Friday, September 11, 2009

Some Ins and Outs of Our Society

I recently had a conversation with a workout buddy of mine about the relationship between exercise, diet, and overall health. It set my mind in motion about a couple of issues for which an understanding of what's coming in and what's going out is extremely important.

Especially with all the talk about healthcare reform, it is obvious that one of the best ways every person in this country could contribute to lowering the nation's cost of healthcare is by exercising discipline with 1) how much food they eat - the ins; and 2) how much of that food they burn off - the outs. With the prevalence of diet and weight loss fads that often guarantee that you'll "take it off and keep it off", it might cause a person to wonder what's so complicated about "it". Are there millions of deviant microscopic organisms that sneak up and attach themselves to people's stomachs, bums and thighs if they don't take a particular pill or subscribe to the latest weight loss program? Nope. There's a a simple formula for the vast majority of us. If more is coming in than is going out, a person gets fatter. If the amount that is going in equals what's going out, the person stays the same. If more is going out than is coming in, the person loses weight. There's no real secret there.

Now let's consider debt, savings, and general personal finance. I remember hearing on news radio nearly six years ago a report that found Americans had spent $1.27 in 2002 for every dollar they'd earned. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, "That can't last very long." If the scenario represented the flow of calories on a fat person, our country would have made some progress over that period and since then. Instead, we now find ourselves in a major recession. To make things worse, the irresponsibility of Americans over the past six years (and further back) has led to a situation in which we have a power-thirsty group of politicians (I know, "power-thirsty" and "politicians" is redundant, but this is an extreme case, so it fits) trying to stuff down the throats of Americans a socialist combo of government run heathcare and a fraudulent "economic stimulus". We can learn another lesson from our misery in this case: saving - the ins, has to outweigh spending - the outs.

There is obviously nothing new or relevatory in this discussion of ins and outs as they relate to the flow of calories and dollars. There's obviously other things affecting each person's ins and outs. However, it seems like too many members of our society have so quickly abandoned common sense principles in search of a way to kill accountability and live off of entitlement that a good slap in the face is needed.

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Some Context for What You Read Here

Whenever someone shares opinions, especially about important topics for which there are deeply contrasting views in society, it's important to know the foundation of that person's perspectives. For that reason, I have provided a category on this blog called Premises. Listed under Premises are some explanations of my background, including my religion, which forms the foundation of my moral and political principles.