Posted By Sparta Live | 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…