Breeding a Nation of Dependence

Dear Reader,

We all know the saying: It’s better to teach a man to fish than give him a fish.

But most people would rather be given fish than learn how to gather fish themselves. It’s much easier in the short term.

When you don’t know how to gather your own fish — or, in this case, how to generate income for yourself — you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of going hungry (or being poor). Learn how to fish, and shoulder the responsibility for your financial future.

Giving fish has become a platform for politicians to win votes. Universal basic income (UBI) is a concept that in recent years has gained traction within certain academic circles.

Last night was the first night of round 2 of the Democratic debates. One of the Democratic presidential candidates, Andrew Yang has proposed under his “Freedom Dividend” plan that every adult American would receive $1,000 a month regardless of income or work status, a cash infusion he says is the best way to combat the destruction of manufacturing and other jobs due to automation. The proposal would be funded by a European-style value-added tax that Yang says would ensure technology companies pay their fair share.

This sort of proposal reminds me of an email I received a few years ago:

Subject: Isn’t It Ironic?

The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever. Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals” because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.

As I see it, we are breeding a nation of dependent people, not independent and responsible people. What ever happened to “Give a man a fish feeds him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime”? We need real financial education in this country (and the world) to turn this economy around, not more government welfare.

Learning To Fish Is Hard

All “real” learning is hard. Think about the game of golf. In theory, golf is an extremely simple game. Yet, golf is one of the hardest games in the world to play, much less master. To become a Tiger Woods, a Rory McIlroy, or a Phil Mickelson requires superhuman dedication and sacrifice. Talent alone is not enough.

The same is true with the game of money.

Prosperity has made many people soft, weak, and lazy.

This is not only true for Americans. You can see it all over the world. It is most noticeable in the rampant corruption in government, business, sports, politics, and even religion.

Today, every child gets a trophy. Everyone is entitled. Students need safe rooms — rooms and spaces where they are safe from ideas that challenge, or threaten, sensitive beliefs. And as the gap between the rich and everyone else widens — and everybody wants to get rich — many actually believe they are entitled to be rich.

As rich dad said, “Money is a drug. Without financial education, people become addicted to money. Money makes them happy. Money solves their problems. Money heals their pain.”

Today, billions are addicted to the “quick fix,” the “temporary high” of money. The problem is, the “highs” become “lows,” and the addicts go back to work to feed their addiction. Addicts will do anything to feed their addiction.

Who Needs to Learn to Fish?

In 1971 and 1974, the rules of money changed. These changes have caused massive financial problems worldwide, requiring greater financial intelligence to solve them. Unfortunately, our government and schools have not addressed these changes or problems. So the financial problems today are monstrous. In my lifetime, America went from the richest country in the world to the biggest debtor nation in the world.

Many people hope the government will solve their financial problems. I do not know how the government can solve your problems when it cannot solve its own money problems. Just look at the major Federal Reserve announcement happening today. [And click here to find out how you can benefit from it.]

The government is floundering to keep up with the money-printing problems it’s created. And now, presidential candidates want to take our debt to even new highs.

It is up to individuals to solve their own problems. You simply can’t rely on the government handing you fish. And while it may sound tougher to learn how to fish for yourself, the good news is that if you solve your own problems you get smarter and richer.

The lesson to be remembered is that, rich or poor, we all have money problems. The only way to get rich and increase your financial intelligence is to actively solve your money problems.

Attitude Towards Money

The poor and middle class tend to avoid addressing money problems or pretend they don’t have them. The problem with this attitude is that their money problems persist, and their financial intelligence grows slowly, if at all.

The rich take on financial problems. They know that solving financial problems makes them smarter and increases their financial IQ. The rich know that it is financial intelligence, not money, that ultimately makes a person richer.

The problem with the poor and middle class is they don’t have enough money. The rich have the problem of too much money. Both are real and legitimate problems. The question is: Which problem do you want?

Go Fish

Do I think everyone should play this game of money?

My answer is, like it or not, everyone is already playing the game of money.

Rich or poor, we are all involved in the game of money. The difference is, some people play harder, know the rules, and use them to their advantage more than others.

Some people are more dedicated, more passionate, more committed to learning and to winning. When it comes to the game of money, most people are playing—whether they know they are playing or not—not to lose rather than playing to win.

Since we are all involved in the game of money anyway, better questions may be:

Are you a student of the game of money?

Are you dedicated to winning the game?

Are you passionate about learning?

Are you willing to be the best you can be?

Do you want to be as rich as you can be?

It Is Not Money, But Knowledge That Makes You Rich

A person with a high financial IQ and financial intelligence has a lot of knowledge about money. As I’ve said, financial intelligence is not the most important form of intelligence, but it is an essential one. You will not be able to survive and thrive financially in today’s economy without a high financial IQ and a deep understanding about how the rules of money have changed.

Unfortunately, our educational system in America is broken. Our teachers force feed our children a lot of facts, and then train them through a fear of failure to regurgitate those facts. But our educational system does not train our children to solve problems. And it especially doesn’t teach them how to solve money problems or give students knowledge of how money works. At the most it teaches them to balance a checkbook and gives them a brief overview of the old rules of money, teaching them to save money and invest in mutual funds.


Robert Kiyosaki

You May Also Be Interested In:

Carbon Winners and Losers

Happy Hump Day! Today, we’ll look at the carbon credit winners and losers.  I like this space because it’s still under the radar, unlike our friends in the crypto world. This may be your big chance to get out in front. So, let’s continue our education and information gathering in the carbon credit space. Crypto,...

Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

View More By Robert Kiyosaki