Congress Passes a New "Relief" Package That May Do More Harm Than Good
I know that not all my readers will agree with me (and I'm ok with that) but I hope you will hear me out about why the newest Covid relief package is less about economic relief and more about political grandstanding.
It's no secret that our economy is teetering on the edge of a possible collapse. You'd be a bit blind to not know that. But, is handing out cash a sustainable way to get our economy back on track? I say it's not. In fact, I think that it will do more harm than good.
Let's dig in and see why...
First, let's look at why we are facing economic downturn in the first place. Many people are quick to say that it is due to the Coronavirus pandemic. I beg to differ. Viruses attack our bodies, whether that's our sinus passages, skin, organs, or some other part of us - they don't attack our finances, our financial structure, our businesses, or anything else of that nature. The virus is not to be blamed for putting people out of work, closing down businesses (many of which provide the sole support for American families), and wreaking havoc on community. No, the virus itself has not caused any economic problems beyond what is faced by the families who couldn't work due to being sick or who are taking time off to grieve the loss of a loved one. Those are direct results of the virus - situations which demand our full sympathy - but they do not make up the majority percentage of the issue we're facing as a nation.
Instead, what has caused the economic downturn has been the government's response to the virus. Instead of a national information campaign to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle, boost their immune systems, and practice good hygiene, the government has instead told people, under threat of fines and punishments, to shut themselves in their houses, place a damp, bacteria-rich environment over their faces, avoid contact with other humans, and shut down their means of financial survival. It has been a failure of epic percentages, but one that was easy to see coming. The government has effectively taught millions of people to view each other as a dangerous weapon and has instilled fear into even the most stalwart heart. The resulting economic issues are only one of the negative results that have been borne out of the overreaching reaction of the government.
2020 was a demoralizing, discouraging, difficult, and sometimes disastrous year for many people. It was a time of grief and pain, of anger and despair, of loss and desperation. Realizing this, the government has now developed a plan to rescue us. But it's not a true rescue.
Imagine if you will, a large ship going down in the middle of the ocean. Desperate people all around are trying to figure out a way of escape. Some, in their belief that no help was going to be had, jump to their deaths in the icy water. Just as all hope seems to be lost, a lifeboat is seen approaching. Ropes are thrown out and life rings clung to as people escaped the sinking ship to board the lifeboat. It is small, crowded, not a wonderful existence, but at least they were alive!! As the celebration noises die down, a speed boat approaches, picks up those driving the lifeboat, and strips it of its motor or any ability to guide or maneuver itself. The speedboat races off into the horizon and the newly "rescued" people see that their celebration was too soon and very short lived.
The American Rescue Plan is the same way. It offers a lifeline, a rescue, a way out of "certain" economic death for millions of people. Free money is a great motivator to get people out of what is viewed as a dead-end situation and into what appears a safe and secure lifestyle. The problem is, that our celebration at having a fatter bank account may be too early and we are being left in the middle of an ocean of debt with our "saviors" speeding away into the sunset. They've gotten us off of the sinking ship, but left us to die (financially) on the "lifeboat". And a storm is coming.
Economists, and anyone with a handful of brain cells, will tell you that the current debt of the United States is untenable. It can't be sustained. But the government doesn't want to address that fact, instead enticing more and more votes with the promise of more relief. The problem though is that once you're on the lifeboat, they're the only ones who can get you to shore, show you how to survive, protect yourselves, and live independently again. And they don't want you to do those things, so they're going to leave you out there on the lifeboat, returning on occasion to toss some crumbs your way.
In contrast, the plan laid from the beginning of time has been for people to work, to own property, to create, to dream. It has been a plan of Independence, of hard work, of family and community and sustenance and ingenuity and entrepreneurship. These are qualities that are threatening to the elites who want us to stay on the lifeboat and be "rescued" but they are also the qualities that provide a way of escape.
Reliance on the handouts from the government will only last so long. If you're on the lifeboat and want to get back on solid ground, here are a few pointers:
- Have a dream, an idea - and let it motivate you to look around at your situation and determine that it is unsatisfying. The drive, the purpose, the mission, the why - is what will keep you going when all hope seems lost.
- Determine if there are others around you who have a similar dream and spend time with them. A coal left alone soon burns out, but when placed into a fire, it burns brighter and stronger. Don't try to go-it-alone... you'll burn out quicker than you think you will.
- Write down your goals. If that involves getting off the lifeboat and onto the ground of financial security, you'll have to know just what you need to get there. What are going to be the tools you use to row to shore? Where can you find those tools? Who will help you?
- Remember, a little spark can start a forest fire, so don't get discouraged. Even though you've been rowing for months and maybe even years, the shore is closer today than it was yesterday. You can get there!
The bottom line is this - don't rely on the ones who created the problem in the first place to rescue you from its troubles. You are smarter than that. The $1400 payment will be a nice boost in your bank account but in order for that to provide any lasting impact, invest it. Put it into an account where it will grow and turn into much more than $1,400 (that amount invested in an interest bearing account of 8% will be $14,087 in 30 years!). I know that some reading this will need the money to pay their mortgage or buy groceries or put fuel in their tank - and that's okay - as long as it's part of the plan that is bringing you closer to shore and out of reliance on government crumbs.
Be resilient, be open-minded, be ingenuitive, and be part of the solution that turns this struggle into success!