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American Consumerism and Materialism causes Widespread Poverty

America, this is my desperate plea to you. You must learn to live below your means. If you cant, you will never become wealthy. Never. No matter how much you make. American consumerism and materialism causes poverty nationwide.

american consumerism

Did you know that most doctors and lawyers are broke as a joke? It’s not really ever discussed. On the surface they appear to be wealthy. They have the typical status symbols, the house, the car, the jewelry. But you look into their net worth and you see a different story. You see piles of debt and no real security.

It’s why most doctors and lawyers are working 60 hour weeks in their 60s and cutting you off on the freeway. The Millionaire Next Door reveals that this second scenario is way more common than we think. That’s kinda scary.

Look, we all tell lies to ourselves every single day. Most of us say that we aren’t greedy, that only the super wealthy are greedy. Well, really? How is your track record?

I’m Greedier than I realize

I know mine is terrible. For instance, I used to be really into cars. I loved looking at them and lusting after them. Any cool upgrade I saw on someone else’s car I had to have for myself.

Problem was, having a hobby like cars is a money sink. An incredibly deceiving money sink. As soon as I would upgrade my car, I had to have another one. I already had some really cool mods on there. It seemed like it was never enough.

I wanted to tint the windows. I wanted to black out my already premium rims. I wanted to change the transmission to manual, even though it was a $5,000 job.

I always convinced myself that just one more upgrade would make me happy. But that never came.

The straw that broke the camels back is when I added sub-woofers to my car. I already had a premium radio in there with above average sound, but I needed louder. Better. $$$$ -er.

Don’t get me wrong that purchase was cool. And I loved it. But as soon as I was done with it I couldn’t stop about getting more. More, more, more. Suddenly tinted windows was ever so important. It’s almost as if my car looked naked now without them. I longed after my next upgrade.

Problem was, I had paid for my sub-woofers by maxing out my credit card. It would be a long time before I could even think about getting more upgrades for my car, not to mention just paying that card off.

Beat Consumerism and Materialism

I’d like to sit here and tell you I learned my lesson then and there. I didn’t. I just transferred my consumerism and materialism elsewhere. And it wasn’t until I started listening to Dave Ramsey and his podcast that I finally learned to get myself in control.

You can lie to yourself all you like. Keep telling yourself that you aren’t greedy. That greed is only for the rich guys. I sure acted greedy with my car upgrade purchases, even though I wasn’t a billionaire.

Maybe I’m wrong about all this. Maybe only rich people are greedy. Or maybe poor people are the real greedy ones, and their lies to themselves are keeping them poor.

We can all agree that racism is evil. But can we also agree that consumerism and materialism are evil too? It is enslaving Americans. Robbing them of wealth and freedom. American consumerism is no better than alcoholism, racism, or crony capitalism.

So are you going to let money be your slave master? Or are you going to master money, so that it slaves for you?

Only time will tell. I know what I’m going to do. Are you with me?

I just saw a shirt that frankly pissed me off. It said “keep calm and let the mortgage banker handle it”. This mentality is endemic of our great American society. Everybody wants to trust somebody else, to shed the personal responsibility away from ourself.

Let me say that for one, the mortgage banker is the last person you should be trusting. Is it not so obvious? His or her function is to earn the highest commission possible. Why is this so? Because they work for the bank.

Yet we make this same mistake over and over and over again.

Lack of Personal Responsibility…

It starts when we are young. We go to the local mall, and ask the smiling salesperson for help. They’re so friendly on the surface, and in reality they will help you alright. You’ll leave hundreds of dollars poorer and with a new shiny store card. But at least you feel good afterwords, right?

Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. The next stop on our route of slavery happens at the car dealership. We meet yet another smiling salesperson, and boy can this one talk fast. I can’t pinpoint this uneasy feeling in my stomach, but at least the salesperson seems so confident… So I should just trust right? Yeah he’s smiling because he won’t be the one with the half decade payments, but at least you got a free air freshener out of it.

And now the final nail in the coffin, if you will. The last gasp of free air before you are locked into a life of debt slavery and payments. The home mortgage.

Oh my, is this “agent” (salesperson) the most smiley of all. So is the accompanying banker. Almost as if they are too happy to be “taking” your business. Hmm.

The uneasy feeling in your gut creeps up again. “30 years, and I’m already over budget on this home. But it’s so damn shiny and new looking. And everyone has payments right? It’s just normal”… And the final grand piece of advice enters your brain at the right time “keep calm and let the mortgage banker handle it.”

Ah, yes. This decision is far too important for me to make on my own. I trust this salesperson is looking out for my best interests. And the wealth gap perpetually continues, like the circle of life.

Don’t you understand that the world isn’t looking out for you? Can’t you see that the salespeople is only there for their best interests? Why has our whole society decided to blindly trust our financial fate with these confident suit people?

It’s a cop out. It’s pathetic. And I’m tired of it continuing to be acceptable.

Stop Playing the Blame Game

I’m sick of hearing the cries and complaining. I’d don’t say this to belittle people’s struggles or their suffering.

Life’s unfair, people hurt, I get it.

The problem I have is with the blame game. You see it in politics, with money, on the news and in our screens.

There’s this idea out there that the rich are to blame for all of our problems. That greedy capitalists are the reason behind a gaping income inequality.

I’m by no means a 1%-er, but I have a problem with the popular 99% mentality.

personal responsibility

This idea that the 1% enslave us. Wall Street is evil. The government is a conspiracy. Rich people are greedy.

Look at all the big corporations all around us. The ones that everyone loves to hate. These corporations are profit making machines, heartlessly cutting costs and destroying the environment right?

Well, hmm. The corporations only make the rich richer right? There’s an evil Scrooge, just sitting in his office and piling up his cash. This is what we all think, right?

This way of thinking is wrong. It’s hurtful.  It isn’t reality.

Who are the corporations of the world really making profits for?

How about your local teachers? Firefighters? Police officers?

You know that thing called a pension? Where do you think that money comes from? It’s fabricated out of thin air?

Pension plans rely on Wall Street to fund teachers, fire fighters and police officers’ retirements. If corporations aren’t maximizing profits, they are potentially putting retired servicemen and women into poverty.

How many others have retirement funds in the stock market? The corporations are serving us all.

Yes there’s corruption on Wall Street. But there’s also corruption in politics, in sports, in businesses, in entertainment, in religion, in schools, among friends, and even in your own home.

Before you start pointing the finger, why don’t you look in the mirror.

The problems we face stem deeper than the scapegoats we construct. The problem is easy to find, because it is within ourselves.

Banks are Taking America’s Money

The mortgage banker doesn’t care what happens to you. They will finagle and manipulate your loan so that it ends up profiting the bank the most. After all, the banker is working hard for that bonus and vacation in the Bahamas. Not happening unless the bank extracts as much profit as possible.

They disguise their profiting taking with big words: “30 year mortgage”. “Adjustable Rate Mortgage”. “Subprime loan”. “Second mortgage”. “Home equity loan”. “Line of credit”.

Let me translate these words for you. It’s the bank taking money from you. Legally.

A 15 year fixed is the only mortgage loan you should ever have. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the real reason why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

The wealth gap is not a political problem. Both sides are blaming the other anyways.  What we have is a personal responsibility problem. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions. We live in a “keep calm” society.

This has to stop. And for the select few (like my subscribers), it will. But it’s incumbent on you taking action. You must purposely choose to stop living this lie that we call “normal”.

Debt is your Slave Master

Debt is the modern day slave master. It’s entrapping more Americans daily. The new plantation is fondly referred to as, college (or an overpriced mortgage, or car).

The day you can stop justifying debt and call it out for what it really is, is the day you START on the path to wealth.

Each step after that is long, hard, and lonely. It’s the antithesis of “calm”. But it’s also the antithesis of “poor”.

You’ve been lied to. I’m sorry to break this news to you. Don’t shoot the messenger, right? The truth is, you’ve been lied to all your life. The lies you’ve been told have been both subliminal and direct. It’s the reason why you’re poor. And you’ll stay poor, unless you do something about it.

Poor Lie #1

The first lie is that you must be lucky to be rich.

You have to win the lottery, the genes lottery, the Hollywood lottery, to be rich.

No wonder you’ve given up already.

Poor Lie #2

But it doesn’t stop there. You’ve been told not to think about money. Don’t talk about it. Don’t plan about it. Don’t you dare share about it.

No wonder you aren’t getting ahead.

Poor Lie #3

What about the college lie? Just get good grades, borrow as much as you want, we’ll take care of you.

The system will take care of you. Just be a good citizen, and the money will take care of itself. You’ve been told this lie, haven’t you?

No wonder you are poor.

You Might Be Surprised to Know…

You probably didn’t know that even “rich” people are poor. College grads, doctors, lawyers.

Sure they are spending a lot of money, but did you know most of them are net worth poor? That if they lost their jobs tomorrow, they’d be screwed like the rest of us? One page of The Millionaire Next Door reveals that one right away.

But I’m not talking to those poor “rich” people right now. They can read the book for themselves.

I want to help the real poor. The “I’ll always be poor” poor.

We have a culture that wants you to be poor. It’s rigged for you to be poor.

Before you start whining about it, realize that it also wants you to be fat, unhappy, and defenseless. They teach you some important things in school. Math, writing, reading, science, history.

But they never teach you about money. They don’t teach you how to keep money, and make more of it.

You Can Do This

You can make money work for you. You don’t need to be a rich guy to do it. Money is the only thing that never sleeps. It can keep working when you no longer can. That’s why the rich stay rich. Because they make money work for them.

But just because you aren’t “rich” doesn’t mean you have to be poor. You are poor because you’ve been lied to. You can change things.

When you are fat what is the reason? You either don’t know how to work out or you’re too lazy to work out. Or both. You won’t stop being poor by doing nothing. Just like you won’t stop being fat by doing nothing. If you are poor, then what you have been doing hasn’t been working.

It’s time for change.

What they should have told you: You need to learn about money.

Read about it. Learn about it. Make it a priority.

Measure it. Improve it. Win with it.

Just like there are experts in medicine, there are experts with money.

  • Dave Ramsey and his free podcast have helped countless people out of poverty.
  • Robert Kiyosaki has jump started thousands of people on the path to wealth with his bestselling Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
  • Warren Buffet is the world’s most successful investor, and even his strategy is publicly available in The Intelligent Investor.

You have endless resources and unlimited possibilities to become rich. Wealth is accessible like never before. It’s only kept by those who actively seek it. I’m not a particularly rich guy. I’m not extremely old and wise either.

The only true people who stay poor are those who think poor.

Start reading books about money. Can’t afford it? Stop buying things you don’t need.

Need a new pair of jeans to survive? Doubt it. Need the new iPhone or iPad? Not a chance. Need to see the latest movie in the theaters? I think you’ll survive. Remember that the way of American consumerism and materialism is a trap

Sacrificing just a little now can set you on a path past poverty. I believe in you. You can stop being poor today. Or you can ignore me, and stay poor. It’s ok, you’ll only have yourself to blame.