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Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise and personal debt

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa

We write to comment on the ills of excessive personal debt and to encourage support for free enterprise, pointing out areas of common ground along the way. We shouldn’t kid ourselves or be unrealistic by thinking money problems don’t matter to families and in marriages. They do. People can succeed in any circumstance, but we have a better chance of doing well with great jobs and a solid financial foundation.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a leader who viewed freedom and the economy as being common sense, stated, “My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put back a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time….” She laid out a simple, compelling recipe for economic success.

Debt can make us feel like we have no freedom or liberty at all. It can hang over us, robbing our joy, and replacing it with worry. More people should follow the words of President Rutherford B. Hayes, who said, “Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county, and State, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.” With substantial debts, we’re always one unfortunate event away from a financial catastrophe.

How does free enterprise fit into debt? The money we earn to pay off debts must come from somewhere. In America, it typically comes from productive activities in free enterprise. Over 70% of America’s employees work for businesses.

Frost Brown Todd LLC Member Rob Hudson is a Past Chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber and a business lawyer. 2018 Independent Author of the Year Lauren Hudson is a Singletary Scholar at the University of Kentucky. Their next letter will explore common ground about creeping socialism.

Earning more than what we spend is much harder than it sounds. To get there, we need an economic system that would best allow us an opportunity to accomplish this. That system is free enterprise. Beyond proof in our own backyard with the world’s largest economy here, compare the economies of North Korea to free enterprise South Korea, Venezuela to free enterprise Chile, and China before and after it allowed more economic freedom.

People will never agree on everything, but we should unite around what has worked.

Better businesses and better jobs can help families and marriages. Savings with little or no debt can help preserve our peace of mind, reducing conflict. With favorable business conditions, granting businesses the freedom to grow and provide great jobs, we can earn pay. With prudence, we can avoid losing financial control of our lives.

As you travel around America, think about how we created the fantastic buildings, remarkable cities, and beautifully curated green spaces. Free enterprise has been a primary factor in our successful formula. Businesses produced just about everything made with human hands that you’ll see and experience in America. Their production created hundreds of millions of jobs and paid off countless debts.

We can easily find common ground when it comes to debt. To the best of our ability, we should avoid consumer debt for basic goods we purchase. In addition, the government should not be paying off debts that we incur. Even if a politician wants our vote in exchange for passing a law to forgive what we owe, it’s still wrong to pass on our financial obligations to others.

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