A Letter From My Uncle Sam

by Joe Plemon on March 22, 2010

Dear Nephew Joe,

I know that you have been doing this personal finance blog thingy for a while now, so I figured some tips from your uncle would be appreciated. I don’t want to come across as sanctimonious but you really need to understand that you are off track on much of what you purport.

For example, you talk about saving your money before making a purchase, as if there is virtue in delayed gratification. Where, dear nephew, did you get such a screwballed idea? Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Not me, that’s for sure. Why should you deprive yourself of the finer things of life? By waiting, you may never have that new car or dream home, so get it today. Have you heard that phrase “Live like there is no tomorrow?” Well, ahem, excuse my bragging, but I said it first. Remember: you only go around once in life, so grab what you can.

Which reminds me of my next concern: Joe, you may be kinfolk, but I am deeply disappointed to hear you telling your readers to avoid debt like a plague. Rubbish! If you are going to live the good life today, debt needs to be a financial tool you use at every opportunity. I realize, for those of your ilk who disdain debt, this may take some getting used to. But trust me my boy: with time you can develop any good habit to the point that it becomes second nature. Why, I remember when owing more than my annual income bothered me, but I am proud to say that I have successfully inoculated my conscience to such silliness. Today (and here I go boasting again) my total debt is several times my annual income, and I increase it every year. By the way, I don’t subscribe to your discussion of “good” debt and “bad” debt. I have never found a debt I didn’t like…it is all “good”.

While we are speaking of debt, it hurts me deeply to hear you spreading nonsense advice such as “You can’t borrow your way out of debt”. Joe! Where did you ever get such a notion? I have been borrowing my way out of debt for years and it is working just fine for me. After all, it is the American way.

And this drivel you write about not “keeping up with the Jones’”! Another of your urban legends my boy! Even if things get a bit tight, keep smiling and wearing expensive suits and driving those new cars. What your neighbors think about you is always more important than your bottom line. Remember: image is everything.

Joe, I know you believe in individual responsibility, but you just don’t live in the real world. The challenge is to find someone to blame: someone who is not powerful enough to retaliate and someone who is already an adversary. I have found the perfect scapegoat is anyone who has come before me. I strongly recommend that you try this tactic, Joe. It will move the heat from you to someone who can’t defend himself. And, best of all, you will never have to be accountable. Sometimes my genius astounds even me!

Whatever else you do Joe, always ignore history. Some do-gooders will tell you that you are on the same path as others who ended in ruin. Balderdash! When you hear such nonsense, I want you to put your fingers in your ears and your hands over your eyes. Remember: just because it happens to others doesn’t mean it will ever happen to you. Joe, you are my nephew and you are too big to fail.

Now Joe, about raising children. Far be it from me to meddle in your family affairs, but I must speak up. You seem to think that denying them what they want is a good thing. And making them work? Joe…Joe. Don’t you realize they will turn on you? Your goal is two fold: keep them liking you and keep them dependent on you. How will you control them if they ever make it on their own? You need to get off your high horse and give them whatever they want!

I hope these tips have helped you, Joe. I would share others but I need to go answer the phone. It is probably that pesky collector again.

Love,
Uncle Sam

This post was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Four Pillars

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