06 August 2010

Charitable genus or over zealous soliciting?

My roommate today brought up "The Giving Pledge" while I was putting tremendous effort and while simultaneously reaping little benefit as I struggled my way through the wii fit obstacle course game. I would think it very likely that she was trying to distract me from obliterating her previously achieved scores, if the truth wasn't that I still had yet to even finish a level on that particular game.

I was honestly looking for any excuse to be able to pause the game and still retain what little dignity I had left and took her mention of this seemingly generous fairy-tale like offer of benevolence as my escape rope.

Here's the scope on "The Giving Pledge": the wealthiest people in America are being asked to pledge to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes and organizations of their choice.

I'm not sure why this bothers me because the reality is that I am poor and you would think I would be happy with what this could mean for people in my same situation or worse.

Yet the bigger reality is that I cannot help but think that this demands too much. Yes the rich are rich and it is easy--especially with this economy to hate them for it--but I just can't.

I've thought about it and if I could be rich I would and I would hope I would remember my roots and be kind to those who need it most. Even so I cannot not say I dislike the rich for being rich really, because we can't all be poor. Could you imagine an America were everyone is impoverished? It's a horrifying thought and I don't think it's what any of us want.

Now, I'm not arguing that the rich shouldn't be charitable--I think they should--the point I'm stressing is it's not realistic to think every or even half of America's elite population is going to want to pledge the majority of their wealth and in fact it irks me to think that not only do we want to demand that they give, we want to tell them how to donate their own money.

It is important to remember that not all of the wealthy people in America are old money, there is plenty of nouveau riche who have worked hard--at least semi-hard--to make their fortune and frankly who would want to donate half of their wealth even if they are a a triple-platinum billionaire? Only a saint and their aren't to many of those left in the world.

It's easy to have all the opinions, and to criticize someone else's plan but it's a little harder to actually come up with a feasible alternative plan. For what it's worth I do have something in mind and will gladly share it if the readers of this fake column of mine promise to hold their applause until the very end.

If the wealthy would agree to donate a lump sum of money, even perhaps below a million dollars, that money could be put into creating a local business that would be able to not only sustain itself fully without any other support from the initial donor could create jobs, stimulate the economy and also donate the majority of it's profit to specific charitable organizations. It seems to me that smart choices create even smarter solutions and with the right motivation and attitude a lot can be done with a little. This plan could actually please everyone; the rich stay rich, while the poor simultaneously become less poor.

I'm sure some economist like my good friend Patricia, is going to come a long and find enough wholes in my theory to make my idea resemble swiss cheese, but I think this idea is a solid start and a decent model of finding a solution that benefits all parties.

Perhaps I like playing the devil's advocate but I enjoy a good debate. I like how it makes the wheels turn in my dusty vacant brain and in this instance I think their are many sides to consider and plenty of alternative options to be had.

03 August 2010

Pens Without Ink

I have a little project going on "write" now. :)

Pens Without Ink is a facebook group I started a few months back. I had this idea that it would be great to connect with other writers and to discuss writing topics, our pieces, or anything really.

I'm so passionate about writing that I felt like I wanted to be connected via through the web to other writers who shared my love for creativity and writing. I feel very fortunate to be able to write and I would like to give back to the writing community. Of course this little project is really so small it's actually minuscule but there is a small hand of pens without ink members who want to meet up monthly or bi-monthly to chat about writing. I'm really excited and I hope that this group/club will give me the opportunity to do something really great for other aspiring writers.

So I'll keep posting updates on how that is going on my own blog, and if you're interested in getting involved or participating in some of the writing activities or challenges that Pens Without Ink will sponsor in the future be sure to either find us on Facebook, or follow the blog I've created: Pens Without Ink .


The Versatile Blogger Award

I woke up this morning achy from the previous days wii fit extravaganza and decide to post pone my morning workout for a little while longer. I booted up my net book and to my surprise found a message telling me I had received the "Versatile Blogger" award from Ms Ulat Buku; that so made my day!

Now the next step is for me to pass this award on to 5 more bad ass bloggers, along with posting 7 things about myself. Here goes:

1. I only like marshmallows when they are completely burned through and charred.
2. Yesterday instead of writing, I procrastinated and read the entire novel "Girl with a Pearl Earring".
3. I drink slim fast in the mornings because I'm too lazy to prepare myself any other type of meal.
4. I have a pet goldfish named tiger that I brought with me from my hometown when I transferred to GVSU four years ago.
5. For some reason I got really excited about the fight scene between the two aliens in the new Predator movie.
6. I like to be liked.
7. I'm embarrassed by how much I have to go to the bathroom now that I started drinking 64oz of water a day.

I hope that wasn't TMI...I know I said my blog entries might become more personal but maybe that was too personal...too soon. :)

I'm going to share this award with:

1. Pink-Collar Harlot
2. See Jayne Blog!
3. Wendie's Wanderings
4. The Shopping Sherpa
5. Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom

Thanks!! Please pass on the award!