Thursday, April 12, 2012

The "Song" of my Dad's coin

    When I was a little boy, it was common to hear men "jingling" the change they had in their pockets. Because in the 50's and 60's working men were more apt to have a lot of change in their pockets rather than "folding money." Shave and a haircut - two bits; coffee for a nickel or a dime; double-bubble for a penny; Good Humor ice cream, 10 or 15 cents. 
    I loved the sound of jingling change because it usually meant that my Dad was going to buy me an ice cream or a bag of peanuts. As I got older I always had a fascination with U.S. coins, especially the older coins.  One coin in particular always held my heart, and my imagination. The story goes that the day my father stepped off the boat from Sweden, he managed somehow to get a U.S. silver dollar. He kept it in his pants pocket ever since - it became a "touchstone" for him. I can remember seeing that coin every time my Dad took the change out of his pocket and let me take a dime or a quarter. Over the course of his working life that coin had lost all of it's markings. By the time my Dad reached his 80's, as a collectible it was only worth the weight of the silver it assayed at. But in my eyes, and in my father's heart it was worth more than gold! It marked his landing, his beginning in "the land of opportunity and freedom." A country where everything and anything was possible - if you worked hard enough. Then came the day when it "passed" to me, and I too carried it in my pocket... every day. 
    I can remember placing that silver "disc" on the tip of my finger while young Kara and Kris watched expectantly, and striking it on its edge with my ring. It would "peel" like a bell and my kids would clap and be amazed! A little passing on of magic - just as my Dad had amazed me with the same "trick!" 
   Today, I hope my daughter still carries it with her always as a good luck charm, and her touchstone. Something she can amaze her triplets with as they grow older. I'm sure the "ring" it produces is still strong, and clear ... and still represents the unshakable foundations and dreams of all the grandfather's and great grandfather's that helped build this country!!!
   Which brings me to my point .....    
    I still have a fascination with American coins. At the end of every day I put all of my coins, and all of my "singles" in a can on my dresser. Over the years it's become my "Christmas Club" stash. Everyone who knows me knows I've been troubled by the "direction" our country has been driven during these last few years, eh, last 20 or so years.  A steady erosion of the history and underpinnings which every country MUST maintain in order to motivate and encourage its people to move FORWARD. Let's just leave it my opinion, the erosion has accelerated 100 fold during the last 3 years. I don't know entirely what must be done, but I do know that accelerated spending will only hasten the end. 
    Think about just one small change.... it used to be that American coinage could "SING"  loud and clear and strong throughout the country and the world! There was something cheerful about hearing your change jingle in your pocket. Today, if you shake a handful of U.S. coins together you hear the unmistakable sound of "clacking!"  No ringing - no song. It's the same worthless sound of the tokens we used to get as kids when we went to a carnival in the summer. As kids we loved those tokens ... but we soon found out that they were worthless outside the carnival! We'd been tricked into thinking that clacking tokens meant something. Once the carnival left town, all that we had left was the CLACK!  
    I hate that sound! For me it exemplifies everything that OUR COUNTRY has been turned into. Everything that WE have been turned into. Everything that we have been tricked into believing! The Republicans are no better than the Democrats on this. It's not "party's" - it's POLITICIANS in general!  As a working group, they just don't know how NOT to spend! Look at them in Washington or in your State Capital...WE'RE GOING BROKE!  And the politicians just keep on spending!!
    In deference to my good friend Rich, trust me buddy - I know my side is as much to blame as yours, but when your side is led by 2 Millionaire Nobel Prize winners screaming that we should be spending more money as a way to get out from under - HOLY SHIT we are in deep trouble!! Not for nothing, but Krugman, Obama and their entire Keynesian enclave can blow it out their collective bilge bags! CONTINUED SPENDING IS ONLY GOING TO CRIPPLE MY GRANDCHILDREN! And increasing the TAXES ON PEOPLE WHO ALREADY PAY FOR 75% OF THE TAXES IN THIS COUNTRY IS JUST INSANITY! Especially when 47% of the people in this country pay NO TAXES!!! ZERO, NADA, BUBKISS!!  BUBKISS!!! And they still want more!!!!!!! 
    Every time I hear Obama spew his racial divisiveness, I hear CLACK!  Every time I hear him say "Wall Street, the oil companies, and the richest among us have to do more," I hear CLACK!  Banks are still touting "no interest mortgages - everyone qualifies"... CLACK!  Obama's health care program is 2700 pages long and amounts to 14 more taxes leveled on each American worker, CLACK!  National 
Debt ADDED by President Obama in less than one term .... $6.5 TTTRILLION dollars, CLACK, CLACK, CLACK!!!!
    Somewhere someone tricked us into believing that the more you spend, the faster you'll get out of debt. At some point we all got used to the idea that "I'll just use this card one time for this one purchase." Instead we should have heard CLACK!  Come on, be real - we're not kids anymore. We shouldn't have been this gullible. WE KNOW BETTER! Or at least we should have! If you only have $10 bucks in your wallet and your kids need shoes, you better find a side job to pay for those shoes! How many of you were brought up hearing, "You can only afford what you have cash money to buy!!" Hey the people running the Carnival only took cold hard cash didn't they? You couldn't pay on credit! Well, nothing has changed.....but yet again EVERYTHING has changed.
    Today we have OBAMA telling crowds of adoring zombies that "it is the right of every American to go to college and own a home." WRONG MORONS! It is the DREAM of every American to go to college and own a home. Nobody promised anyone a college education! It is the right of every American to go to public school until they have finished high school or reach the age where they decide to stop schooling. If you earned good enough grades and could afford it  you could apply to go to college - there was no guarantee-period! Nobody promised anyone a house! You don't have the right to a house - you earn it. It is the right of every American to have a place to live that they can afford. After you finish schooling you find a job and then a place to live - usually a small apartment. You work to pay rent and save money to make a down payment and own a house with a bank. You earn the right to own a home through hard work after you've saved enough to qualify for a mortgage!!
    There used to be a time when American coins "sang" with the promise of the dreams they represented.
    You could "recollect" your dream by simply putting your hand in your pocket and listen to the joyful sound.
    The certainty was, that you could realize your dream through hard work. That was the reality we all lived with.
    Today's coins can't "sing." Because they're not based in reality. They're carnival knock-offs.
    The "dreams" they represent are as fake as the "carnival barkers" that sell them to us.
    "You can have something for nothing" - "Someone else should pay for your home, your car, your education."


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