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Do you deserve it?

The thoughts of Richard Osborne on many subjects over the years.

Do you deserve it?

As we head into 2012, a year when so money business experts and analysts are predicting tougher times ahead, I can’t help but worry about much of the younger generation who have grown up in a world of expectation. Where they have been told “of course you can have it”, and it is this expectation I feel is just as much to blame for the state of the western world as it is today. Not the only issue, but the only one I’m going to talk about here.

Jump back some 20 or 30 years and the western world had a perceived problem of class, the rich and the poor. So what was introduced to overcome this image, an image of poor people the western world Governments didn’t want the poorer Eastern world Governments to see of their great countries and societies. To solve this they told people without freely disposable income that they could have everything they wanted. If you see something you like it doesn’t matter if you cannot afford it, just buy it on the Never-Never and pay it back as and when you can. So that is what millions of people did, they borrowed money they couldn’t really afford to repay to have all the things they wished for getting themselves into deeper and deeper secured, and unsecured, debt.

I grew up through those times, and as a child I was evicted from homes and had bailiffs arriving at our house to reposes goods or collect cash. I also have quite scary memories of heavies arriving at the door looking for for step-dad, who was never in, not your normal bailiffs. Yet we lived in times where the media was being used to publicise a wonderful world of having whatever you wanted, all for low monthly payments, and keeping up with the neighbours was something which was made great use of by the loan providers under the direction of the politicians’ agenda’s.

The Governments were seen to be stimulating the economy because money was moving, stuff was being bought and sold. What those politicians must surely have known is that they were creating a financial time bomb, but that isn’t the biggest problem. They were also creating a mindset, an expectation and problem in society which in itself was and still is a ticking time bomb. The adult generation of that time lived their lives being educated that it didn’t matter whether they had enough money to buy something, they could borrow money and buy it anyway, and that is how they raised their children. Their children grew up being shown that it didn’t matter whether you could afford it or not, you can have what you want anyway. That younger generation grew up and had children of their own, and what have they taught their children? Simply that debt is an acceptable way of live, and if you cannot afford it then borrow to have it anyway.

Jump forward 20 or 30 years and what do we have now? We have the third generation of children where so many are growing up having been told they can have what they want, when they want, and they expect it. So what will they are are they doing? Exactly what those nice people in power told their parents and their parents before them, that it is perfectly acceptable to get into debt and have whatever it is you want.

It gets better than that for this generation though, we’re now being told you don’t have to repay your debt. You can get the majority of it written off and only repay what you can afford!

Whatever happened to saving up for what you want, and then the satisfaction that when you have saved up hard for something and then get to finally buy it; the satisfaction you get from having worked so hard for it? The reality needs to be accepted by our Governments, by the public, and “those in power” that now economy will be restored with pretend money and debt, and we can learn a lot of good things from the Eastern cultures. If you can’t afford it then you simply don’t have it, but you can aim for it, strive for it, admire those who have achieved it, and anyway; isn’t it good not to have everything you want so you still have things to aim for? Surely that is a great motivator to push yourself to achieve better things.