As expected, this morning’s article caused a lively discussion here at Get Rich Slowly. It also sparked a lot of complaints. Many folks — both those who agreed with the piece and those who disagreed — pointed out that they come here specifically because GRS tends to steer clear of political debates.
Just to make it clear: Get Rich Slowly is apolitial. Individual articles (and/or authors) may have a political slant — as was the case this morning — but the site itself is neither liberal nor conservative, Republican or Democrat. In the past, GRS has featured articles about why religion is an important part of personal finance, about financial security for unmarried couples, about food stamps — about a variety of issues from all sides of the political spectrum. The appearance of one article by one author does not represent a change in the site’s direction.
That said: You’re right. One of the reasons I love this site is because it tends to stay clear of politics. I loathe how political discourse is conducted in the U.S., and the last thing I want to do is make GRS a part of that. Our discussion this morning was civil and stimulating, but I’m not sure I want to steer the site back into the political arena for a l-o-n-g time. Sound fair?
Having said that, let’s look at some recent non-political personal-finance articles from around the web.
The always-outspoken Financial Samurai recently ranted that a college degree will set you free. I’m a huge proponent of education. Why? Because the stats are overwhelming. Sure, there are individual instances in which an advanced degree goes for naught, but for most folks, the value of a college education is clear. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at the graph FS included in his article:
As I prepare to travel more, I fret over phone charges while in other countries. I’d love to have access to my iPhone — including data — but I know that roaming can be costly. The New York Times recently published a piece on how to beat roaming fees while traveling abroad, which contains some good tips, and a link to National Geographic’s Cellular Abroad products. I’ll have to check those out.
Elsewhere, yesterday two of my colleagues at Time Moneyland noted that experts don’t always have expertise. Gary Belsky and Tom Gilovich write that this is a problem, especially when the experts appear confident: “We tend to follow the most sure-minded among us, regardless of how reliable we know their views to be.” Spot on! And this is true not just with money, but in all things. People will gladly follow somebody who is confident but wrong while ignoring somebody who is right but perhaps less vocal. Remember: Nobody cares more about your money than you do. Never put blind faith in anyone.
Finally, Trent at The Simple Dollar argues that money is not the root of all evil. “Having money isn’t evil,” he writes. “Earning money isn’t evil. Exploiting people to acquire that money is, however, and spending it wantonly in ways that don’t bring value into anyone else’s life is probably also evil.” I happen to agree with Trent: Money isn’t the root of all evil — but politics might be!
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This article is about Spare Change