Editor's Note: This perhaps should be posted in the Duh!!! section. It all sounds so simple.

How to Get Your Family out of a Financial Crisis

So you lost your job because you were doing a little too much wheeling and dealing. It is hard to know what to do when you lose your job, especially if you still have teenagers living in the house. Now, the very fact that this crisis is largely of your own making means that it's not beyond your ability to solve. Your problems are rooted in past mistakes, not your capacity for future greatness. It will take time, perhaps many years, but you can rebuild that lost trust and confidence. You can restore opportunity and prosperity.


1. Announce a Family Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will immediately jump-start job creation and long-term growth. Since the reason you are in trouble is that a job has been lost, you need to get a job, or better yet, two or three jobs. Only by having jobs in the family can you get yourself back up on your feet. But how are you going to get those jobs when no one is hiring? There is an easy answer.

2. Create jobs by hiring your family members. Just go out and do it. But what, you ask, are you going to hire them to do? And what are you going to use for money? The trick is to kill two birds with one stone, by putting your house into better shape at the same time as you create those jobs.

3. Pay your children to fix up your house. Hopefully you have a few children. The more the merrier. Pay one of them to paint the house green. Pay one to put new sod down on your tired lawn. Pay another one to renovate the kitchen. Won't it be grand to have that nice granite countertop you have always dreamed of? Now is the time! Since the entire family is in a terrible crisis, everyone will go along with your plan, and support it, no questions asked. Just tell them that because you are creating so many great new jobs, there will be gobs of money later. Possibly not this year, but by next year, things are really going to turn around and you will be in the pink. Certain luxuries were out of your reach before, but why shouldn't you get a few goodies out of this family crisis? Put a little weatherstripping in the mudroom and get a high def TV while you are at it.

4. Go to the bank and borrow a few hundred thousand dollars. You are going to be using this money to pay salaries to your children. Yes, it is really that simple. When you are in a terrible financial crisis, the answer is to borrow a huge amount of money. Now is not the time to worry about going into debt. Borrow three hundred thousand dollars. See how easy that is? Now you can pay them one hundred thousand dollars each. Your whole family will instantly go from being down and out, to living on easy street. It is time to set a new course for this family, and that change must begin now. Don't forget to set aside a very small portion of the money to buy a few condoms for your children. Especially if your wife Nancy thinks it's a good idea.

5. Rest in the assurance that you have taken the wisest steps towards recovery. Starting with little to no cash, you pulled your whole family up by their bootstraps. You created jobs and wealth, just by sprucing up and renovating your house! After working this kind of magic, you will be back on top of the world!


* If your family members are dragging their feet and don't want to go along with you, just have a nice breakfast with all of them and get them on board with your plan. What you need is unity and bipartisanship. If they still disagree with your scheme, then say very sternly and ominously "Now, I don't believe it's too late to change course, but it will be if we don't take dramatic action as soon as possible. If nothing is done, this situation could linger for years."

* Avoid getting any loan with interest payments attached. Interest only adds to the amount you will have to pay back at some later time. Interest could add another hundred thousand dollars to your debt and you would find yourself owing almost half a million dollars. Don't sign up for that. Well, unless you have to, that is. Interest-free loans don't float in on the wind.

* If a bank won't deal with you, borrow the money from a really rich country. China, for example. They have a bunch of money because they keep taxes really low and they have all the jobs, including the one you just lost.

* If your kids worry that they will get stuck with the bill a few decades from now, tell them you have no choice. You are forced to borrow the money. It is the only way out of the crisis. Remind your children that "This crisis did not happen solely by some accident of history or normal turn of the business cycle, and we won't get out of it by simply waiting for a better day to come or relying on the worn-out dogmas of the past."

* Besides, you can always charge them a very high percentage of their income as room-and-board money later so that you will have plenty of money for your loan payments. It is even better if you think ahead and pay one of your kids more than the other kids. That kid will be the rich kid in the family. Just make the rich kid pay all the room-and-board money. The poor kids shouldn't have to pay anything at all even if you do take care of their every need. But you can give them a room-and-board credit, which will make everyone in the whole family feel very compassionate. Except for the rich kid, that is. But he will feel very patriotic!

* It's time to trade old habits for a new spirit of responsibility. It is time to finally change the ways of your family so that you can set a new and better course.


* Since you are in a dire emergency, you have to take action right away, or things could get much, much worse. You are in the midst of a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime.

* Remind your family that there is no doubt that the cost of this plan will be considerable. It will certainly add to the family budget deficit in the short term. But equally certain are the consequences of doing too little or nothing at all, for that will lead to an even greater deficit of jobs, incomes and confidence in the financial situation of your family.

* If your kids are worried that their kids (your grandkids) are going to have to repay all that money one day, plus a shedload of interest, remind them that they are not going to have children! And that is the beauty of your brilliant Family Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. It is horribly expensive, but you are never going to have to pay the money back, and since you won't have any grandchildren, they won't have to pay either. And that's why Nancy wanted you to buy those condoms.

Article added: 13 February 2009

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There is a reason
you don't see any
cash in that wallet.

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