Personal Finances: First public society whose members are debt-free and are living below their...

...means.  To be a member, a person must fill out an application and go through a credit check to see if he or she is borrowing money from anyone (home loans, car loans, credit cards, etc.) and is steadily saving money (his savings and investments must have grown continuously over the last three years).  To win this challenge, the society must have the word “Ant” in its name (such as “The International Society of the Ant,” based on the story of the grasshopper and the ant), must make a gold ant its symbol, and must issue small-plate-size, gold-plated plaques to members to affix on their houses next to their front doors to inform all visitors that they are members.  [These plaques are electro-plated with gold, so have no real value in gold and are thus not worth stealing.]  The gold-plated plaques show an ant under a horizontal line that is centered on a balanced scale.  The plaque’s symbols show that the homeowner is an industrious ant who lives below his means.  The inscription on the plaque reads: “This homeowner is debt-free and is saving for the future.”  The society also gives members gold-plated ant decals that they can affix to the rear of their vehicles.  [We, as a society, should be encouraging people to live below their means and to save for misfortune and their retirements.  This challenge is a step in that direction.  To buy a car or house, the society’s members simply save money for those items and then pay cash for them.]

Future Challenges: First society above that:

1) Allows businesses who are debt-free and are operating at a profit to become members.  The business members are given a large-platter-size, gold-plated plaque to affix next to the front door of their businesses.  The plaque’s symbolism is the same as the homeowner plaque, but the inscription reads: “This business is debt-free and is here to stay.”  [This will most benefit small businesses since many major corporations view borrowing as part of their strategy for growth.  However, it is a myth that a major corporation cannot grow itself using profits alone.  While a profit-funded growth strategy is not as fast, it is a more secure and solid growth plan.]

2) Allows federal and state US politicians to become members who are debt-free, who are living below their means, and who are in favor of a strong, balanced budget amendment to be added to the US Constitution.  Congresspersons must also pledge to not raise the national debt ceiling or taxation (see “TAXES: Debt Ceiling” challenge).  Then they can publicly announce and advertise their membership in the society.  A “strong” balanced budget amendment means that the federal government can only run a deficit during a congressionally-declared war; that the US President must be given line-item veto power to ensure any budget presented to him or her becomes balanced before he or she signs it; and that the budget can be challenged by any US congressperson in federal court as to whether it is truly balanced.  [State politicians are needed since 38 of 50 states will need to ratify and add a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.]

3) Gets a US state to allow only its members to have a gold ant on their vehicle license plates.

4) Gets a US state to allow only its business members to have a gold ant on their commercial vehicle license plates.

5) Gets every US state to allow only its members to have a gold ant on their vehicle license plates.

6) Gets every US state to allow only its business members to have a gold ant on their commercial vehicle license plates.

First nationally-syndicated radio talk show host to champion this challenge, qualify her/himself for such an organization, and:

7) Encourage her/his listeners to join the organization.  To win this future challenge, the host/ess must do so for 100 air days straight on her/his show.

8) Get 100 celebrities, who have joined the organization, to appear on her/his show.  Each celebrity must spend at least five minutes talking about their personal finances and what they did to qualify for membership.  All such celebrity interviews must be made available on the show's website with at least a mugshot of each celebrity by their interview.

9) Organize and lead a parade in Washington DC to demand all congresspersons not to raise taxes or the debt ceiling ever again thus forcing the federal government to live within its means.

If you would like to discuss this challenge with others, click here to go to this challenge's discussion forum.

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