Danny Cardwell's picture

    Money: Living Without Enough Of It

    Money can’t buy you love or solve all of your problems, but it can alleviate a lot of the stress we feel.

    Inflation is real! There are very few commodities or services that are the same price (or cheaper) now than they were just a few years ago. With all of the economic pressure we face, is it possible to responsibly plan for the future while enjoying the fruits of your labor?

    Making smart decisions with money is more important now than ever. After decades of automation and globalization, the days of wages exceeding the cost of living are far behind us. Investing is an ideal way to combat the never-ending cycle of inflation we find ourselves in, but where is the money going to come from?

    Americans are going further and further in debt just to live. People who didn't’have disposable income missed out on the bull markets in gold and stocks over the last 7 years. Poverty and the declining middle-class lifestyle are cyclical problems: not having extra money is keeping people who don’t have enough money from every being financially stable. Saving your money is fine, but interest rates are so low that on a long enough timeline it loses its value.

    America is in the middle of a fundamental change to the way we finance our lives. Decades ago, women entered the workforce to help offset the rising cost of living. There was a time when two incomes guaranteed a middle-class life; now, it takes two incomes plus another revenue stream for most people to maintain the quality of life they lived just a few years ago.

    We are working longer hours with no relief in sight. This reality has forced a lot of families to make some tough choices. Some have cut back on dining out, exotic vacations, and new car purchases. Others have seen one or both spouses pick up second jobs. While some have incorporated an all of the above approach. There are people working day and night in an effort to have enough money for rainy days, but if we are constantly working and sacrificing when are we living?

    One of Karl Marx’s greatest contributions to economic philosophy and theory is his notion of the “double freedom”. People in the workforce have labor power to sell; they can sell that labor, under normal circumstances, to anyone. We are free to sell as much of our time as we want, but we can’t sell that time and maintain freedom. This doesn’t mean we should quit our jobs, but we have to be honest enough to know we aren’t free when we are trading our lives for money.

    The money a laborer makes is a fractional portion of what the work they produce is worth. This gap, in and of itself, doesn’t have to equal exploitation, but labor loses when capital markets and greed demand more profits. Less high paying jobs plus more workers often equals lower wages. We have a fundamental problem that will continue to get worse. The only way out of this trap is finding a way to earn money outside of the normal means of wealth accumulation. In many respects we are trying to solve a problem from inside the parameters of the problem. This won’t work.

    It’s vital we start making better decisions with our money. Having a 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year plan can make navigating an uncertain future a little easier. It doesn’t matter how much you work and sacrifice if you aren’t accomplishing a goal. There’s no such thing as enough money. We are facing a bleaker economic future than our parents or grandparents. The social safety net is being eroded and wages haven’t kept pace with inflation. This is scary, but it’s the truth. Instead of keeping up with “Joneses” or “Kardashians” we need to keep up with the “Benjamins”.



    Just my opinion, Danny, but it's easier to read and comprehend a piece if there aren't things flashing/moving all over it.

    So agree! As this type of thing proliferates, I think sometimes that maybe it's just a boomer problem and that the youngins can shut it out and still concentrate on the content. But then on the other hand there's all this data out there that they are all basically getting ADD from flitting around to edit out much input at one place, and writers better make their point in the first few sentences because that's all the attention younger readers are trained to give.

    Not sure it's any more complicated than people wanting to grab the ever-shifting eyeballs.  Problem is, while graphics may attract them, they also diminish their appreciation of the material once there - and that's an ageless issue.

    you bad, you triggered my motion sickness problem now!

    Handling personal financial is not taught in most high schools or colleges. I wonder what financial services charges now when you are first making investments.

    Thanks for the input.

    Don't listen to these old folks, most were around in the heyday of. Flash animations, probably more than a few suffered epileptic fits plus have these free emoticons. And besides, it's greenbacks - we should be happy no bitcoin scam but something we understand.

    Thanks a million. I guess it's the medium. There are platforms built around incorporating graphics into the writing.

    You mean the porn channel, or some other graphic milieu? Tinder's been losing popularity of late ;-)


    Personally, I blame disco balls.

    The uncertainty about personal finances, has, in the past, been something that made the principle of fiscal conservatism attractive to those who knew they were getting the short end of the stick but were confident that they owned that short end.
    Now that such principles have been destroyed by the organization that fought for them a generation ago, nothing has appeared to replace the idea.

    @Moat: I think you are 100% correct. In many ways it shows how the language has been completely co-opted by the right. The idea that being fiscally responsible is an economic state owned by any political party is laughable. 

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