A Bankrupt Idea

If you’ve spent even 5 minutes on Facebook you’ve seen an ad for “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, a book written by financial Guru Robert Kiyosaki.  In the book Kiyosaki claims to dish on all the secrets Rich Dads tell their kids that Poor Dads don’t.

The premise is that Rich Dads educate their kids about how money is made and multiplied, and that Poor Dads don’t.  If a person were to take the advice of a Rich Dad, then they would have the information needed to have a life that is more financially successful, and a financially successful life is more rewarding and pleasurable than a poor one.

Critics of Kiyosaki’s books and public speaking sessions assert that “Rich Dad advice” sounds a lot like marketing ploys, real estate schemes, and insider trading.

Kiyosaki’s claims are very similar to the classic enlightenment assertion that inside information and secret knowledge will carry you to success; in short, “Education is everything.”

While I won’t throw a wet blanket on a quality education in the three R’s, I do believe that espousing education as a remedy for our social and moral ills is an oversimplification of the human condition.

We aren’t just ignorant… we are also selfish and lazy.

The “education as human salvation” movement is a motivational technique used as far back as the Garden of Eden.  In the Garden, the serpent told Eve that possessing God’s “secret knowledge” would allow her to live a life that was more pleasurable and rewarding.  She should eat the fruit, gain knowledge, and live free of God as his equal.

The problem with this motivational strategy is that knowledge doesn’t pay out as often as discipline and obedience do.  Once informed on a subject, there are still actions that must be carried out for the information to prove useful.

Isn’t it true that most of us are already as informed as we need to be financially?

“Don’t spend money that you don’t have, and always set aside money for a rainy day.”

If we exercised self-discipline and obeyed these principles we’d not only have money to spend, but we’d also have money saved.  We just don’t do these things because they don’t deliver as quickly as we’d like.

Instead of acting on the knowledge we already have, we seek out “new knowledge”; information that supports our desires and suspicions.  We believe this new information because we want to, not necessarily because it works.

We fail when we stop believing that the secret to happiness is found in being satisfied with what we have, and “buy-in” to the notion that “having more” leads to more happiness.  This is when we attempt to become wealthy by “earning more” instead of “spending less”.

This usually ends in a bankruptcy that is at least moral or ethical… if not financial.

Adam and Eve already knew all they needed to know to live a life that was as pleasurable as it was rewarding.

Dissatisfied with what they already possessed, they thought “earning more” would deliver satisfaction.

Instead of discipline and obedience they chose to believe what they wanted to hear.

Humanity has been bankrupt ever since.

Robert Kiyosaki’s initial corporation has filed for Bankruptcy protection from its creditors.  He is still in possession of an estimated 80 million dollar personal fortune.

One Response to “A Bankrupt Idea”

  1. Brian October 15, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    To quote “…your head can’t rule your heart.”

    Whether I’m a rich dad or a poor dad I hope to teach my kids to desire God from their hearts as the primary object of life.

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