At the end of the day, what America needs is a national consumer math tutor. Forget all the legislation, regulation, politics as usual, lobbyists, and free market forces. If next year every single American had to take a college freshmen level course led by a professional consumer math tutor, within a decade the whole mess would be figured out organically.
What’s the root cause of all the credit bubbles, economic collapse, fractional banking scandals, corporate fiascos, and Wall Street corruption? America is a consumer based society without any basic concept of money creation, debt, compounding interest, and living within one’s means.
What is a Consumer Math Tutor?
A consumer math tutor is a person who teaches basic math concepts that deal with consumerism. For example, the US government spends an insanely large amount of money, but only brings in a tiny fraction. The US GDP to debt ratio has already passed the 100% mark. Consumers are taught (through advertising) to do the same thing the government is. They are told to take on large sums of credit, to live beyond their means, and to swim in debt as though it were in reality a liquid asset.
Have you ever seen what a credit default swap looks like? It’s a highly intricate mathematical algorithm that takes up almost two full pieces of printer paper, and there is the root of the fiscal problems facing modernity. Whatever happened to balancing a checkbook, calculating simple interest rates, and actually saving a portion of income for emergencies and retirement? These are the things that a consumer math tutor can teach once again to a mathematically crippled shopper society.
Responsibility and the Big Picture
Another thing a consumer math tutor can do is reestablish the link between consumption and the bigger picture. Corporate culture has for the most part put their customers in a bubble of ignorance where they know nothing about what it takes to put those products in front of them. The respect of capital has been lost, and with it a tsunami of corruption festers in its wake.
The sooner the populace is taught to take responsibility for their purchases and to understand what it takes to produce, package, transport, and deliver products to them, the better. The truth is that not everyone can have the house with a white picket fence and a flashy sports car in the driveway.
Discipline Moving Forward
The credit bubble has burst, and trillions of dollars worth of obligations and debt are compiling interest numbers as big as moderately sized country’s GDPs. More than likely, hyperinflation will follow. The latter part of this decade is going to be mired down in the fall out. At the other end of the tunnel will be a choice. Do we pick up where we left off and start the whole vicious cycle over again? Or do we go back to the most basic foundational concepts of consumer math and do it the right way?
It’s going to mean a more even distribution of wealth, less globalism and debt, and more surpluses, savings, and discipline. The debt spiral is already out of control, all we can do is hold on for the ride. While we’re stuck on this runaway economic roller coaster, the least we can do is resolve ourselves to conducting business in a reasonable matter when it stops. As they say, it all starts with you, and educating yourself to understand the basic principals of the problem with the help of a good consumer math tutor might be a good place to start.
Photo Credit: Christina Kennedy