Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.
The Two-Minute Football Drill
Money Doesn't Buy Happiness
Remember the old bromide about the husband who says he makes all the big decisions in his family?
He speaks for the family on such issues as war and peace, health care, stability in the Middle East or capital punishment; but he allows his wife to make such small decisions as whether the family should buy a new car or a used one, go on vacation to Hawaii or stay home, remain in town or move to Arizona.
That story came to mind this week as my thoughts turned to the many little things we run into daily that make us want to sit right down and fire off a letter to the editor of our local paper.
A Few Samples
Here's a sampling of such little things that occasionally run through my mind:
* * * It's nice that Connecticut has made available those good-looking Save the Sound license plates, but it gets my dander up when I see those old blue-and-white plates that have faded so much that one can barely read the number from three feet away. It's not hard to imagine someone -- witnessing a bank robber making his escape by car in broad daylight -- shouting to passersby: Get that license plate number! Fat chance!
* * * Why do football teams often play dull, uninspired and generally ineffective offense for three and two-thirds quarters, and only then go into what they like to call their "two-minute drill" and begin to play effective, inspired and interesting football -- often extracting victory from the jaws of defeat? There's no defensible reason for a team not to play its best for all four quarters.
* * * Why is it that so many people regularly buy Lotto tickets in the hope of winning $1 million or so, but virtually go out of their minds when the payoff goes to $40 million or more?
I suppose it's natural for people to want to better their lot in life, and a prize in the neighborhood of $1 million (sounds like a Triple A zone to me) would certainly do that! But those who shun the $1 million payoffs while going bananas over the multi-million payoffs are obviously looking for something more -- something I fear they'll never find.
Money Can't Buy Happiness
A wealthy businessman interviewed by Barbara Walters recently acknowledged that his first $1 million eliminated his concerns about money, but he asserted unequivocally that money doesn't make one happy. The only people who think money buys happiness, he said, are the people who don't have money.
"If this country can send a man to the moon," we still hear every now and then, "then it can afford the measly $2 billion for (my favorite project)!"
I wonder if anyone really believes that cliché. The truth is that, even if we had no space program, the billions of dollars spent on it (or, alternatively, foreign aid) still would not be available for that favorite project.
The truth of the matter is that we don't want to spend money for many of these unfunded programs.
Helping the Homeless
If we really wanted to help the homeless, provide better housing and better jobs for the poor, or provide health care to needy Americans, we would do just that!
If you uncover the solutions to these mysteries in your crystal ball, I'd be delighted to be enlightened!
I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Dec. 3, 1994.
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on May 19, 2008:
Thank you for your comment, Agro Donkey. I am a very strong believer in the two-party system, and I've done several hubs addressing that issue. I think third party candidates would be far worse because they would have no constituency and, thus, no one to answer to. Opinions will always span from far left to far right with the greatest number crowding the center. I believe that it's been the breakdown of the two-party system that has caused many of the problems we have today. If everyone associated themselves with one or the other political party -- and used their influence to do the right thing -- then, I believe, more would get done, and get done right!
Agro Donkey from Ohio on May 19, 2008:
Nothing gets fixed because as voters we only elect either a democrat or a republican and they both know they don't have to fix any of this to get elected. If you want anything done at all we need to elect a third party candidate. They are the only ones who will actualy listen to what we want done. That is only my opinion and I could be way wrong but hey why not put it out there.
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 29, 2008:
Based on the way our government is spending our dollars these days, Donna, there's apparently an inexhaustible supply. Like death and taxes, we'll always have bureaucrats and politicians.
donnaleemason from North Dakota, USA on April 28, 2008:
If they were to spend the money to effectually fix all those problems William, think how many beaurocrats would be out of a job. Then we would have to find funding to pay their retirement salaries.
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 28, 2008:
Thanks for visiting, I need money fast. This column was written for the local newspaper in Norwalk, Conn., and merely points out that lots of little problems exist throughout society that rarely get addressed. I'm sure all of us see examples of this almost on a daily basis. The hub is a cry in the wilderness for someone to do something about the everyday problems we see around us. It wasn't meant to be anything deep or complicated.
i need money fast on April 28, 2008:
i still didn't get a point after read this hub...sorry
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 27, 2008:
Thanks for visiting, Bob and Job Nigeria.
Job Nigeria on April 27, 2008:
Bob on December 20, 2007:
Bill....If I ever find out , you'll be the first to know.