No one can deny that we are in the hardest economic times of recent history; unemployment is high and increasing, household wealth is down for the first time in decades, major corporations are throwing in the towel, banks are failing on a weekly basis.
It’s a solemn day here at my office. Our long time neighbors in the building, a nation engineering firm, is facing 10% staffing cuts today. I have never been fired or laid off from a job; knock on wood. I can’t imagine what that must be like. My family relies upon me to provide for them. It’s one of my personal duties that I take very seriously. To one day have that taken away from me would be devastating.
Over the past 10 years, we as Americans have enjoyed huge success and growth. The standard of living in our country is above the line of luxury in many other places in the world. Unfortunately, most of that growth and success was built on leverage. And as any college finance student can tell you, there is a limit to the advantages of debt structuring. There comes a point when too much is just too much and you will not be able to get out. Of course, it doesn’t help when we are waging a 6-year war that was advertised as a 6-12 month in and out mission.
I could go on and on about all that is bad and how they fit together, but that is not my intention. I heard the song Live Your Life by T.I. featuring Rihanna from my wife. I like this song. It has a catchy beat and the lyrics have deep meaning. One of my favorite lines in the song is ‘Seems as though you lost sight of what's important when depositing them checks into your bank account and you up out of poverty. Your values is in disarray, prioritizing horribly; unhappy with the riches 'cause you piss poor morally.’
It’s time for a reset; time to assess the motivations behind our actions.