Saturday, August 7, 2010

Haves and Have Nots

Recently watched Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore. I was struck by how similar the premise of the film was to the film, Food Inc. Basically, they both propose that the majority of the legislators and regulators in our government are those individuals who proved to be both greedy and immoral in the private sector prior to their public placement. Once they've left the private sector to join the ranks of our government, they basically look out for their own interests (financial) and those of their former business partners, etc.

Moore's movie was actually comforting to me though. Its nice to know that I'm in the majority. Its nice to know that we're not alone in the toilet bowl that is our recent economy, job market, and housing market debacle.

Its kind of weird living in South Florida, because there is still so much money surrounding us. Obviously, not everyone is struggling. We're still surrounded by fancy cars, fancy phones, fancy clothes, fancy cosmetic enhancements, fancy restaurants, and fancy houses.

Working at the Cheesecake Factory is surreal in itself. We've loved the CCF since we first discovered it in Las Vegas more than a decade ago. For us, it was the place we went to once or twice a year for special occasions. Even then, we still restrained ourselves when we went there because the bill can add up pretty quickly at that place. It's weird working there, and watching people, on a daily basis, blow their bill out without a blink - appetizers, drinks, (kids ordering Shrimp Scampi), multiple deserts, cappuccinos/espressos, etc. Not to mention that I see some families in there on a weekly basis. The kids are watching videos and playing games on their iPad while the parents are texting/surfing on their iPhones.

Of course, to put my life into perspective, I simply have to look at my own childhood in comparison.

  • My parents didn't have a new car until I was about 14 years old - my wife and I have had new cars almost our entire adult life.

  • My parents didn't have cell phones - we've replaced our home phone land line with two cell phones since about 2001, though we don't have room in our budget for smart phones or data plans.

  • My parents didn't have a swimming pool - we've got an in ground pool with a screen enclosure.

  • Eating out fancy for my parents (ie, Birthdays) was more like Pizza Hut or Ponderosa Buffet - for us, as I've said, would be the CCF.

  • My parents didn't have Internet costs (and still only have dial-up) - while we have top-speed Comcast broadband at a reasonable $60 a month (sarcasm).

This is one of the reasons why I really enjoy reading God's Word. It makes me feel comfortable. God is pretty consistent about where He places His priorities in our Health and Wealth Worldview. Jesus, even more so. As a matter of fact, the Bible usually makes me feel guilty for not being more thankful for the things that I have been blessed with: a faithful and beautiful wife, two happy, healthy children, a leaking roof over our heads, a hefty grocery bill of wholesome and healthy foods, running vehicles, a job, health insurance, etc.

I'm glad to be one of the have not's - I think it will pay off in the afterlife, and I'm thankful for what we have.


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