S.06 – America’s Unhealthy Attitude About Money

Different Attitudes about Money

Money management is one of the most important and difficult skills we learn in life. This lesson begins in our early childhood when our parents give us an allowance and pay us for chores like washing the dishes or mowing the yard. As we grow into adulthood, these lessons become more difficult as we make choices and have to handle the consequences of poor decisions. But the simple principle is that you can’t spend more money than you earn. Yet, as simple and basic as this principle is to most American citizens, it doesn’t seem to apply to our politicians or to our federal government.

The Source of America’s Money

Where does the money being spent in America come from? For most of America’s history, the United States embraced the principle of a dollar linked to gold. Originally, that was $20.67 per ounce of gold, which made it difficult for the government to run a budget deficit. Our adherence to the gold standard prevented the Federal Reserve from expanding the money supply to stimulate the economy and fund government deficits. So, on June 5, 1933, the United States went off the gold standard, when Congress enacted a joint resolution nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold, thereby ending the gold standard as the basis for the U.S. currency.

While many economists acknowledge the problems of floating currencies, they would be quite hesitant to reinstate a gold standard. While removing the gold standard made it easier to invest for the future, it also removed constraints on spending and allowed us to evolve into a high risk and unhealthy fiscal attitude. Unrestrained, our politicians are now justifying spending with the flimsiest justification without a thought for the long-term impact of debts and deficits. The result of these policies affects taxation, inflation, credit markets and conflict over the proper role of government.

  1. People have very different attitudes towards money. A large number think money is the result of hard work and should be saved and invested. They take pride in their accomplishments and feel joy when contributing to others in need.
  2. Others believe money is just a commodity that makes the world go around and is easily acquired and lavishly spent. They generally have a sense of entitlement and are envious of others who have acquired success and a comfortable living.

These two extremes result in vastly different attitudes of responsibilities, morality and integrity.

Perceived and Actual Impact of Government Spending

Conservatives believe the most important responsibility of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of its citizens. Additionally, the proper role of government includes defensive activities such as maintaining national military and local police forces for protection against loss of life, property, and liberty at the hands of foreign despots or domestic criminals. Progressives argue that government’s main responsibility is to curb the excesses of individualism and capitalism and focus on ensuring a certain standard of living for all people. This conflict of priorities between liberty and equality create a continuous tug of war over spending. In this battle the side that believes this spending is risking the long-term health of our country is being overpowered by the side that feels there shouldn’t be a limit on the amount of money spent on those they perceive to be disadvantaged.

But with the national debt now well over $20 trillion dollars, the spending debate could also be viewed as the difference between sensible and well-intentioned spending vs. unjustified spending for unwarranted and immoral purposes. Whether you consider it a minor issue or a major problem, a significant amount of this excessive spending is being used by special interest groups that are doing harm to our country and our culture.

In his 2012 book The Debt Bomb, U.S. Senator Tom A. Coburn provides many examples of unjustified and unhealthy federal government spending decisions. Are the actions of politicians driven more by ideology or corruption? And if our politicians are truly representatives of “We the People,” then why are we allowing this to continue?

Government’s Philosophy Toward Money

In America’s early days, politicians endured significant hardships to serve our nation but viewed it as a duty and wanted to be part of a cause. As our country has grown into the greatest country in history, a large number of people enter politics for fame, power and wealth.

Today we frequently hear politicians say things like “In the richest country in the world, no one should go hungry or homeless.” They highlight a few people who experience difficult situations as if it is feasible and the role of government to prevent all human hardships. Playing on the natural compassion of the American people to gain votes, they overuse words like “Need” and “Must”. To the casual American citizen, the process seems something like this:

Money in Elections

Is America’s excess spending driven by compassion, ideology or corruption? As America became the wealthiest country in history, it drew the attention of every despot and dictator in the world. Foreign entities are investing heavily in the control of America and they are following a global plan. This plan involves taking control of our education system and our public media and influencing our politicians and government employees. The actions of global actors and the American’s they have influenced are cloaked in utmost honor and admirable intentions. But they are expecting a return on investment and their money equals more control, and more control returns more money. So how do we fight back?

Consequences of Deficit and Growing Debt

Eventually all this inefficient and wasteful spending will have extremely negative consequences for our country. Like a Ponzi-Scheme we may experience the benefits of this spending in our lifetime. But our children and grandchildren will pay the price. When it gets bad enough, our government will be forced to take action. There only a few ways to get our debt under control. We can cut spending, increase taxes, borrow more money, inflate the currency, or find more product/service offerings and grow the economy. All of them are extremely difficult and painful, but they will have to be done. Just as with cancer, the medicine will have to be taken, and it will be less painful the earlier we begin. It will require a significant change of attitude by your politicians and citizens.

How do we fight back?

  • Gain an awareness of what is truly going on
  • Honor free speech and stand up for America’s core values
  • Increase scrutiny of our politicians and hold them accountable
  • Demand stricter enforcement of our Constitution and laws
  • Take steps to regain truth from our media
  • Strengthen our justice system and make it applicable to all
  • Get spending under control (cut spending and begin paying down the national debt)

One strategy is to greatly reduce the size and control of the federal government and restore America’s core principles and values. This will reenergize the innovation of the American people, grow the economy, and allow us to pay off the national debt.

The strategy promoted by the people who have the keys to the palace is Socialism. But this strategy lowers the overall standard of living for the underclass, has never proven to be successful, and it defies the promises of compassion by those “smarter” people who are in control.

When corruption overpowers integrity and hard work, our great country is lost. This is no longer just a difference in ideology. This is a fight for America’s future.