As you move away from financial irresponsibility and towards financial stability, you will find yourself becoming aware of certain new realities. First and foremost, you will note that the vast majority of Americans live without much regard for their own financial futures. Supported by a massive government that believes in handouts and bailouts, many folks have forgotten the idea of personal responsibility. Living well beyond their actual means, most have succumb to the pressure to have more, get more, and use more.
Ironically, instead of supporting those individuals who wish to save, our government promotes consumption. Instead of urging people to save for down payments (and thus prove financial maturity), our government promotes even-lower mortgage rates, swelling the supply of money and lowering the value of the dollar. Instead of honoring its budget, our government grows ever larger, competing with private enterprise, entrenching itself in every area of our lives.
We live in strange times, where people have ceded their liberty for (so-called) security. We have abandoned the ideas of frugality, simplicity, and prudence and replaced them with greed, consumption, and excess. I feel that we are moving towards a day of reckoning – A day when the spinning-plates of an ill-advised war, a convoluted tax structure, and a pseudo-stimulated economy shall come crashing down.
I wish that I knew all of the answers – but I’m just beginning to understand the questions. But, I do know this – Things feel uneasy. I talk to folks all the time – good, honest, hard working folks – and they are worried. Many (most?) are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Husbands and wives are working to provide for their families, but they feel overwhelmed. Burdened with the desire to provide bigger and better things for themselves and their children, but unaware of the methods for bringing about true prosperity, many are one misstep, one illness, one lost paycheck away from financial ruin. And so, they depend on credit and the promises of government, instead of their own ingenuity and abilities.
We must gather ourselves – and move in a different direction. We should demand fiscal responsibility – from our politicians, from the people with whom we invest our money, from the companies with which we do business – and from ourselves.
All true change begins at home. We must learn to live within our means. We must seek for opportunities to increase our income. We must teach out children about financial matters and we must talk with our spouses about money. And, above all, we must take personal responsibility for the financial decisions we make. Reversing our course may be difficult – but we must being to turn the wheel.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Instead of blaming the rich, we should learn from them. Instead of criticizing profitable businesses, we should thank them for the jobs they provide. Instead of supporting failing policies and practices, we should encourage ingenuity and enterprise. Instead of borrowing from our enemies, we should trade with our friends. Instead of glorifying the excess of celebrity, we should applaud the wisdom of the millionaire-next-door. Instead of promoting laziness, we should reward hard work. Instead of doing what we’ve been doing – we should do something else.