I spent the morning walking around my local park in Beijing. I had a fantastic morning and ended up in deep reflection.
The park was bustling with life. People were running, exercising, playing card games, enjoying music and dancing in groups.
Everything was centred around, enjoying the moment and embracing the local community. All walks of life, and everyone welcome. I was warmly welcomed by some of the park groups, and I was even asked to join a card game. I politely declined, not sure if there was betting involved.
This whole experience reminded me of my childhood.
I grew up beside a local park, and in my early days, the park was also full of life. It had a putting green, tennis courts, bowling greens and play parks and it was all so well looked after.
We would have two Park Rangers (the Parkies) that would come around at night and chase us, kids, out of the park and then lock up the gates. It was a fantastic memory. During the hot summer days, the park was always full of us kids playing football and generally just goofing off. This was the stuff that made us all great friends and built the community.
As things progressed and the political climate changed (Conservatives), the two Park Rangers became one and then none. The facilities started to get less and less. Eventually, a lot of it was closed-up, or they were only open during a specific holiday event. It was not great to see it deteriorate in the way it did.
It was all unnecessary. It all led to somewhere else that the community was not ready for. At the time, it was said there was no such thing as a community, only individuals. That is Fcking bllocks, and that kind of thinking should never have been allowed to take hold, but it did.
The reason for it all deteriorating was the lack of funding from the Westminster Government to the Local Governments. Then, in turn, their lack of ability to spend the money on the non-essentials and so things were cut back.
I look back now and see the absolute nonsense in the theory of cutting back on community spendings such as parks and recreation. It was all a rouse just to save money or to generate money for some privatised process. It was dark days for some communities and great days for the yuppies (remember them)
I get capitalism. I look to make money from it now, and I also look to save as much money as I can and pay my own share of tax but seek to understand it so that I don’t overpay.
But sometimes cutting costs like this isn’t really saving any money. It is shifting the costs to another budget and, in some cases, even spending more money. Wasting the taxpayer’s money.
With the Park Rangers gone and the gates lying open at night, the park slowly turned into an area you did not want to be near. The park ranger’s cost was soon shifted to the policing budget. The policing was increased because they had to go on to keep the area safer. Things deteriorated even further. In the end, the community changed, and any saving perceived was not realised. It was actually more expensive. The other costs such as doctors, policing, and maintenance shot up as more money had to be spent as peoples lives started to spiral out of control.
The sceptic in me would suggest that it was always meant to be that way.
A form of keeping people occupied. Keeping us down.
I might be correct on this assumption, but that is not what this is about.
This is about the real cost of the items or even the actual cost of the saving.
We might make a saving on something, but we possibly bought something we didn’t need. The financial saving could have cost us to lose money elsewhere or miss another opportunity, whatever.
This post is about clarifying the real cost, understanding the true costs of the things you buy, or the savings you think you make.
Not just the obvious costs.
But the hidden costs.
The costs that mugs you on the way home or later on in the month.
The one that comes creeping out of the murky darkness to make you pay for it later.
Yes, that guy.