[WARNING!] It Will Come Back In The Next Few Months!
Do you remember the global financial crisis of 2007-08? Of course. It was a monumental disaster triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of the U.S. housing bubble. It was the worst housing crash in the country’s history and nearly caused a second Great Depression.
If you’ve ever chewed gum, you know that bubbles can only get so big—then they pop. And that’s precisely what happened: When home prices finally reached unsustainable levels, the bubble burst. A lot of homeowners and investors were caught off guard and U.S. foreclosure filings spiked by more than 81% in 2008.
Today, there’s still a lot of debate about the bubble we’re experiencing right now. One thing that is consistent among experts is that we are in fact in a bubble. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 in these matters. But I am here to provide a warning that history does have a history of repeating itself, so doesn’t it make sense to be on guard?
Philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So let’s take a moment to jog our memories with a brief history lesson.
End of An American Empire
Argentina is a good example of what might happen to America in the future. Only a few years ago, Argentina was a rich industrial powerhouse with a fantastic standard of living. It was a rich land, a favorite place for many Europeans. In many ways, it was more European than South American. But in just a few years, this very rich country became a poor, debt-ridden, bankrupt nation with a weak currency. Money left, and so did the rich. Taxes became high, and the currency collapsed. Corruption was everywhere. There was a real potential for anarchy to erupt.
Could that happen to America in a few years? Most Americans think not. I think we are knocking on its doorstep.
Unfortunately, too many Americans have come to expect that the government will solve their problems. I am afraid that, rather than solve the problems, an older America will vote for more government and higher taxes. With Social Security the most popular act ever passed, I am afraid that those who depend upon Social Security will vote once again that the younger workers take care of them. If that happens, taxes will skyrocket.
Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
All through my years growing up with my rich dad, he encouraged me to study the history of the rise and fall of great empires. One of the empires he had me study was the Roman Empire.
During one of these study sessions, my rich dad said, “The Roman Empire had great technology for conquering and taxing people so they were able to create a vast empire. Their difficulties began as people moved off the conquered lands and into cities such as Rome. As the city of Rome grew, the leaders became concerned that the urban mobs would revolt if they had no jobs, shelter, or food. So the Romans fed the people and created great distractions such as the Colosseum to entertain the masses. Soon Rome became a great city of people who expected to be entertained and fed.”
“So Rome became a welfare state?” I asked.
“More than a welfare state,” said rich dad. “It became a large government bureaucracy. Instead of solving problems, they created more problems.
The Latin poet, Juvenal, famously coined the term, “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.” This was his observation as the once mighty Roman Empire rushed toward chaos and economic collapse. His point: if people feel rich, the government can get away with anything.
Today there is lots of talk about UBI, a Universal Basic Income. Rather than the Federal Reserve Bank printing money and giving the money to the banks, many socialists and the millennial generation want the Fed and the government to print money and give it directly to the people.
While it took hundreds of years for the Roman Empire to finally collapse, with today’s speed of money transfers, the great American Empire could fall pretty fast.
If people had a real financial education, they would know that the rich, by and large, pay little if anything in taxes. So, who will pay for the world of free stuff? We will pay for free with our freedom. That is the socialist-communist-fascist agenda.
Be Smarter Than the Government
Most academics fall into the government bureaucrat category. We all know academics are out of touch with the real world of money. Bureaucrats are fascists who make rules and expect everyone to live by their rules. There are bureaucrats in every walk of life.
Don’t get me wrong. Rules are important. We need rules. For example, it is best we all drive on the same side of the road and obey speed limits.
The problem is that bureaucrats want everyone to live in a world governed by their rules. The problem is most bureaucrats, like most academics, do not live in the real world of money. Most bureaucrats tend to be socialists and communists, not capitalists.
Beware of highly-educated experts who want you to believe they are smarter than you are. Just because someone is a graduate of a great school or a well-educated professional such as a lawyer, doctor, accountant, stockbroker, financial planner, or real estate broker does not mean they know anything about money.
The good news is that this makes life easier for people like you, people who seek, read, and learn from real teachers from the real world of money.
Think Like an Entrepreneur
Today, millions of people are stuck in jobs they hate or jobs that don’t pay enough—or both. Their pensions and retirement plans are at risk of going broke. Their education, or lack of education, keeps them stuck, afraid of failing, and afraid of change.
But to survive the current economic crisis, one must change—change their mindset.
I once met a gentleman who spent much of his life as a truck driver. He worked long hours for a decent wage but never really felt financially secure.
When times got tough, his company had to make cuts, and he was let go. At that point, he committed to his financial education and to increasing his financial IQ. Eventually, he bought a franchise business in the trucking industry, an industry he already knew a lot about and became an entrepreneur. Today, he is financially free.
As I talked with him, he told me that before he became an entrepreneur, he saw the world as a place of limited possibilities where he was stuck with long hours, low income, high taxes, and increasing expenses such as food, gasoline, and health costs cutting into his wages.
Today, he sees a world of infinite possibilities. His life is changed forever because he changed his mindset. He could have easily applied for unemployment and looked for another job, but instead, he elevated his financial intelligence.
To me, this is a perfect example of my belief that giving people money won’t solve their problems. I believe it is time to stop giving people fish. It is time to teach people to fish and give them the power to solve their own financial problems.
Financial education has the power to change the world. I predict the first country that adopts a comprehensive financial education program for all students, rich or poor, will emerge as a financial world power.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily