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Part One on Money and Marriage: Some Random Thoughts on Labor Day: Who Are You Working For?

In my leisure reading this Labor Day weekend I came across the following quote from Tom Stanley’s The Millionaire Mind. In researching the book Stanley came across a millionaire named Gene who was in the “salvage” business, helping banks sell foreclosed property. After a particularly large sale, the credit officer of the financial institution that owned the note on the property “signaled to Gene and walked with him over to the large window in the officer’s top floor office. It was a tall building—they could see for miles. There were thousands upon thousands of commercial buildings all around. Gene could even see some of the residential neighborhoods on the horizon. As he looked out the window, the officer pointed to all the tall buildings, homes, offices, garages, shops, and so on, and said the words that made a lasting impression on Gene:

We [the lenders] own it all…all of fit. The business out there?…You [borrowers] just run these businesses for us. You guys run them for us, the financial institution.” [1]

YIKES! You think you are working for yourself.  Turns out that’s not the case. That’s scary.But we all know that’s not true either.You borrow money at the car dealer who sells the paper to a bank or auto finance company who borrows the money from the feds who, what?Print the money?That they’ve borrowed from China or who knows where.Probably from nobody.We’re building our so-called “lifestyle” on the debt of illusion.

You hear these statistics that only 11% of people pay cash for their cars . The same web site reported that prior to the credit market collapse in 2008 the lease average for luxury cars was 31% HA! One-third of the fancy cars you see on the street are driven by people PRETENDING to be rich. That would be funny if it wasn’t downright insane. And consider this:

In the United States, the average down payment for a car is $2,400, the average amount financed is $24,864 and the average monthly payment is $479, according to Edmunds.com.

You have to pay taxes on the money you earned to pay the car payment, meaning you have to earn $622 to make that $479 payment.And then you are paying for insurance on that stupid car you don’t really own and you are paying for gas and oil and upkeep and you pay $10 to have it washed now and then.And, of course, you’ve got to deck it out a bit and buy those songs on iTunes so you can groove while you cruise in your “sweet ride.”And if you are married, you’ve got your wife’s car to pay for and what about your daughter, who just turned 16 or that jet ski or that Harley or that riding lawnmower or that pickup or that bobcat, none of which are paid for?

No wonder the Amish ride their horses and buggies.We camped over the weekend with my uncle and sister and their spouses over by the Amish community near Oelwein, Iowa.We drove through parts of it and I noticed something very interesting.Clothes hung out to dry.Very big gardens full of produce and beautiful flowers.Children.Many children.Outside.Playing.Laughing.Happy (You drive down our city streets and no kids are outside anymore.They are all inside playing their stupid video games or watching the Kardanshians lusting their lives all the way to Hell, all the while learning to live in a world that doesn’t exist.).I saw one horse tethered to a stake in a ditch.HA!Now that guy’s got it figured out.

But you?  You’ve got to gas up your car with $60 every few days.He gases up his horse for free in the county ditch.I’m sure he’s got his buggy paid for.He’s driving for FREE.His entire life.I presume he’s paying cash for everything else, too.If he’s not wasting $622 a month, let alone however much on all that other crap, imagine how much money he’d have in 50 years.

Let’s figure $800 with insurance and gas and everything for a series of cars over your adult life.If you paid $800 into a stock mutual fund every month that earned 8% over 50 years that’d be over 6 MILLION dollars!If you earned 12% it’d be over 31 MILLION. Dang, it won’t be long before the Amish take over the world.

Don’t laugh.A client told me her dad was really good friends with an Amish grandfather and at the Amish grandfather’s funeral over 120 of his grandchildren attended.If all 120 of his grandchildren had 120 grandchildren (most Amish remain Amish), in four generations one grandfather’d have over 14000 descendants.

But really, the bank doesn’t own everything. Neither does the government, even though with their taxes on everything and hands in everything, they like to assume the position. You own your own home? Not really. Try NOT paying your real estate taxes and see how long it takes before the government sells it to pay them for you.

God really owns it all. We’re his stewards. He allows various governments the right to manage His property for a time and if they take good care of it, fine. If not, He’ll get someone else. And He will get someone else. Nations come and go. There’s nothing sacrosanct about America. Not if we’re going to use “freedom” for the purpose of doing whatever without moral restraint. The bill will come due someday.

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”

Psalm 24:1

It’s might be good to acknowledge the real owner.

On this Labor Day, who are you working for?

[1] Stanley, Thomas J. (2000). The Millionaire Mind. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, p. 2.

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