Did you hear Dave Ramsey get political, fellow personal finance bloggers?

by Rocket Finance

stupidity

I attended a showing of Dave Ramsey’s  Town Hall for Hope last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ramsey’s message was optimistic – similar to my post earlier this spring – but listed more specifics and with much greater authority.

Before last week, I was not very familiar with Dave Ramsey, I had seen or heard a tidbit here and there on blogs or the radio and had a general idea of where he is coming from with his personal finance advice, but I never thought he was a political guy. I figured he was like a lot of public figures and tried to avoid politics. I expected him to dwell on the attitude that we need to assume and the decisions we need to make as we face the current financial downturn. He did spend a great deal of time explaining why we did not need to panic and that we needed to get back to simple living, hope and hard work but I was not prepared for the fifteen minutes that he spent dealing with the politics of how our country got to where we are.

But I was ecstatic to hear him pull no punches. Ramsey had a choice between safety and truth and he chose to proclaim truth.

There is a group of personal finance bloggers who avoid discussion of politics altogether – they walk a political tightrope, too afraid to offend anyone on either side of the fence – even as they watch their government destroy our financial institutions, traditions and values. Some don’t have the stomach for political wrangling, others simply want their blogs to be warm and gentle places. I have no problem with that – to each his own. Then there is another group of personal finance bloggers who lean left or even run left. Many of them are my friends and most give great family finance advice, but when it comes to government fiscal policy, they throw all their principles out the window. On one hand they preach that families and individuals need to spend less and reduce consumption. Yet, when the government is involved, they embrace the exact opposite philosophy.

Dave Ramsey, who carries a great deal of weight in the personal finance blogosphere had one word for government intervention in the marketplace:

Stupidity

Here is a direct quote, “Bush and Paulson decided to bailout stupidity and the new administration decided to stimulate stupidity.” Like I said, this was really my first exposure to Dave Ramsey and I was a little surprised at his direct approach, but I loved it. He called government interference a “dumb idea”. He said that “you can have great intentions and still be wrong, be sincere, but still stupid”. He then went on to give a clear, layman’s summary of the difference between the Keynesian model of economics and the ideas of Milton Freidman. Mostly panning the former and embracing the latter.

Mr. Ramsey certainly gave a fair share of blame to excessive consumerism and unethical business practices, even quoting Ghandhi who said that “commerce without morality” will destroy us. However, in a free market we have built-in punishments for those who personally spend money foolishly and businesses who allow greed and cheating to dominate their practice. Unfortunately, our government has chosen (as it usually does) to bailout stupidity, greed and unethical businesses. Those businesses should be allowed to fail, even pushed over the edge.

They should not be given trillions of taxpayer dollars.

My point is this: if Dave Ramsey, one of the foremost personal finance advisors of our generation strongly embraces supply-side economics, then a lot of personal finance bloggers need to reconsider their positions on high taxation, government control of the marketplace, government stimulus and the welfare state.

After listening to Dave’s talk, I was encouraged as an American, inspired as a father and husband, invigorated as an employee.

And as a personal finance blogger? One word:

Validation

Photo by rstrawser

  1. 9 Responses to “Did you hear Dave Ramsey get political, fellow personal finance bloggers?”

  2. By Don Marsh on Apr 27, 2009 | Reply

    Amen to that. Frankly, I thought he should have gone even further: you cannot be fiscally responsible for your own life without firing Congress NEXT YEAR! It is in our power to derail our government’s stupidity. We must throw out our Congressman. Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and the rest of those airheads could all be GONE next year if we would get involved in their challengers’ campaigns NOW. Harness all that anti-bailout, tea-partying outrage and show up to fire them! Even if you think NP is bullet proof in her district, it would keep her at home, defending her seat, instead of freeing her to campaign for other communists, as she ususally does.

  3. By rocket on Apr 27, 2009 | Reply

    I think that if the truth were repeated often enough on blogs and newspapers and throughout the media world, we might have a chance to throw them all out – Reps and Dems – anyone who has voted for “bailout” or “stimulus” or even “omnibus” should go.

    I still don’t think enough people are paying attention.

  4. By PT Money on Apr 29, 2009 | Reply

    Great post, rocket. I’m definitely one of those bloggers wanting a warm and fuzzy environment on my blog. But I have been feeling the pull to be more vocal about my macro-economic opinions.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments about Dave. Loved his town hall.

  5. By rocketc on Apr 29, 2009 | Reply

    PT, I feel conflicted just as you do – even though I seem to ask for conflict here on my blog – my heart’s desire is a calm and peaceable life where I don’t bother anyone and no one bothers me.

    It is possible that I am over-reacting, but the current trends in our government and culture seem to be drawing peace loving people to join the fray and speak out. I fully realize that this next statement is extreme, but there is a sense that we are in a time period like the Civil War or even the War for Independence where some people who wanted no part of conflict were faced with a choice to submit to wrong ideas or stand up and fight at great personal risk.

    We are talking a whole different scale, but I think you know what I mean.

  6. By Mr. NtJS on May 4, 2009 | Reply

    Great post and very well said. We’ve been on Dave’s plan for 5 years or so and listening to his radio show for about as long. While his show is not about politics, he is definately not afraid to give his opinion, and very definately not afraid to offend some folks!

    I too realy enjoyed the lecture portion of the Town Hall for Hope. Somebody at some point has to start calling these policies stupid, and I’m glad we have Dave to do so.

    Now here is where I’m confused…. There are actually PF bloggers in favor of high taxation, government controlling businesses, and these stupid ‘stimulus’ packages!?! Are you kidding me?!

  7. By rocketc on May 4, 2009 | Reply

    Mr. NtJS,
    Thanks for stopping by! These pf bloggers mean well, they truly want to stop pollution and feed the hungry, etc. The problem is that they think that the government is the best way to accomplish their altruistic goals.

    On more than one occasion, a liberal pf blogger has told me that “normal personal finance rules do not apply to government”.

    The main reason that they do not want to get political is because it causes controversy and they are afraid of their blog becoming as small as mine. :)

  8. By Mr. NtJS on May 5, 2009 | Reply

    On more than one occasion, a liberal pf blogger has told me that “normal personal finance rules do not apply to government”.

    Oh wow! right, right. All that debt we now owe to China is ‘good debt’! hahaha Thanks to our idiotic gov’t, those rule don’t apply to big business either. They failed their way to a big payday. Must be nice to live by this ‘other set of rules’.

    I guess that’s where Dave’s statement about “you can have great intentions and still be wrong, be sincere, but still stupid” really starts to make sense.

    Thanks, that made my day.

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