Friday, October 1, 2010

The Greater Good



“Because he's a nuanced man prone to attacks of conscience and introspection, Albert Haynesworth didn't immediately deposit the $21 million bonus check he received from the Washington Redskins in April.

"Yeah, the check sat at my house for a couple weeks before I cashed it," Haynesworth said. "I was weighing my options about what I should do...“ (Chris Chase, Yahoo News)


Haynesworth, don't I know, and get in line.

I have a $3 refund check from the State of California Franchise Tax Board, and it has been sitting on my commemorative Charles and Diana Love Forever plate for two years. (You keep financial records your way, I’ll keep mine.)

And it sits there, not due to my laziness. Like Haynesworth, I have some moral issues to consider. He waited two weeks, I’ve waited 2 years. I think we can agree who weighs moral issues with greater care. I use grams. It’s a scale left over from a previous job, but never mind about that.

Here’s what I mind: Where will my money do most good? Should I turn it over to the wildlife fund, or the healthy family fund? If I cash it, am I a party to our appalling California deficit? Should my $3 go to improving our failing infrastructure?

And if I cash it, in the grand scheme of things, will this contribute to my overall happiness and well being. Will it improve my life? Aye, there's that rub again.

Don’t cry for me, Argentina, but these decisions are harder than you think.
And perhaps you understand just a particle of what I deal with anytime my eye falls upon my financial files.

Until I decide, Charles and Diana have a permanent houseguest.

43 comments:

  1. will you buy my two dollar bill? It's crumpled, but I bet it's worth at least 98 cent

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  2. Love this. Reminds me of that Extra Super Duper Credit Card thing you wrote about awhile back.

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  3. By my rough calculation, at a very modest interest rate, the interest on $21 million for two weeks is over $24,000. Think of the food banks or shelters that could have used that, Mr. Haynesworth.

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  4. Karin,

    If you still can, cash it. Having it linger on in the State's books costs California just that much more to budget for the accountants and software needed to handle it, thus diverting the money that costs from other potentially good outlay.

    It's routine and annoying to their workers and only perversely hanging onto your life.

    This is why I've always preferred the arts.

    Trulyfool

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  5. I think T. Fool is saying I'm morally bankrupt.

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  6. "If your eye falls on a bargain please pick it up." Wisdom from Hyman Kaplan (The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N by Leo Rosten).

    http://books.google.com/books?id=6Y2DPhl1rk0C&pg=PA74&lpg=PA74&dq=leo+rosten+"eye+happen+to+fall+on+it,+pick+it+up&source=bl&ots=VjrBZyFUl

    Your financial filing system sounds admirable: collections in a collectible.

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  7. Anyone who would leave a check of that size (his) sitting around is an idiot who has too much money already in the bank...
    I think you should destroy your check and help balance the state budget...or endorse it over to me!

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  8. Are you sure it doesn't say something like, "Not good six months after date of issue"?

    Have you lured us into a false dilemma?

    True story: I once had a Tax Court case where the taxpayer owned a ton of stocks that she inherited somehow from family members who were killed in the holocaust. She was crazy. She hadn't cashed any of the dividend checks in decades. Most of them are no good after 6 months. She had survivors guilt and didn't want to accept the money. She had a dream that she wanted to start a foundation that would teach children so there would never be another holocaust, but she never seemed to get around to starting the foundation. It was just a dream that she had no idea how to make real. And the dividends were just staying with the big corporations that issued them. She had an adult daughter about my age who didn't have both feet on the ground either. One day she said to me, "You know we're looking for someone for my daughter." And then looking squarely into my eyes, "And of course, he would have to believe in the foundation."

    Karin, is there something you're not sharing with us?

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  9. Maybe I've had a very long day (and believe me, I have), Mr. E, but that's the weirdest damn comment I've ever read. I haven't a clue as to what you're saying. But that's ok. Shoot us one of your famous songs.

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  10. I loved Diana and was pretty much obsessed. Still am. Go on and laugh all of you. I don't give a rip.

    I can't make ends meet but hell I can't keep up with money either. WHY???

    I swear KB. THis blog is like my therapy. I lay stuff out here on a regular basis that I never tell my best friends. And compared to the price of a shrink.....it's a great deal!:)
    xx
    v

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  11. Oh, Virg, hun, you up at midnight? So will I be, many miles before I sleep, if I can't get a certain project finished. But for you, we're always here with a kind word and a cool cloth.

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  12. I say buy a friend some cheap wine! You'll both be the happier. Hmmm. Now who could you buy a glass of wine for? Hmmm. Who could it be? Who really deserves it? Who let you win at Apples to Apples? Hmmm....

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  13. You think I'm that easily distracted from my daily tasks, Margaret? I...I..where was I. Oh yes, knitting. You said knitting would ease my anxiety. And I'm very anxious that you have not taught me knitting

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  14. Your system works ~ you know exactly where your $3 cheque is. {I vote for the wildlife fund.}

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  15. I bet your check refund has run its life and is no longer good... btw what's to think about w/ the 23 million ck. If I had problems like that... Jeese!

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  16. You've been wise to store your Charles and Diana plate safely under that check. It's probably worth what, say $15? I think you should sell.

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  17. Keep it up, keep it up, everyone. This is much funnier than reading the Pasadena Star-News.

    As for the guy with the $21 million dollar dilemma - can you imagine how many begging letters and relative visits he's getting?

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  18. I thought Mr Earls story was fascinating. Maybe he should run that on his own blog. I for one would love to know how that story ended.

    and now if you'll excuse me while I take a look-see at the expiration date on that $15 dollar jury duty check I never cashed

    long live Charles and Dianna!

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  19. What were you thinking, Mr. Earl? You should have taken the cue from the crazy mother, wooed crazy daughter, married her, cashed the checks, institutionalized both the crazy women, and become their conservator. Then, you could buy the two houses around the corner from you, rip out the offending hedges, and live peacefully and safely in South Pasadena. You could make a nice donation to the Simon Wiesenthal Center and honor the wishes of crazy mom.

    You need to think these things through and take advanatages of opportunities when they are dropped on your doorstep.

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  20. You're right, DB. I was too short sighted, and apparently didn't have enough scoundrel in me. I could have also bought a few elections, I'm sure.

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  21. It only took $3 to morally bankrupt you? I at least held out for $5.

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  22. Bellis is right, you guys are on fyah. (Amy, I heard you gave change.)

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  23. If I had me a soul, it'd probably go cheap-the problem would be to find any takers.
    Already a glut of coniving bastards in the world... but everybody loves a scoundrel.

    Damn, KB, I can't make no sense of what I just said, either.

    Make me a little cardboard sign...save this post...apply for SSI...

    WV: derstr

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  25. Per your request:

    YOU CAN'T CASH MY CHECKS

    I'm up every morning before the sunshine comes rolling in
    When that rooster starts crowing and that reminds me that I need to feed him
    And everyday's the same but everyday's different
    'Cuz everyday I go deeper in debt

    And you can't cash my checks
    And you can't feel this hunger
    You can push me into the water
    But you can't hold me under
    You can bring me down
    But you can't make me beg
    You can take my word
    But you can't cash my checks

    It's so hard to stay honest in a world thats headed to hell
    You can't make a good living these days cause the truth just don't sell
    So if you go out my back door just over the hill
    You'll see all these plants that's paying my bills

    But you can't cash my checks
    And you can't feel this hunger
    You can push me into the water
    But you can't hold me under
    You can bring me down
    But you can't make me beg
    You can take my word
    But you can't cash my checks

    You can bring me down
    But you can't make me beg
    You can take my word
    But you can't cash my checks

    You can take my word
    But you can't cash my checks

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  26. Hilarious! I'm with Shell: the wildlife fund.

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  27. I once got a NINE CENT check from the electric company, as refund for an overpayment. I didn't know quite what to do it. You can feel good in knowing that you're contributing to the well-being of the great State of California.

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  28. Maybe you made your fortune there. Collectors appreciate age ... old means a higher value.

    My advice is to keep it another ten years and it probable exceed 10 $, what actually is a threefold in value.

    In other words: an excellent investment. ROI in % should be close to ... (forget that one ... can’t remember the formula tonight).

    DAYo.

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  29. Government checks usually have a stale date (a date by which they are no longer valid), so your two-year-old $3 refund may now be best utilized for a grocery list or bookmark.

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  30. Two things:

    This is funny

    wv strunce

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  31. I do have to teach you. I'm felting a purse as we speak! We'll make an evening of it. We'll make Petrea host.

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  32. A cool cloth.......just what I need right now. I'm embarking on uncharted territory and I'm stretching my limits. If not now......when?

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  33. Margaret,
    I've done that, felted purses, and they're my favorite. I would love to see what it looks like.

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  34. Margaret and PJ, I have no idea what that means. Is it like the woman I saw on Huell Howser who makes art out of lint from her dryer?

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  36. Maybe you should just call Albert for advice.

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  37. AH, Precisely. Is it soup yet? How is one to know? You and Hamlet, You and Prufrock. Maybe this is why we don’t want leaders who are too thoughtful; every issue becomes a quagmire. And that’s just the moral biz, never mind the nuts and bolts of strategy, of “git ‘er done.”

    P.S. I like Earl's story, and like PA, would be interested in the rest of it.

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  38. HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!! (retro LOL)

    Never saw one of those Franchise Tax Board checks. What is it a Franchise of anyway. Tear up the check and cash in on that plate!

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  39. Ya know, I bet a bank would charge you to cash a check in your amount. You'd probably lose in the process...

    Just put it back in the drawer and dream on.

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  40. I always equate Autumn with fire season. Maybe with this rain, it will be a mild one. I'm down in the OC and it's been sprinkling all day. Yesterday, it rained or sprinkled all day, the day before almost the same. On Friday we drove through Palm Springs and it was 95 degrees and raining...
    Loving it! Maybe the hillsides will green up in a hurry before the crazies go out with their matches.

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  41. I could hear you smiling through your teeth.


    wv: smike. (smirk + smile)
    I imagine you with a plastered smike across your face saying all this. lol Charles & Di love forever

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  42. Cash it immediately for selfish purposes.

    Use the $3 to buy yourself a cup of espresso mocha java or whatever flavor your caffeine addiction warrants. In doing this you are supporting your local barrista. Oh, and feeding a caffeine addiction; a win win situation.

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