Saturday, September 3, 2011

Investing vs. Spending

       The following two articles are courtesy of NEWS OF THE WEIRD:

                                      Pablo Borgen has apparently been living without
                                      neighbors' complaints in Lakeland, Fla.,
                                      despite general knowledge that he is, according to
                                      sheriff's officials, one of the area's major heroin
                                      traffickers, bringing in tens of thousands of dollars
                                      a month.  Following a drug sting in June, however,
                                      neighbors discovered another fact about Borgen:
                                      that he and some of his gang were each drawing
                                      $900 a month in food stamps.  Formerly indifferent
                                      neighbors were outraged by Borgen's abuse of
                                      benefits, according to WTSP-TV.  "Hang him by his
                                      toes." said one. "I've been out of work since
                                      February (2008).  I've lived for a year on nothing but...
                                      food stamps."

                                      It's good to be an Arizona State University student,
                                     where those 21 and older can earn $60 a night by
                                     getting drunk.  Psychology professor Will Corbin,
                                     operating with National Institute on Alcohol Abuse
                                     and Alcoholism grants, conducts studies of drunk
                                     students' memories, response times and decision-
                                     making processes through extensive questioning
                                     ---after he has raised their blood-alcohol level to
                                     precisely 0.08 percent (which Arizona regards as
                                     presumed-impaired for drivers).  Students are
                                     served one type of vodka cocktail, three drinks'
                                     worth, in a bar-like room on campus, and after 15
                                     minutes to let the alcohol be absorbed, the
                                     questioning and testing begin.  (At the end of the
                                     night, taxis are called for the students.)

I see now one reason this country's in such dire straits financially.  If these are examples of where a certain percentage of taxpayer dollars go.

While I'm making no comments on the above, allow me to give one quickie "financial lesson" on the topics of "Investing" and "Spending":

INVESTING:  Purchasing that which either has the potential for long life and many uses---or which has a potential for returning more than was spent for it.
For example, purchasing a high-quality well-made product---even if it costs more---that has the potential of lasting and providing services for a long period of time.  Something that, under normal conditions, will more-than-pay-for-itself.

SPENDING:  Making impulse purchases based on emotional responses or ephemeral desires---or just buying things "off-the-top-of-one's-head".  Or purchasing items one only uses once or for a limited number of times.

Examples of INVESTMENT:  Purchasing an oak table which is sure to last years and years---even if damaged in spots, it can be restored in that one area and given a coat of finish, thus rendering the table further usable---due to it's sturdiness and resilience due to it's firm structure.
Or purchasing a pair of high-quality brand-name jeans, even if they cost a little more, since you know you can trust this particular brand to last much longer than any "bargain brands"

Example of SPENDING:  Purchasing tickets to a concert or a theatre show---since they're only good for one particular night, then afterwards---they're obsolete.
Or purchasing a trendy item---stylish shoes; t-shirt with the logos of a currently popular TV show or currently popular recording artist; ornaments currently popular among a given social faction.  Items like these can sometimes become obsolete in less-than-a-year's-time.

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