Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Please, Get Out of Debt Now!

Folks, as I survey the economic terrain, the counsel of the prophets echoes loudly: get out of debt, live frugally, prepare for the future. There are serious reasons, in my view, why this is more important now than ever. As financial commentator Richard Wiegand puts it in an article on the impending disaster in stocks, "It will not hurt anybody to get out of debt, lower life style expectations and take steps to protect your future. If I am totally wrong what can you lose? If I am right and you stay with the status quo, what does your future look like?"

Our net savings rate as a nation has dipped into negative territory. As I recall, the last time that happened for a full year was during the Great Depression. We're spending ourselves silly, both as individuals and as a nation. The Federal Reserve Bank is now officially dropping M3, a key indicator about the growth of our fiat money supply, from the statistics it reports, saying it is too "burdensome" to track and report. It's actually too frightening, showing that we are destroying the value of our currency and selling out our future through creation of massive amounts of new money as a way to pay for our wreckless spending. And as for our jobs, well, I'm seeing a lot of US jobs being shipped to China, India, and Mexico. I'm happy for the people there, but Americans with lots of education who thought they had great careers are suddenly losing their jobs. You can't be too prepared. You can't save too much in this environment. We all need to be more frugal and wise.

Got food storage? Good. Got debt? Bad.

6 comments:

Ian said...

I agree with you on all of this. We recently used our tax returns to pay off all of our debt. We are still renting however and we hope to get a home someday. This is daunting. I would hate to be stuck without a home because I lost my job. Scares me to death.

On the M3, I did a little searching on what it is and Wikipedia says;

"M3: M2 + all other CDs, deposits of eurodollars and repurchase agreements."

Could you give a brief explanation to the layman as to what it is and how you feel it will effect the economy?

Thanks.

LDS Patriot said...

Good reminder. It's our primary goal this year, to be debt free.

Casey S. said...

Thanks Jeff!

I've listened to Dave Ramsey (he's a big advocate of being debt-free) for most of my life now, so we have never gone into debt.

This is such a serious issue for young couples today. Many of our friends are in deep debt only after a couple of years of marriage. You had mentioned some of the macro reasons to be debt free, but even if nothing serious ever happens debt is still a burden that will only cause stress in marriages and in lives. It (money fights) are one of the major causes of divorce and it will limit the choices saints can make (ie charitable giving, having more childern, missions, effective at callings etc).

Bottom line, it's just not worth it!

Mormanity said...

M3 is explained by Tim McMahon in an article at InflationData.com:

These three money supply measures track slightly different views of the money supply.

The most restrictive, M1, only measures the most liquid forms of money; it is limited to currency actually in the hands of the public. This includes travelers checks, demand deposits (checking accounts), and other deposits against which checks can be written.

M2 includes all of M1, plus savings accounts, time deposits of under $100,000, and balances in retail money market mutual funds.

But that is all small potatoes, M3 includes all of M2 (which includes M1) plus large-denomination ($100,000 or more) time deposits, balances in institutional money funds, repurchase liabilities issued by depository institutions, and Eurodollars held by U.S. residents at foreign branches of U.S. banks and at all banks in the United Kingdom and Canada."

In other words, M3 tracks what the big boys are doing with the money. This includes US dollars held in banks in Canada and the UK (called Eurodollars) not to be confused with the Euro which is the standard currency of Europe.


M3 is the most relevant statistic for tracking how the government is inflating the money supply, the one that shows we're dumping fiat money faster than ever. And it's so embarrassing that the Fed now is just too busy to publish this statistic anymore.

Kim Siever said...

Given student loans and a mortgage, it will be awhile before I am debt free.

get out of debt said...

I like your view about how to get out of debt. Frugality should indeed be the first thing men should practice. Or if not, if already in debt, just try disciplining yourself not to be tempted on buying unnecessary things or using your credit cards again until they are all paid off.