In the olden days (circa 1970), people expected the government and other institutions to take care of them. They depended on the government to educate them through the school system. The depended on Social Security and their company’s pension plan for retirement income. And they depended on Medicare and Medicaid to handle their medical expenses.
How times have changed. Since those good old days, the dollar was taken off the gold standard. That means that the government could print as much money as it wanted. It could pay its own deficit with the money that it printed. This means that there is no limit to the amount of money that the government can spend. And that’s why it is spending money faster and faster. It is spending money that it doesn’t even have.
Another major change is that company pensions have been replaced by 401(K) plans and IRA accounts. Most people invested in mutual funds, and have discovered that they don’t have enough money to retire. These people are nearly completely dependent on the government to take care of them when they stop working.
Unfortunately, there is a good chance that the government will not be able to do this. They have borrowed so much money that they will not be able to borrow any more. Perhaps one day soon, we will reach a point where the government simply won’t have the money to pay for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
I don’t know what will happen in the future. But it seems that depending on the government to take care of us may not be such a good idea. 30 years ago, most people just assumed they could trust the government to manage their retirement and take care of them. But now, it is abundantly clear that the financial situation is simply too precarious. I hope people wake up and do something about it now, before it’s too late.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the internet has become the great educator. Anyone can learn anything that they want for free. People are no longer dependent on the government for education. And, people can find out enough information about anything to make an educated decision. They can find the resources they need to not rely on the government to take care of them.
This is the seventh post of a series: Secrets the Government doesn’t want you to Know.