Financial Literacy and the Tardy Party Truants


    The diaries regarding a home purchase, association management, and the foibles of land development are context for further discussion about financial literacy. Hamilton warned we might find ourselves where we are today. John Bryant called out for individual responsibility and nails why we fail to heed good advice.

    “If you are financially illiterate, and you didn’t understand the language of money, then in good times ‘no problem;’ the prosperity will paper over your problems.  But in bad times, the pain and your lack of understanding (of the language of money) is simply amplified. These are the times we are living in.” – John Hope Bryant

    Much of the visceral reaction demonstrated by the Tardy Party followers appears to emanate from the belated realization that the stewardship of our nation is off the rails and their economic well-being is in jeopardy. The signs were there all along, but the good times were distracting. The middle class and the poor shared the same illusion. Bryant has been calling for greater personal responsibility for a long time. But the “take our country back” guys have come late to the game and think it is their own novel rallying cry. At the core the fundamental principles could have a unifying appeal if personalities are removed. However, it is the unwitting function of the talkmeisters to pit the middle class against the poor by fixing blame and stoking personalities to the flashpoint. The Democratic Party had best find that common ground and snuff those flames.

    “We will never survive as an illiterate backward country when it comes to the function and the commerce of our money.” – Alexander Hamilton

    Too much of commercial success became dependent upon financial illiteracy on the demand side of the equation. There have always been the P.T. Barnum adherents, but they had never been the preponderant force until supply side hegemony. The dogs were completely unleashed by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act. Now everybody wants their money back, but the free market doesn’t come with a warranty.

    Bryant gives a prescription in his blog “How We Got Here, and Where We Go From Here” and gives reasons to have hope for our nation. The Democratic Party should, like Bryant, focus proudly on American accomplishment rather than react to the purveyors of fear and mistrust. Maybe then the truants of the political process can be redeemed and the debate not so polarizing. Maybe then November will not end up so bleak.


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