Detroit… forward... wait, wait, STOP!

  The Huffington Post reported today, Detroit’s mayor is set to furlough government employees starting January 2013 in order to help with the $30 million dollar cash shortfall/deficit/overspending/ any other name you want to substitute for not living within your means.

  I pray that one day people will see the need for a government to also live within its means; at all levels. It is sad to think some people have no idea why this is happening. They do not understand there is no such thing as “free” with government spending. The money comes from somewhere and government doesn’t have an endless supply of it. We have to hold our elected leaders accountable for their spending ideas.

  It is important for all parents to teach their children about financial responsibility and the difference between a want and a need. We all want a lot of things and know that these wants will help people, but at what cost and how will a new want, affect everything else? With this holiday season, the pressure to spend money is very hard to say no to. But the lesson of not spending money you don't have (credit) is priceless. When I was a single father, rasing 3 children under 5 years of age, I remember only being able to purchase a single present [less than $15 dollars] for each of my three children for Christmas. All the rest of my paycheck went to pay for the basic needs for me to have a job, provide a healthy shelter, clothes and food on the table.

  Government needs to understand this reality and really do a real audit to see how money is being spent. If you can find ways to cut spending unnecessarily and balance the budget then ok no need to go further. If not, we need to cut the wants out of government before we can’t pay for the needs.

Thanks for reading.

Views: 486

Comment by John Fleshman on November 23, 2012 at 8:20pm

Thank you. This Christmas, marks 13 years since that Christmas I wrote about above. It is amazing how things change in a relative short period of time, but those “life” lessons of financial responsibility never go away. I am not saying it was easy, it wasn’t easy at all; lots of tears. However, looking back now, the impact of forcing myself to live within my means has been a blessing over and over.

Comment by Elizabeth Blessing on November 26, 2012 at 11:16am

You make a great point about wants and needs. You taught your children an important lesson. I know it's a bit of a cliché, but your "presence" in their lives was probably way more significant than "presents." Thanks for sharing.

Comment by John Fleshman on November 26, 2012 at 11:53am

Thank you Elizabeth.

Quantity of time (presence) sounds good in theory. As the sole provider it sounds like I had the children 24/7, but this is not the case for a full time working single parent. As a single parent for almost 5 years I struggled to find any time during the week to spend with the children. I had all three of them in Daycare at 5:30am (daycare took my 5 year old to school and back) and out of Daycare at 6:30pm.

By the time, I checked homework, heated up dinner, ate dinner as a family, bathed the children… it was bed time for them 8pm. Then I cleaned up after dinner, cooked tomorrows meal so all I had to do was heat up dinner, did some chores and finally sat down and it was around 10pm. Can anyone say exhausted? The weekends, if I was pulling 24 hour duty, were 100% devoted to the children. We didn’t have a lot of money but the time spent was QUALITY time. So what I lacked in quantity of time, I made up with in quality of time.

Comment by John Fleshman on November 26, 2012 at 12:07pm

if I wasn't* pulling 24 hour duty.

Comment by Jenny on November 26, 2012 at 1:21pm

Because I spent the first 47 years of my life in Michigan, my heart breaks for Detroit. The city's population has shrunk but the wasteland that is Detroit seems to spread. I was a "victim" of 20% unemployment and my job went to Mexico in 2007, corporate greed that resulted in several counts of money laundering and bankruptcy. I was upside down on my mortgage when my house lost 65% of its appraised value. Single parenting for 14 of my kids 24 years. They are 18 and 24 and I love being an empty nester! 

But hey, I landed on my feet and have never gone without. We have the ability to re-invent and this economy doesn't have to determine our personal economy.  I've always been a saver and it helped when I went through lean times.

And I want to mention, I did not live in Detroit but much of the state was dependent on the automotive industry and the tier 1 supplier I worked for went bankrupt. Michigan is a BEAUTIFUL state full of natural beauty.

Comment by John Fleshman on November 26, 2012 at 1:57pm

Thank you for your comments Asia. “Corporate greed” and smart business economic sense is a thin gray line. The move may have been for survival; not because of corporate greed but individual greed. As Hostess is starting to show the American public, it is not easy at all to make it anymore in America for business. It amazes me when I tell people, my wife owns and operates a small business, the immediate thought is we are rich. Heck her small business has cost us over 15K of our savings (she didn’t borrow a dime in order to start the business). Each month, she has been open 14 months, she makes enough to balance the books and re-stock the shelves with merchandise. So far no profit, not even to pay herself a wage. But there is a market, we are just not sure if it is worth the time and energy anymore… she may close it Jan 2013.

Comment by Arthur James on November 26, 2012 at 2:10pm
I Flashed back to a War Memory.
We Nicknamed Drafted GI Grunts.
Detroit Chewed Left-Over WW2-
Red- Mule Chew Tobacco. Gross.
Deer Hunters Have Deer Breath.
True Story
I asked a PA Motel Maid This:
` What is Grossest Memory Here?
She said NC lawyers Killed Deer.
They Left Dead Deer Hide in Tub.
Bathtub had Guts and Beer Cans.
lawyers Left Not a Penny Tip!
Corporate Greed. You bet it!
CEO be Born ` Gin in SLUMS!
Creeps Get 1,000 Year-Woes!
CEO Pet Pet Crocodile. Prey!
Predator Come Back as Skunk!
They'll Live in a Big Swamp!
Laughing STOCK-Wall Street.
Big CREEPY Crawl In Slime!
We Be Nice and Tell Truth.
Comment by John Fleshman on November 26, 2012 at 2:35pm

Arthur, no offense but I don’t even know how to interpret what you wrote to respond to it.

Comment by Jenny on November 26, 2012 at 6:51pm

I worked for one of the Collins and Aikman companies, David Stockman was our CEO when the doors closed. At the time, 2 or 3 of the top managers turned states evidence against Stockman. I lost track of what the fall out was for him, but it drove my income to below the "poverty line". A 40 year old company was closed and 300+ unemployed. I was a production supervisor and watched the entire debacle, I have lots of stories...  

Comment by John Fleshman on November 26, 2012 at 7:05pm

Asia, that is tough to hear about. How two or a few ruin the lives of many. My Aunt and Uncle both retired, one from a turkey farm and the other from a shoe making factory in Pennsylvania. Life was pretty good until, both companies a few years apart went bankrupt. For the most part they lost both their retirements. At a young age, I recall one visit with them, seeing them cutting medicine in half and weighing the options of buying food or medicine with the little money they had. I know now my father was there to help. My Uncle was recovering from a heart attack and seeing the stress on my Aunts face, I will never forget.

Thank you for sharing.


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