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The improvident American

Def. Improvident. Failing to provide for the future; lacking foresight or thrift.


Webster’s New World Dictionary

From what I have seen over the years, I would say that one distinguishing characteristic of the vast majority of Americans is that they are extremely improvident. The vast majority spend all their money as they go and never save a penny. It is true for those who make little and it is true for those who make a lot. The level of income doesn’t seem to make much difference. However much they make, they always manage to spend it all. They not only spend it but many spend more than they have. Most people buy much on credit — their houses, motor vehicles, and much else. And many can’t control themselves and spend to the point where they are hopelessly in debt. Money? Financial responsibility and restraint? They don’t want to hear about such a depressing subject. Numbers just make their head swell. Arithmetic has just never been one of their strong points.

I have always been a very frugal person. My wife and I bought our first house cash after saving for about five years. I don’t squander my money. I save it and invest it. And I have been doing that for fifty years. I know people who look terrible because their front teeth are all black and rotten. They won’t go to a dentist until they have a terrible toothache from some abscess. Then they go and the dentist prescribes an antibiotic and tells them to come back when the pain is gone. But they don’t go back and it happens over and over. They just won’t spend their money on a dentist. You would think that they were very poor. But, in fact, they are not so poor that they don’t eat out at restaurants all the time. And they are always giving away clothes and other things that they no longer want. And these clothes were not bought in WalMart. They are name brand clothes that cost a lot. And if they don’t have a friend to give them to, they donate them to Goodwill. You see people going on big expensive vacations every year and then they are telling you that their car is in need of some expensive repair and they just don’t have the money to fix it. You know families that you know make quite a lot and they have no medical insurance and you can see how they live high, eat out a lot, spend their money on all kinds of toys and foolishness, and probably have almost no reserves. It is the American way. And the majority will vote for those politicians who promise all kinds of entitlement and welfare type programs. The country is trillions of dollars in debt and people want more and more government welfare. The liberals are always talking about ways to help the poor. (They are great champions of the poor and are very kind hearted.) The poor? In America? My idea of a poor person is a person living on $1.00 or $2.00 a day in the third world. There are many, many millions of these people. I have sympathy for that kind of person. I don’t have any sympathy for America’s “poor”. The welfare people living in the house next to me eat better than me, live higher than me, spend a lot more on “toys” and foolishness than I do. I give a certain sum of money to charity every year. I want the money that I give to be well spent. I want it to go to the most deserving. For me, that means I want it to go to people in the third world who are not only really poor but also in real need. I look for charities with low fund-raising costs who are primarily helping these kinds of people.

Improvidence. What lies behind improvidence? It is a way of thinking, a mentality. It is all about self-indulgence. It is all about treating yourself, enjoying yourself, indulgence, having fun. Is there anything more important than that? The future. Who worries about that? Life is a lark. Enjoy it while you can. The possibility that some dark and bad day might come where you really need a little money? Who worries about that? You can always turn to the government and get help from it.

Character. Some have it and some don’t.

Mar 2017

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