Every one of you needs to read this in its entirety. Don't just skim it. Let it sink in. Then read what I've written below.
This is where we are, folks. This is our current situation.
Predictably, those who rely on government for their job, their benefits, their solutions to life's problems will be disappointed. Those who rely upon big business for their job, their benefits, their solutions to life's problems may expect disappointment as well. Those who make decisions which defy sound personal finance principles run the risk of financial injury.
Churches lose members, leaving the church to scratch its head and ask "why?" Meanwhile, church leadership fails to take its church off of autopilot, allowing it to continue to do the same thing its always done for the last fifty years. Yet those churches who do find creative ways to meet the spiritual needs of the community find its parking lots full on Sundays, its pews occupied, its flocks being spiritually fed.
Charter schools are thriving. Why are we surprised? And why do we lament the creative destruction process of our public educational system? Our nation, in its short history, has constantly changed, often at great expense to its people. But in the long run, we have benefited. Why should our educational institutions get a pass from the change so desperately needed to keep our nation's future leaders and workers competitive with the rest of the world?
People blame their politicians. Yet an astounding number of those same people never vote. For those who do, educating themselves beyond the party affiliation of the candidates isn't a priority.
This is where we are as a society. As a nation.
As we bail out of church pews, as we look to government to solve our problems, as we buy homes with no money down and expect the bank providing the mortgage to change the terms of the deal because we failed to educate ourselves of what the deal was in the first place, when it all crumbles around us, our citizenry's response is predictable and frustrating: It's someone else's fault. The government. Big banks. Big companies. Big labor. We never say "I made a poor decision." "I failed to save money." "I didn't consider the consequences." "The world is changing; I should not expect - or even want - my parents' lives. I should strive for something better."
Those preparing for emergencies or harder times need to bookmark the article I shared above. Read it again, perhaps every thirty days or so. I plan on doing that. Understand that if and when our economy gets worse or there's some sort of regional disaster, this mindset will permeate those around us. You must understand what the population at large is thinking and feeling if you plan to be prepared to take care of your family and to help others in their time of need.
This is a sad story. I feel for these people. Their pain is real. Their situations are bleak.
This is where we are.