My Fellow Compassionate Capitalists:
When I lived in the Philippines a lifetime ago I took part in a financial experiment that forever changed the way that I perceived people to understand money.
For mathematical purposes… at the time one American dollar was the equivalent to 30 Filipino pesos. If one peso was the equivalent of $.33 American….their cents or “centavos“ had no equivalent.
The children of the Philippines loved a small pack of peanuts called Nagaraya Nuts that you could buy for 25 centavos. We as missionaries always carried centavos with us in order to “bribe“ the kids to go get some nuts while we talked to their parents.
One day I decided to see if a rumor I had been hearing was true and I asked some parents that we were talking to to please not say a word. I then asked the kids to join us and I put down several 25 centavo pieces on the table as they salivated knowing that they would soon have their tasty treats. I then pulled out a $100 bill American and put it next to the centavos and told the kids to choose.
Without fail every single time the kids chose the centavos.
Every single time they went with what they knew.
The lesson I learned that day was that financial literacy is the unfair advantage. That being true……then it stands to reason that financial illiteracy is the reason why so many Americans find themselves today choosing centavos over $100 bills.
Whoever thought that we would live in a time when the effects of financial illiteracy would make its way to the Supreme Court who thankfully upheld the Constitution when it came to government forced “quartering acts“. That a man could be forced to house someone on his private property without compensation.
Whoever thought that financial illiteracy would be practiced by so many that they would put their faith in government to pay for their housing. That those same people would be shocked and rioting in the streets because someone was no longer willing to pay for THEIR debts. That the laws that the government told them was OK to break are now the very reasons they are facing eviction.
Whoever thought that the government’s financial illiteracy would lead to the insolvency of the Social Security System. A system that was literally impossible to bankrupt if the money stayed where it was supposed to.
A government that only acknowledges $22 trillion of debt when it’s obligations for social programs puts the true debt at over $117 trillion.
Whoever thought that mayors of border towns would be advocating for Hispanics to cross the border. It seems as if Covid’s illiterate financial mandates has done what no legal government legislation could. It’s bolstered the economy of Mexico while destroying the American economy at border towns.
Whoever thought that financial illiteracy when it comes to the efficiency of free enterprise would cause only $5.1 billion of a $46.5 billion relief rental assistance package to be distributed.
This is what happens when government has no incentive.
My fellow Compassionate Capitalist, the results of financial illiteracy are all around us.
Fortunately the fact that we can see this and acknowledge it means that we are practicing financial LITERACY.
And financial literacy is the unfair advantage!
We are able to position ourselves to step in and help where the government has failed to do so.
We are in the position to put financial education back into the school systems.
We are in a position to buy non-performing notes and renegotiate mortgages.
We are in the position to shine a light on the fact that not only have we survived… but have thrived during the pandemic.
We are in the ultimate position… we are in the position to show the world what happens when we “NEVER awake from the American Dream”.