For real, though?! We live in this society where people who struggle and push to try and make it are set up to fail! Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but especially those that are younger are in this position. I know that I am not the only one that sees it this way.
Now before I get too far into this there are PLENTY of exceptions to all of the things that I am about to say. But I am going to be referring to the vast majority of American families in the lower to middle class. The families that lost their houses when the market fell. Those families that are just now starting to get back on their feet from the horrible 2008 crash and the same families that are going to get royally screwed over when it happens all over again in the near future…
The other disclaimer that I have is that this is not the norm of how this blog will be going (most likely). As someone who has the ability to speak out, on occasion I feel as though we need to be able to do so.
This concept first took a hold in my brain during tax season. Even though it was meant to be funny there was a tweet that went around that truly struck home to me and got my mind rolling on just how broken our society is. Check this out:
Kinda hits home to me.
Of all the things that I learned in school and in the small amount of college that I took, not one person thought it prudent to teach me how to do taxes. I was never taught how to save money or what in all holy hell an IRA or 401K or mutual fund actually is. Yet, over and over again, I was told that when I get older I would use subjects such as geometry and pottery. That these classes would benefit me in the future.
Taxes. IRA. Mutual Funds. 401K. These are things that are a massive part of or adult life and yet we were never taught, not only what they are, but how to correctly use them. How do we not teach our children such an essential part of what it is to be an adult? For goodness sake, sexual education is still in its infancy and parents can choose to exclude their children from learning it. I understand that a lot of this information falls to the parents to impart to us as children, but it’s hard for our parents to pass along or teach us things that they were never taught themselves. For example, My dad grew up on a farm where he learned how to work on tractors and beat the tar out of his younger siblings. My grandpa had the mindset that the children didn’t need to know about the finances within the family. They were just kids and it was none of their business how the family got along. So if my dad was never taught about money, finances, taxes- how is he supposed to teach me? He is still learning how to figure all of that out as an adult, just like I am, simply because no one thought to start teaching us at a younger age. And we have come into an era now that our parents don’t even know some of these valuable lessons either!
I took a poll of my friends and a few others recently and asked how many of them knew how to do taxes or even how the process worked, and the sad truth was that almost all of them had to figure it out by themselves. I realize that we associate with those that are most similar to us and so that can skew my “official” results, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is still a clear problem.
Another thought I had in relation to this generation growing up without having the proper knowledge they so desperately need as adults, is that while obtaining any knowledge in the form of higher education, we are saddling these kids with more debt than ever before and at such a young age. Check out this fun little video put out by attn.com’s Facebook page.
The average student in 2016 will come out of college with $37,172 of debt, which is up 6% from just last year according to the website StudentLoanHero.Com.
We are telling these kids that they have to be adults on their own at 19-20 years old and that in order to succeed they have to go the this totally over priced establishment in order to “be a success.”
I am in no way saying that college is not the right answer. I believe in two things: 1) You are a success based on your own achievements, not because you have a plaque on your wall. You are a success by the way you get through life, the choices that you make, and the hard work that you put in. That last part is key. hard work. And number 2) We as adults need to set up these kids to succeed. We need to give them the tools they need in order for them to see the world with confidence, to stare it down and take it by storm. We don’t want them to be in constant worry about everything that comes their way, wondering how in the world they are going to make it through to the next step. We don’t want them to be fearful. We want them to be confident.
This is something that needs attention brought to it in any way possible. Even though I have no followers as of yet lol. I will promote this blog though and we will make sure that we get this word out! So share this one if you would. Not for me but for the next generation of kids in hopes that someday we can help make a change in this society.