May 30, 2008

dave “Welcome to the Dave Ramsey Show, where debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid-off home mortgage has replaced the BMW as the status symbol of choice.”

So begins every Dave Ramsey Show on the Fox Business Network. And I am so totally into Dave right now, it ain’t funny. Not only because his message (all debt – especially credit cards, student loans, and auto loans – is bad and must be paid off as quickly as possible and avoided at all cost after that) is so appealing to someone who has lived under a mountain of debt all his adult life, but because in this day and age it is such an important message more people need to take to heart.

I’m of the belief that the American economy and our American way is life is in the first stages of a major correction unlike anything since The Great Depression – a correction that is going to change the way we live forever. Sure, most people are focusing right now on the cost of gasoline and the decline in the housing market, but there are more significant changes taking place at the same time, such as:

1. The graying of the baby boomers, many of whom haven’t a clue as to how they’ll be able to afford retirement;

2. Our increasing average life spans, meaning you can have baby boomers spending 20-30 years – or more – in their retirements;

3. The offshoring of American jobs overseas – I can tell you a few stories about that!

4. An American economy increasingly dependent upon services and Americans having plenty of spending money to go around;

5. Governments at the state and national level placing increasing burdens on Americans in the form of taxes, fees, and unnecessary regulations, all of which serve to take more money out of peoples wallets and away from a services-based economy already starting to see reduced spending by American consumers;

6. The fracturing of the family unit and the decline of our moral framework and those institutions that once protected that framework.

Look, it doesn’t take an economist to figure out that there a lot of people who are, whether by choice or not, living from paycheck to paycheck under the assumption that paycheck will always be there. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out, therefore, that the American economy is basically a house of cards not exactly built on the surest of foundations. In my mind, it’s not a question of if that house of cards is going to collapse but when.

So, for me, what Ramsey is saying makes a whole lot of sense, and it’s something we should have been doing a long time ago. But just as there’s no crying in baseball, there’s no use being a member of the woulda/coulda/shoulda club – all we can do is go after our debt with (as Ramsey is wont to say) gazelle-like intensity. Plan for tomorrow by budgeting for today, that’s our new strategy. And if all goes according to plan, we could be credit card debt-free by the end of October, and then it’s on to our other debt – a 403-B loan and our home mortgage.

Dave Ramsey – a modern-day prophet with a message more Americans need to hear for their own well-being and peace of mind. I’m with you Dave. All. The. Way.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comments (0)
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