pure Chinesium*

  3. Comment by Dan Bowman

    September 13, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Hello Eartha!
    I guess winda and firea let you off the leash and you ran away to expose to the world more of your ignorance? Let’s take your ignorant 905 tax funding education remark. Back when tax rates were at 90% do you remember all the deductions? Like credit card interest? Like business dinners for both or 8 diners? I could go on and on but look up the EFFECTIVE tax rate. The rate that people actually paid and you will find it is much lower. You want to talk productivity increases? That was primarily the product of entering the computer age. Finally, Harbor Freight lowers the prices folks pay for the tools they need. If you haven’t tried lately (or ever) to buy American made tools you almost have to go to a museum. So at the end of all your whining; nothing remains of substance. Perhaps you should sub for Ms. Whines when she goes on vacay? I think you would be a good fit!

  4. Comment by Tamara Young

    September 14, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Smithville is a neighbor of Sparta and is also a factory town. Average pay; 30K.

    It’s a simple life, an honest life.
    Most important it’s.. ‘A WAY OF LIFE’

    Like Donald, I traveled a lot in my day, everyone I knew did. It is the WAY OF LIFE where I came from, so meeting many that never seen much further than their back door just amazed me. That being said I fell in love with the area and the people, so much so, I moved here 30+ yrs ago.

    My first job; factory! Now those who never worked in a factory need to know right now. Factory work is NOT for everyone, myself included. I lasted 3 months however, I left with a greater respect for those that can hack it. It’s extremely hot, you come home of the smell of sweat, oil, and medal slivers in your fingers and that’s with mandatory 2 pairs of gloves on. You take a shower and your tub looks like someone did an oil change in it. Blow your nose; look out, Black snot that smells terrible. Sinus trouble, don’t complain, you’ll get fired. You’re told it’s alegery’s, cased closed.

    These factory workers do this 40+ hours a week with most weeks mandatory overtime. Only time off is 4th of July week. And you know what they make? Car parts that are put in foriegn made vehicles. Yes, our factory workers make American made parts for foriegn cars. If surprised, than that tells me some have a limited knowledge of the issue.

    Now I enjoy the effort of those who want to dismay, or make fun of people who purchase foriegn products but also support the factory workers in America, but remember those people who make these PARTS in small-towns everywhere in every state, need to just have the basics. Food, clothing, shelter and although a rough job, with very little respect from their countrymen, they have company health insurance. They aren’t asking for more than that so why take away the only WAY OF LIFE they know.

    I support President Trump’s agenda to bring back factory’s to America. The question is, why isn’t everyone?


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