Why you can’t keep giving everything away for free

iPad destroyed by student

I’ve made no secret that I work at a school in a very poor urban area. We bent over backwards to make sure students had devices and wifi access during remote learning this past year. Unlike neighboring school districts, parents were not required to pay a small fee for use of the device. BIG MISTAKE. This is what was returned to me this week. When asked, the student replied he tried to take the plastic cover off. He shrugged his shoulders when I asked why.

I have learned that people take better care of items when they have some skin in the game. My sewing students take better care of machines and supplies when a small user fee is tacked on to the class fee. Students tidy up the library before special treats or privileges are enjoyed.

When I was a kid, you didn’t admit that you received any type of government assistance. It was considered shameful. Now, it’s considered a badge of honor to get as much free stuff from the government as possible. It needs to stop.

Businesses can’t find workers because stimulus checks and unemployment benefits are far more lucrative. Now the federal government is starting to send out payments to parents based on the number of children in the family. Where’s the incentive to go to work?

Raise corporate taxes! Corporations are merely going to pass along the tax increases in the form of higher prices paid by the consumer (that would be you and me). This is also known as inflation.

Tax the rich! They don’t *need* the money! Perhaps not, but most of the more well-to-do folks that I know worked very, very hard for their money. They scrimped, saved and invested over the years. Why shouldn’t they be able to keep their money? If the government takes more via taxation, that’s usually less money they have to donate back to the local community. It may also mean the small business owner decides not to expand, not to raise wages, to decrease benefits or even close the doors because it’s no longer worth it due to all of the higher taxes. Again, no incentive to bust it every day.

That’s just wrong.

Look! It’s a Bright Shiny Object

I think we all suffer from bright shiny object syndrome to some degree. Advertisers and marketers bombard us with messages that most definitely target this human tendency. You see it in both B2B and B2C advertising.

This evening, Sadie and I took a ride up to a local sewing shop to purchase a 6″x6″ ruler I need for an upcoming class. While there, I answered the siren call to test drive a new sewing machine. Mind you, the goal of the trip was to pick up the ruler, check on a specific pack of needles and head home.

I left the shop with only my ruler and several slightly damp fabric scraps that Sadie had played with during our visit. I also left with a vague sense of dissatisfaction with my current sewing machine inventory. Which was stupid on my part, because when I got home, I compared the stitch sample from my test drive to one from my current everyday machine. One stitch difference and certainly not enough to warrant buying that particular machine. I’ve very thankful my common sense prevailed.

I’m quilter. My FW and big fancy machine are great for that. They are NOT well suited for hemming knit fabrics. The FW can’t use a twin needle and the 9mm wide opening on the big fancy machine chews the fabric. Enter my little 3/4 size Elna Star Edition. It’s time to refresh my memory/learn how to use the utility stitches for basic garment sewing tasks.

Stitching Tips

Stitch Length Infographic for Quilters

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