Posts Tagged ‘Money’

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The Gift That Keeps On GivingWith the Holidays impossibly already upon us, I was wondering what was the gift that truly keeps on giving? What would keep on giving not only to the recipient, but also to those they come into contact with? After all, if you are going to give something to someone, they should be able to share the joy of that gift with family, friends … heck, even strangers.

The cynic humorist would readily reply “Herpes is the gift that keeps on giving”. However, in the spirit of the season, I strive to a higher understanding here.

Donating an organ, or even blood for that matter, is a noble act that can offer the ultimate gift of life to it’s beneficiary. While no greater bestowment can surely be offered, it is one that actually stops with the donee. You can argue that the love and affection that friends and family can continue to share is proof of the “keep on giving” assertion. Yet, the gift of heart, lung, et al are only facilitators here, not actual participants in the “keep on” part of our quest. Besides, if the recipient turns out to be such a weenie that they’d make Ebenezer Scrooge seem like the poster-child for the Salvation Army, then the gift actually begins to “take away”.

Love is a wonderful gift to offer. Other than the aforementioned organ donation, there may be no greater thing to offer of one’s self. However, love is fragile and can all too easily be stepped on, like a night snail crossing an unlit sidewalk, ending it’s journey on the eternal conferring quest.

Kindness. Yes, as the recent TV campaign for an insurance company illustrates, random acts of kindness can be passed on infinitum, and actually come back to you in the end. But, get one dick-head slacker caught up in that karmic chain-letter and it gets knocked flatter than Manny Pacquiao.

So, what is it that can be gifted and continue to be passed on for eternity … or, at least, until the gift itself can no longer be viably shared? CASH! Yep … cold hard cash, dough, currency!! Now, before you go branding me a heartless prick who has no concept of the word “giving” or the idea of what constitutes a genuine gift, hear me out.

First, there is no doubt that cash keeps on giving to both acquaintance and stranger alike. If I give you a $100 bill, chances are you are going to spend it. You might treat yourself to a massage and facial, or a full tank of gas and a couple of Happy Meals. You might get the kids the latest toy craze that will undoubtedly go untouched within 60-90 days. You might take your significant other out to a dinner that doesn’t include paper napkins and ketchup packets. You might even put it in the bank to “save it for another day”. Yet, at some point, you are going to spend it … and the person who is next in the c-note reception line will end up spending it, too. And, so on, until that bill ultimately receives it’s untimely end at the end of a lit cigar, in a sunken safe at the bottom of the Laurentian Abyssal, or in a Treasury Department shredder.

Second, a certain freedom comes with an unanticipated windfall of wampum. You are free to spend, share, or dispense it as you please. Sure gift cards are nice. Though, the givee is restricted to the specific choice of establishment, and their offerings, of the giver. With an envelope loaded with legal tender, however, there are no constraints as to the who, what, where, and when the continued giving is conducted.

Lastly, everyone loves the gift of greenbacks! No one has ever stood in line for an hour or more to return or exchange the present of dead Presidents. Nor has anyone ever expressed disappointment, scorn, or regret in the boon of good-gotten booty. The unexpected largess of loot can bring a great sense of relief to the awardee in need; and feeling of frivolity, or even philanthropy, to those who are already flush.

Sure, banknotes do not carry the sentimental value that many other “gifts from the heart” may possess. But, sentimentality is not our pursuit here. And, please, don’t confuse cash with a check, which lends itself to be deposited rather than dispensed. Don’t even get me started on the cold, callous “electronic transfer”!

So, if you are wondering what to get Dorkus for the Holiday, allow me some literary license with, if not outright butchery of, the words of Lady Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your crumpled masses of Fins, Sawbucks, Jacksons, and Benjamins yearning to breathe free … Send these, the spondulick, pocket-money to me. I lift my lamp beside the folding-green door!” Most importantly, I promise to pass them on!!

Categories: Holidays, Money Tags: , , , , , ,

What … No “Thank You”?

Back in March of this year, the bell-weather Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted to a 12-year low of 6547. Many on Wall Street, and certainly most in the right-dominated financial news arena, criticized, and even attacked, Barak Obama as the cause of the stock market meltdown. (We could argue that the cause was actually initiated, perpetuated, and accentuated under the watchful eye of the Bush regime, but that is the subject for another post).
Yesterday, we finally closed back above the “magic” 10K level of the Dow, a whopping 70+% move in just seven short months. Certainly a cause for celebration and a proverbial slap on the back for our President, right? But, for some “odd reason” I didn’t see one mention, in broadcast or print, that lauded Obama or his financial team for getting the market back to this level in such short order.
So, where’s the “Atta boy!”, “Way to go!, or even “Thank you!”??? You’d think with all the “liberal controlled media” that they would be clamoring over one another like Russians in a one-loaf breadline to applaud the President. Well, unless you need the tax loss, don’t go buying futures and options on any type of positive recognition happening anytime soon. All one has to do is look at who owns the news networks, and therefore controls the messages delivered, to realize that there is very little liberal media in this country. Even CNN, which is often characterized in this way, is home to John King and Lou Dobbs – two of the most ardent conservative mouthpieces in broadcast. At least GE, parent company of the NBC family of networks, allows for some balance with the more liberal minded MSNBC vs. the conservative led CNBC.
But, control debates aside, fair is fair. If you are going to blame someone for a problem, then it is only reasonable to commend them when they fix the problem (or at least get things going in the right direction). When America was able to score quick and decisive victories in the early parts of the Afghanistan operation, I was one of the first to admit that my initial feelings about President Bush and his cohorts might have been wrong, and loudly praised the success. Unfortunately, those feelings were quickly dashed when it became clear that they would leave the job unfinished to begin a new, unnecessary war in Iraq.
I’ve heard so many conservatives say that Obama “doesn’t walk on water”. Apparently, it seems he may have to do something along those miraculous lines in order to get any sort of recognition from the right-wingers. Though, even if he does somehow traverse water, I’m sure many will find a way to discredit it.