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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Happiness, independence mean creating financial security

With the U.S. celebrating its independence July 4, have you ever considered celebrating your own personal independence?

Not the independence that you gain when you move 400 miles away from home or the independence of having a job that enables you to pay for rent, food and textbooks.

The independence I’m talking about is financial freedom; one that liberates us from a routine eight-hour job that establishes our socioeconomic status.

After college, many of us will go out to look for a full-time job where someone will tell us when to eat, take a break and how much our work is worth per hour. A job is necessary, but it is not the key to living the lifestyle we deserve.

The vast majority of students believe that a college education will lead to high-paying jobs that will provide us with time and money to spend with family, friends and the world.

Sure, we might have to work a 9-to-5 job for a few years, but not until we are in our sixties.

While Americans are living longer, members of the House of Representatives recently voted to cut $1.7 billion in funding for the Social Security Administration.

According to the World Bank, the average life expectancy in America is 78.7 years. Yet, the House of Representatives voted on a budget that would put seniors at the mercy of insurance companies, raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and slash Medicaid spending by $1.4 trillion, according to

Do you look forward to your senior years?

Perhaps for the average 23-year-old college student, social security issues seem very far down the line. The California State University budget could be cut by about $500 million next year under Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget, which translates to higher fees. But social security? It’s so far off. But with the current level of cuts and more coming, what will be left for us?

Will we be prepared to send our children to the university they choose 20-25 years later without again falling into the trap of student loan debt?

It is time we change our mindset. The government does not owe us financial peace. Budget cuts to social services and education will continue. It’s time we unveil our most insatiable desires and pursue them.

According to Keelan Cunningham, an author and businessman, 90 percent of people will be broke within three months of losing their job, and only 3 percent of people retire financially independent at the age of 65.

Dear colleagues, what mindsets will you inherit to your future generations? What will your cry of independence be?

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    Mike NguyenMay 11, 2011 at 12:02 am

    My cry of independence will be personal responsibility. I will take the money I earn, no matter how much the government taxes me with the promise to return to me in the future, and save as much of it as I can. Invest it in myself and my own retirement plan.

    The truth of the matter is. These cuts are meaningless. Social security, medicare, and medicaid do not work. They are the largest ponzi schemes in government. In order to pay for these programs, we print the money through the Federal Reserve system, pay it out, and at the same time, decrease the value of the money in those checks and in our bank accounts by inflation. What would be a nice cut for me? A total cut. End the system, give me the money on my paycheck back, and let me opt out. I assure you that I can handle my money better than my government does and will be able to take care of myself.

    I believe the American people and the SFSU student body can take care of themselves too. But they need an incentive. If we grow up believing in social security, medicare, and medicaid, then we ignore the fact that it may not be there when we get older. So we spend our money recklessly and get upset when the potential outcome becomes a reality.

    Of course, I don’t suggest that this is the first thing the government should cut. I think if we cut the endless wars overseas, we can fix the budgetary problems here a lot easier. And we don’t have to cut domestic spending just yet without a transition in funds and ideology.

    I agree with you on most points. We should pursue our goals. For those who enjoy the stability of 9-5 jobs, I say pursue that. For those who don’t want to be paid less than they are actually worth in jobs where a salary is not dependent on how hard you work, but dictated by the increase in profits of the business you work for; I say pursue business.

    But what I want to invoke is that the student body, as we leave college get involved with politics. Get knowledgable about the constitution and the law of the land. Do not allow the government to strip us of our liberties for supposed military, economic, and temporary safety. We’ll end up losing both. The majority of this student body does not even know who their congressman is, when this is the person that represents you, the people, in Washington D.C. and should be the most powerful body of government. We have become so consumed with iPods and Plants versus Zombies, that we forget that principles of this country. We want to promote freedom, prosperity, and liberty, but there is a simple cost. We have to be knowledgable. Quit voting from your belly when a politician offers to feed you. Look to the constitution for advice which lays out the foundation of what the government ought to be doing for us.

    We cannot rely on a system that cannot work. The role of government is simply this. Give us sound money, protect our national defense, and protect our lives and liberties.

    Be personably responsible and quit expecting the government to take care of you. They can’t. Look at the debt that we’ve accumulated from them trying.

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Happiness, independence mean creating financial security