Why I believe Financial Literacy is Important
Often times you hear politicians and other groups talk about poverty and their only solution is to throw money at it. I will leave it to the reader to find out how much has been spent. There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for life.” You can give all the money you want to the poor and it will not help. If you truly want to help then financial literacy as well as human nutrition need to be taught in school.
Most people will say it is the job of the parents to teach those things but how can they when they have not been taught. I strongly suggest reading books such as The Millionaire Next Door and Everyday Millionaires by Chris Hagan which both disprove the idea of generational wealth and explain anyone can make money and build wealth. Tony Robbin’s book, Money Master the game is important. Those of us that have been poor and lived around the poor will notice a few trend. One is they eat junk and spend a lot of money on it. Second they smoke and cigarettes are expensive. Cigarettes cost them more than $150 a month which could be used for investing. If schools taught investing and proper nutrition we will not see the bad health issues the poor deal with and with a financial education they can get out of poverty. The politicians no matter their ideology cannot help since many of them lack proper education in financial literacy and nutrition.
If we truly want to help the poor and disadvantaged then we must teach and encourage financial literacy and human nutrition as well as First Aid and CPR. Simply throwing money at the problem never works. The poor need to learn about paying yourself first which simply means setting aside 10% or more of their pay (imagine starting when they just start working and have no bills). They also need to learn about asset allocation so they know how to diversify their portfolio instead of having all their money in one place. They also need to learn how to invest properly and not to charge and buy everything.
With a proper nutrition class they will learn how to better take care of themselves. If you go through any poor neighborhood you will notice that many are overweight and you add that to their lack of financial literacy and you can see why we have the trouble we have. Not only do they need to know that they have to avoid drugs, alcohol and cigarettes but they need to see the health effects as well as the financial toll it is taking on them.
With First Aid and CPR they will be able to help family members suffering from health issues and save someone who is drowning, having a heart attack, choking and other medical emergencies.
The Left thinks they can help by throwing money at the problem but that has never worked. The Left also believe we should tax the producers which again does not work. The Right believes in the pulling yourself up by the bootstrap method which is physically impossible and the poor lack the proper education and training to be able to get out of financial trouble and they no very little about proper nutrition. Also sending the kids to schools in better neighborhoods does not help either since most schools do not teach financial literacy, nutrition or First Aid and CPR. More funds need to be available to teach these things in all schools but especially lower income. I know what I said about throwing money at the issue but this is not throwing money but a very good investment.
I hope one day people realize the value of a financial education as well as FIrst Aid and CPR and nutrition.