Money Ch. 01byBOSTONFICTIONWRITER©
Dough, cash, bucks, scratch, dollars, pesos, script, moolah, marigolds, macaroni, bacon, bread, greenbacks, coin, smackers, C-notes, yards, Benjamins, sawbuck, double sawbuck, fin, cabbage, clams, bill, wad, whatever you call it, and by now you know it, I'm writing about money. We all want it but so few of us have it.
Money is the most common, yet elusive dream we have. We all dream about having more money, spending more money, saving more money, and winning money. I dare say, especially with the older crowd, those over 35-years-old and especially those of you who are working on your second marriages, that love is second to money on our wish list with sex a distant third.
You don't believe me? Go take your own unofficial poll and unless you are polling a bunch of romantics or a bunch of sexual perverts, money will win every time. Whoever said you can't buy love with money is wrong. Money will buy plenty of love just ask Donald Trump, Hugh Hefner, Jerry Seinfeld, and Michael Douglas. Moreover, we all know you can buy sex with money, just ask any prostitute or call girl.
Yeah, sure, we all want love and who of us doesn't want sex, especially the lurkers who read stories on this site (lol). We all want sex, good sex, the more sex the better, so long as it is in a rewarding relationship with intimacy and love. Okay, just plenty hot sex is good, too, and you don't even have to know her name (lol).
Yet, without money, you can't romance that sweet, young thing that has caught your eye. Without money, you can't take her out to the movies or to dinner. Without money, you can't buy her that big diamond engagement ring and put a down payment on that dream house that she loves.
Without having money in your pocket and money in the bank, in our society of unabashed green greed, political power, and influential influence all encouraged by how much money you are willing to contribute to campaigns, you are nothing and no one. Without money, you are one of the millions of the invisible and silent middle class who are too busy watching television and stuffing themselves fat with food than being involved in the process of trying to change the unfairness of our caste system.
Only, I can't write a review/essay about money without paying homage to those who have made this country what it is today with their unprecedented greed...hated the world over. Had John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil lived today, he'd be worth an estimated 200 billion dollars. Sure, he'd be really old and creepy looking, but I'm sure another Anna Nicole Smith look-a-like would find him and his money irresistible.
If Andrew Carnegie of Pittsburg Steel was still hanging around today, he'd be worth an estimated 110 billion dollars. If Cornelius Vanderbilt of steamships and railroads still lived, he'd be worth 100 billion in today's dollars. John Jacob Astor made his fortune in the fur trade and if he lived today, he'd be worth 85 billion dollars.
Then, there's our more modern day billionaires, Bill Gates III of Microsoft is worth an estimated 60 billion dollars. They say, by the time Mr. Gates reaches the age of 65, he may be the world's first trillionaire. Now, that's a lot of Windows, Word for Windows, and Excel spreadsheet software. I wish I had the opportunity to plunk down a thousand dollars, as my personal investment when he started his company. With the spiraling upward market valuation, all the stock splits, and dividends reinvested, it'd be worth a million dollars today.
Next on the list is Larry Ellison of Oracle worth an estimated 55 billion dollars. Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway is worth an estimated 50 to 60 billion dollars. Paul Allen co-founder of Microsoft is worth an estimated 30 billion dollars. Had Sam Walton of Wal-Mart survived and was still around today, his fortune intact and not divided between his heirs, his wealth today would be close to 100 billion dollars.
I report their wealth as estimations because the paper value fluctuates so much with the market condition. One day it's up and the next day it's down. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates continue to change places depending upon what is happening in the world market place, and had Mr. Buffet not donated 40 billion to Bill and Melinda's foundation that is dedicated to improving world health and educating children, he'd be worth closer to 100 billion dollars today. Their gains and losses are all paper gains and losses, anyway, which is why it is so difficult to estimate their wealth.
These people, all white Caucasian men by the way, are what free enterprise is all about. Unless you are a woman or a minority, go ahead, stand tall, puff out your chest and take a big breath of polluted air while digging deep in your pocket for an extra fifty dollars to fill your tank with gas this week.
"Easy there, if the breathing doesn't kill you that coughing, gagging, and hacking will."
Only, as an American, I don't feel especially free or enterprising. I don't especially feel invested in the financial security of this country. I feel disenfranchised and not part of the success that includes so few and rejects so many.
Matter of fact, now that I think about it, when it comes to money, I'm worse off now than I was ten years ago, twenty years ago, even. If I feel anything, I feel used, abused, and beaten down. God bless America, but the rich get richer in this country and the disparity between the top wealthy one percent and the rest of us has broadened the gap since you know who took office.
No longer will one paycheck per household carry a family. It is imperative that both spouses work full-time. No longer can everyone afford a house. What is guaranteed is that all of us will be in serious debt. If student loans don't sink us, then credit card debt will. Now, the new one that is pushing families into bankruptcy is adjustable rate mortgages. Who was the greedy genius that came up with that idea? It certainly wasn't for the benefit of the average consumer.
Let's face it. Our country is not about freedom of choice or democracy, it's about money and either you got it or you don't go it. Chances are you are like the rest of us. You don't got it. If you did, you wouldn't be sitting here reading this review/essay, you'd be in the Caribbean getting tanned, getting drunk, and getting laid.
To be continued...