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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 310986  
Subject: Re: Parents as Role Models for Financial Matters Date: 4/18/2012 9:01 AM
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If we're some devolution of previous people, then isn't that the ultimate excuse for being in debt? I guess I feel people can still control their spending and their fates, but maybe we are just not good enough anymore. There are a few throwbacks, but maybe as a society we're just doomed to be in debt now. We don't have the moral fiber of previous societies. That thought makes me really sad, but maybe you are right. :-(

I think people can still control their spending and their fates; they just aren't. (I don't mean all or even most, I just mean a higher percentage than a hundred or more years ago.)

I think we have just morally normalized our behavior. There's nobody around to tell us we're being dumb. Instead, everybody tells us, "It's good for the economy," and, "Oh go ahead you can afford it." The few people who do tell us it's dumb behavior can viewed as outliers who have just found a niche to write books and make money for themselves. They certainly don't have a majority following. Our own government sets the example of crazy spending with vague notions about how we might ever pay for it.

I read a book called The Mark Inside by Amy Reading. Sorry it took me so long to write that last sentence - I had to go back through my Amazon history to find it as I'm very bad about remembering titles and authors. It's a look at some con men and the men who tried to stop them back in the early 1900s. I think it reveals our progression as a society as regards our financial morals. Not that I got this whole idea from a book, but it did pinpoint some of the triggers in our history that contributed to the attitude change. It's also a very interesting peek into the organizational scope of the things that can be pulled over on the public.

Never thought I'd be the creepy guy pushing some obscure book to support my crazy theory (sigh) but there it is...

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