It seems there's this weird idea out there the past several years that somehow it is patriotic for Americans to outright waste their money.
Taking out a loan, using credit cards, shopping for things you don't need--all these things are somehow supposed to be good for the economy.
I don't think so. I think it would be fabulous if we all lived within our means.
Here's what I think would be good for the country.
1. Don't spend more money than you have.
2. If you are the average person you shouldn't use your house as an investment vehicle--get a house that you can afford, pay it off and live there --free--except for taxes. That way nobody will have to kick you out when you are old. Only rich folk can afford to be always adding more house than they need.
3. Avoid Credit like the plague. If you can't pay for shoes-- you either have too many shoes or not enough income--don't buy necessities on credit.
4. If you can't cut expenses enough to make it from month to month AND save a little bit too-- you need to make more money--by working.
It would be really patriotic if folks would put some thought into how to live without being a burden to everyone else.
That said-- when a catastrophe happens-- I do think its good to lend a hand--just not an arm, a leg and other folk's money as well. Its one thing to get a step up--its another to lie down and let others do for you. *this does not include TRULY disabled folks.
I am saying all this as someone who did it all wrong and had to deal with the consequences. The least we can do is learn from our mistakes right?