This is another post in my Old Coot Series about how all generations after mine are doomed.
A scan of news reports hints at a looming crisis: kids today can’t manage their money. Supposedly, it’s because of those tempting credit card freebie booths at college campuses, student loan debt, and a lack of financial literacy training.
All lies. I too received seductive credit card offers prior to age 18, took out loans to pay for school, and received no financial literacy training in college. And I’m pretty financially brainy, in the sense that I once froze a credit card in a block of ice until it was paid off, and then cut it up. And I was wise enough to pursue a secretarial career, so that I would never be able to buy a condo during a real estate boom. See, I’m smart like that.
The real difference? Kids of my generation watched a lot more educational filmstrips. And they were way scarier than anything the millenials and their tender sensibilities could handle. We watched gory Driver’s Ed classics about drunk drivers beheading themselves in ludicrous ways. I also remember a really awesome sex education film in which two guys in bell-bottomed cords debated where they’d gotten their gonorrhea, all while enjoying a frosty Orange Julius. But, best of all, we watched a film almost every day in eighth grade Civics.
Junior high civics films are better than parents, religion, or any other arbiter of behavior. They’re just that good.
The most important one was about financial literacy. A teenage girl needs to get her brakes repaired. She takes out loans from family members, assembles the cash, and heads to the car repair shop. However, she gets distracted on the way, and decides instead to buy a velvet blazer and a smoothie. Any time you see a smoothie in an educational film, something bad is going to happen. This time, her brakes go out completely, she spills the smoothie on her new jacket, and hurtles through a busy intersection to her death.
So, at the impressionable age of 13, I learned that poor financial planning will lead to ruined clothes and a grisly death. Also, bell bottoms can give you gonorrhea.