Balancing budgets

Before we jump first-hand into the topic of balancing budgets, here is a good analogy for the scene that many people in the world today are seeing as they look around them. You are in a very high class restaurant on the top floor of a tall public building in the center of a big city. It is evening, and you and your lover are enjoying the beautiful view of the dazzling city stretched out below. You have ordered a full course meal of delicious entrees from the highly rated menu. You have already enjoyed your appetizers and are now waiting for the waitress to bring you the specially prepared entrees that you have been hungering for since you left home.

Just as you see your waitress emerge from the kitchen area with the tray of your food balanced on one hand above her right shoulder and the folding stand for the tray in her left hand, you feel the floor quiver beneath your feet. The water in your glasses begins to stir. The table begins to bounce and slide around. The beautiful chandeliers of dimly lit lights throughout the restaurant begin to sway, and you realize that the city is undergoing an earthquake. You catch a glimpse of your waitress as she tries to maintain her balance as everything is shaking beneath her feet. For a moment you wonder if she is going to be able to serve you the delicious entrees for which you have been waiting. Your ears are filled with the sounds of falling dishes, shattering windows, the screams of other guests, and the cries of frightened rioting children who are wondering what is going to happen to them and whether or not they are ever going to get the great desserts for which they have been waiting. You look to your lover as together you wonder when is the shaking going to stop and where you should  go to be safe.

This analogy is not that different from the reality of the scene that now confronts many people in the world. The foundations of much that they assumed were solid are shaking. Many of the pleasures and the comforts that they anticipated receiving are now in jeopardy of being destroyed. They don’t know where to turn for help or where to go for safety. They don’t know how to calm the screaming crying rioting people around them. They don’t know when the shaking is going to stop.  Those individuals who are in charge and on hand don’t seem to know exactly what to do or they can’t agree on a reasonable course of action. And you and those you love and many of the other “guests”  may be really wondering about their ability to personally survive the chaos and the crisis that you all see unfolding before your eyes.

Balancing Budgets of Nations

The economic structures of some of the major nations of the world are shaky, including that of the United States,  and even the economy of China is reported to be quivering. The budgets for many states within the United States are in serious danger of collapsing.  The budgets for some major cities and areas in the United States have been damaged almost to the point of being unworkable, and many residents have left for safer more stable “ground”. Riots are breaking out in unexpected places around the world. “Experts” and responsible civic administrators and even some dictators are scurrying around in their bunkers,  various school districts, town hall meetings, and union halls to try to negotiate some reasonable acceptable solutions with those “in charge” and the “guests” in the “restaurant” to the economic crisis that fills their fields of vision. And the value of currencies and the supply of its “notes” in the various economic systems of the world that must be used to  pay for all of the damages and to rebuild the “restaurants” have been drastically changed by all of the “shaking” that has taken place and the various financial adjustments that have been quickly made to try to prevent a disaster.

I don’t think that there are any quick ways to stop the shaking or glib speeches that can silent the screams and cries of those who are frightened or stop their riots. There aren’t any familiar stable fixtures that staggering “waitresses” can use to regain their balance as they try to finish their immediate tasks or running guests can use to keep their feet beneath them as they try to find a safe refuge, and there are no ways to recover many of the joys and comforts that have been lost when our luxurious surroundings have been shaken apart. There isn’t enough money to pay for the damage and the losses that have been experienced.

For an additional commentary on this matter see my statement on economic security .

What do you think of the “scene” that lies before you? What are you experiencing in your personal situation? How are you going to maintain some balance in the midst of the current chaos? Have you heard the term balancing budgets before? What can we do to restore some order to the “restaurant” in which we all live? Let’s talk about this.

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Comments

Balancing budgets — 3 Comments

  1. Consider this: If the federal and state government would pay students a minimum wage, with a scale based on grades, for the thirteen years they are in school, and then release the funds only for the purchase of a home and/or a college education, we would solve our economic problems in merely 13 years.

  2. John,
    Where are the federal and state governments going to get any money to pay students to attend school? They don’t have enough money now to pay many teachers to teach their classes. Many local school districts are struggling with trying to balancing their budgets while they wait for their state treasurers to forward them some of the state funds that were marked for their services, but the states are also short of funds. And local school boards and districts are engaged in ongoing negotiations with teachers’ unions who are pressing to save jobs and benefits for their members. Public education for the years for the completion of the grade and high school studies is a legitimate governmental service, but its costs have to be covered by approved taxes, special bonds, or special fees or charges. Right now there is no money to pay grade and high school students to attend school. I don’t see how your proposal could solve “our economic problems in merely 13 years”. Please cite some practical details that would support your proposal.

  3. The president suggests that we raise taxes on the top wage earners of America including a number of small businesses. He figures that this will increase the money the government has coming in and help to reduce the deficit; but what I think will happen is that those people who are in the high bracket of income will end up paying less taxes, because of write off and the middle class people will end up having to pay the increase. Small businesses will have to lay people off because they will not be able to pay for all of their medical coverage they need and the increase taxes that they have to pay. Some where I read or heard that those people earning $250,000 or more only payed 10% of the total taxed, and if they increase the rates to 39%, those people would end up paying only 7.5%. I don’t know if this is true or not, but raising taxes on the top earners does not seam to be the answer to lowering the deficit. Dick

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