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From the mouths of babes

Evan, 7 years old: "A boy in my class said that all the money his dad had was $2. And his dad gave it to him!"

This could be a seven year old misinterpretation. For example, I have $5 in my wallet right now but that’s it and I could see my seven year old saying, "This is Dad’s last $5 and he gave it to me!" The sad truth is that most of us are one paycheck away from being homeless. Good fiscal planning suggests keeping three to six paychecks in savings but if $2 is all you have and your son needs that for lunch then saving anything is going to be impossible. The problem snowballs. Let’s say the $2 dad wants to feed his family and didn’t turn to Fish. Instead he knows he gets paid on Friday and since this is Thursday, he skates a check at the grocery hoping it won’t clear until after his deposit. But the bank processes the check first. Now $2 dad is faced with a $36 fee from the bank plus a $25 fee from the grocery store. $61 vanishes from the budget which is already not making it. Now the next pay period will be even harder. This is the poverty cycle.

I read something astounding yesterday.

The world’s 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion in 2012 – enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over

[Source,, World’s 100 richest earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty 4 times over]

Read that closely. One hundred people could change the world.

"The richest 1 percent has increased its income by 60 percent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process."

[Source,, World’s 100 richest earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty 4 times over]

More power to them! I would love to increase my income by 60%. I would love to taste the lifestyles of the rich and famous. However, read it closely. "[T]he financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process." Why? Because in the past 20 years the tax laws and other laws have been skewed in favor of the rich. It’s the opposite of Robin Hood. The rich are robbing from the poor to give to the rich. Cutting off welfare programs will not suddenly make the poor responsible and bring them out of poverty; cutting off welfare programs will make the poor dead…which I suppose does end poverty.

I did not mean to politicize this. My point was that a lot of people, normal people, are struggling. It is amazing that 100 people in the world could dramatically change that 4 fold. And yes, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and others are already donating their wealth for good. I hope we can reach a point where no child ever has to say "$2 is all my dad has" again.

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Just want to play with the children today

I want to be building forts, playing games, and laughing with the children today. My brain isn’t working at full capacity today. But I remain focused on my work because before I can play with my children, I must provide for them.

Parents are obliged to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education, and spiritual development for their children. Theoretically, each of those should have equal importance. In reality, they have to be prioritized based on the situation at the time. Single parents amaze me. I do not know I would manage a family without Cathy! That is not entirely true. If I were a single parent, I would build a support system around myself of friends, family and services. As a matter of fact, we have such a support system already. I imagine that as a single parent I would have to use that support system a little heavier.

It is difficult to meet any of those obligations without money. Unfortunately, the amount of money you make/have is rather proportional to the quality of care you can provide your children. That is not to imply that a poor person is a bad parent or cannot give their child a quality education; however, a greater amount of money makes it easier to provide quality services. For instance, food choices are often governed by making ends meet. The quality of services you receive at the doctor’s office can be determined by your insurance carrier. I have observed people on TennCare having longer waits than people on private insurance. Those on TennCare may get interns while those with private insurance get the nurses and doctors. Money definitely impacts the quality of shelter which can be provided. Quality clothing can be had from consignment stores, hand me downs, and sales; however, money may determine how often clothing is purchased. Even spiritual development can be impaired by money problems since time to give spiritual guidance has to be allocated to earning money.

Whoops. This post was supposed to be about how much I love my children. Didn’t mean to slip into "I want to see poverty abolished" (even if I do).