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What price a loveable goofball?

Michelle Malkin has further revelations about the Frosts, the Democratic spokesfamily for the supposed need for more taxpayer-funded health entitlements. It turns out they are the kind of "buy now, think about how to pay for it later" people that I am quite familiar with, having been one for too many years myself. I'm still crawling out from under the life-wasting results of my years as a big spender with a tiny income. I will say, though, that at least I didn't make the mistakes these people made. I rent, so there is no house to lose to foreclosure, and after my last new car was repossessed I didn't drive for nearly four years. I'm much more realistic about my needs and goals, and I didn't go to the government for handouts. This apartment I now rent is income restricted, but it's the most expensive apartment I've lived in yet -- and I plan not to renew the lease when it comes due in May. And there is just me and two cats -- I have no children to be responsible for.

Anyway, enough about me. Let me tell you about my family. My father was kind of a "lovable goofball" like Frost père -- he would rather party, hang out with friends, and go to bars than work hard (one reason he became a teacher was the hours, and the summers off, when he'd find odd jobs until the county implemented all-year pay for teachers in the public school system). But you know what? He managed to hold down a steady job (he was contracted to the school), and though we didn't have a lot of luxuries we always had enough food to eat and clothes to wear and the entire family was insured via his insurance. And we had one house, one car -- which was used, and which my parents kept until the thing literally fell apart, whereupon they bought another used car -- and until my parents bought a tiny black and white for their bedroom, one television. And both I and my sister, after (for me) one year in a private school, went to public school. We were expected to do our homework and make the best grades we could. Of course there was no internet to screw around with, no video games, and television was mostly for grownups except on Saturday mornings, and there weren't very many channels anyway. Our house wasn't worth a lot of money either -- it was a broken-down old 20s "Boomer" wood frame that ended up succumbing to termites, and it didn't have any air-conditioning. My parents weren't at all concerned with coddling me and my sister -- we had a huge shade tree in the front yard to cool the house, and if we got hot we could turn on the fan. They had no trouble saying "no" to our requests for toys and other things that cost money if we couldn't afford it -- when it came to credit I think my parents had a Sears card and an American Express and an account with Fingerhut.

And even today it is still possible to live the life of a "lovable goofball" complete with wife and kids and still live within your means if you are willing to forgo the fancy cars and the private schools and the huge, swollen modern home. Fewer and fewer people are willing to do this, though, because more and more people are spoiled brats who think they are entitled to live the luxe life on someone else's dime.

One more thing: the Frosts' insurance shenanigans remind me of why I got out of the insurance business. I got so tired of hearing Entitled-Americans bitch, moan, and complain about having to pay for their own mistakes. So they had two at-faults and three NAFs and a reckless driving on their record -- why couldn't they get the best rate anyway? And so they missed their last two payments and had their insurance canceled and waited past the thirty-day mark which meant a whole new policy had to be rewritten instead of just reinstating the current policy, which of course meant they'd have to put a new down payment instead of just making up the payments they'd missed. Unfair unfair! And why is insurance so high in Orlando? Why should they have to pay higher rates because rates had gone up across the board? And so on. You know what? When I went for insurance recently I didn't bitch and moan at the cost. I just got a few quotes, and went for the cheapest one which would still give me sufficient coverage. People have the mistaken impression that they can get what they want by screaming and crying, because this is probably how they were raised -- coddled by overindulgent parents terrified of not being their offsprings' "friends." The customer is always supposed to be right, but that notion came from a time when the customer was a grownup who had a lick of sense, not babies who think the world owes them a living.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

One more thing: screaming "that's mean!" does absolutely nothing to advance the debate, never mind solving the problem. All it does is make the one screaming it look like a child who has been told something he doesn't want to hear. Again. And so what if it's "mean" to point out these facts, some of which are yes, very hard to hear? How many times can I say it: Life. Is. Not. Fair. Life, in fact, is often "mean" and even cruel. I can tell you there's one place where everyone has no problems: the cemetery.

Comments (2)

wf [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Reminds me of a story on German TV a few years ago. Thesis: people cannot afford to have children these days. Government must act! As proof they portrayed a family with 3 children. The father was a violin maker and the mother had just decided to go back to university (in her late thirties) to study theology. For free.

Like every family here, they already had full health insurance, child benefits, tax breaks, free (and generally good) public schools etc. All of which is taken for granted.

If Americans really want to go down the route to social democracy, they should know this: the whining will never stop. Never.

ricki [TypeKey Profile Page]:

You know, I wish we could just have a moratorium on putting Lovable Sad Faces on every issue. Because then we wouldn't get all the dumb tangential crap like this, and we could actually discuss - like adults, without getting the "but you're HURTING CHILDREN" argument from the bleeding hearts - the ISSUES and not the EMOTIONS.

That said: I have real problems with s-chip providing "free" health insurance for kids in families making more money than I do. Yeah, yeah, I get "free" health insurance for myself though my place of work, but I pay for it with the occasional 14 hour day and marathon committee meetings.

And yeah, the whole Entitled Americans thing makes me want to puke. Look, my parents never took a Caribbean Cruise or stayed in a hotel nicer than a Holiday Inn on vacation. My dad never drove a car better than some Ford POS that he could pay for. Just because a person "wants" something and thinks they "deserve" it does not mean they should get it, especially if it means sucking the hard-earned dollars out of other taxpayers' pockets. (Standard disclaimer: I support a "safety net" for the truly down and out. But if you have a nicer car, a better tv, more cable channels, and take more lavish vacations than I do - I don't think you deserve a government handout.)

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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