A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
Happy 4th of July. Independence day. We celebrate our independence from the oppressive British monarchy. We shot their soldiers and theirs killed ours. In Brookfield there is the grave of a man who fought in the Revolutionary War. Private Nathan Hatch. Since we are now buddy buddy with the British, it seems that today should be more of a birthday celebration of becoming a country rather than the day we officially flipped the bird to the king of England.
Which brings me to the point of the blog today. You see, we still owe England. We also owe China along with some of the oil producing countries. It's called the national debt. It something that we've all heard about but is obscure to most of us. I understand that we are actually borrowing money from these countries to pay for things that we do. How is it that we need to borrow money from other countries? I though we were the rich people in the subdivision.
My dad once said, "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?". I'm sure he heard that from someone else and it won't be found in the book of famous quotes but it does say a lot. I'm not rich so I'm not ashamed to say I don't understand money well. I understand gold and silver being worth something and exchanging pieces of same for value received. We used to do that. Gold coins could change value but our silver certificates were always worth a dollar's piece of silver. No more silver, no more silver certificates. Now we exchange numbers. We can print as many dollar bills as we want because we'll never run out of numbers.
I've got some stocks. One had numbers of being worth $44 a share when I bought it. Before last Christmas the numbers ran up to $128. Now it's got numbers of around $46. Same company. Doing good business too. Sales are way up. Like I said, I'm not ashamed admitting to ignorance of money and speculation. Nobody in the government seems to understand speculation on oil commodities or they'd be clambering to announce opening new areas for exploration and drilling for oil. It seems when there is more supply, the prices these speculators are willing to bid for oil goes down. Politicians don't understand that. Some think more taxes on the people that do the work keeping gasoline available for our tanks will lower the price of gasoline. Further, these same politicians believe that the cost of the taxes won't be passed along to us, the consumers. So let me modify my dad's quote to; "You may be an elected official but that doesn't mean you know squat about money!".
So continue to celebrate Independence Day. After the grill is put away and the firecrackers are all fired off, remember that Uncle Sam has loans out there from some nasty countries so we can appear to be a wealthy nation. Uncle Sam needs to better explain what this really means to those making the payments on everything that Sam does. It appears that the finance charges are greater than our minimum payments. What politician is going to tell us what we need to hear rather than what it take to get on their power trip and stay on it?
Happy Dependence Day.