WE’RE ALL ENTITLED to express outrage when we see or hear things we don’t like. The question is can we feel outraged too often?

In our contentious world, it seems we are expected to be outraged about something two or three times a week. I’m thinking that is too much. If we are constantly outraged about everyday events, it becomes white noise and the stress can be harmful to our mental health.

For outrage to be effective, it should be limited to just a few important situations. How can we deal with our national discourse if we allow ourselves to be outraged about every issue that we are at odds with?

Social media and cable news networks are designed to pander to their ilk. We seek out folks that agree with our views; we’re tribal. When we don’t listen to other viewpoints, we are more likely to dig in our heels and reject any discussion that does not fit our beliefs.

We’re forced to choose a side about inequality, climate change, open borders, illegal immigration, racism, health care costs, soaring college costs and student loan debt forgiveness, the cost of prescription drugs, the opioid drug addiction crisis and the assault on democracy.

We’re outraged about the rising rate of veteran suicide, the lack of funding for veteran medical care, prison overcrowding, the growth of cybercrime and the invasion of our privacy, the call for more socialism in our capitalistic system, discrimination and the violations against the rule of law.

The 2020 general election cycle is heating up. You will have ample opportunities to express your outrage.



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DO YOU AGONIZE over making decisions? When you finally decide what you want to do, do you second-guess yourself? This can be a very stressful way to spend your precious time.

Dan Ariely, a Wall Street Journal columnist, said many people spend days, weeks and even months mulling over decisions without factoring in the waste of their time.

Some people go so far as to make comparison charts, going online to seek the advice of strangers or they ask trusted friends and experts. Worse yet, after making a decision, they beat themselves up and even rehash decisions that they made months before.

Ariely advised setting a time for making decisions. Tell yourself “I’m going to decide by Friday and then, stick to it, even if I have to flip a coin.”

You will never always be right. Don’t waste additional time punishing yourself about things you have no control over. If you do have regrets, consider what you could do differently in the future.

Ariely said “Regret and reflection are useful only if they teach you lessons you can use in future decision-making.”



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I THINK WE all have realized our income doesn’t go as far as it used to. For some reason, the more we make doesn’t buy as much as it did years ago. When you get a chance, ask your parents or grandparents how they survived when their annual income was less than $20,000.

What happened to the days when a nice home cost $30,000, a new car cost $3,000 and a year of college set us back less than $3,000? Well, that’s a complicated story. Our children and grandchildren would never understand.

It was a simpler time. When buying something, there were only a few options. There weren’t megastores solely devoted to electronics, sporting goods, home decorations, women’s clothes or restaurants serving specific ethnic foods.

There was a time when taxes were minimal, and only on a very select category of products and services. Politicians became adept at taxing more things and disguising taxes by calling them user and license fees.

Many taxes have a way of sneaking up on you; many serve a useful purpose. Here are a few examples of how your household income is tapped that may go unnoticed. Many of these fees didn’t exist 70 years ago.

You might pay a tax or fee for a building or fuel permit; commercial driver’s license, dog, fishing or hunting license; corporate, federal, state and city income; cigarettes, gasoline, inheritance, business inventory and liquor.

There might be a tax on IRS penalties, luxury items, marriage license, Medicare, property, real estate, Social Security, road usage, sales, recreation vehicles, motorcycles, schools, motel rooms, state unemployment, telephone calls, utilities, vehicle and watercraft registration, well permits and workers’ compensation.

If something you regularly use isn’t taxed or assessed a fee, it’s probably an oversight and that will soon be corrected.