Frugal McDougall worked very hard,
Bought things with cash and not credit cards,And when it came to the things that he bought,Things that he needed were all that he sought.Once he was sure that his bills were all paid,The money left over was carefully saved.You see in the future he hoped to retireAnd knew very well what that would require.His neighbors were foolish and laden with greed.They focused on wants instead of on needs.They went out to dinner about every night.When you’re middle class that’s one of your rights.When they got their paychecks they spent every dime.Having money left over would have been a crime.Their credit was pushed to its uppermost limit,When it came to debt they were very deep in it.When Frugal McDougall would try to explainThe value of saving they all called him names,So he wouldn’t bother most of the time.He said it was something like ‘pearls before swine’Meanwhile the neighbors got credit card offers,Promising money to fill up their coffers.Consumed by their greed they filled out every one,With barely a thought as to what they had done.And when the cards came they all ran aboutFoolishly spending till they were maxed out.A pool for the yard, perhaps some new skis.They spent money like it was growing on trees.Some even went on a cruise to the Med,Where they all laid around looking tanned and well fed.No thought was given to how they would pay,For surely a bill would be coming their way.In complete disbelief McDougall looked on.He knew very well that they had it all wrong.And the foolish idea that was shared by them allWas that happiness was now on sale at the mall.He’d been chastened so often he now bit his lip,For fear if he didn’t he’d let something slip.His neighbors would learn of his total disdainFor the way that their money was thrown down the drain.Instead he would focus on his quiet life,With his quiet children and his quiet wife.In their simple way their needs were all met,And their simple life was quite free of debt.Then one day his neighbor came home joyouslyIn a gigantic brand new SUVFrugal McDougall just stood there and gawked,Confused and bewildered and totally shocked.He knew that his neighbor made twelve bucks an hourAnd shouldn’t have this kind of purchasing power.And when asked how he paid for this monstrosityThe neighbor replied, “with my home equity.”The debt didn’t matter, the man was a dunce,Whose only concern had been "how much a month."The neighborhood pondered what he had just saidAnd one by one light bulbs came on in their heads.Then sure enough the very next day,New cars appeared in every driveway.McDougall now cautioned that they should take heed,All this debt served no legitimate need,Instead they were putting their futures at risk.The response they delivered was angry and brisk.Frugal McDougall was called a big fool,And other mean names that were equally cruel."We are all rich," they boldly declaredAs Frugal McDougall stood there and stared."Our homes are all worth more than twice what we paid!The good life is ours and should not be delayed!"But Frugal McDougall refused to be goadedAnd as he expected the debt bomb exploded.The neighborhood values were starting to fall,Faster and faster effecting them all.Then as his neighbor stood looking distressed,The new SUV was being repossessed.Soon all around, the neighborhood toys,The ones that had recently brought so much joy,Were all repossessed or put up for sale.The pleasures they brought had grown a bit stale.Purse strings were tightened as jobs were now lost.It seems the free money came at a steep cost.Banks were collapsing as everyone bailedFrom upside down houses and lifestyles that failed.All of the debt that could not be repaid,Was now wreaking havoc that would not be stayed.Government bailouts now came on the sceneAs political leaders were all very keenTo keep credit flowing and money being spent,So trillions of dollars were foolishly lent,In a desperate attempt to keep prices high,A fact that they won’t even try to deny.These actions were more than a little perverse,For adding more debt only made the mess worse.This of course left them with one thing to do.They needed more sources of tax revenue,So small businesses that were already hurtingWere saddled with costly additional burdens.Many scaled back hoping they could prevailBut quite a few more of them now simply failed.So many neighbors were now out of work,They turned on McDougall and called him a jerk!The papers had all said that he was to blame,Though none had specifically called him by name.In a foolish attempt to curry some favorIt seems that they now blamed the problem on savers.They said "greedy savers are hording their cashAnd collectively made the economy crash."His penchant for saving was very well known.Poor McDougall’s cover was thoroughly blown.“Tax him,” folks cried as they all shook their fists“And tax him some more if he tries to resist!He has more money than he’ll ever need,”They cried in a horrid expression of greed.Poor Frugal McDougall was truly confused,Saddened, frustrated and now feeling used.He’d tried to warn people of what lay ahead,But they didn’t listen and blamed him instead.The country can never be restored to health,As long as we’re exporting all of our wealth.Closing our factories, exporting our jobsTurning the people into angry mobsAnd all of this spending with no end in sightIs the most direct cause of our national plight!How did this happen, where did it begin?This foolish game’s left us no way to win.Now the brave politicians all deny faultAs the nations economy grinds to a haltIs this the end of the U.S. of A?Will McDougall’s country now fade away?He doesn’t know and he really can’t tell,But from where he’s standing it doesn’t look well.
Originally posted on Mish's blog.
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