To know what is truly important to Americans all you have to do is turn on your television set and wait. It all becomes very apparent as what was once the home of the free has become the mortgage of the indebted.
Where fiduciary responsibility and the necessity of good sound financial management was the backbone of the United States’ economic belief system, both on a corporate and individual level, it’s funny how much 50 years can change a society and culture. But the source of the change is easily identified. All you have to do is make the correlation between our federal government and big business.
There has been a tangible shift in the representation the individual voters in this country receive now as compared to the days of President Eisenhower who very loudly warned about the development of a Military-Industrial Complex, an economy based on the interaction of industry and military spending.
Following the end of the Cold War a vacuum was created which needed to be filled as there was suddenly the realization of the economic fallout of the Berlin Wall’s destruction.
What filled the void created? Credit institutions, banks, and loans of all sorts and descriptions readily stepped in. In two words the result was “enslaved debtors.”
Turn on that television set, car stereo, social media or look at the advertising on billboards or the junk mail dropped in your mailbox. For the second consecutive generation the conditioning to own debt instead of money is as ingrained as man’s natural fight or flight tendencies. Children and young adults watch as major corporations are run into the ground by what are supposedly the best business minds we have to offer, only to be bailed out of debt by the federal government, or your money in other words, while driving the average American further and further into debt which will become unsustainable.
Our own government doesn’t provide a much better example, continually managing the country’s resources as if they will never be in short supply or with an attitude of “I’ll be dead by the time this blows up, someone else can deal with it.” How is it there can be any expectation that any generation moving forward may be able to rein in the spending and change the outlook on debt with the conditioning of a lifetime behind them assuring them that indebtedness is OK?
Easy terms, cash-back rewards, frequent flier miles, free hotel room stays, reverse mortgages, refinance programs, and financing available for everyone are some of the catchphrases you will see. Interest slavery wrapped up with a neat little bow and pretty paper, just shiny enough to distract with words like “easy” and “rewards” or “free” attached has replaced common sense and simple arithmetic.
You cannot spend what you do not have…unless you’re an American and then someone, somewhere, will be happy to provide the financing even if the interest rate would have been a means for the Catholic Church to excommunicate or burn the lenders at the stake since even they outlawed ‘usury’.
In the end, the solution does truly lie at the doormats of our homes as it is our responsibility to teach our children better, but when you have been raised on a financeable future — as long as the minimum payment is made — how is it you break the cycle?
I know you were told there would be no math, but in the end that’s the solution. If you have to borrow you can’t afford it.