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Financial Responsibility

by Joan Bachman
Letter to The Forum Editor

This week the news reports that Holiday spending this year will be the highest ever. In the Thanksgiving Day Forum, (former Senator) Kent Conrad says American adults do not save enough for retirement, or worse yet, can't pay an unexpected expense of $400. There is something dreadfully wrong with seeing those financial facts in the same paragraph. Conrad concurs with Senator Heidi Heidkamp that the Government should develop some sort of program that would help Americans to save some of their earnings for unanticipated expenses. I respect them both, but am disappointed they would propose to replace personal responsibility with government assistance.

Is this country truly wanting Big Brother to fix every personal weakness? God gave us most of us brains and the ability to assume personal responsibility. He was good enough to give my family parents who taught us how to prioritize spending; we learned the lessons with consistent practice. If I can’t pay my bills, I’ll certainly not get into the “fun” of Holiday shopping for low prices on items that are not essential to keeping my home together.

I know that the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are finding increasing difficulties to making ends meet. I know it’s hard in this day of comparisons to have fewer things than the neighbors do. However, the increasing disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots” should lead to more thoughtful purchasing practice, not instant gratification. I’ll bet there were very few “haves” joining in the Black Friday frenzy unless the purchase fit into their overall purchasing plans.

If parents aren’t teaching and exhibiting financial responsibility, perhaps the schools should begin to include a new course for life skills. We surely do not need the Federal (or any other) government to become more involved in our personal lives than it already is.

A valid rebuttal Letter to the Editor commented on already existing federal support for certain savings plans through income tax breaks.

About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.

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