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Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022
Good Tuesday Morning to You!

An old adage says the best things in life are free. But are they?

A few decades back, I was in a staff meeting about truth in advertising with a representative from the Iowa Attorney General’s office. We were told no advertising should publish that promotes anything for free when something else must be purchased to receive that item. The rationale was that, if you have to pay for something to receive something, then it really isn’t free. Made sense.

Meanwhile, I have a new twist on that rule now, at least outside of the world of advertising. We have a growing number of free, or nearly free, government-supplied benefits that are available to some people with minimal or no work required to receive them. In fact, and ironically, less work is often required to receive them. Many of those benefits are important and necessary for some, but I have often thought that tax-funded benefits should not be provided for absolutely free, and that anyone who collects one — whether defined as rich, middle-class or poor — should contribute in some way in order to receive it. And, yes, everyone can contribute in some way.

Most of us seem to know someone who has worked for cash while on unemployment benefits. Or “hid” income in order to collect government payouts. Or received a disability income when being fully able to work. The list goes on, but I don’t blame the folks who receive the benefits. I blame a system that allows it — and often encourages it — to happen.

Years ago, a young woman worked in our company in an entry-level job. She was smart, capable and hardworking. When it came time for her performance review, I offered her the opportunity for increased responsibilities and earnings. She said she would accept the new tasks but did not want any additional pay, as it would compromise her government health insurance. I explained how I wanted to help create a situation where she would no longer need that assistance. I wanted her to accept a hand up from our company instead of a handout from the government. She politely told me, “No thanks.”

Many public entities today rightfully ask for increased funding each year, often for additional staffing to handle various tasks. We also have a large number of people receiving social benefits who are capable — and often willing — to work. Hmmm.

At this point, there is no fix to this problem that will go without harsh criticism, but one has to wonder, what would happen if those who receive free benefits have at least a bit of skin in the game? Would most of the benefactors be willing to work for these benefits, at least to some degree? I think they would. Why? Because, I am fully convinced that the best things in life are not free but, rather, are those we truly earn.

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305


Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

The weather stays mild into the weekend. We may see a couple of sprinkles Thanksgiving day, with a better rain chance on Saturday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
2931 Southwest Snyder Boulevard
You're going to love this fantastic 4-bedroom 2 1/2 bath ranch on a corner lot in an unbeatably convenient location in SW Ankeny. It starts outside with a partial stone facade and fantastic landscaping. You'll greet your guests on a covered front porch and you'll welcome them into the entryway with a beautiful hardwood floor.
See More Homes For Sale

FROM KCCI: Plans for a Des Moines skyscraper back on track

DES MOINES, Iowa — Plans for a $133 million, 33-story apartment tower are back on track for downtown Des Moines. The eastern half of the Kaleidoscope at the Hub at 5th and Walnut may soon be transformed. Developer Joe Teeling is dusting off plans for a tower that would change downtown in a big way. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Ground is broken on housing development at former site of Knoxville VA

KNOXVILLE, IOWA — New life is finally coming to the former home of the VA campus in Knoxville. On Monday ground was broken on the Veterans District Housing & Business Development. Twenty-nine former VA buildings have been torn down. The city is now spending $3 million to improve infrastructure to ready for the construction of 34 new homes.. ...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Iowans observe Transgender Day of Remembrance

At least 32 transgender people have been killed in 2022, according to the Human Rights Campaign. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5



Best Of Des Moines 2023


Look for the full results in the February issue of CITYVIEW.


Meet Kate Gee

Seeing successes every day

By T.K. West

Born in Texas, Kate Gee lived in multiple different states during early childhood, but she has called Iowa home since fourth grade. After graduating from Dowling Catholic High School, she attended the University of Iowa where she received a bachelor’s degree in English.

Gee first worked at Drake University Head Start for nearly five years before pursuing a master’s degree in teaching with a unified endorsement. During that time, she also started as a teacher associate. Today, Gee works as an early childhood special education teacher for the Johnston Community School District.

... Read More In the November issue of Johnston Living magazine.

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday to these celebrities: Scarlett Johansson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jamie Campbell Bower, Mark Ruffalo, Mads Mikkelsen, Boris Becker

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle
The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What sits on the bottom of the cold Arctic Ocean and shakes?
A NERVOUS WRECK! Gail Tomlinson, William Snyder
Today's Riddle

What do you call an igloo without a bathroom?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com 

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