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Chuck Norris
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An 87-Year-Old's Economic Survival Guide

Comment

An old Spanish proverb says, "An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy." I believe that value holds, in or out of a recession. And seeing as my 87-year-old mother lived through the Great Depression, I think her value (and that of those like her) will increase through these tough economic times because her insider wisdom can help us all.

Mother was about 10 years old when her eight-member family endured the thick of those recessive days in rural Wilson, Okla., which only has a population of 1,600 today. The recurring droughts across the heartland during that period dried up the job market, making it worse in the Midwest than it even was in the rest of the country. Over the years, my grandpa worked multiple jobs, from the oil fields to the cotton fields, and he was even a night watchman. The family members did what they could to contribute, but most of them were simply too young to play a major part.

In 1933, when President Franklin Roosevelt took office, his administration, through the Works Project Administration, brought about the employment of millions in civil construction projects, from bridges to dams to airports to roads. My grandfather traveled about 90 miles for a day's work to help build the Lake Murray dam. But with a far smaller ratio of jobs to potential laborers, if Grandpa worked five days a month (at $1.80 a day), it was a good month.

Like most families, my mother's family didn't have running water or electricity. And Granny did her best to keep the outhouse clean, with Grandpa helping by regularly depositing lye to control the odors. (You can imagine how the hot, humid Oklahoma summers turned that outside commode into one smelly closet-sized sauna.) A "scavenger wagon" came by once a week and cleaned out the hole, which had a small chairlike contraption over it with the center punched out. (They once had a two-seater in there, which allowed for two people to enjoy each other's company and conversation. Mom told me that she always felt a little upper-class when she sat with someone else!) By the way, and I'm not trying to be crude, toilet tissue wasn't around, so they used pages from Montgomery Ward catalogs (and you wondered why the catalogs were so thick). No joke — they preferred the non-glossy pages. I'll let you figure out why.

Got the picture? With that in mind, I turn to a recent conversation I had with my mother. I asked her, "How would you encourage the average American to weather the economic storms of today?"

Here's her advice, in her words:

—"Get back to the basics. Simplify your life. Live within your means. People have got to be willing to downsize and be OK with it. We must quit borrowing and cut spending. Be grateful for what you have, especially your health and loved ones.

Be content with what you have, and remember the stuff will never make you happy. Never. Back then, we didn't have one-hundredth of what people do today, and yet we seemed happier than most today, even during the Great Depression.

—"Be humble and willing to work. Back then, any work was good work. We picked cotton, picked up cans, scrap metal, whatever it took to get by. Where's that work ethic today? If someone's not being paid $10 an hour today, they're whining and unwilling to work, even if they don't have a job. The message from yesteryear is don't be too proud to do whatever it takes to meet the financial needs of your family.

—"Be rich in love. We didn't have much. In fact, we had nothing at all, compared to people today, but we had each other. We were poor, but rich in love. We've lost the value of family and friends today, and we've got to gain it back if we're ever to get back on track. If we lose all our stuff and still have one another and our health, what have we really lost?

—"Be a part of a community. Today people are much more alone, much more isolated. We used to be close with our neighbors. If one person had a bigger or better garden or orchard, they shared the vegetables and fruits with others in need. Society has shifted from caring for one another to being dependent upon government aid and welfare. That is why so many today trust in government to deliver them. They've forgotten an America that used to rally around one another in smaller clusters, called neighborhoods and communities. We must rekindle those local communal fires and relearn the power of that age-old commandment, 'Love thy neighbor.'

—"Help someone else. We never quit helping others back then. Today too many people are consumed with their own problems and only helping themselves. 'What's in it for me?' is the question most are asking. But back then, it was, 'What can I do to help my neighbor, too?' I love Rick Warren's book 'The Purpose Driven Life,' and especially his thought, 'We were created for community, designed to be a blessing to others.' Most of all, helping others gets our minds off of our problems and puts things into better perspective.

—"Lean upon God for help and strength. We didn't just have each other to lean on, but we had God, too. We all attended church and belonged to a faith community. Church was the hub of society, the community core and rallying point. Today people turn to government the way we used to turn to churches. It's been that way ever since Herbert Hoover's alleged promise of a 'chicken in every pot' and President Roosevelt's New Deal. Too many have abandoned faith and community. We trust in money more than God. And maybe that's a reason why we're in this economic pickle."

Now that's conventional wisdom that should be shouted and posted in every corridor of government, every community across America, and every blog on the Internet.

Call me overly pragmatic, but I think a little practical wisdom and encouragement is what we all need about now. Mom always was good for that. She still is.

To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CHUCK NORRIS

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
At the 'haste rate' these politicians are going, America will be so far down the tube in the next (6) months, that we'll all be standing in a soup line, as there' nothing constructive about what they're doing! I KEEP SAYING 'WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO AMERICA WHEN THE INTEREST ISN'T PAID TO THE FOREIGNERS?'

I suppose this is what they call 'justification' of the huge salaries and retirements they get and the "B/S LAWS" they pass that's for their benefit ONLY. Taxpayers have had enough!

As for NBC this AM (2-24-09), Bill Cosby and his new co-authored book says nothing good - it's still the 'white man's fault'! For the longest time I felt Cosby was trying to STOP THE ILLEGITIMATES FROM HAVING MORE ILLEGITIMATES, NO MOMMY OR DADDY LOOKING AFTER THEM (TOO BUSY LYING ON THEIR BACKSIDES HAVING MORE ILLEGITIMATES), 40% IN JAILS, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. WHERE'S THE ACCOUNTABILITY? Cosby goes on to state "We have DSS and all these groups (Taxpayers money of course), looking after them - WAKE UP! COSBY AND REST OF WORLD, AS LONG AS THESE DSS AND OTHERS ARE 'TAKING' MONEY FROM TAXPAYERS, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO A DARN THING TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING! FOR WHATEVER IT'S WORTH, IT'S NOT THE WHITE MAN'S FAULT, IT'S THE POLITICIANS, OF ALL RACES, FAULT! LOOK AROUND!

MY, MY, HOW THE WORDS OF SOME PEOPE CHANGE WHEN IT COMES TO MONEY, GREED, AND POWER, RIGHT?

The following was sent to me and I'm passing it along.
==================================================================================
THREE WEEK RECAP

1, The American people elect a President with a total of 42 days
experience as a U S Senator from the most politically corrupt state in
America whose governor is ousted from office. The President's first
official act is to close Gitmo and make sure terrorists civil rights
are not violated.

2, The U.S. Congress rushes to confirm an Attorney General, Eric
Holder, whose law firm we later find out represents seventeen Gitmo
Terrorists.

3, The CIA Boss, Leon Panetta with absolutely no experience, has a
daughter Linda, we find out, that is a true radical anti-American
activist who is a supporter of all the Anti-American regimes in the
western hemisphere.

4. We got the most corrupt female in America as Secretary of State;
bought and paid for.

5. We got a Tax Cheat for Treasury Secretary who files his own taxes.

6. A Commerce Secretary nominee who withdrew due to corruption charges.
7. A Tax cheat nominee for Chief Performance Officer who withdrew
under charges.

8. A Labor Secretary nominee who withdrew under charges of unethical
conduct.

9. A Secretary HHS nominee who withdrew under charges of cheating on
his taxes.

And that's just the first three weeks. . . but who's counting?
America is being run by the modern-day Three Stooges ~ Barrack, Nancy,
and Harry ~ and they are still trying to define stimulus.

Stimulus is where the government gives a smidgen of your tax dollars
back to you, making you feel so good about yourself [stimulated] that
you want to run out to Wal-Mart and buy a new Chinese-made HDTV and go
home and watch Telemundo!
Comment: #1
Posted by: Shirley deLong
Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:14 AM
Shirley, it looks to me from what you say that the US would actually be better off being run by the originals, i.e. Moe, Larry and Shemp/Curly. An additional problem we have over here, though it may be afflicting you, is the resurgence of malevolent diseases like TB. They had been virtually eradicated in the UK but with the influx of 500,000 immigrants annually from the under-developed world, they are resurfacing and predicted to afflict, even kill, millions of Britons if present trends continue. We are also afflicted with high foreign birthrates, especially from Muslim groups, as a kind of population jihad. The purpose of all this can be summed up in one word, which may apply to the US - votes. So that the corrupt parties can stay in power. Nothing will be achieved until they are thrown out of power.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Alan O'Reilly
Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:27 AM
Alan, I've been saying for years world would be better off run by Three Stooges. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the 'fat cat' politicians are in the government for their pocketbooks. I've tried for years to get 'Voting Laws' changed (used to be if you didn't own property you couldn't vote), now 'It's you're discriminating against me by not letting me vote ,after all, we need the social and welfare we're receiving and if you want us to continue voting for you, you'll continue our programs!' As for 'Fair Tax, to include property taxes' - this should be done immediately! Taxpayers feel the reason 'Fair Tax' won't get passed is government is 'too deep in Taxpayers' pockets!
'Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Comment: #3
Posted by: Shirley deLong
Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:29 PM
Re: Shirley deLong.... Ma'am; ...Come on lady... Consider the necessity of getting it checked... Maybe you have rabies... Maybe you are a nut... There are a lot of harmless cranks in this world... I am certain some people think I am.... I think I may have read too many books... And I can't believe that is your problem...It must be something other.... So; You don't like the democrats.... And you don't like Mr. Obama... Is it safe to say you hold the majority of your fellow Americans in contempt??? If so, we cannot expect your help...And we might need every able mind and hand at a task to get through the next few years... But we will be deprived of your help because you want us to fail... Let me explain something to you lady... We did not divide this country.... You see that the true division in this land is not between the wise and the daft, between the blacks and the whites, or between the Christians and the vile worshipers of Satan... The true division, and the division of all divisions is between rich and poor... And I stand with the rich... I egg them on.... I hope they succeed in sabotaging the stimulus, and in keeping all their loot in a land of slaves; but only because I know they will fail soonest out of their greatest success... We cannot afford them... We may find you out of sorts too expensive to bear, as well.... I don't want to tell you put a plug in it.... An old boiler only gets dangerous if it can't blow off excess steam... And believe it or not, I was born in a steam age, and often had coal smoke in my nose... But I can hardly match my grandfather who grew up with horses and buggies and saw people land on the moon.... My message is simple: Progress gets on with it no matter who wants to get run over... So stand in front... Chain yourself to the spokes, and dare reality to carry on... From my reading of history, it moves by fits and starts, and it has been dead stopped for a long time... If you think you are in a rut now; get in front before history moves and you will never get out of your rut.... I know it is crazy...But it is safe to say that the heroes in life are the soonest to meet their ends... But heroic types like yourself cannot be restrained... So; get it checked, because if you feel like a hero, you have a screw loose...It isn't heroic to stand against progress... It is just nutty...Because it will happen with or without you....Thanks....Sweeney
Comment: #4
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:43 PM
Shirley, yes, your remarks on taxation certainly sound familiar. Over here, we have an expression, 'stealth tax,' with the embedded word 'steal.' One example, because our government hates ordinary families, is removal of the married couples' allowance. That used to be a tax break. But with it gone, it's a hidden tax hike. That's just one out of many examples. But if the aim is to create a one-world concentration camp (and I believe it is), then it is essential to impoverish the middle-income earners in the developed world. They are the greatest bulwarks for national independence, called sovereignty over here, which must be dismantled. The strongest defence, as Chuck indicates, is Lean upon God for help and strength. I have on this site quoted your first president before but his evaluation bears repeating, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." Thanks for the reminder, Chuck.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Alan O'Reilly
Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:46 AM
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