Tag Archives: Money

Facebook’s Farmville Exhibits American Culture

Yesterday Facebook’s Farmville came under fire for scams, and also a few high-minded reporters offered their opinion of the waste of time it is to play a video game. Really? Funny how our reporters have been living under rocks, because our culture in many ways has become a video game. Have you ever noticed our freeways seem to be scenes from Grand Theft Auto?

Before I go on, I have to admit, I am one of those adults hooked to Farmville. I love it. After a long day of work, beating the rush hour traffic and after watching at least two hours of the news; I need a mental escape. So, the way I see it, I can either play a video game on Facebook or watch “reality TV.” It’s all very relative. We all need some mental down time to decompress after a stressful day.

Although some see Farmville as some silly game, it says mountains about our current American culture. The point of the game is to farm/work in order to earn credits to purchase more seeds, trees, animals or even a house. The key point here is, and I reiterate – work to earn credit.

Facebook, not unlike our culture gives us another option; we can buy credit. Yes, as some reporters mentioned you can buy points with you credit cards to advance in Farmville. But I ask, isn’t this what happens in our society? Instead of working to achieve success, many buy it. What we don’t have the patience to earn ourselves; will spend our money to get. Why earn credit, when you can buy it? It’s the American way.

John Stewart wisely quoted several months ago, “When will our nation learn, wealth is work?” I’d like to expand that point. When we will learn, life is work? We pay online services to find us love; when love should be free. James Ray has shown us the dangers of paying someone for “self help.” Don’t feel like wasting then energy to work out; take pills or have cosmetic surgery. So you see Facebook’s Farmville is only an online example of the reality of our culture. Perhaps many have difficulty seeing the truth.

And to those who accuse Facebook of scams…Hello? May I introduce you to Goldman Sachs, AIG, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase, VISA, Mastercard, etc…? We the American people are being scammed from the top down and many scamming entrepreneurs are just looking for their share. Personally, Facebook’s Farmville or not, until we as a people learn to earn our credit, there will always be someone waiting to scam us with quick sells and fixes. It’s not Facebook. It’s certainly not a harmless video game like Farmville. It is our culture.

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Money-Is America Splitsville

America SplitsvilleMoney, it is the number one cause of divorce in marriage and in reading comments to yesterday’s article about President Obama taking on the financial crisis it was evident that emotions are highly agitated and the nation is divided.  Is American heading for a divorce with itself? Calling Doctor Phil, America needs you.

Like in a marriage when couples squabble over money usual problems occur; one over spends, while the other in the marriage wants to skimp and save. This is evident today in the country with credit cards. Some have found their way into credit card debt others pay in full. Others like to live life to the fullest careless of money and finances, others live life by their check books. Other money problems result due financial crisis ironically like car troubles, health care emergencies and unemployment. All this leads to financial strife in a marriage and a nation. How do many cope? Split?

One of the first things Doctor Phil might ask, “Do you still love your spouse?”  So I ask this question, do we still love America? If we have answered yes that question we are off to a good start. Are you willing to make the relationship work? Yes, okay then follow me to the next paragraph.

 The next question I believe Doctor Phil might ask America is what do you value most; money or people? Some no doubt value money above all things. Some like to roll around in money and rub it all over their naked bodies before going to sleep. Money is the best mistress and it really is hard to break that affair, but if you value your family, marriage and country you may just need to end it. Others like me value life and people; in fact I sometimes value it too much a bill may be paid late.  For some, honestly life is about a stock portfolio, zero credit card balance or a perfectly balanced check book. For some, life is about living, but then for us folks sometimes a dose of reality does us good. What we need to do is appreciate and understand ourselves and each other. Can we do this? If so, let’s move along.

If someone in your family has money problems, or trouble handling money what is your reaction; kick them to the streets, offer handouts, or do you give them support and counseling?  This was the main argument yesterday against President Obama calling for financial reform-throw all Americans who don’t read the fine print to the streets.  One person even mocked my comment saying, “Should we help all those who walk with a cane-financially speaking?” Why uhm yes.  We do make ramps for the handicap that cannot use the stairs right; so we should make it easier for all people to understand financial contracts. Honestly, I’d like to split with that particular person. That’s not very neighborly American-Mister Idaho.  But I digress-onward.

How do we handle a financial crisis in our own home?  Many get caught up in bickering, arguing tossing out false prides and accusations. But does that solve the problem? Is getting angry and crying foul to another the solution? I don’t think so, do you?

The answer is analyzing the problems, regulating bad behaviors and finding new saving solutions. This change may be uncomfortable and even scary, but if we value America and the relationship with have with one another, perhaps we should be open-minded to help find solutions that work for all and realize that sometimes in our past relationships our methods of managing finances have been destructive and caused chaos and crises.

Money – Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged

judgeOne of my biggest gripes especially today is the judgment of the finances of others. Many judge the rich, and many judge the poor. Honestly, in my life time I had friends who made significantly less salary, but were much better with their money and those friends who made more money but were financial knuckleheads. I for one, never judged another’s handling of their finances. It was and is their business and none of mine. But in today’s economic climate many find pride in their finances, handling of credit , savings and blah, blah, blah and use as a s sense of pride to criticize others who struggle. This pride does no one any good.

One of the reasons I don’t judge is because I don’t see money being a human quality. I don’t judge someone by the money they have in the bank, I judge them by the quality of their character. Money is a piece of paper that signifies a monetary value, but it doesn’t suggest how you earned that money. I’m sure many feel the same but we get caught up in the stereotypes; rich people are greedy and poor people are lazy when neither have to be true. Some rich people are very lazy and some poor people work very hard for their money, therefore impossible to judge.

It is impossible to judge another on the finances and money without knowing anything about them. Rule number one, living expenses differ immensely from one part of the country to another. Living in Topeka, Kansas costs significantly less than New York City, therefore it is impossible to place judgment without knowing where they live. Secondly, you can’t judge another without knowing all their bills, mortgages, credit card bills, school loans, hospital bills and the list continues.

I think this has greater impact with what is happening in the country, as there seems to be budding class struggle. I have read one man’s judgment on a family who doesn’t have any credit cards and lives truly on what they earn. I have read articles where reporters blame average American’s for the credit crisis and well, no one can help blame the corporate managers at AIG.

So many quick to promote values, values of having money, the value of not having money. Perhaps we simply have too much value for money. Maybe we should shift our value to people and understand that we are all different, have different goals, desires and dreams for living. Just bear in mind, judging another person is in itself an unbecoming characteristic, judge not lest ye be judged.