I spoke this morning to a friend of mine who's really sharp on matters financial, and we were talking about budgeting tools. He told me of some customer research he'd heard where people fell into three categories:
And here's the trick: the majority of folks fall into the last category.
- People who hate debt of any kind and generally only hold mortgage and car debt.
- People who are okay with limited debt. They'll carry a balance, but they pay things off within six months.
- People who are okay with lots of debt, but they don't see their balances as "debt." As long as they're making minumum payments on things, they see it as just payments - not debt.
I'm floored that they don't see this lifestyle as debt-ridden. My friend went on to tell me that a good portion of these folks have good credit. It's not that they're bad or anything, but rather that they choose a lifestyle of minimum payments for everything - to "afford" as much as they can. When it all gets too much, they take out a debt-consolidation loan and keep on going this way. They don't see the debt. They don't feel the debt. They only know the payments that they can afford to pay each month - never mind that everything ends up costing them three times more than it would if they'd simply saved up for it first.
Given that, is it any wonder that so many people don't see a problem with the government paying for everything?
One of the women who stood up for Mike Huckabee at the Iowa Caucus cited her need for her children to inherit a great America as a primary reason for her choice. Her choice of Pastor Mike was an act of love for her kids, you see.
If we really love our kids, we'll pass them as little debt as we can. People who go to the grave paying minimum payments on everything give not an inheritance to their kids but the burden of things unpaid.
If we really love our kids, we'll stave off government programs that only promise to bankrupt their future with extraordinary taxes to pay for the programs.
But I think people aren't trained to see it this way. For the majority, it's not debt, that government program. No, sir. For that government program, we get to make responsible minimum payments. Why of course we can afford that program - it's for our children.
Despite George Bush's half-hearted attempt at it, I still want the Ownership Society.
A model of society promoted by United States President George W. Bush. It takes as lead values personal responsibility, economic liberty, and the owning of property. The ownership society discussed by Bush also extends to certain proposals of specific models of health care and social security.But that's not what we're getting in this campaign. Instead, it's a race to the bottom to see who can give the most stuff away. For the children, you know. (My ass...)
If you really love the children, you want the smallest government possible. Because children deserve to be free... and not shackled with
minimum payments debt that helped their grandparents retire comfortably.