Don't look now, but yesterday I received my very first political vote. My friend Linda went to vote early. Not knowing any of the candidates for School Board, she wrote in my name. I feel victorious already. (How did she know that I've been entertaining political ambitions?) Anyway, this paragraph is the start of my official write-in campaign for school board. I won't be campaigning anywhere else, and I don't plan to win. But if you feel the need, you can write me in as a candiate for the School Board.
In other news, I read this morning that Senator Orrin Hatch has been in the U.S. Senate since 1976. That is way too long! Let's do something about that next time he comes up for re-election. If we as Americans are really serious about stopping politicas as usual, we ought to eject members of Congress who have made careers out of being politicians. I don't think that's what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they set up our government. A good motto to remember is, "Out with the old and in with the new!"
Switching gears now . . . Let's discuss the economy. I know, everyone's favorite subject of late. We're all getting sick to death of the doom and gloom of the market crash and the billion dollar bailout provided by the government. But here's the thing -- what was the outcome following the Great Depression? Only one of the most prosperous eras in U.S. history. Could that happen again? I'll lay out a plan that raises the possibility of just such a thing happening.
First of all, the marketing arm of the Live Within Your Means movement needs to kick their message into high gear. I consider myself a member of the Live Within Your Means movement, and there's nothing I love like a good marketing campaign! The challenge is how to get the American consumer on board and excited about good, sound fiscal managment.
I say, play to everyone's desire to be good parents. If we as American's bite the bullet and tighten our belts, we could very well be setting up our children to become another 'Greatest Generation,' akin to the men and women who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II.
Will it be easy? Is raising children ever easy? Is it easy to let actions speak louder than our words? No, but it is possible.
Start by listening to Big Band music. It's fun. It's peppy. It's what The Greatest Generation listened to. I've got some '40s era music playing as I write, and it never fails to fill me with positivity! Positivity! Just what America needs.
Of course it's going to take more than positivity to turn America around. It will take action. No more sitting on our big behinds and letting the media dictate what we think. Blog for goodness sake! Get real information out there.
For example, did you know that 24% of Americans carry no debt? I saw that statistic in my paper yesterday. The source was the Federal Reserve Board. The AP article quoted Greg McBride of Bankrate.com as saying, "This entire credit crunch is a wakeup call to anybody who was attempting to borrow their way to prosperity."
There you have it. Borrowing is never the way to prosperity. We've got to give consumers new standards to look up to. It's time to re-read The Millionaire Next Door and rediscover what wealth is all about. Another good resourse for anyone trying to find ways to save money is The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. I own a copy, and she changed my attitude about saving money. Ms. Dacyczyn (prnounced 'decision') made saving money into something fun, a challenge to rise and conquer. You can borrow my copy, but spending the $16 and reading the book from cover to cover could change your life.
The organized labor unions would have you believe that the rich are getting richer because 'the man' is keeping the workers down. But the truth is that the rich are getting richer because they're out of debt. Americans have been trying to look prosperous by living a consumer credit lifestyle. Repeat after me, "borrowing is never the way to prosperity."
Look at those who came through the Great Depression. They avoided debt like the plague. And what eventually happened to the American economy? It was incredibly stable because people were purchasing what they could afford. Purchasing with cash.
You can't be a victim of the economy or anthing else if you take action and DO SOMETHING! The government isn't going to solve our problems. We ARE the government. It's our money they're spending. Currently our government encourages citizens to live on credit. That must change. Living on credit is no way to live. Not for citizens or for government.
As long as we're going through a market correction, let's get things correct. Households aren't the only ones who should be tightening their belts. Let's demand the same of our government. No more pork. Let's hold the government to the same standards that we have for ourselves. Imagine what the dollar would do against the other currencies of the world if the U.S. opperated without debt. We truly would be a world super-power.
To achieve a more stable economy, there are four little words that all American's need to learn, understand and repeat often. They are, "We can't afford that." It's good for kids to hear from their parents. It's good for couples to say to one another. It's good for congress members to say when discussing new and old spending.
In his book, The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw found that those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II could attribute their successful lives to the values of "duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country, and, above all, responsibility for oneself."
It's time to revisit those values. Time to live lives that will strengthen our families and our country.