No. 1300



Would you believe there is a very simple statement that if put into practice by the majority of our citizens would cure about 90 percent of America’s economic woes? The statement is simply this, “Save for a Rainy Day.”
One of the saddest things I have seen in a long time happened back at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic when there were long lines, some over a mile, of people waiting to get food. This scene took place countless times, in spite of the fact that we are the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. The reason most of the people were in those lines was because they did not have any money, or at least enough to buy their own food and provide for their own needs.
While it’s much more complicated, the reason our country is in such a mess today is because we have lost the war on poverty. We have gone from the August 2, 1776, signing of the Declaration of Independence to the now Declaration of Dependence.
The year 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s launch of the War on Poverty. In January 1964, Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Since then, the taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on his war. Adjusted for inflation, that’s three times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution.
I could give you many more statistics to validate what I am saying, but I had rather concentrate on the solution rather than the problem. If every poor person who is already getting tons of government aid would go to a bank and open a savings account with $50 and then put $5 to $10 each week out of their check for the next several years, they would never be in another food line again. And most importantly, they would have self-respect. In other words, “Save for a Rainy Day.” To be sure I understand that many of these people are illiterate, but this is where those of us who are not can help them and really make a difference.
Please forgive the personal reference, but allow me to tell you why I feel so strongly about this subject. My folks ran a small restaurant back when I was in school and sold 10-cent hamburgers. After graduation, I went to college and they paid my $60-per-semester tuition for the first year and a half. But when I realized how many 10-cent hamburgers it took to do that, I dropped out of college and made my way to Little Rock, where I had relatives. My first job was working in my uncle’s grocery store behind the meat counter. Then I got a job in a printing company working in the warehouse taking paper to the machines for $1.35 per hour.
After seven years of this, I left this job and went into printing sales for another five years and, on straight commission, worked my way up to $25,000 per year (a lot of money in 1970). Next came the Dale Carnegie Course job, the Earl Nightingale tape sales, speeches, the radio show, and then this column. That was 50 years ago. Here is my point, and I say this to the Glory of God. In all these years I have never applied for a dime of public assistance. The main reason is because I was willing to do without, and I also became a saver. That is the key. Work hard, do a good job for your employer, and save a portion of your income.
If those on public assistance can get the word, and we can help many of these people get it, they can become independent, and what a joy that brings, instead of being dependent. While not easy, it is so simple: We must learn to “Save for a Rainy Day.” Do this for a while and you will be surprised how quickly it will add up.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)