Michael Jackson, Peggy Noonan, Dave Ramsey, and Health Care

Years ago (about 25 to be more precise), I learned a valuable lesson about money.  A friend of mine was really excited about buying a new car, but after negotiating he realized he was $500 short on the down payment.  He figured it would take him three months to earn the extra money and get the car.

Being what I thought was a good friend, I went to him and offered to lend him the money.  I had the money, I didn’t need it right then, it would all be paid back in three months, and he would get his car right away.  I was feeling really proud of my idea since it was 100% mine – he didn’t ask me for it.  He took the money and the next day we were riding around in his brand new car.  Life was good!

If only Dave Ramsey had been around back then!

Pretty soon it became apparent that the $500 loan was a mistake.  I was counting on at least 25 bucks a week in payback, but, strangely, that never happened.  Instead, every time we would go out in his car it seemed he had a new music cassette tape to show off on his new car stereo!  I can still remember driving around listening to Michael Jackson, wishing I had my $500 back.  While we were listening to the music he would also fill me in on the great fun he had that week on dates at dance clubs and at concerts.

Soon I realized I didn’t help pay for his car – I had paid for his lifestyle.

I wish I could say I got past it, but it became a nagging thing to me and eventually led to our friendship dissolving.  The $500 didn’t really matter in the big scheme of things.  If he had suffered a hardship and couldn’t pay it back, I would have gladly forgiven it and moved on, and we’d still be friends.  But every time that stereo got cranked up it was salt in the wounds.  I still remember to this day getting angry inside every time he spent money on “stuff” rather than on paying back what I thought was a symbol of friendship.  If I had had the power to divert his money from “stuff” to me, I think I would have used it.

Peggy Noonan covers this concept in the health care debate in the article “Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare.” The socially elite “smart people” who advocate the ObamaCare program also realize that people will choose “stuff” over what they should be spending their money on.  The big problem is they have the power to penalize people for buying the wrong “stuff.”  Even worse, they will get to decide what “stuff” is wrong.  This is a LOSS of FREEDOM, pure and simple.

Bottom line, when the government “pays” for health care for everyone (uh, the government doesn’t “pay,” they take money from money earners called taxpayers and spread it around to those who don’t earn enough to pay their own way), they will soon realize that some people receiving the health care are making really bad choices about what “stuff” they buy.  It won’t be long before you are required to get a physical, and if you are overweight or have other issues, you will be in jeopardy of losing your “free” health care, or you will be denied aggressive treatments because the risk/reward scenario doesn’t justify it.  In order to avoid this, socially elite “smart people” will then tell us what “stuff” we can’t buy.  Things like beer, cigarettes, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Twinkies, and tattoos, because all of these things have health risks.

I guess at the end of the day the government is promising everyone a new car.  The only problem is they will tell us what to listen to on the radio, and where we can drive it.

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11 Comments on “Michael Jackson, Peggy Noonan, Dave Ramsey, and Health Care”


  1. Tom, great insights on the “stuff” point.

    We know that if you make 100k a year in the U.S. you’re in the top 5% of income earners. Chances are they not only make conscious decisions on arriving to that income but also what they consciously choose to do with that income. (Lots of 6 figure income earners are still broke just at different level)

    However what I think is powerful that you point out is that there are WAY too many people who are NOT living consciously and purposely, or making correct choices that lead them to living a life of non dependency. The choose what I call the “microwave mentality” of wanting immediate gratification. That’s what the “stuff” does for the masses.

    In my opinion if the government really wants to serve the “less fortunate” and lift them up to help themselves, coach them and develop them on their philosophies around making conscious choice to encompass the philosophies & resources that the top 5%’ers utilized.

    Of course “I” believe it’s a good idea and I know it’s a serious stretch even to talk about, however I won’t hold my breath on it.

  2. Burl Says:

    Great post! I was laughing at the car analogy…I sold a neighbor a car without filing any paperwork for a lein against the title…sort of a gentleman’s agreement that he would pay “what he could each month”. So far, it hasn’t killed the friendship, but I wonder sometimes if the vehicle will be payed off before it dies. Thanks for all the encouraging posts and Twitter remarks!

  3. Linda Says:

    So, true!

    I suspect that 25 years ago Dave Ramsey would have been going through his wilderness experience! I am very glad to have found all of you! What wisdom!

  4. Billy Cox Says:

    Tom
    This is great stuff.Unfortunately it is true.We are headed down the wrong road .We the people have the power to change!we have a voice and we must keep getting the truth out! Billy Cox

  5. elephanthunters Says:

    Great post. I think the only thing that’s worse is they’re ‘financing’ the new car…they qualified themselves for the loan based on tax increases still to come…not on money they already have. By the way…what’s a music cassette tape? 🙂

  6. velocitydesign Says:

    Great insight! I love your personal take on everyday issues. You said it perfectly and with an personal testimony to back it up. I’ve been on the “loaning” side of things many times and also experienced the default of loans. I think this health care issue is not going to go away. I hate that it seems like mistakes will have to be made to PROVE it won’t work before everyone will see it. I can’t wait for the government to start telling us all how to live and buy and think and spend… it’s all part of our “freedom” I guess.

  7. Jerome Says:

    You sir need to be cindicated!

    I love the personal touch that you put on all of your views.

    I to wish Dave Ramsey was introduced to me years before in my life! I have money loaned to my parents, sister, and I am in debt myself! (student loans & NEW car!)

    Dave would have a field day if I ever called him.

  8. Brad D. Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Dave Ramsey’s stuff. I listen to it everyday, and it has been steadily helping me get out of debt and build some money for myself and my family.

    But I just don’t buy this stuff that “socialism = government control”

    IMHO, people are greedy, it is inherent in our nature. This doesn’t meet it’s “good”, just that it’s somehow built into to all of us. No one is exempt. Even when you loan “$500” to someone to “help them out”. We expect to “Get something out of it”

    In our world, there is only so much stuff. It’s a limited resource, (ie: We don’t have enough fish ’till the end of time). Our greed causes us to consume stuff faster then it can be replenished.

    The way I see it, there are 2 roads

    Road #1 -> Everyone in society is allowed to be as greedy as they want. The distribution of goods and services (which are limited is uneven and “he/she” who dies with the most toys wins. We run out of “stuff” and those at the bottom of the pyramid die off. I suppose you could call this “survival of the greediest”

    Road #2 -> Greed is treated like a ‘crime’. Maybe I’m being to harsh? But basically the people empower themselves for the benefit of all society. We impose on ourselves limits to how much we can obtain. We ensure that all people deserve and receive the basic necessities to life. This does not exclude some people from obtaining more then others. It simply ensures that in a world of finite resources, those basic resources are available to everyone.

    Road #1 is easy to take, we don’t have to do anything, but it might have disastrous consequences to the world around us

    Road #2 is harder to take, implement or even make work. It requires a great deal of restraint, and control. It requires us to work together as a society towards a common goal/vision, and it is very easy to “fall off the wagon”.

    It has been my experience, however, that the things really worth having, are the things working hard to obtain, and not the things that come “natural” or “easy”.

    You deserve to be Free to choose your own road. You are also free to be greedy. But do we have the strength to ‘sacrifice’ or greed/freedom for the whole of humanity?

    Just my 2 cents

    • Tom Ziglar Says:

      Brad – thanks for your comments. It brings back memories of college and my economics classes. I think it was Adam Smith who first defined what capitalism should be about, and one of his major points was free market built on a moral society. His concept was that the desire for “more or better” was good as long as it was not at the expense of moral law (damaging others, fair playing field etc.).

      Of course the context is that “moral law” comes from the “moral law giver” – God. I think this is the big break down today. Our culture penalizes those who point out that our rights and morality come from God, and rewards those who say that morality is based on what individuals personally think is ok. This approach pretty much means that everything is fine, as long as I get mine, and sorry if you don’t get yours. This creates a need for the gov’t to step in and make laws, rules and regulations to “protect” those being taken advantage of. Of course the gov’t has its own “greed” factor (power and control) that taints these so called good laws, rules, and regulations. I believe that as long as people and gov’t play God and define morality the way they see fit this problem will continue to get worse.

      Thanks again for a thought provoking comment!

      • Brad Says:

        It is such a fascinating conversation. (Thanks for your replies!)

        I submit the problem of greed, power and control exist in any gov’t regarless of the governing economy (or perhaps even the ‘type’ of government for that matter).

        I further think, the greatest gift from God, is the gift of Free Will. It is free will that gives us the ability to make decisions, to choose our responses, to obey (or disobey) the laws of God and man.

        We have also all been given wonderful minds and problem solving skills which allow us to “overcome” our instincts. To improve ourselves, and to choose a road that benefits the all of society.

        I think sometimes, it is forgotten that in democracy, it is the gov’t that *works for us*, that serves our needs (ie: the needs of the majority), and not the other way around.

        I don’t know that they will ever be a “perfect” system. Since “perfection” would only come from God. But we do have an amazing ability to improve, grow, and enlighted ourselves, and I look forward to watching our socieity unfold.


  9. Over the years I have learned to only give loans as gifts and not expect any pay back. Great article by the way. I have also seen that some people always have money, regardless of their income and some people never have any money, again, regardless of their income. It is mostly a question of character, you either live within your means or you don’t.
    I’m a big supporter of the Dave Ramsey Rice and Beans Diet.


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