And in the other corner standing out urgently we have CASH FLOW!
Conceptually, it's not a bad idea. Especially the very high rate debts of credit cards. Not much argument can be made there.
One further point to add in to this topic:
It has been said (in jest) that a recession is when your best friend looses his job and a depression is when you loose yours (and a recovery is when Obama looses his, but let's not digress right now…).
As of writing this MasterPo and Mrs. MasterPo have returned from exhibiting the home business at an annual 3-day show/expo. This is an event that has been undertaken for 9 consecutive years. The show is as much a sales opportunity as it is a marketing and PR venue. But there is a cost to attend (booth, inventory for sale, transportation, food, temporary extra help with the event (can't do it just two people) etc).
Some year's sales are better than others.A few years outstanding.
But 2010 was abysmal!
Didn't even cover booth rental costs.
It wasn't just MasterPo's business that was hurting. All the vendors at the event were telling the same tale of woe. And many had much large booths and inventories to cover costs for!
Additionally, there was a similar event the week before in NYC that was equally poorly attended (MasterPo did not have a booth at that event). And MasterPo already discussed not spending the money to travel for an annual fly fishing show/expo in New Jersey that apparently was very poor too.
There are other events schedule for the winter season but hopes are not very high. When people do not have discretionary money leisure time activities are the first to feel the brunt of it.
And even those with some disposable income are tight about spending it for fear of the unknown in the weeks and months (and years!) a head. Can you blame them?
For MasterPo and Mrs. MasterPo 2010 will probably be the last year our business will take a position at this event. A 9 year tradition is over. There are smaller 1-day events that have lower costs and should be easier to at least cover expenses that will be explored for 2011. That's presuming the business itself can survive that long too.
MasterPo makes no illusions about the impact of 1 small home-based business on the economy. It certainly was never going a retirement plan from the start. But a few extra dollars would have been helpful. But more importantly if the business goes under for good that's one less source of revenue for the suppliers and manufactures, the [evil] banks and credit card companies, the web host, the tax preparer, sales tax to New York state, etc etc.
Economic turn around?
Saved from the brink?
Can't prove it by MasterPo!
If you work, or even if you're still in school learning or training for a profession, what is your motivation?
In other words, why are you working that job or preparing for that work?
Certainly having a knack for work is a good reason. Having a keen interest in the work or believing in the value of the work is always helpful. And actually enjoying what you do, believing you get a sense of achievement from the work is a good thing as well (there is nothing worse then slugging through the day of a job that is uninteresting and you never seem to get anything accomplished or finished).
But, what about the money?
How awful MasterPo is for thinking about money.
How greedy MasterPo is for actually wanting to get paid well for his work.
How wrong it is to expect all the compensation MasterPo can get.
While all the reasons prior are good and helpful for doing your work, anyone who tells you that the money earned isn't important to them is either a liar or a naïve fool – or both!
Yet in the current political climate it is practically a Cardinal Sin to seek out fortune. And if you do find your fortune through hard work and concentrated effort (or just luck, what is wrong with that?) then you are to be punished via taxation.
How did we get here?
The answer is simple: Whiney lazy people!!
Hard work and effort is just that: hard!
And no matter how hard you work there is no guarantee of a successful ending, though if you don't work hard there is the certainty you won't have a successful ending.
But why work hard when you can whine and the government will just give you want?
So why bother?
And there in is the problem.
Why bother spending years in school and/or training (and the cost), then years and years hard working from the bottom up to maybe (because again there is no guarantee) you will be very successful and rich (how evil!) someday?
No society has ever grown and prospered (much less survived for very long!) without people making the effort to strive to be more.
To be sure, not everyone is like this. There still are hard workers.
But there is a break-even level. A point of critical mass. A minimum number below which if there aren't enough hard working people then the few there are can't support the rest. And the economy – and society – collapses.
Chew on that in between beers and Xbox.
Seems there days you can't open a magazine or newspaper, turn on most TV news (Fox News being a notable exception) or read most news and commentary websites without yet some other national problem being blamed on "the rich".
Healthcare? "The Rich" aren't paying enough!
Social Security? "The Rich" aren't paying enough!
Schools? "The Rich" aren't paying enough!
Housing? "The Rich" aren't paying enough!
Banks and insurance? "The Rich" aren't paying enough!
There are many articles and sites dedicated to maligning "the rich" and MasterPo is not one of them!
But how – and more interestingly, when – did we get to this point?
"The rich" are an easy target. Hard to garner sympathy for someone who makes perhaps 10 times or more than you do and yet says they can't afford to pay more taxes. Doesn't help either when the news constantly report sensational stories of celebrity divorce settlements where a spouse only married for a year or two (and that originally came from very modest means) receives millions in settlement and then claims how unfair it is.
When MasterPo was little MasterPo was inspired to be "rich". As just a kid MasterPo wasn't clear how exactly MasterPo was going to get there. MasterPo did know it had to do with working for it. But MasterPo always wanted to be "rich".
More importantly, MasterPo (and MasterPo’s parents) did not see "the rich" as the enemy. "The rich" were not seen as evil or immoral and certainly not as the brunt of the cause of all that is wrong in America.
Even when MasterPo grew up more, went to school and then ultimately college MasterPo still didn't view "the rich" as evil. MasterPo certainly had good reason if so wanted to view them that way. MasterPo’s mother literally worked nights and weekends to help pay for college. MastePo received next to nothing in financial aid in spite of MasterPo’s mother being a widow and MasterPo himself maintaining an "A" average. Meanwhile, there were kids who drove to school from Dix Hills and Commack (those were very ritzy areas of Long Island back in MasterPo's college days; Still are to a great extent) in daddy's Corvette or Porsche that MastePo knows for a fact were getting lots of grants and other non-repayable financial aid! (the school's comment about it was "There will always be those who slip through the cracks"). Obviously these families had better accountants and planners than we had to help them hide their wealth on paper (because they certainly weren't hiding it in life!). Yet even still MasterPo didn't hate them for being "rich". MasterPo hated the overt blindness of the school to what was going on but not to the "rich" people.
In school itself MasterPo had many friends who were studying business, accounting, finance, marketing, advanced computers and engineering programs, even pre-law and pre-med, etc. None of these are careers that are slouchy payers. So they didn't seem to hate "the rich" and in fact inspired to be one too.
And those who are most loud in attacking "the rich" as not doing enough are themselves among some of the wealthiest people in the country. Does anyone consider Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Bill and Hilary Clinton or President Obama to be run-of-the-mill middle class? Can anyone tell MasterPo with a straight face at any time in the last 20 years these people had to make the choice of paying for food or a utility bill? Let's be real!
You simply can not have a growing, healthy, prosperous economy by taking money from those who have earned it!
Who in their right mind would work so hard to achieve higher levels of success without the potential for the great financial gains?
Don't give MasterPo the crap about loving your work or just wanting to help people! Anyone who says they work long and hard but don't care about money must be independently wealthy already. If not they are either a fool or a liar – or both!
With high income and wealth comes high achievement. You simply can not separate the two. The very essence of human nature is work for a goal. The harder the work, the greater the goal that includes the realistic chance of achieving it (but not a guarantee necessarily) and then keeping it once achieved.
Life is not a board game where at the end of it you put the piece back in for the next time.
Attacking "the rich" is the cause of problems, not the solution.
Destroy the very real goal of achieving and keeping wealth and you handicap innovation and incentive.
Next time you're out of work ask a poor person for a job. Then come back here. MasterPo would love to know how that goes!