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Dollar for Dollar

Marc Munroe Dion on

I spent $46 and a little change today. All told. Complete. Definitely not $47. I would never spend $47 in the middle of the week.

I buy my tobacco on Saturday. I buy gasoline and beer on Friday. My gym dues are $29 a month.

I would have spent much less, but I ran into an old friend in a diner this morning, a white-haired preppy-looking Vietnam veteran who tells good stories. I may be cheap, but there's enough male pride in me that I'll fistfight a guy for the check.

In the early evening hours, I took my wife to dinner. I say "took her to dinner," but we went to McDonald's. Still, I paid, and I stopped just short of telling her, "You can have anything you want," a thing men used to say to women and children up until about 1975. It was about then that women and children began to suspect they had rights and nothing was ever the same again in the field of male money/braggery.

I'm most of the way retired. My wife still works full-time. She still buys clothes for work and coffee and lunch "out." I give her almost all my retirement income, and she pays the monthly bills, and I make a game of keeping my personal expenses under $250 a month.

Before we "went to dinner," we visited our financial adviser, a guy who has been handling my investments for almost 30 years.

The investments are doing fine. If, as some say, President Joe Biden is ruining the economy, you can't tell it by my stock portfolio, which is steadily gaining value even though I draw an income from it every month.

When I told my adviser I was retiring, he told me how much income I could draw from my investments every month, and I told him, "Knock that down by 20%. It'll last longer."

"I can give you a checkbook to use if you ever want to take money out of the account," he said to me that day.

"Whaddaya think?" I said. "You think I use cocaine? Just send me what I said to send me. I'll be fine."

 

I made some money during the reign of ex-president and convicted felon Donald J. Trump, and I lost some money during COVID, and I made it all back during Joe Biden's presidency, and I'm happy.

If Trump gets elected, I'll make more money. He'll cut corporate taxes again, and big corporations will hire more illegal Hispanic workers and more white managers, and the corporations will make lots of money. Stockholders like me will get some of that money because corporations have a lot of respect for stockholders who don't work for the money they make.

If Biden gets reelected, I'll make more money because I've made money during every year of the Biden administration. This is because corporations have hired more illegal Hispanic workers and more white managers, and the corporations made lots of money, and they continue to respect stockholders.

I'm not embarrassed by this either. If there's one thing America taught me it's the truth of the old saying, "Money is something hands can't dirty." Work for it, steal it, make it off someone else's back or find it in the street, $46 always spends like $46.

It isn't democracy. It's capitalism. Don't confuse the two, either. You'll go broke. Fast. I've seen people who couldn't afford to buy socks standing in front of a public library waving signs because a drag queen was inside reading to children.

The best thing about capitalism is you don't have to vote for it; it's just always there, spinning money off to white managers and illegal Hispanic workers and stockholders and that homeless woman I gave $3 to last week. We're all in on it. You can vote for communism, of course, but even then, some people are going to have more money than others. The urge to acquire isn't at all scared of the ballot box.

Oh, and that $47 you were gonna spend tomorrow on two diner breakfasts and two dinners at McDonald's? You might want to save that money instead. You'll need it no matter who wins the next election.

To find out more about Marc Dion, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a collection of his best columns, is called "Mean Old Liberal." It is available in paperback from Amazon.com and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.



 

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