I’m back, though running on about 4 out of 6 cylinders. I know Saturday passed by, I just existed. Sunday brought a bit more consciousness and Monday returned life to work again. One thought sprung through my dendrites today. I had a happy parenting moment when, well let me back up. Part of my job as parent was to get the progeny to understand the sharks out there in the retail world. I understand things from a business sense, that is to make money, one has to move the product and part of that movement is offering sales and attention getters to influence the buying public to a particular store or product with said store. Price manipulation is historic and so ingrained part of me feels it not worth mentioning, but since I already have… The store will increase price x on product y and then reduce it by a small percentage with the announcement of sale when the price will be the same as the original. Ultimately, this allows the store the adequate population to exchange their money for the goods presented and with an acceptable profit margin, the store gets to do the same process again. With this in mind, I trained all the kids that when they saw a sign for sale it simply meant they want your money. I repeated this mantra innumerable times until that fateful moment when one kidinbox walked by a sale sign and said, “I know, they just want my money.” My internal teacher was doing a dance. Outside, I quietly affirmed how accurate kid was. This comes from a dual concept of ownership being, 1.) nothing is free, 2.) if I obtain something, I should have some investment in it.

With the first of these, there is a bumper sticker I pass frequently on the way to work stating, “just because you didn’t pay for it doesn’t make it free.” When one expands the balloon of observation slightly, getting something for “free” from someone else simply means that other entity paid the cost for some reason. Usually, that reason involves obtaining something in return later of similar or greater value as in the observation of stores and their sales. Drug representatives perform the same operation in the medical community. They come to the office, provide “free” lunch, give out samples of J and K, and then expect in return to receive orders for their product far in excess of the lunch provided. I am usually wary of “free” drawings requiring full personal contact information as there was only one prize, and now that business has how many good contacts which can be sold, all for the cost of a single prize.

Secondly, there seems to be a lost concept in America, that one should be responsible for their own selves to the point of providing means for what is obtained. I am saying that one should pay for what one wants. There is a Jewish concept I heard which takes it to the “next level” when considering association with business. When one goes into a business with the sole intent of wasting time, and then occupies with shopkeeper with questions and conversation, that person has just stolen from the shopkeeper as the shopkeeper’s time spent could have been more productively used towards the business. I have even tried to maintain the concept learned from a church companion many moons ago, that if one goes into a store to use their facilities, one should purchase something as the facilities are there for customers. I will usually buy a bag of nuts in this case, but do agree with the concept and offer it here as a lost idea in America today.

I was thinking of this concept in the realm of voting as that job is fast approaching. I say job on purpose as one should not approach a job haphazardly. As to the concept of ownership and responsibility, are there 47% of voters pressing the button simply for the idea of what I will get for “free”? I took an ethics class some time back and the idea of universal health coverage was raised (this was before Obammacare). I had to ask, “who will pay for it?” and a voice from the back of the class offered, “This country is rich enough,” to which I had to add a bit of reality, “That ignores the fact that the money has to be taken from someone to pay for it.” The discussion didn’t get much farther. The country will move in a more conservative responsible manner when the concept of personal responsibility becomes popular again.