Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Op. Ed. from AV

Today's post is not fluffy nor particularly funny, because I'm mad and a little worried.  And hang on, 'cause I'm not too eloquent and a little all over the place here. I'll split into parts; maybe it will be easier to chew on in bits.

Okay, ummm....I never intended to make this blog a political commentary and this may be the only time, but here is my stepstool soapbox. My elementary understanding of the workings of this country should prevent me from writing. But I'm trying to soak up, sort out, and assimilate information. On my current "stack" of "to be read" is the Constitution. This is an invitation to reasonable, respectful discussion - but please no heated debate or cyber yelling - I'm not cut out for that.  

For those of you who have known me since forever may think that my political ideology is inherited. But I am confident that I have considered alternatives and have tested and proved that conservatism resonates with me. I am a pro-life, crunchy conservative who is becoming more confident and tiptoeing out of the closet. I am a single-issue voter; I am not a right-wing extremist.

I have spent delirious driving days listening 8+ hours of talk radio. I am a frequent listener otherwise, but that was a bit much and I don't recommend it. My rants may have been conceived then. In an attempt at wisdom, I kept my mouth shut. But they are coming to full term and I must share some thoughts. My head hurts from the glaring inconsistencies in today's ideologies. 

And of course, then my momma invited me to a Tea Party which fired me up even more.

Spending our way out of debt?

There is culture of entitlement that has developed in recent generations, mine included. It must be some inherent, insidious, sin-nature thing, because my hard-working parents certainly didn't operate under nor perpetuate this worldview. We had enough, but not too much, and I directly or indirectly understood that family, faith, and hard work were the treasures in this world. But as I became able to make more of my own decisions, I've had to work hard to recognize and fight against a sense of entitlement. Consumer debt - yea, I know what that is and have waged my own war against it.  I've ratcheted up and chipped away at many a balance. Maybe some of you can relate.

I remember when Sweet Man and I applied for our first home loan while I was still teaching and running the learning center. The bank approved us for a loan much higher than we expected. Very tempting - but we tried to be wise. We were thinking ahead to a time when I would not be earning an income. We bought our house knowing we could make payments on his income alone and did not max out the value of the loan. I'm sure others were just as enticed by inflated numbers, believing the banks and feeling their families deserved more. I have felt entitled to a certain way of life and want to provide that for my kids. I have tried to live happily on borrowed money and it doesn't work for me. And I still have to fight the urge to overspend.

Now we face this economic crisis/challenge in our country. We see banks and other foundational industries failing because of the same overextension. The house of cards has begun to collapse.

But bailouts? Borrowing money from a not so friendly country to save companies that made poor decisions? Warning: broad generalization coming...some of the same individuals who support the bailouts are evolutionists and believe in Darwin's survival of the fittest model. Doesn't that apply to business and industry? If a company's goods and services are not satisfactory or needed, shouldn't that wasted effort be allowed to "die off?" Or if that company's leaders have not made sound decisions, should those individuals' careers end at the very least? Why are we propping up the weak with borrowed resources? Where are the consequences? 

And the stimulus money slated to "rescue" homeowners puzzles me. I understand that there are legitimate times when people (and maybe even companies) need compassion, help, advice, whatever...I've needed it. Thank you for grace. I have made poor decisions where I was fortunate enough to have someone to bail me out. Those events evoked enough stinging humility that I pray I will not soon repeat those mistakes. Just like with children, we do not do them any favors by excusing or ignoring selfish behaviors...we need to feel the sting to remember the lesson. 

So I will continue to pay my mortgage...and not expect anyone else to.

Yea, I'm blowin' right past that proverb of the wise man saying little - I never have been accused of being wise. I'll keep working on it. 

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