If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ~ II Chronicles 7:14
Personal Responsibility, not blame.
Although our government has practiced financial suicide for decades now, WE are ultimately responsible for the actions of our elected officials… they are but representatives of the people.
Solutions start and end with the man in the mirror. Before pointing fingers at our government we HAVE to make certain our own financial house is in order. In fact, I wrote an article for Five Cent Nickel – one of my personal favorites – on this subject of taking personal responsibility of our situation rather than blaming others… including the government.
In saying all of this, I could not help but post this video today…
Sometimes humor is the best way to raise awareness. If this video rings true… be sure to examine your own financial life and make sure you are doing all you can and all you should!
Mike Piper says
The video doesn’t exactly “ring true” to me. Sounds to me like it’s every bit as much nonsense as anything coming from the far far left.
Things like this (from either side) frustrate me to no end. All they do is polarize.
If you agree with the video, you’ll find it hilarious, and you’ll further cement your existing views. If you don’t agree, you’ll find the video to be downright offensive…thereby cementing your existing views.
Why not raise real questions with the hope of real conversation?
Matt Jabs says
Thanks for commenting Mike. I have three things:
1. I apologize, I meant no offense.
2. We shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously that we cannot laugh at ourselves.
3. Isn’t this an example of raising a real question?
From the article:
“Although our government has practiced financial suicide for decades now, WE are ultimately responsible for the actions of our elected officials… they are but representatives of the people.
Solutions start and end with the man in the mirror. Before pointing fingers at our government we HAVE to make certain our own financial house is in order. In fact, I wrote an article for Five Cent Nickel – one of my personal favorites – on this subject of taking personal responsibility of our situation rather than blaming others… including the government.”
Mike Piper says
Matt: I didn’t mean that you don’t/haven’t raised real questions. I was referring to the video.
Sorry for not making that clear.
Actually, for the sake of clarity: my entire comment is referring specifically to the video, not to your post.
Matt Jabs says
Oh good. 🙂
I watched this video as well and thought it was very funny, and on a lot of levels very true.
Video not streaming well for me, but I caught a glimpse. Sounds like discontent and awareness about gov’t debt and the impact it can have has finally trickled down all the way to the bottom of the cultural barrell:)
Seriously, though, I agree that the best thing we can do (not the only thing) is to get our own finances in order and make sure we’re prepared for whatever comes. This is my whole philosophy, I imagine, and most anyone’s philosophy who runs a personal finance blog:). We shouldn’t ignore what’s going on at higher levels, though, since it can help us rebalance and shift our own strategies based on what is coming down the road.
Matt–This is humorous and right on the money. What I struggle with though is if we all know this to be true, why does it go on?
The Republicans blame the Democrats, the Democrats blame the Republicans, but they both move in the same direction albeit along different routes.
I also don’t get that if we know these activities are wrong if they’re practiced on an individual level, how is it that they’re OK when we do them collectively under the umbrella of government?
Robert Espe says
I liked the video, and Matt I love your blog. I’m going to play devil’s advocate with your opening paragraph though.
I have never been in debt (I did marry into my wife’s student loans, which I paid off in 2 years). I have never missed a payment, or used my credit card to buy anything I couldn’t afford. I payed for my college education in cash. I don’t live paycheck to paycheck, and I tithe 10%. This is all true, it’s not a hypothetical, and for those who think I must be from money, my dad raised 5 kids on less than $40,000 a year, and I worked through college making $6-$9/hr over 6 years.
I’ve also also voted against every official who has ever been or is currently in power (yes I actually voted), with the exception of MN Representative Jim Oberstar. I write my congressmen frequently. And they just don’t listen. So I disagree that I am responsible for their actions, or that I don’t have the right to point fingers and complain when I am being dragged into their abyss very much against my will.
I am aware that by and large the American people are getting what the loudest ones asked for, but I think the recent outcry over the way the healthcare bill is being planned has shown that Washington officials frequently do what they want, and opt out of the stuff they foist on the “peasantry”.
Matt Jabs says
Awesome stuff Robert, sounds like you have taken care of the man in the mirror and are setting a solid example for those around you. If the majority of U.S. citizens did this I propose that they would not stand for the current outlandish government spending of the last few decades. However, because most do not properly manage their own finances, they do not notice the financial mismanagement of government.
Robert Espe–“I am aware that by and large the American people are getting what the loudest ones asked for…”
You’ve said a boatload in just a few words; I think you’ve figured it out. Very well put…nothing can be added to what you’ve written.
The best advocate for responsible government that I have found is the Campaign for Liberty. This organization is a grass roots offshoot of Ron Paul’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination last year. I have joined this organization and follow it daily. They provide so many ways for the average citizen to become aware of the antics of our elected officials and also to become involved on many different levels. They are trying to educate the people and they support persons who are running for office that subscribe to their philosophy. In a nutshell, the are constitutionalists, advocate a non intervention foreign policy and also a return to a sound money policy. Just as an example of the power of this movement…Ron Paul recently introduced a bill into the House of Representatives; HR 1207. This is a bill that would require an independent audit of the Federal Reserve, the agency that dictates our financial policy. Up til now, they have never been required to give an accounting of their financial policies, decisions or actions. This bill has the support of 2/3 of the House, 1/4 of the Senate and 75% of the American people. If you would like to know more, please visit their website at campaignforliberty.com.
Matt Jabs says
I concur, the CFL is an amazing resource for those looking to help “reign in” the spending our federal gov’t (which seems to spend beyond its means regardless of the party in power.)
I would also like to reiterate that the purpose of this post is to call attention to our individual financial practices. We cannot point fingers at the gov’t if we do not have our own financial house in order.
Joe Plemon says
Having read through the comments, I was amazed that this video (and your post) spawned such challenging thoughts. But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, you said that sometimes humor is the best way to raise awareness.
By the way, I thought the video was hilarious. Thanks for sharing it.
Jason @ Redeeming Riches says
Hilarious video, but thanks a lot Matt – I’ve been singing this song all week now – I can’t get it out of my head!!! =)