EDITOR’S CORNER: Spinning the Wheel on the US Financial Structure System

By Stacey Doud – This is the OPINION of the Editor-In-Chief and does not reflect the general views of the Grapevine Source or any of its other contributors

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Like a lot of folks, I like to play games on my phone/tablet. It’s great entertainment when I’m waiting somewhere. It’s also a nice way to “wake up my brain” in the morning, or to just take a break from work/housework.

One of the games I play is a slot game called, “Hit it Rich!”

I got to thinking about how this game mirrors society a bit. When I first started out, the game gave me $3 million, so when I talk about millions, billions and trillions, I’m representing millions as “lower class,” billions as “middle class” and trillions as “upper class,” as far as financial standards in the US go. Yes, there are players that go beyond that in winnings, which would be “the rich upper class.”

When I started playing the slot game, I liked it because it is pretty mindless. It’s a great game to play when I didn’t want to think too much, like I have to with puzzle games and such. It has a feature that gives me extra money as long as I log in every day and spin the bonus wheel. I can request extra coins and free spins from friends, as well as gift to them.

With my initial $3 million, I tended to alternate getting up to $10 million or so or going completely bankrupt. Fortunately, when bankrupt, I logged into the game app every day and spun the wheel to build up enough winnings to play again. It took me several days to get that “baseline” of $3 million back, but eventually I’d reach that goal and be able to spin again.

Now, here are the parallels, which are completely my opinions.

I’m about to talk about federal assistance. I just want to clarify up front that I will be referring to folks who use the system honestly because they really need it, whether temporarily or more long-term. My mother is one of those people, and we are thankful that the system exists and can help her, which helps me, as I’m the only child (and definitely not financially rich).

I looked at those free spins when I was bankrupt as federal assistance and/or a job. I used it honestly, and built up enough money to “live” on (i.e. be able to spin/play). I did not spin until I had that $3 million back, though I easily could have. Of course, some people who depend on federal assistance (including my mom) have to “spin.” They need food, clothing and shelter. Ideally, the bonus wheel spins that they take advantage of every day would represent a job. But it could represent unemployment or just checking the mail every day for the assistance check or volunteering for a cause that is important to that person.

Of course, many people in this country are honestly disabled, so they may not be able to spin at all and rely on collecting the free bonus every day when they login. But the fact that they take the time to login every single day shows perseverance and initiative. The people who skip days or weeks of bonus spins or just keep requesting coins from friends are obviously not committed to the game.

I was playing along in this pattern of “millions to bankrupt” for a long time. I even gave up playing for a while, but I still collected those bonus spins just in case I ever wanted to play again.

Over time, I accumulated a few billion dollars. I could bet higher and, in turn, my wins tended to be worth more. So I was spending more, but my returns were higher. This is not always the case with the middle class. Of course, one hopes to secure a good-paying job so that they can afford to “bet” more (i.e. have some disposable income to enjoy some “luxury” items/activities) now and then. But these days, it is costing us more for “necessities,” such as food, electric service, rent/mortgage, etc. In many instances, the middle class is just able to pay the bills for a lifestyle that takes care of these necessities and that’s about it.

Of course, there are many, many Americans who live beyond their means and “rob Peter to pay Paul.” I liken this to players who actually buy extra coins, spins, etc. with real money. I realize that these are the folks that keep the game available to me for free (along with the inevitable ads) and allow the game company to update and change it from time to time. They are a big source of revenue for the game “economy.”

With my few billion dollars, I started betting higher, and one day, I hit a jackpot! I went from $1 billion or so to $36 trillion…just like that. And guess what? I started getting showered with rewards! I could move up a level in two spins! And each time I moved up, I got a bonus of at least $4 billion.

Game

Hit It Rich! Game Screen

What. The. Heck?

I don’t need those bonus things. I can bet $20 billion on a spin like it’s nothing. I give coins and free spins to all of my friends that request it. I’m not the one who needs the extras. The “millionaires” do.

Of course, one could make the argument that maybe the millionaires aren’t managing their money well or are not being thrifty or are not using all the resources that the game provides. And I’m sure this is true with many players. But what about the millionaires that are doing everything “right,” but just haven’t hit a jackpot like I did?

I’m sure I don’t have to point out the parallels here. The rich are getting richer, and they get so many perks and free stuff…yet they’re the ones who can afford that stuff if they wanted it!

Why does a rock star get a free meal at a restaurant and regular patrons don’t? It’s bass-ackwards to me. Mr. Leather Pants could afford to buy every patron in the whole restaurant a nice meal, yet his is free? How is that logical?

I know, I know…it makes Leather Pants come back to said eatery and thus attracts his fans, etc. to the establishment. I get the PR/economics of this. I just think it’s stupid.

While Leather Pants makes millions for dropping one album and touring for three months, regular folks are living paycheck to paycheck. I always thought that if I were talented enough to be a pro sports figure, a singer or actress, I’d do a couple of movies/albums/seasons and then retire. I mean, how much money does one really need – or better yet, how much money is one able to spend in a lifetime?

Sure, I could spend $50 billion (real life) dollars before I die, but it would probably be tough. If you doubt me, try this exercise:

Someone gifts you $1,000. This money doubles every day. So on Day 2, you’d get $2,000, then $4,000, then $8,000, etc. It keeps doubling every day, whether you spend it or not. Use the table below to get started. Make sure you list what you buy specifically and estimate the cost to the best of your ability.

Day

Amount of Deposit

Purchases

Cost of Purchases

Total Cash Left

1

$1,000

2

$2,000

3

$4,000

4

$8,000

5

$16,000
6

$32,000

7

$64,000
8

$128,000

9

$256,000

10 $512,000

Let me know how you do! This is what the rich upper class deals with daily. Sure, they own companies and invest in stuff and give money to charity. But if you try the above exercise, you can see it’s a drop in the bucket.

The bottom line is that, in my opinion, the benefits to the lower, middle and upper classes are upside-down. My little $3 million in the slot game is a distant memory. I am LOADED RICH, baby! But does that make the game more fun? Not. At. All.

Turn around…don’t drown!

PLEASE be careful in this rainy weather!

Flood

Grapevine Police Dept Blotter 5/9/19

  • BURGLARY OF VEHICLE (BURGLARY OF AN UNLOCKED BMW X3): 900 S MAIN ST
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$2,500<$30K): 3000 GRAPEVINE MILLS PKWY
  • DECEASED PERSON: 1200 LAGUNA VISTA WAY
  • BURGLARY OF VEHICLE (SEATS TAKEN FROM VEHICLE): 3000 GRAPEVINE MILLS PKWY
  • POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (COCAINE; PG 1 <1G): 1100 WILLIAM D TATE AVE
  • DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED (DWI 2ND / POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE PG 2<1G): 2100 E SH 114
  • THEFT OF PROPERTY (>=$20K<$100K; STOLEN VEHICLE): 1900 LONGHORN TRL

Grapevine Police Detective earns award from US Attorney’s office

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Detective Joseph Moeller (L) and Chief of Police Mike Hamlin

One of Grapevine Police Department’s detective’s perseverance through his pursuit of justice has earned him high honors by the United States Attorney’s Office – Northern District of Texas.

On May 10 2019, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Dana presented Detective Joseph Moeller with the U.S. Attorney’s Award of Excellence.

Detective Moeller and Special Agent T.J. Banks earned the award for their work in the case against Glenn Eugene Halfin, who ultimately pleaded guilty to Interference with Housing Rights, a hate crime statute created to protect people trying to live in peace from racial harassment.

Detective Moeller dedicated months to investigating harassment against a Grapevine family that included vandalism to their car and nooses around dolls, left for the family to find. Detective Moeller spent countless hours conducting surveillance and going through evidence to identify the suspect. Once Moeller had his case, he reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s office, believing the case could be federally prosecuted. He was right, and Halfin got the maximum penalty of 12 months.

Please join us in congratulating Detective Moeller on this prestigious award, as we thank him for his service, today and every day, in Grapevine.

Officials: Beware Sierra Leone ‘one ring’ robocallers

By FOX4News.com Staff

 – If you are one of the many people who has gotten a late-night call from Sierra Leone, don’t be tempted to call the number back.

The Federal Communications Commission is warning people about a reported wave of the so-called “one ring” or “Wangiri” scam.

Robocallers allegedly target specific area codes in bursts and often call multiple times in the middle of the night. They hang up after one or two rings.

Read more from FOX 4…

Is Italian grocery and eatery Eataly cooking up a Dallas entry?

Maria Halkias, Retail Writer

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Eataly’s Las Vegas location is the most recent to open in the U.S. It’s located at the entrance of the Park MGM Hotel. (Steve Brown /Dallas Morning News )

Eataly, a hybrid grocery and restaurant concept created in Italy in 2007 and now in 37 locations around the world, appears to have taken a formal step into Texas.

Eataly Dallas LLC was created in Delaware last month, a move first reported by D Magazine. Eataly has only six stores in the U.S. in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and most recently Las Vegas.

Read more from The Dallas News…

TEXAS TEEN EARNED 6.9 GPA, BECOMES FIRST BLACK VALEDICTORIAN IN SCHOOL’S 125 YEAR HISTORY

Screen_Shot_2019-05-06_at_7.38.15_PM_1024x1024Tobechukwu “Tobi” Phillips just broke a barrier as the first Black valedictorian in Alvin High School’s 125 year history. The Texas high school was first established in 1894 and integrated with African-American students in 1965. 

Phillips earned a 6.9 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale, placing her at the top of her class. She only took AP courses aside from her electives and earned all A’s all four years in the courses. Out of a school with approximately 2,800 students only 86 are Black students.

Read more from Because of Them We Can…

Grapevine PD asks for public’s help finding missing woman

We are looking for a Grapevine woman missing since Friday and are now asking the public for help. Joyce Payne was last known to be driving a 2003 silver Chevy Trailblazer.  The 66-year-old has short, blonde hair and blue eyes.  Anyone who knows her whereabouts should call Grapevine PD on our non-emergency line at: 817.410.8127.

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Burglars butt-dial 911 while breaking into Best Buy, police say

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Best Buy burglary suspects butt-dialed police, then lead them on a 40-minute chase, ending on Los Angeles Street, police say. (Photo Channel 2 News)

SUGAR LAND, Texas – A suspect butt-dialed 911 while breaking into a Best Buy in Sugar Land, police said. 

Police were called around 3 a.m. by a cellphone, but no one was responding on the other end. When officials pinged the cellphone’s location, officers determined the call was coming from a Best Buy, police said. 

Shortly thereafter, the department received a burglary alarm from that same store, officials said. 

After arriving at the scene, police said the three burglars left the scene and led police on a 40-minute chase. 

The chase ended in northeast Houston when the men bailed out of the getaway truck and ran along the bayou on Los Angeles Street near the North Loop.

Officers used a helicopter and K-9 officers to locate two of the three men.

Read more from Channel 2 News…

Thunderstorms hit Dallas-Fort Worth at rush hour with tornado, flash flood watches in effect

Jesus Jimenez, Staff Writer

Updated at 7:02 p.m. Tuesday: Revised to include a tornado warning for portions of Denton County.

North Texas is in for a wet week, with rain possible every day through Saturday.

The chance for rain increases across North Texas by the middle of the week, with storms that could cause flooding and have the potential to produce damaging winds and hail, according to the National Weather Service.

By the time the week is over, 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall, according to KXAS-TV (NBC5) meteorologist Grant Johnston.

Tuesday

Around 5:45 p.m., the weather service received reports of a rotating wall cloud in the Lakeside area, northwest of Fort Worth. Those storms moved northeast toward Denton, prompting the weather service to issue a tornado warning for Denton, Aubrey, Pilot Point and surrounding areas, in effect until 7:30 p.m. 

As of 7 p.m., no tornadoes had been confirmed in the area.

Much of North Texas is under a tornado watch — in effect until 11 p.m. Tuesday —and it includes Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant Counties. 

The main threats with any severe storms that develop will be hail, wind gusts up to 70 mph and a couple of tornadoes possible, according to the weather service. 

The weather service also issued a flash flood watch for much of North Texas — including Dallas-Fort Worth — in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday. 

A severe weather outlook issued by the Storm Prediction Center put Dallas-Fort Worth at a slight risk for severe weather.

NBC5 meteorologist Rick Mitchell said the prediction center’s outlook does not mean everyone will see severe weather, only that conditions for severe weather would be favorable if storms could develop. 

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Read more from the Dallas News…