Last Wednesday, the U.S. celebrated the 4th of July—that famous day way back in 1776 when we declared our independence from those pub-loving and tea-drinking (yet unfortunately tax-crazed and oppressive…) Brits.
(With apologies to all of my English friends!) 🙂
We ceremoniously dumped their tea overboard, thumbed our noses at them, and on July 4, 1776 adopted our Declaration of Independence, declaring our freedom from the “evil” British.
However, taking stock of where we are some 230+ years later, it’s questionable how truly “independent” and free we really are today.
In particular, how many of us are truly “financially free”?
In a “free” country, you would expect that to be a reasonably high number…but let’s take a look:
How many of us depend on the government to take care of us financially in some fashion?
Unfortunately, here in “free and independent” America, the number is astonishingly large.
We have 4.1% of our population (15,000,000 people) on welfare, 15% of our population (46,500,000) using food stamps, 61,572,000 receiving social security or supplemental security, 10.8 million receiving disability, 12.7 million receiving unemployment, and 47,672,971 receiving Medicare.
Now, if my rusty math skills don’t fail me, that totals almost 200,000,000 out of our 313,000,000 people, or a full 60%+ of our population (!) who depend on the government for some type of financial aid (of course that number is not “perfect” nor “exact” as some people receive more than one type of assistance at a time and thus might be “double-counted” here, but no matter how you look at it, the number is huge).
Now please don’t immediately delete this and think, “Well! I can’t believe Kung Fu Girl is criticizing these wonderful and necessary programs that serve and help so many unfortunate people! What a horrid, uncaring person she must be!”
Because I am not…Not at all.
My point is not to judge whether or not these programs are “good” or “bad” or “necessary” or “unnecessary” or “right” or “wrong” or “well-run” or “abysmal” or whatever.
(I’ll leave that to the many, many political blogs to duke out!)
My point is simply that I am absolutely shocked that in only a few generations we’ve gone from being a free, independent, untaxed, and unburdened society to having the literal majority of us be financially dependent on the government to take care of us in some way.
Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves, because the America that they fought for and that I love stands for independence and freedom—not dependence and debt-servitude.
And yet, over the past 200 years, we have gone from a nation with zero taxes, minimal rules and regulations, and no debt to today’s oppressive insanity, where we pay income tax, sales tax, property tax, “sin” tax, gasoline tax, estate tax, corporate tax, payroll tax, self-employment tax, alternative minimum tax, social security tax, capital gains tax, all manner of fees and fines, and I’m sure plenty more that I am forgetting.
Perhaps it would be one thing if the government did a wonderful job of managing all of that money we send them, but just look at their track record—in the past 200 years they have:
- Instated the first income tax (in 1862 to support the Civil War effort)
- Quickly added sales and excise taxes and an inheritance tax
- Made the income tax a permanent part of the constitution in 1913 (14th Amendment) and taxed both persons and corporations
- 1913 instituted the illustrious Federal Reserve central bank (since then the U.S. dollar has lost 96% of its value and today is backed by absolutely nothing)
- 1943 introduced withholding tax on wages (so as to automatically collect your tax money before you ever see it)
- Grown the tax code from zero words to more than 4,000,000 (Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is all of 272 words, the Declaration of Independence is a little more than 1,300 words, the U.S. Constitution and all of its amendments are a little more than 7,000 words, and the Bible, which took centuries to put together, is a mere 773,000 words…)
- Removed all personal responsibility from government—congressmen and women are unaccountable for their decisions and have a separate health plan and retirement plan than do the rest of us
- Buried all of us in debt to the tune of $15.8 trillion and counting
In short, their track record is appalling (and I’m barely scratching the surface. Don’t even get me started on all of the wars…I don’t know about you, but these are NOT the people I want to rely on to take care of me in my old age!)
We have become the very thing that our founding fathers so desperately sought to escape.
So in all of my pondering on freedom last week, I have to wonder…how free are we really?
And more importantly, how do we break out of these chains that bind us to become truly free? And in particular, truly financially free?
(Hint: you know I believe the answer is financial education!)
I firmly believe that money IS freedom, and becoming financially free holds your key to becoming truly free.
It’s time to redouble your efforts at achieving true financial independence.
I know you can do it!
With just a little financial education you can join the people out there today who are:
- Earning 16% on their savings accounts and sleeping well at night, even though those accounts are located in Mongolia (which sounds “crazy” to some).
- Acquiring phenomenal business stocks on the cheap and earning income along the way, because they know how to sell put options in order to safely acquire these stocks at a discount.
- Building shopping lists for stellar junior mining stocks that should do well when the “top” finally blows off of this decade-long-and-counting bull market in precious metals.
- Diversifying their assets internationally and opening bank accounts at places such as HSBC Hong Kong, denominated in Hong Kong dollars, without leaving the comfort of their homes.
- Buying and storing physical gold overseas, also without leaving the comfort of their homes (and I have a FANTASTIC BRAND NEW way for you to do this, coming to you on Monday!).
- Investing in tax liens, and rental real estate, and mastering FOREX, and understanding bonds and credit and commodities cycles, and so much more!
I could go on and on…but the important point is that you can improve your lot in life tremendously with just a little financial education, and with even more financial education you can become financially free.
And when you are financially free, you enjoy much greater freedom than you can imagine…and I sincerely want that for you.
And I am going to help you however I can!
In fact, in honor of all of this freedom, I’m leaving for an event called FreedomFest tomorrow (if you are going—please let me know as I’d love to meet you in person!).
Here’s the blurb from their website:
“FreedomFest is an annual festival where free minds meet to celebrate “great books, great ideas, and great thinkers” in an open-minded society. It is independent, non-partisan, and not affiliated with any organization or think tank. Founded and produced by Mark Skousen since 2002, FreedomFest invites the “best and the brightest” from around the world to talk, strategize, socialize, and celebrate liberty. FreedomFest is open to all and is purely egalitarian, where speakers, attendees, and exhibitors are treated as equals.”
I hope to improve my own financial education while there, and I will report all that I find out to you (of course!).
The keynote speakers include Robert Kiyosaki, Steve Forbes (founder of Forbes magazine), G. Edward Griffin (of Jekyll Island fame), Congressman Rand Paul, Rick Rule, Peter Schiff, Frank Trotter, John Mackey (Whole Foods CEO), and of course fellow La Estancia-ites Doug Casey and Jeff Berwick among many, many other luminaries.
Here’s to dramatically improving your financial education (and mine, too)!
May freedom, at least your financial freedom, ring!
To your financial success,
— Kung Fu Girl
“All we have to do now…
Is take these lies and make them true somehow
All we have to see,
Is that I don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me (yeah yeah)
I won’t let you down
I will not give you up
Have some faith in the sound,
You’ve gotta give for what you take” — Musical kung fu master George Michael, from Freedom ’90