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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things Aren't Always as They Seem

I am wearing my little Republican underwear today, which might bring you to the conclusion that I am a Republican and was a supporter of John McCain and Sarah Palin. Then again, due to my on-and-off-again incontinence problem, maybe I am a supporter of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. My point is, not everything is as it seems to be. To really understand an issue, you must dig deeper and not just scratch the surface. On most issues, there is a no clear "blue or red" position and no side can claim the perfect solution to a problem. There really is no right or wrong way to achieve our most important of goals.

For the past two years, the media has fed us one-liners and a steady dose of simplistic statements about each party platform and the candidates running for the office of the President of the United States. In-depth discussions on the merits to the ideas each candidate had proposed were all but nonexistent and actually caused each candidate trouble when they tried to be comprehensive. I, for one, am thrilled the election process is over.

I do not pretend to be an expert in the political arena and therefore did not use my little blog platform to push my choice for President on anyone. Instead, I would like to share with you my thoughts about the Upper Class in America and what Mr. Obama may not understand about our lives.

I grew up in a family where my Father worked very hard. He left before the sun rose and returned after dark in the evening. He did well financially and invested well. My Mom worked relentlessly doing volunteer work at hospitals, Meals on Wheels, and programs for the deprived children from the inner city of Chicago, to name a few. I was brought up in believing we have the responsibility to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

I am married to the hardest working person I know. His college education was not paid for; instead he worked over 40 hours a week, missing out on most collegiate experiences. For the past 20 years, he has worked long hours, takes very little time off and has provided for his new family very well. Up until 4 years ago, I had also worked my way up the corporate ladder and made a decent salary, too. Then, I choose to take my Mother's route of devoting all my time and money to important charitable efforts, (Free Arts of AZ, Teach for America, Lost Boys of Sudan, safe, Graduation Nights for Seniors, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers and Sisters, Juvenile Diabetes, local Police and Fire efforts, Rise Up International, I could go on, but you get the idea). In addition, to these efforts, I tried to help individuals get them out of their desperate situations by taking them to court for suspended licenses and drove them to WIC's for diapers and supplies. It has been a very rewarding and valuable experience for me.

We currently give 33% of what we make to the government in the form of taxes, so "they" can use it for whatever programs "they" see fit. That's 33 cents of every hard-earned dollar. Once Obama gets in office and gets his tax plan in place, 40 cents of every dollar we make will be used for whatever "they" see fit. Just where do you think that extra 7 cents per dollar is going to come from? Well, unfortunately, it's the money that currently goes to the non-profit organizations listed above. Bill and me no longer will get to choose what organizations can benefit from our hard work and money. That's sad but it's not the real important part of the story.

You see, by taking out the personal, in your face, touchy-feely aspect to volunteering/donating, I think over time, we stop really caring and understanding the in-depth problem or issue at hand. And when our hearts and thoughts aren't with the people in need, I fear we (the Upper Class) will ask ourselves why are we working so hard, again?! My guess, many salaries will be lowered to, say, $249,000 for the 2008-09 tax season. The old saying, "we gave at the office" will be heard because it will be true. And finally, most of the best solutions to this nations' problems come from volunteers and money supporters who are actually feeding the poor or providing the shelter for the abused woman.

I am worried for the organizations that rely heavily on the Upper Class to financially support their efforts. I am worried for what this kind of hands-off system does to the moral fiber of this country. And, I am tired of politicians who spew the words 'Upper Class' as if we are all some kind of vile, dishonest collection of people, because we are not. Most of us give and give and give some more. We are not asking for a thank you or a pat on the back, either. Mr. Obama, please try to understand that things aren't always as they seem. We are the hard-working individuals that CARRY this nation along and devote our lives for the betterment of others.

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Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

First of all GREAT POST. I think you are right about forced charity, it makes it less personal which isn't a good thing from a financial or emotional standpoint. Money is one thing, but manpower is what really makes charity tick and for that you need awareness and passion.
Secondly? It may take me a few hours to get over your panty comments....HILARIOUS!!! Welcome back!

November 5, 2008 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger HeatherPride said...

Wow. So very well put. I agree with everything. Americans are a charitable people. We give. We volunteer. I was raised volunteering. I volunteered until I had babies of my own, and as soon as I have a little bit of my life back again when they are older, I will volunteer again. I will teach my kids the importance of giving.

I don't want to be forced to give either. I want to choose where my money goes.

Anyway, great points.

November 5, 2008 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Casey said...

I love the underwear. I understand your feelings on being upper class, we fall into that category too (although you wouldn't know it by looking at us). I came from no money and worked to pay my way through college too so everything we have, we've earned ourselves. I believe in Obama because I really think he can turn things around for the rest of the people who ARE struggling. I have two brothers with young children who work their butts off and are still living paycheck to paycheck and my parents are struggling to save for retirement. I don't so much worry about us and our money because we're ok but I worry all the time about my family and friends who aren't. I'm sorry you're sad today and this post was so eloquently put.

November 5, 2008 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Well said, Beth. While I did vote for Obama, I totally understand your points.

I love your undies!

November 5, 2008 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger April said...

wonderful post.

i am no longer part of the upper class since making the choice to stay home with the kids and forsaking my cushy paycheck (crying a little as i type this, LOL). Because of this choice and Hubs choice to go back to school, many of our friends have assumed we're all of the sudden fiscal Democrats. That now we 'get it'.... how frustrating! I'm not sure where I was going with this post, other than to say, I agree, I've been on both sides of the fence and I still can't see how it's ok for the government to ask anyone to work more than 30% of the year for THEM.

I'm so sorry this comment is all over the place. My head is swimming tonight.

November 5, 2008 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger steenky bee said...

Amen, sister. I'm not for forced charity either. There are a few things I don't want the goverment telling me to do and this is one of them. I so hope those are you panties. Please, oh, please.

November 5, 2008 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa Eshelman said...

Not only did your parents work hard and give back they taught you to do the same. Now with your hard work and commitment to give back you have taught your children to do the same. What are we teaching our children as a nation. No need to work hard our government will take care of us. Where are we heading. I guess we raise our heads and work twice as hard to move on.

November 6, 2008 at 8:20 AM  
Anonymous terry said...

Couln't agree with you more

November 6, 2008 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Terry said...

Very appropriate. reflects our (my and myself)thoughts and concerns.

November 6, 2008 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Sprite's Keeper said...

Wow, Beth. Amazing post! You're right about forced charity. You're right about the fact that the Upper Class will be forced to carry more upon their shoulders. Your words give a better identity to the other side of the ruler and it needs to be heard as well. I would be honored to post this with the other Spins! You're linked! And love the panties. (And there's another phrase I thought I would never write...)

November 7, 2008 at 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Nicole Bandes, The Card Eagle said...

This is a great post and very thought provoking. I have shared it with my twitter family.

November 7, 2008 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Evenspor said...

Great job. I wish more people saw it that way. Then again, if more people saw it that way, or country probably wouldn't be in the position it's in.

November 8, 2008 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Julie!! said...

I have those underwear too!

November 8, 2008 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I agree with you. It is a sad state of affairs to think that hard working people (like most of us) may be inclined to take a few steps back and caost a little more. By the way, where can I get a pair of those panties???

November 11, 2008 at 2:52 PM  

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