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One Man One Economy

July 18, 2015

Allow me to begin by sharing, “I am not an economist.” I look at the national debt from relative intelligence, as an individual man. “Debt,” to us is allowing a value to drop below zero with a potential for return.

There are those who would say, “You cannot have less than nothing.” How is this possible?

You cannot have less than nothing.

When I was an early, twenty something I got my first credit card and thought it was the greatest thing in the world. I immediately got a new Mac desktop, a very nice video camera and some additional equipment. I was a few grand below zero. No big deal. Right? Everyone around me had debt, student, personal, credit card, etc. Why not me? I figured, of course, “I’ll just pay it off later.” When does later come for the national debt?

During my late thirties I moved to Chicago and after a few years of decent employment I found myself unemployed for a year. Thank goodness for that credit card so I could still go out and party like an American when I needed it. My already amassed debt of an estimated $8,500 seemed like such a large number. What did an additional 20 or 30 dollars at the bar matter? Perhaps that is how many of our leaders look at the national debt. It is an astronomical number that will never go away so why should 1 or 2 more million matter?

One Man One EconomyAt my lowest low of credit card debt I was near negative $14,000. Yet, as ashamed as I was to have nothing to show for this debt I felt lucky when I heard friends talk about student debt over 100 grand. It is monstrous that we view our students, our homeowners and our working Americans as items of profit rather than items of investment. Profiting from a student going to college is incorrect. We, as a nation should profit from their becoming intelligent, productive members of our work force, business owners and developers unburdened from their quest for knowledge. The true profit rests in the individual minds of potential contributors to the conversation, such as this conservation to “fix the debt.” We will not “fix” the problem until we all acknowledge it as both our individual problem and our collective problem. Most if not all of those who possess and horde the vast amounts of wealth in this country will never view this as a part of their individual problem.

What of the individual debt? “Pay it off tomorrow.”

Pay it off tomorrow.

The problem with this American thought is the vast majority have little to no concern with how long they exist below zero. Most Americans are either very knowledgeable of the travesty concerning distribution of wealth in America or they simply have no way of seeing it through the veil of delusion placed over their faces by unseen hands (which is sometimes their own).

After working every day for about nine months, I continued for the better part of three years working most days (across three or four jobs), while developing a personal budget and learning how to manage money. I came out of debt on 12/13/14. While I considered bankruptcy early on I could not get away from the awful feeling of not paying what I owe and regardless of my ignorance as a twenty something year old man I entered into an agreement as a card holder. Ever heard “money is power?” To be whimsical, in close, entertain a quote from the great Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Spider Man.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Those with the money can contribute to making America a debt free nation. I did. Will you?

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