While living in the truck he was working on releasing an album. He had high hopes and those who knew him best expected the best.
This was Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr..
Born in 1939 Marvin Gaye would take the music scene by storm. He would score over 67 top-40 hits on various Billboard music charts. His best-selling single Let's Get It On was certified gold and I Heard It Through the Grape Vine is the best-selling international Motown single.
Gaye's mega-million selling records made him millions of dollars over his lifetime; a stunning success by anyone's standards, particularly a homeless guy.
And all this began with a determined young man living out of bread truck?
No. It all ended in the bread truck.
Marvin Gaye went broke.
His story follows the track of, perhaps, dozens of other wealthy entertainers, sports stars and lottery winners who have enough pocket change to be set for life. Instead they go broke.
How does this happen?
In every case -- without exception -- their fall from riches to rags is due to over spending. It is never due to a lack of income.
Let's refocus and superimpose their plight on the federal government.
It is suffering from the Marvin Gaye syndrome. There is no need of additional dollars. The government rakes in trillions. The government is running in a river of red due to over spending.
Granted, some millionaires suffered unforeseen disasters. Think of the poor guy whose wife left him with nothing but a lawsuit. Some fell victim to dishonest business associates or big deals that went bad.
And think of unavoidable catastrophes like Katrina.
In most cases, however, the rise and fall of high-income entertainers is due to even higher maintenance, not lack of income. The hard truth is that no matter how much money they earned, they would wind up in the poor house or the back of a bread truck.
We often hear liberals berate taxpayers for resisting increases. Money is needed to cover the national, local or state debt. Only more tax income will make ends meet.
There is one question no liberal will ever answer: How much is enough? How much tax income is required to resolve the economic shortfall?
I've never heard a liberal offer a straight answer to that question.
The reason? There is no answer.
No matter how much income governments extract from the pockets of taxpayers, it will always be out paced by spending. The more they tax, the more they spend. It's like a dog chasing its tail up a winding stair case. It only stops when it runs out of stairs.
There is good news.
If you ever need a shot of inspiration, read the biographies gone-broke entertainers who managed to turn their misfortunes into second successful careers. Bankruptcy for them was not the thud at the bottom, but a rude awakening that sent them soaring back into the stratosphere.
In every case these born again stories include a common thread: The lessons learned were to contain spending, control extravagance (no more drug abuse), minimize risks, prepare for down turns and always live within their means.
Those are lessons governments will never learn. They are lessons that must be imposed upon governments by the will of voting taxpayers. And that is our only hope.
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