How Can YOU Save the US Economy – The Secret to Success of the American Dream

October 16, 2008

Where will you be when recession is defeated? Will you be wallowing in the latest gloomy headlines or will you be the one leading the United States boldly into the future?

I’ll be honest.  I have a job, a home, healthcare, and food on the table so I have the luxury of a full belly, financial resources, my health, and a good dose of optimism. I can’t speak for those that have lost their homes, their jobs, and can’t afford groceries or gas.  I can’t relate to what they’re going through, all I can do is to share what I have observed.

I am fortunate enough to be employed and have a roof over my head for only one reason, my parents.  My mom and dad taught me the principles that allow me to provide for my family:

  • work hard
  • read a lot
  • always be learning
  • save
  • plan ahead
  • spend less than you earn
  • be courteous

Thanks Grandma & Grandpa

I am not the only one who has my forefathers to thank for my success. Our generation is living off the success of our ancestors; milking previous generations of Americans who worked hard and saved to build a better future for their kids. Our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents built a strong country, an America that they were proud of and that they could leave to their children and grandchildren.

The American Dream

You hear Barack Obama and John McCain refer to the American dream; this ideal is something our country has worked towards for generations. This dream is not a right, it is a privilege that was built and earned by dedicated, hard-working, creative, ambitious, honest, and sensible people.

If we want to know how to fix the American economy we need to stop squandering their legacy and ask them their secret to success…

They built this country on innovation and hard work. Courage, sacrifice, and faith kept them on course, let them know they were part of something bigger than themselves – gave them a reason to shed a tear when they heard the national anthem or tones of America the Beautiful.

The people of the United States are good at inventing new things and improving existing ones.  Known as the melting pot we excelled at bringing together people from all over the world, at harnessing their collective energy and talents towards positive results.

Fat, Lazy, and Xenophobic

Unfortunately, we have become lazy and complacent. We feel entitled to the American dream. We assume our standard of living will continue to improve indefinitely.  We borrowed above our means, assumed an eternal supply of cheap oil, and ignored the rest of the world. 

Now we’re broke, pissed off, and looking for a scapegoat.  I am sorry to say it, but look in the mirror.  Not necessarily each and every one of us individually but US society as a whole is to blame.

So what are we going to do?

I hate to break it to you but it doesn’t matter who wins in November, the problems will be the same and the politicians won’t be able to fix them…  Think about it for a minute.  It’s just one guy; he can’t possibly change the world on his own, even if he is the president of the United States.

So how are we going to fix it?

Not by arguing about raising or lowering taxes.  Instead figure out how to create something that makes you and everyone around you so much money it doesn’t matter how much you’re taxed. (Of course taxes always matter but you get the point)

Stop worrying about sending jobs overseas. We live in a global economy; the reality is we’re competing with workers all over the world. The answer is to educate ourselves, to innovate, to leverage the might of the global economy rather than resist it.

Stop arguing about oil prices and where to drill. Whoever discovers the answer to the global energy shortage is going to be insanely rich. You don’t have to be the brilliant scientist who comes up with a solution. You could be the guy who figures out how to ridiculously reduce and reuse waste. You could be the girl who invents the mobile trip planner that saves everyone huge amounts of gas.

It’s Up to YOU

The point is, it’s up to us to work hard, be creative, and be sensible with our money. We live in a connected world, social media and mobile messaging leave hundreds or thousands of people only a few finger clicks away. The ability of ideas (wikis, twitter, youtube, text messaging) and money (Lending Club, Prosper, Kiva) to flow is easier than ever before.  Take advantage of those ideas and that money. Work hard to innovate and not only will you be rewarded but so will our country and the continuation of the American dream for our kids.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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14 Responses to How Can YOU Save the US Economy – The Secret to Success of the American Dream

  • AL

    “Our generation is living off the success of our ancestors”. Say what? We don’t live off the success of others,but build and grow off the hard work and laziness of everyone. One’s success is not “self-made” by working hard, being creative, and being sensible with money.That’s all propaganda the plutocracy has been feeding us since the dawn of slavery. “Capitalist” have always viewed laborers as liabilities, instead of investments. It is our actions and inactions that create the demand for goods and services that generate wealth. The solution is not a personal “to-do” list. It’s a mindset and paradigm shift that needs to be made by those who have the highest concentration of wealth. It’s more than trying to justify earning what you keep. It’s about realizing that their is value in everyone hard working or not. We all share this world, regardless whether you’re a worker or a slacker. We’d have no cops if everyone didn’t rob,kill or steal. We’d have no diet pills if no one got fat.We’d have no Self-Help Books if everyone was self aware. We’d have no reclining chairs if everyone was active. It’s the responsibility of the hard working people, who have the knowledge, wisdom and resources to make sure the opportunities and means for a balanced society remains. This group of people must protect the system not from the poor, weak, lazy bums of the world, but from the shrewd, control freaks who want to rig the system for their personal gain. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

  • Mistli

    Wow, that was the best article I’ve read in some time. You couldn’t have said it better. I especially love your comments about how ours is a “global economy”, I think if we all listened to that advice & continued to educate & innovate instead of worrying about other people getting ahead of us we would all be better off & really be able to make some positive changes in this world. Thank you for this article.

  • Bret Frohlich

    This is a great post and I throughly enjoyed reading it.

    I am concerned about the rapid deterioration of our society. I am concerned about the economy. And, I am concerned about lack of effort from the youth of our country.

    But what concerns me the most is the lack of integrity.

    When did it become OK to lie, cheat and steal?

  • Little Thomas

    Fantastic post. Like Marci, I believe the people who would benefit the most from reading this are not the ones reading it. Keep telling it like it is!

  • CindyS

    Wow! What a great post! You are indeed correct that the politicians didn’t create this problem, we, the people, did. The politicians did, however, remove the controls that allowed it to happen. Finger pointing aside, the president and the congress is NOT America, we are and we are the ones who need to take a deep look at our habits and fix them.

  • Budgets are Sexy

    Amen brother! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this 🙂 While i may have to agree with the Marci’s comment, let’s hope people spread the word and forward this around eh?!

    Looking forward to checking around the site in the future.

  • Rachel Foster

    There is a still a strong demand for talent and I still see lots of high paying jobs posted on popular employment sites: (networking) (aggregated listings) (matches you to jobs)

    I see plenty of living wage jobs and a few 6 figure jobs too.

  • marci

    Unfortunately, those who most need to read this and act upon it are probably
    not reading your post.
    Those who are reading your post are probably already doing this or trying to
    improve themselves to do this!

    How do you get across to people the difference between entitlement and
    responsibility for self?


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