Change has been the big theme of this election. Both candidates are promising fundamental changes from the current administration. People are worried and frustrated and the prospect of change seems to be giving them some hope. However, I have to ask, what changes are we hoping for?
It seems to me that we got ourselves into this mess by spending more than we earn and creating a lifestyle that we can't afford. Wisdom says you can't borrow money forever and not expect your debt to come due, but that seems to be what the entire country is doing. Where did this credit crisis come from?
Selfishness and Greed.
Millions of people bought homes they couldn't afford. Now, when they can't pay for them, they blame "predatory lenders" and "greedy bankers". Sure, some were simply victims of circumstance. They lost jobs or had other things happen that rendered them unable to make payments that they could previously afford. That always happens but those are a small minority. Most saw an opportunity for easy money or a really big house and jumped on it without considering the consequences. Blame who you want but, at the end of the day, the fault lies with the millions of individuals who are now clamoring for the government to save them from their own shortsightedness.
So, back to change. What change are the voters hoping for? Are we hoping for those mortgage payments we can't afford to magically disappear? Are we hoping to stick it to those rich snobby people and arrogant corporations for ruining our fun? Are we hoping for somebody else to step in and solve all of our problems? Because if those are the things we're hoping for, we're going to be very disappointed.
Each candidate has ideas that may or may not help but, in the long run, it is up to us to change. We want a strong economy, but are we willing to sacrifice to get it? Are we willing to cut our spending so drastically that we can actually build our savings? Are we willing to be honest and fair in our business with others even if there's nothing in it for us (or worse we lose money from it)? Are we willing to show actual patriotism and learn about our constitution, study the issues, and vote for the candidates that will best serve the country? I know we're pretty busy with our lives but, if we're too busy to really find out what we're voting for, why are we voting?
So get out there and vote. Vote for the candidates you believe will do the best job. Just don't stop there. The best change is from the bottom up. Take care of yourself, your money, your family, and your country. It is the responsibility of every American to make this country great. It's time to take that responsibility seriously.