Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy needs to be taught in schools. I think this is one of the most important things we could do in public education. What good does it do high school graduates today to know Pre-Calculus (or any number of other subjects) but not understand banking fees or how their credit report works & how they can screw themselves over for life if they mess this up? Don't we have a responsibility to make sure financial literacy is part of Common Core?? Of course it benefits some to keep huge segments of the population in the dark, so they are the ones signing the car loan with a 20% interest rate because they don't understand or think they don't have any other choices.

Some kids will be taught this stuff at home. Many will not & it is unacceptable to disadvantage young people in this way. The ones that are hurt the most are the ones who can least afford to bounce back from a ding on their credit report because they were sold an overdraft line of credit by a pushy bank employee when they didn't fully understand how it works.

I wish the Republican right would realize that while some may benefit making money off payday loans or 20% interest car loans, society as a whole suffers because of this. If kids were taught financial literacy in schools, they would be less likely to go down a road of desperation and mismanaging their financial lives & possibly their lives in general.

Poverty is depressing. Not just for the adults dealing with the stress of poverty but children who grow up in poverty are more likely to repeat the cycle.


Of course no amount of understanding finances will help if one cannot make enough money to live on. I think it is unrealistic for anyone to think you are going to live a super comfy life & support a whole family working a job in retail, etc. But people should be able to support themselves working 40 hours per week, at least affording the basics: food, shelter, ability to go to the doctor when sick.

Perhaps the Republican right could get behind some of these concepts if it is explained to them how each of these things could affect them.  I know, they just have different brains. They lack an empathy gene perhaps? They can only support something if it directly affects them. Dick Cheney not supporting gay rights until his own daughter came out as a lesbian is a perfect example.

So how about this, Republicans? If a restaurant worker is sick but can't afford to stay home much less go to the doctor, you may become sick when they serve you your dinner. Have you ever had a medical emergency but weren't bleeding out in the waiting room so you had to wait 5 hours to see a doctor? Emergency rooms have become the only option for most working poor people without insurance.  Get in line. And pay higher prices. You're indirectly lining the pockets of all the companies like Papa Johns & Wal-Mart who don't pay their employees well & don't provide health insurance.

If we spell things out for them in ways that explain exactly how some of these things can affect them, we might be able to convince a few to support policies that are good for all of society!

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