If you have never had to declare, good for you. But if you're an American, you pay taxes, and some of those tax dollars goes toward this.
There is now a requirement that people take a course before and after. Your government REQUIRES they do this.
At first, I thought it sounded like a good idea. It sounds like something that could help people.
Then I witnessed it. One of the bankrupt people I know doesn't have a computer or Internet, so he came over to use mine.
The before stuff made sense. It is designed to help people make a budget. Figure out if they'll be able to deal with bills and such after bankruptcy. Very logical, mathematical, and sensible. Good information.
But then there's the after course. The person using my computer opted for the less expensive written version. So I saw this, written in black and white. I didn't mishear a video.
There is a section that, not subtly, suggests the reason people go bankrupt is because they aren't investing properly. Okay, I can see that as a possibility. But then it says that people should take $100 and invest it. Not easy, but okay, it's a round number. Then it shows how that starting $100, at a 10.5% interest rate, will grow over the years. And the idea is you keep adding every week.
It starts with ONLY $100.
With ONLY $100, invest it somewhere that is guaranteed to earn 10.5% minimum interest rate for the next decade.
Giving it the benefit of the doubt (my massive, massive, insanely over sized doubt), I began researching. That percentage rate is available in a bank in Vietnam, but you have to be a citizen and meet other requirements, and a bank in Argentina, but you need a MUCH larger deposit, way more zeros.
I've taken a few classes on money management and investing. (One from The University of Geneva.) So I had an idea of what I was looking for, but I couldn't find anything.
After several hours of searching, I decided to see if someone in the finance field knows:
You should check out some of the answers. But, basically, the replies are a unanimous no. I think some of the people wondered if I was living in fantasy land.
But if you don't put $100 somewhere that makes 10.5% interest, ... bankruptcy.
If you were doing that, you'd be able to afford cancer treatments and expensive drugs because you could live off the interest.
Did that sound mean? Did that sound condescending and insensitive?
Guess where I got it from.
Look up information on the course. It isn't from the 1950's or something. This just came out. It isn't old information.
What should be a useful class has turned out to be victim blaming. It suggests that YOUR PROBLEM is that you haven't done something which is currently not in existence. I'm not okay with that.
There should be real solutions. If the course wants to suggest this $100 opener getting 10.5%, there should be a "click here to use this magic unicorn bank to grow your funds!" No one has to use it, but at least bankrupt people would have an opportunity to use the imaginary plan. As it is, they go out to a regular bank and discover that less than 1% interest is all that's available. So they aren't going to invest. That's how the problem gets worse.
As people tend to feel shame when it comes to bankruptcy, no one is talking about this. People are just out there feeling guilty that they can't find a 10.5% interest rate investment. So, today, on this little blog, I've shared the reality with you.
Please don't blame yourself if you take $100 around America looking for a place with a 10.5% interest rate to invest it and can't find anywhere.
But hey, if you do, let me know!