⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Teaching Financial Literacy in a Credit Card Nation

The subprime crisis certainly highlighted the need for American consumers to become more financially literate. But who defines financial literacy? And what

Gordon Dickerson
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Nov 13, 2009

The subprime crisis certainly highlighted the need for American consumers to become more financially literate. But who defines financial literacy? And what makes someone an expert? Mike Konczal at Rortybomb asks these and other questions regarding financial literacy education — a subject TWI has also been looking into lately.

Did you know that since 2003, when the subprime market really took off, April has been Financial Literacy Month? Now you do. But in an age where financial expertise seems so discredited what qualifies someone to be financially literate?

It’s a fair question. Unfortunately, the answers aren’t reassuring. First, as Konczal notes, “financial literacy” as a course of study doesn’t exactly exist in the economics field. There’s no incentive to get published on it; there’s little academic research as a result. What fills the gap? As we pointed out, subprime lenders align themselves with mainstream financial literacy groups and fund their efforts as a way to distract from the controversies surrounding their products. Konczal explains the problem goes even further, with unqualified “experts” dispensing their alleged personal finance wisdom.

There’s little academic backing, there’s no money for journals, research grants, conferences, the development of theory and expertise that is deployable into policy. That leaves the field wide open to be funded by credit card companies, subprime lenders, and others with a vested interest in certain modes of thought becoming the norm. And for expertise to be filled by people who come from motivational speaking backgrounds, and theory to end up as a mess of common-sense adages and low-level morality plays. The theme of Financial Literacy Month for 2008 was “Financial Responsibility Begins with Me”; why didn’t they call it “caveat emptor”?

One of the biggest hurdles facing the creation of legitimate and useful financial literacy programs will continue to be funding for non-biased, professional counselors.  It’s not a great time to push the government to provide more money to the nation’s Cooperative Extension System — but that national educational network remains a valuable source of credible personal finance research. And as we said, some corporations are beginning to incorporate financial literacy into their human resources responsibilities, given the problem of employees burdened with distracting financial problems.

In the end, that may really be what it takes to get untainted financial literacy education going — the overwhelming debt crisis facing American consumers. Maybe the government and the private sector will come to realize that partnering with credit card companies and subprime lenders isn’t going to get the job done. As Calculated Risk has repeatedly asked, why aren’t consumers being educated on the perils of not paying their credit card bills off in full every month? Probably because, in the absence of untainted financial literacy advice, a company like Visa is backing a high-profile financial literacy initiative. It seems unlikely advising people to pay off their credit cards is the focus of that effort.

As credit tightens, so will the need for legitimate financial literacy education. And as consumer debt becomes something harder to ignore, maybe the unholy alliance of creditors with a stake in the game and financial literacy education programs often aimed at younger borrowers in particular, will finally come to an end.

Gordon Dickerson | Gordon Dickerson is the founder of J.C.H, a one-person company that helps employers with resumes, cover letters, bios, LinkedIn profiles, and other employment-related documents. John also provides career coaching and advice on how to follow up on resumes, and he will also link clients with recruiters in their field. Gordon 's inherent passion for working with people and counseling them on their careers led him to extend his services to include career coaching, which he has been happily doing since 2008.


Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight

Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)

One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan

Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐