But can we actually get something for nothing? There's always a catch or a consequence lurking around the corner ready to dash the thrill.
Such is currently the case with America's economic stimulus package. It entails giving $168 billion worth of tax rebate checks, from $300 to $1,200, to citizens in hopes that the money will be spent on products to encourage growth in the economy to avoid a recession. Those checks are now in the mail.
However, "Economists are debating how effective the rebates will be, with critics arguing that debt-burdened consumers will use the money to pay bills rather than spending the checks and spurring growth" (foxnews.com). Hmm, that sounds like responsible spending to me.
Whether these checks will be helpful for the economy or not, time will tell. But there is one major catch to this "free" money. The government doesn't have the extra cash to give away.
To fund the stimulus package the United States will borrow the money from various foreign lenders like China. Thus it will go further in debt to create a short-term solution and once again push aside that whole deficit thing. The U.S. budget deficit for 2008 is projected to nearly double that of last year (newsmax.com).
The real kicker with the stimulus package is that even if Americans spend their checks, a huge percentage of consumer products available to buy are actually made in China. That sounds awfully stimulating, but for the Chinese more than the American economy!
The irony is that overspending and out-of-control debt at serious levels helped get the American economy into this problem in the first place.
So what can we do?
We can critically analyze the political and economic problems that exist wherever we live and make sure that we don't let societal trends and national mistakes happen in our personal lives.
To be successful personally and nationally, we need divine guidance.
God gave us a guidebook for success and happiness—the Bible. As our Creator, He knows what we need. He shows how we should live in order to be prosperous and happy. Even if governments and society around us continue to reject God, we can still ask for His help to learn His ways and enjoy the benefits!
God and your success
God wants you and me to succeed, to value what He values. His formula: "Do not turn from it [His law] to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go… Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:7-9).
Be brave and think vertically. Learn to apply biblical principles in your life. When it comes to stimulating your own personal economy, avoid debt and make wise choices. Also, read this fascinating free booklet Managing Your Finances.
Whether or not the United States will avoid a recession (or worse) in the short term remains to be seen, but all of us in the younger generations will bear the long-term consequences of national debt and current overspending.
Wouldn't it be better to be indebted only to God and know that true success comes from His loving and perfect guidance? VT