How Henry Paulson is Feeding the Problem Not Solving It
Here’s the hidden reason people are distressed about the economy… and what to do about it!
On Tuesday November 25, 2008, the U.S. government introduced a pair of new programs to provide $800 billion dollars in continuing efforts to help jump-start the economy. The purpose of this funding allocation was to unfreeze the market for consumer debt. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson called doing this vital to supporting the economy. On top of that, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury also indicated it would print as much money as needed to revive the nation’s crippled banking system.
Creating government programs aimed at supporting lending gives a very clear message to the public: debting is not only okay, but we, the government, want to make it even easier for you to get into even more debt. Worse, manufacturing money through which people can go into even more debt calls into question the inherent value of printed money, which has frankly been in question since the dollar stopped being back by gold and silver decades ago.
I have repeatedly warned that an economy that requires massive amounts of debt in order for it to remain afloat is NOT capitalism. It’s not socialism either. It is Debtism. The gravely severe deficit here is lack of financial integrity: our single greatest threat to rebuilding long-term financial sustainability.
Citizens intuitively know that an economy that is based on an obsessive focus on economic growth places ongoing stress on them to make more, spend more, save more for retirement, and, most importantly, go into greater and greater amounts of debt. Citizens intuitively understand that merely printing money doesn’t make it real.
The hidden reason why people feel so much economic stress today is not as simple as the state of the stock market or even how difficult it might be to make their house payment. It is that citizens know that the fundamentals of our economy are based on these false premises and it scares them terribly despite many citizens not quite knowing how to put into words these things that scare them.
It’s time that we, as Freesponsible Citizens, start demanding of our elected officials that they find the backbone to do what is really needed to rebuild the fundamentals of our economic system around the four fundamentals of Financial Integrity:
- Emphasize Stability Over Growth: Economic stability, partly through re-tooling citizens to make money in new ways, must become a greater priority than economic growth.
- Eliminate Debtism: Productivity, not Debtism, must fuel economic growth.
- Give Money Meaning: Money must have meaning that people can believe in, such as being backed by a return to the gold or silver standard.
- Reward Building Toward Financial Independence: Building toward financial independence (retirement) must be made at least as important as making purchases today.
Only by rebuilding our economic system around these fundamentals of Financial Integrity will we be able to resolve the pervasive-yet-unspoken underlying economic angst that citizens feel.
It is therefore time that we, as Freesponsible Citizens, take four particularly important actions:
- Eliminate Debt: Do what we must do to become as free of consumer debt as possible (responsibly-made home mortgages, education loans, and car loans excepted).
- Become More Productive: Upgrade our productivity, as employees and/or entrepreneurs, so we can generate the income we need in order to make purchases without incurring consumer debt (again, other than responsibly-made home mortgages, education loans and car loans)
- Make Building Financial Independence a Priority: Spend less so we can save money toward building financial independence (otherwise known as taking responsibility for preparing to retire with the lifestyle we want to be able to maintain).
- Require Governmental Financial Integrity: Demand of our elected representatives that they have the backbone to require that the economy be rebuilt around the four fundamental principles of Financial Integrity described above. We as individuals citizens don’t need to know how this might be implemented. We simply need to start requiring elected representatives to convene panels of collaboration-oriented experts to develop those implementation plans.
By upgrading our understanding of what life fulfillment really is, and how we can attain it, we will find the motivation we need to take the difficult steps necessary for rebuilding our own lives and our society’s economic system around principles of Financial Integrity. Understanding what is really required for life fulfillment will make it easier for us to make the temporary sacrifices it will take to rebuild Financial Integrity.
My latest three-award-winning book, and its accompanying workbook, provide a complete template showing you how to succeed at attaining integrity-centered life fulfillment . To learn more about and order The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World, click HERE now.
If not you, who? If not now, when?