How Do We Turn Around America?

Roger Schlesinger
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Posted: Jun 13, 2013 12:01 AM

There is only one sure way to turn this country around, heading back to the recent past when American ideas and products were valued around the world because of their quality that came from our ingenuity & hard work, as well as our values, traditions and customs.

Our job now is to train and re-train our children, no matter how old they are. Obviously the younger the better, but regardless of their age if they are drifting or actively seeking to be part of the "new" America you can't simply give up on them.  You need to become their mentor once again. Easy?  Not a chance.  Critical?  Nothing I can see is more critical.

How do we accomplish this Herculean task?  We start becoming Americans again and telling our elected officials who is the boss, and who is the employee.  Somehow this has been "lost in translation" and we need to change this quickly.  It starts with the American idea that majority rules, because if it doesn't then they wouldn't be in office.  This one recognition will start the turn around, which we desperately need.

Our Pledge of Allegiance states we are "one nation under God", therefore if someone is offended by the word God that isn't our problem: it's theirs!  We aren't asking anyone to accept our ways, but one person's problem is only one person's problem, not the rest of society. If a single woman has a daughter in high school and doesn't have an escort for her daughter to the father-daughter dance we can all go out of our way to help her find a substitute for the missing father, but we don't cancel the dance!

I won't bore you with my stories from my youth and my interaction with my parents and how I learned to rely on myself for almost everything I wanted above the basics I was given.  I didn't have to be told more than once what I needed to do if I wanted something more. The message was clear and constant: work for it.  I did and the strangest thing happened.  I didn't collapse from fatigue and I got the incidentals I wanted from my earnings. That was the beginning of my economic and financial education even before I was in high school.

What do you think would be better for a young person and society itself?  Giving every person under 14 or 15 a weekly or monthly stipend from the government or giving them a job cleaning up streets, parks, public buildings and paying them for their efforts.  It would be a win for society and for the individuals as well.

Next to giving people money teaching them to borrow is a big problem for our society.  I am sure you are thinking “how can a man who makes his living loaning money be against it?”  If you know me you realize my biggest concern is you’re taking the right mortgage loan that will get it paid back as quickly as possible.  Remember that leverage works both ways: creating bigger gains, or bigger losses.

People ask me how I dealt with my student loans as I went to junior college, university and eventually received a master's degree in finance.  It was the easiest thing I ever had to do.  I worked through all of those schools and didn't owe a penny when I was finished.  In fact when I entered the university I got a job at a stock brokerage and 5 years later I was a stock broker. I not only earned on the job – but I learned as well.

Today whenever someone I know graduates from high school or college and it is appropriate for me to send a card or gift I send a card with a pair of scissors and a  $100 bill.  The scissors is to cut up any credit cards or applications for one, and the $100 is to open a savings account and learn how to pay as you go. Show them the road to financial freedom and they will eventually get on it.

I could go on for volumes but the message is loud and clear: everyone must become proactive if we want our country back.  Complaining won't get it done.  It is now time to act!