Friday, December 16, 2011

Critical Life Issue #1

It's hard to distinguish between critical life issues and ordinary mundane reality, but for the masses out there, I believe the fear of losing there home and job is so close to so many that it drives much anxiety and depression and foreshadows the mundane and becomes what's currently critical. Those on the edge may make very poor financial decisions, be taken advantage of, or just fail to respond and lose everything. Those that have been foreclosed, most likely from losing their job, have been checked out of this monetary-based society unwillingly. Without money, you have no voice. When you turn to the church with no money, it can even become a burden for the church. I have no solution or even a suggestion what to do except mutual support from friends and church.

Those that have the means and are clever about dumping inverted mortgages may be saving themselves but in the long run are log jamming the society. When any house suddenly stops producing income for banks and insurance companies, they find ways to flush the expense onto the rest of us. The standard of living in America for the average Joe will continue to recede until those institutions with money come to par with their expected ROI. At some level in our society money becomes sacred and is protected by law and business practices at the expense of those below this threshold. That's the reality they should teach in school. More kids would opt not to drop out if they realized that education allows them access to this upper chamber. Without this savvy, one becomes the pavement for others to walk on. No one cares if you dye your hair green and rebel. You just become next year’s freak show. If our education system focused on current realities of how to earn a living, kids would respond and take notice and not want to drop out. Our education system is in a dream world of teaching ancient history and politically correct pabulum.

I recently had a water leak in my house and have been working with the insurance company. They are very reputable, as reputable as insurance can qualify for, but my broker confided that with these massive house foreclosures things like homeowner insurance has become a slippery slope, because the pool of premiums that keeps cost averages correct for their formulas to work is being undermined. When I come along with a claim, they have a knee-jerk reaction. They fight not to pay you more than in the past, while you have to fight to be paid for every line of benefit in the policy. But policies are written by lawyers, so the language is deliberately vague to protect the insurance company.

So what I'm trying to relay here is more than ever, for this generation of adults, we have to wake up to the fact that financially, the whole nation is fracturing. To avoid falling into the cracks, one has to read all those papers stuffed into filing cabinets and normally ignored and become aware of where our financial liabilities are and start to sandbag around our families. Otherwise, we will be swept away by those that will defend their wealth to the death when they come looking for our money.

This idea of re-educating to jump start into a new high-tech career is so foolhardy, especially when you're 50 and above. It's an act of desperation and people need to be warned on how much to sacrifice to make it happen. If you find you have a knack for this new area, fine. I taught at National University for several years and I experienced over-and-over again people working two low-end jobs to pay for this very expensive education only to fail or find that as a waitress, maybe computer programming was not their forte. The school took advantage of their ignorance. But what do you do. The only viable industry in America is financial services. Learning to become a programmer is a death sentence. All those jobs went offshore decades ago. The youngsters brought up on computers are enough to fill our techie needs. Financial services define the new order ever since the Clinton years, but no one in education shifted to line up American citizens to exercise their talents in that field. Manufactured goods is large, but much of it owned by foreign companies, and the rest is located in other countries. We as a people, failed to see the rug being pulled out from under us. So to deal with Critical Life Issue #1 as a middle aged family is becoming a disaster. The young have resilience. They will start new companies and work their buns off bringing back success, hopefully by generating valued items to sell and not financial rhetoric to baffle people out of their earnings on ponzi schemes. If not, they have the means to move to a country that is doing better. There in lies the rub. This is the country with the best opportunities!

To list critical life factors to advise and guide people out of the darkness that concerns our future stability, one has to spend some time on how to become financial sound. We criticize and sneer at money, but when you create a huge delicate superstructured society, maybe the most sophisticated in history, money is the mortar. We could all live in a cave and cook over a fire and boast of our philosophical purity, but really, money has a lot of beneficial savvy. Trouble is, we as a nation, have not focused on teaching our children to coup properly in the presence and power of money in a responsible manner. It’s hard to find a teenager that can even make change.