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Will History Repeat Itself?
In the 1930s, the German government had printed so much currency that its money nearly lost its value. One story tells of a woman who pulled a wheelbarrow full of money to buy some bread. When she came out of the baker's to get her money to pay for the bread, someone had stolen her wheelbarrow and left the money.
Hyperinflation devalues money. And while the social, political and financial environments that enabled Adolf Hitler to be elected German Chancellor in 1933 were complex, his rise to power was in no small part due to the middle class having their savings wiped out.
Back home, the 1930s brought the Great Depression, leading to Franklin Delano Roosevelt being elected president. Roosevelt brought in Social Security in 1935, a solution to a problem we still have to solve today. In other words, a solution to a problem caused over 75 years ago is again a problem today -- an even bigger problem, in fact. We are trying to solve a problem with government money, instead of solving the real problem. Other government programs that were meant to be solutions were Medicare (1955) and Medicaid (1966). Today, these problems are much bigger problems, again because we failed to address the real problems soon enough.
In 1971 President Nixon took us off the gold standard, which is exactly what the German government did, and today the U.S. dollar is falling and savers find their savings wiped out with very little left for retirement . . . except for Social Security and Medicare, which are also in trouble. History is repeating itself, only this time the problem is bigger.
What We Are Concerned About
Donald said it first: "I'm afraid we have developed an entitlement mentality as a nation. And I'm not talking about just poor people. Too many people, from the president and senators on down, expect a pension from the government. I really wish we could afford to solve their problems, but to do that would bankrupt our nation. We could ask the rich to pay for everyone, but would it solve the problem? And for how long would it even solve the problem?"
I agreed. Donald and I want people to let go of the entitlement mentality and become rich so they can solve the problem . . . their own problem.
The best way to solve the problem of bad financial results is to change our thoughts -- to start thinking like rich people rather than poor and middle-class people. That means losing the entitlement mentality --whether you are a military officer, government worker, schoolteacher, employee or just poor. If we do not stop expecting the government to take care of us, we will continue to have the same results -- a bankrupt nation filled with well-educated but financially needy people.
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