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There seems to be a garden of Eden moment with finances in America. God asked Eve about the tree, and she blamed the serpent. Yes, there are outside influences, but her decision was hers. Others are responsible for their influence, but we are responsible for our decisions. Oh, for those who want to blame Eve, it says she took of the tree and gave to her husband also. In translation, he was there when she acted on the decision.

So, when it comes to money and America. How are we like Adam and Eve? We pass the buck for taking the bucks. Here are some of the thoughts others have shared with me over the last decade.

  • This isn’t going to cost the taxpayer.
  • We stay within our credit limits.
  • Loan Forgiveness

What is Forgiveness?

I have heard it called pardons and many other things. If a person with abundance or a bank cancels your debt, celebrate! If we take things that have not been given to us, we are stepping into the mindset of Adam and Eve. We recognize the thinking because we have to justify our choices. There is a difference between explaining our choices and justifying them.

Why don’t we teach our students in high school what debt is? When we accept debt, we are promising to pay it back. Which of us would be OK if someone owed us money and did not pay it back? Basically, none of us. Hold that thought. We will come back to it shortly.

What is a Credit Limit?

My goal is not to pick on students with student loans. In this case, it is more about picking on those who came before them and created hardship for those with student loans. They also had blindness; at least we hope they didn’t create this mess knowing the mess they were creating.

Personally, I don’t like credit, but with grace, we can discuss a perspective beyond my own here. Credit has a limit. People often think their credit limit is how much they can spend! It is the maximum, on the edge of capacity. It is not a target.

Well, if we get creditors to raise or limit and perhaps get other creditors to give us additional credit, does the total say I am safe going that deep into debt? If we watch the behavior and thinking many people have, we would assume that to be true. It is not true. That is why we have laws passed in the first decade of this century to force financial institutions into good lending practices. It is not a good thing to reach your credit limit.

Where the Bad Habits Start

Bad habits start with ourselves. They are influenced by others, and I completely agree with this. There is no argument at all. So, have you noticed that politicians have bad money habits? Remember above when I said we would hold a thought and come back to it? Who are we OK with not paying back the money they owe us? Let’s flip that thought around.

A great many of our elected officials do not understand what a credit limit is. We also talked earlier about justification. There are just reasons to go into debt and perhaps to exceed a person’s predictable credit limit. Life-saving medical care would be a valid reason most of us would agree to. All good causes are not valid justifications.

We accept our politicians’ bad practices. The national debt doesn’t just grow. It is accelerating. It seems like the serpent is alive and well in our political chambers throughout our government. It has convinced many of them that money grows on trees. Like Eve was tempted to choose what was good and what was evil, they have also been tempted to pluck from the magic tree to change the future. The fantasy of a magic infinite debt says we can spend more than those who came before us.

While some readers here may not believe they are faith-oriented, let me ask this. Has money become an American religion? Can more credit solve life’s problems? How much credit does it take to solve global warming? How much credit does it take to solve world hunger? Will raising credit bring world peace?

Again, it isn’t my point to be cynical of anyone who has credit. My point is that it starts at the roots. We are the roots, and our politicians are the symptom of our voting and our practices. We should determine our credit limit beyond what creditors tell us our limit is. They might be low or high, but it is us that has to pay them back.

Hope Isn’t Lost

We have prospered in America, allowing for surviving the universal handouts and programs our politicians keep piling on. If we shift our thinking and learn to live within our means, then tomorrow we can pay for our needs and wants with yesterday’s wages. Today we can gain resources for tomorrow’s needs and wants. Who wants to look at tomorrow as a season of paying for yesterday’s benefits?

Even if we are deep in debt, we can shift the tide to stop shoveling ourselves into the hole. We can influence our government by first changing our own mindsets. Then we will vote differently because we think differently. Beyond voting, our mindsets influence those around us, and they influence those around them. Don’t count your influence as insignificant.

If we don’t get our finances in order, discussing global warming and other issues won’t matter. A huge financial collapse could impact humanity in a way to correct industrialization. I think we will figure it out before that, but it makes a point that is valuable. If we say we want to change possible negative future possibilities, this is one we know how to change. This is one we all can influence.

How will you influence your government today?