Deferral of Gratifications

This weekend, my wife and my three boys took me house snooping. To buy a new moderately nice house in this little area of California large enough to accommodate a five person family will set you back 1.5 to 2 million bucks. The houses we looked at weren’t bad, but I didn’t see the one I wanted; that one probably will cost 4 or 5 million dollars. I need to make a lot more money if I am going to purchase something like that.

Each week I read a dozen or more columns, most are links on this website. One of my favorite columnists is George Will. Not only do I marvel at his intellectual prowess, but I hope by reading his stuff each week some of his writing talent might rub off on me.

Whether or not my writing skills ever rise to the level of eloquence and intellect he exhibits in his work is unimportant, the information he disseminates is valuable, informative, and instructive.

I don’t write to profess the scholarly views nurtured in academia anyway, I write to give a blue collar point of view many academics might have difficulty contemplating with full understanding and empathy. While I often defer to the scholars for information and policy analysis, my writing is colored with the pedestrian experience of a guy who has traveled America’s road of opportunity without the aid of advanced education or wealth.

This week George’s commentary described the enormous task facing France’s new president, Nicolas Sarkozy. The plight of a welfare state’s inability to provide the economic growth necessary to finance the appetite of growing entitlements demanded by a socialist people was centerpiece to his discourse. He gave plenty of explanation to the contradictions which also encourage capitalism’s downfall. Primarily, as capitalism provides for wealth and prosperity it eases the strenuous efforts required for said wealth and prosperity, and such, encourages sloth, and allows for an entitlement attitude within the people to emerge, who in turn adopt policies which pour water on the fire of drive. The drive which they depend on to finance their desire for entitlement I might add.

Provocative arguments explaining the contradictions were balanced by Mr. Will’s report of qualities most important for capitalism’s proliferation, among those, a deferral of gratifications. In essence, it is sacrifice now which compounds interest for payouts tomorrow.

Contemplating Will’s aphorism I am reminded of my Mother’s simple but wise, It’s not how much money you make Jimmy, but what you do with the money you get.

Generally, I have experienced Mom’s words to be only too accurate. My personal net worth has continued to grow over years while the wealth of many colleagues and friends has not, even though they have often made far more money than I have.

My deferral of gratifications will sometime award me the 5 million dollar house and other accoutrements due wealth. Leftists will prescribe my success to luck, my exhibition of wealth, greed, and my tenacity to encourage the free-enterprise policies which would enable others to secure similar wealth, racist.

I won’t get credit for creating jobs to scores of workers, for paying millions in tax revenue, or providing a good or service of high value to American consumers. The essence of business is profit, and that profit, the profit which provides for all these commendable side effects (jobs, tax revenue, products), will demonstrate to all socialists my inhumane and selfish aspiration to chase the American dream. The feeble minded will cheer the ridicule.

So how do those productive entrepreneurs and capitalists protect American culture and prosperity? We fight for righteousness with every fiber of our soul and do our best to convey the dangers and destruction inherent in socialist policy. But, as the human animal, we also venture to protect ourselves and investigate other options.

When a rabidly productive and patriotic guy like me begins to consider that perhaps there is another country on earth where he might be better off to be expending his efforts, we have planted the seeds of discontent that can only grow to America’s detriment.

The country won’t be destroyed in ten years or twenty, and there won’t be some mass exodus anytime soon, but when some smart country decides to adopt the concepts and policies that America did over two hundred years ago, policies our populace has been enthusiastic to cast aside, the exodus will come, and it will come fast and bitter.

Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo

12 thoughts on “Deferral of Gratifications

  1. Again lots of big words to many to look up right now. But i get the jest of it.

  2. Jim,
    Your dollar goes a whole lot further in Texas than Cali. You know what size house a million will get you in Dallas, good Lord!! Come to Texas, leave California to the third world.

  3. Right on, Jim….incremental socialism is on the rise; witness Hillary’s statements this week…right out of Das Kapital….keep charging!!

  4. You have it right. My question is, why do so many people with money feel they have to be socialists? The people in charge and wanting to be in charge are really scary and what will they get out of it?

  5. not, every fiber of our sole. it is every fiber of our soul , please dont ever be afraid to acknowledge that we have a soul .

  6. Brilliant! Plain and simple–brilliant! Very well stated and your use of words has enabled me to see what you are saying.

    Very few writers have the ability to let their audiences “see” or “view” and feel what they are trying to say; however, I thank you.

    I also stumbled on to this site via New Max; what a real blessing…I think this should be my home page. Kudos, bravo, and Cheers!!

    Sir Paul

  7. Yes George Will is also one of my most visited commmentator/columnist.
    I suggest that everyone read “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand published in the 50’s. Not an easy read to be sure but it gives an insight as to how the “politically correct” society is deconstructing our economy, political structure and values to the detriment of all.

  8. There is another option to leaving the country. Taking BACK the country. If that won’t work, then those States fed up with tyranny and socialism seceding and forming (I should say re-forming) a government of States bound by the original Constitution and Bill of Rights. Start over with what was a divinely inspired idea for freedom and self-government….now wiser as to how it can go wrong. Let those States who enjoy this liberal socialism have their failing culture. Those States who remember that 4th of July isn’s just another federally granted “benefit” but the day Americans threw off the yoke of disinterested exploitative tyranny….and want that freedom back…let them join and preserve it. It’s possible. Truly. Many States are now enacting laws rather than wait for the feds to do their constitutional jobs. Enacting laws on the war, enacting laws on immigration. Enacting laws on other issues the Feds have gone so wrong on or won’t do. We should stop ASKING the feds what States can do. That was not the intent and language of the Constitution. The Feds were supposed to ask the States what they could do, but only if it was not already restricted through the language of the Constitution.

    Why on earth should we consider running from our birthright, our country, and our Consitution? Better we take it with us into our States and divorce from the out of control Federal giant. Kick THEM out, throw of THEIR chains and disposses THEM. Leaving our country has got the cart before the horse. Like saying if you invited somebody into your home, and he refused to leave demanding that he run the household, you’d just move. NO. Throw the bum out. Common sense.

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