Archive for June 2007
I’d like to think that my money can’t do anything terribly important on its own, but that it will be lubricant or catalyst that helps make important things happen better, faster and with fewer explosions.
I hope my wealth will reflected in the things I learned, the places I went, the friends I met, and the people I helped; that is to say, I hope it helps me do what I think is really important.
I hope that in ten years, I will have a house full of good books, a passport full of stamps from interesting and meaningful places, and some serious work done in development.
But that’s the easy part. The tough question:
Do these things have intrinsic value, or are they just a higher form of personal entertainment?
Now that I have a real job, and may or may not have some other significant revenue streams/assets, this is now a question with more than theoretical importance to me.
Being back home, I’ve been confronted by the examples of my family members.
Some can only measure their net worth with significantly negative numbers; another measures wealth by how big the numbers in the bank account are, constantly worrying about spending money. Some measure wealth by how sweet their cars are and how many toys they have. (If said family members ever read this, you know who you are; but nobody else will).
I fear I’ve gotten rather out of practice at being self-righteous (let me know if you think otherwise), but I believe this is a proper occasion for some good, old-fashioned accusatory moralism.
I hope I never follow the examples my family has set for me in how they spend; I hope they will find a new path as well.
Some trade-offs to consider:
Will having this thing I’m buying make me happy enough to forget about interest payments, debt collectors, and never being able to retire? Is this purchase worth the financial insecurity bundled with it?
A: maybe. The point is, think about it.
If I spend most of my disposable income on personal entertainment (sweet cars, movies, expensive dinners, electronics, drugs, hookers, et c), will I really be any happier?
A: well yes, if you’re entertained by seeing how your life looks as it crumples and folds in on itself as the meaning drains out of it…. this doesn’t sound fun, but I’m sure its better when you’re watching it on a plasma TV, while high and accompanied by said hookers.
If I make saving money one of the primary goals of my life, seeking to accomplish it in everything I do and making it the cornerstone of how I relate to people, will I end up with lots of money in the bank?
A: You sure will!
And then I’ll be happy?!?
A: Hell no! Saving money is a never-ending struggle, bound to end in death; a struggle which will rob you and those around you of the ability to enjoy anything you spent money on. Unless you have a fetish for green paper, money is only valuable for what you can spend it on! Save when you have something to save for, or nothing to spend on. Don’t spend your life worrying!
So know that you’ve shared your priceless wisdom about what not to do with $, what do we do with it?
Has anyone else noticed Dunkin’ Donuts’ massive new advertising campaign, “America runs on Dunkin'”?
This theme, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that Dunkin’ Donuts is currently getting beat down by their Canadian competition, Tim Hortons.
For the record, I’m rooting for our northern neighbors, and am pleased that there is now a satrapy of their coffee-and-donut empire in Bangor, Maine.
Props to anyone who can give me a consistent argument about why marijuana should be illegal that doesn’t also apply to tobacco or alcohol.
Iraq’s Prime Minister writes about his country’s past and future in the Wall Street Journal.
There’s a lot of fluff, but also a lot of badly needed perspective.
I know you’ve been searching for Tachyons for a long time; but one audacious woman claims to have finally detected them.