Saturday, September 25, 2010

Conspiracy of the Rich

Robert Kiyosaki (a.k.a. Rich Dad) author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, a bestselling personal finance book, has recently come out with a book entitled the Conspiracy of the Rich. This article does not only provide a synopsis of the book, but I also wrote this in response to some comments about my last article. The comments were addressing today's education system in Canada and how it avoids teaching children valuable personal finance information. Schools rarely teach basic money management, the ideas of debt and interest, or how to invest for the future. According to Rich Dad, this is not an accident.

Our school system is based on the early 20th century Prussian education system. Back then Prussia was a communist country and the education system was training children to be future government employees. Under these circumstances, Prussia needed workers that would obey authority and stay in line with political agendas set by the communist dictators. In order to train children to become docile, who would later become adults in the work force, they designed an education system similar to the one we have today.

This education system starts with a teacher at the head of the class with 20 to 30 students sitting and listening to what the teacher has to say (who is the authority figure and disciplinarian). The students are constantly searching for praise from the teacher, while trying to avoid punishment. The students therefore have to search for the "right answers" and abide by the rules. This fosters a herd mentality which is perfect for a communist dictatorship who is trying to train the next generation of government workers. So in this environment you're not rewarded for trying new things or questioning the authority of others.

This education system has it's advantages. It is an efficient use of human resources (i.e. 1 teacher to 30 students). However, we can clearly see the drawbacks since it stomps out creative ingenuity and independent thought. Why would the uber rich want to have an education system like this. First off, the uber rich own large corporations and would rather have you as an employee than an entrepreneur who could later become their competitor. The rich, like the communist dictators, want docile employees who are hard working and who don't question their authority.

This brings us to the comment of why personal finance is not covered well in our current education system. The financial institutions such as banks (i.e. TD Canada Trust, Scotia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and Bank of Montreal) are a multi-billionaire dollar industry. They are in the business of selling financial products (i.e. mutual funds, mortgages, credit cards, etc...). The more financial knowledge you have, the less money they make. I know that banks care about their bottom line just like any other company, so it is very plausible that they don't really want you to have a good handle on your personal finances. After all TD would love you to pay management fees for their mutual funds (because it is too difficult to manage your own money) and have you making minimum payments on your credit card (because nobody told you that 19% interest is highway robbery).

Conspiracy of the Rich could just be a cracked out theory, like Major League Baseball trying to steal our thoughts (Simpson's reference). However, Kiyosaki makes a plausible argument and at least an entertaining read. Hopefully, our education system will change and start to teach the leaders of tomorrow better personal finance management, until then be sure to bookmark Cash Saving Tips.

Check out this video from Rich Dad about his new book:

If you like this article also check out:

Rich Dad Poor Dad, What's an Asset?

Rich Dad Lesson: 3 Types of Income

Top 4 Forms of Passive Income

Know Your Debt!



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