Monday, May 20, 2024

EDITORIAL: A proposal everyone could agree upon

| May 5, 2024 1:00 AM

There’s a clear path to a better financial future, not just for you, but for just about everyone.

Warning, though: It’s not a quick fix, so for instant gratification addicts, it’s probably not going to scratch any serious itches. And it will involve some work — but what rewards don’t?

If we told you there are clear steps that would help ease not just the homeless situation, but also the affordable housing crisis, would you be interested in learning more?

What if these steps put cash in your pocket? What if they fortified your retirement savings, going a long way toward ensuring that when you’re ready to put up your Gone Fishin’ sign, you’ll never have to yank it down in a panic?

And what if these personal steps collectively led to this great nation’s economy being supercharged — no matter who’s in the White House or in charge of the Fed? 

Believing this could also be the magic potion that might save our struggling national public education system, we join the call for strong financial literacy curricula being adopted as a core part of the classroom experience. It employs readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic with very tangible and pleasant results.

John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur and founder of Operation HOPE. In an outstanding opinion piece published recently on the financial website CNBC, Bryant wrote:

“Think about this for a moment. We live in the largest, strongest, most robust economy on the planet, yet most of our children don’t even get one class in financial literacy. No one is telling them (and us) how this economy works.

“What I have seen firsthand, coming up from nothing in Compton, California, and now as an entrepreneur and successful businessman who eats, breathes, and sleeps financial literacy, is that it’s not a lack of desire or ambition that holds so many of us back from long-term financial freedom. It’s bad role models and a lack of the essential building blocks for financial success, including the knowledge and comfort to talk about money, the tools and resources to better our situations, and the right enabling environment to win.”

We have a wealth of financial literacy experts in our community, including people like Les Atchley, Brad Dugdale, Dan Green, Darin Hayes and many others. 

Local education officials could make a profound investment in furthering the well-being of North Idaho by sitting down with some of these knowledgeable, civic-spirited leaders and figuring out how to make financial literacy a substantive part of the local education experience.

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Bryant’s column: