You want to be financially secure, we all do. The thing you may not realize, or maybe you’re starting to since it’s almost 2020, is that those at the top don’t want you to be financially secure. The wealth of the richest people relies on the money of those at the bottom. After all, someone has to purchase the wares that the producers peddle.
To accomplish their goals of being ultra wealthy, the rich have created a set of beliefs that have filtered down to us common folk. And these beliefs lead to us having relationships with money that ultimately destroy our upward mobility while feeding our hard earned wages up the socioeconomic ladder so the fat cats can get fatter. Here are some of the lies you’ve been led to believe that you should immediately stop listening to.
Lie: It’s rude or impolite to talk about money or income.
Truth: Lack of income transparency creates mistrust and secrecy among people that damages collective bargaining strength and individual financial health.
How to Fix the Belief: Be honest and accepting about people’s financial limitations and discuss your financial situation with people around you.
The belief that it’s impolite to talk about money is largely inherited from ye olde England when classes were divided between the land owning and non-land owning. As it was obvious who possessed land and who did not, there was never a need to discuss it. Importantly, because social interactions among land owners will built upon pretenses regarding one’s social status, asking for transparency in such matters was considered gauche. But we’re not in old England anymore, so let’s dispense with this nonsense.
It’s destructive. One survey found that over 70% of people reported keeping some sort of secret about money, and 44% of people thought it was acceptable to keep secrets about money from your spouse. It’s no secret that money problems are one of the biggest issues in relationships. Lack of transparency is one of the biggest contributing factors.
On a more societal level, companies use taboos against discussing income to pay people less. We have this misguided notion that people will see us differently if we make more or less than they do. The truth is that ire that results from these revelations is directed not at other employees, but at the employer. It forces employers to implement objective compensation metrics and motivates employees to actually achieve their goals. The response is rarely, if ever, judgment or distrust of one’s colleagues.
We need to accept people as they come, and that includes their financial limitations. If your friend can’t accompany you on your luxury vacation, it doesn’t mean they can’t be your friend. If you can’t afford to go out to eat when your friends want to, then just be honest about it. Ultimately, you don’t want to have relationships with people who judge you for your income or your financial ability. You want relationships that run deeper than that.
Lie: You need a college degree to make good money.
Truth: Intellectual elitism is perpetuated by wealthy people to keep the flow of generational wealth going. The education system is designed to benefit people who need employees to run their empires; it’s not designed to benefit you.
How to Fix the Belief: Encourage people to go into skilled trades and encourage responsible employment and education practices instead of forcing everyone to go to college.
Did you know there’s a shortage of elevator repair technicians in the U.S. and Canada? Did you also know that the median elevator technician salary is over $79,000? In some locations, they can make over 6 figures. And you don’t need a college degree.
This is one example of understanding what the job market has to offer and using that to determine your vocation. You should prioritize your financial security and independence over misguided notions about the prestige of education or purpose in your work. Become an electrician or plumber, or even a carpenter or stone mason. These skills also open up opportunities for owning your own independent business down the line, and the education to learn the skills is paid, so you’re making money instead of going into debt.
When I have children, I’m certainly not going to expect them to go to college. If they want to do something like go into medicine or law, sure, college is the way to go. Otherwise, a degree certainly doesn’t equal an education. And if the goal is to make money, a college degree can often hurt your prospects more than help them.
Lie: The retirement age is 65.
Truth: The concept of “retirement” was created by wealthy lawmakers to extend the longevity of the workforce and squeeze as much economic production out of an individual as possible.
How to Fix the Belief: Get on the early retirement train. Become financially literate and create a plan so you’re not working your entire life.
Let’s say you make $50,000 per year, and you work for 20 years. You have made a million dollars. Most people would say that it would be very difficult to retire early on a $50,000 per year salary. However, many of those same people would find it easier to retire if they were given a million dollars right now. The truth is that, when you do the math, early retirement is actually not that difficult. And contrary to what the FIRE movement would have you believe, you don’t have to live like a pauper to do it.
If you move to a suburban area away from large metropolitan locations, the cost of living is significantly lower. Importantly, it’s quite easy to find jobs, and real estate prices are lower as well. You can get into owning a home much more quickly and stop burning money paying rent. It’s easier to save, and it’s easier to form close relationships with financial professionals who can make good recommendations to help grow your savings and invest wisely.
Dispense with the notion that you need to retire rich. A modest lower middle class retirement is nothing to be ashamed of. And it means you have more of your life to enjoy things you like to do. Importantly, this goes hand in hand with knowing your financial limitations. You won’t be able to do everything that money can buy, but you certainly won’t have to work for all the things that you can do.
Lie: Money can’t buy happiness/money isn’t important.
Truth: Poverty doesn’t buy anything, and thinking money isn’t important causes you to spend it on nonsense.
How to Fix the Belief: Understand Maslow’s heirarchy. The bottom tier is entirely provided for by money, and without it, you can’t actualize to higher stages.
In order to get you to spend money on things you can’t afford, the rich will constantly tell you that the important things are tiers 3 and above. You should spend money to show the people you love that you appreciate them. You should spend money on self improvement work. You should spend money on a college degree in line with your purpose. This is all hogwash.
You shouldn’t actually need to spend money on any of the love and belonging, esteem, or actualization needs. Those come from relationships and one’s internal self. The reality is that you can’t have any of those things without spending the money to secure levels 1 and 2. Think about it.
If you’re worried about where your next meal is going to come from, how are you going to have freedom? You’re beholden to survival. If you don’t have personal security, how can you establish meaningful connections? You will approach everyone with distrust. How are you supposed to have a strong family relationship if you don’t have money? Aren’t your parents the first people who you’d ask for money? And what if they can’t provide it for you? It’s always going to be a barrier in the relationship.
Ultimately, money does matter. Paradoxically, it matters because you need money so that money doesn’t need to matter. It’s true that money won’t buy you happiness. But it’s also true that you can’t be happy without money, assuming you live in our Western society and aren’t a monk of course.
The System is Rigged — The Coffee Really was too Hot
Wealth means power; it always has. And the powerful want to stay powerful. That means they create propaganda to make you think a particular way so that you keep giving them your hard earned money. This is particularly relevant during the holidays.
The good news is that you can beat the system; you can overcome the odds. You just need to work to identify the lies and operate around them.
You’ve heard the story about the woman who spilled coffee on herself and then sued McDonald’s, right? You’ve probably heard that the lawsuit was frivolous nonsense. After all, who doesn’t know coffee is hot? That lady must’ve been really dumb.
Well, here’s the actual truth. The coffee was kept at temperatures which cause 3rd degree burns, which is what happened to the elderly woman. McDonald’s had previously been sued and had complaints filed for the absurd temperature of its coffee, and corporate was well aware of the risks. The woman offered to settle for $20,000 to cover medical bills, but McDonald’s refused, which is why the case went to court. Afterward, McDonald’s conducted a systematic propaganda campaign to discredit the lawsuit as frivolous.
As a result, your enemy is now all these people that tie up the court system in frivolous lawsuits instead of the multi-billion dollar corporations that refuse to just pay up and change their policies when their nonsense nearly kills somebody. The truth is that frivolous lawsuits aren’t actually that common.
So here’s the deal, stop listening to rich people. They don’t have your best interests at heart, only their own. Learn to do your research, and figure out how to beat the system.