Money Matters for Progressives & Left Movements + Personal Finance Without Poor-Shaming

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Both the finances of organizations and the finances of the people in our community, especially those who are involved in activism, individually matter to the success of progressive and leftist movements. Better financial security serves the goal of helping uplift the working class, and also makes for more effective activism.

The Economic Police State episode that is frequently referenced in this episode:

Show notes (always rough, may contain errors):

Discussion on the drought in political donations on both sides of the aisle, and layoffs in Progressive organizations specifically

Politico article:

It is important to have wealth so you can use it to create change

Conservative media stays alive because random business people buy ads and people buy from advertisers on the shows and donate year round.

Toxic victim-blaming attitude pervades finance

Get a job, get another job, get a better job. The real cause of most financial problems is bad jobs, worse bosses, and rampant financial exploitation. Not personal responsibility.

Some criticism of Dave Ramsey, the biggest offender, but also Caleb Hammer is growing in popularity and also sometimes falls into this trap of pushing people into bad jobs.

You do need personal responsibility but I think most people do fairly well with this.

People even do it to each other – DoorDash subreddit is the latest.

Meme/Tweet – You want a hamburger but you don’t want the person who makes it to have a place to live.

Personal finance experts and people who blame victims are pushing people to the crappy job market rather than fighting for better conditions with flexible work for those who need it.


A progressive/leftist (sort of) approach to personal finance – Steps to improving your finances:

  1. Analyze the way they do

The Caleb Hammer style “financial audit” approach of nit-picking/shaming random things isn’t necessary.

Look at big things like Assets, Cash Flow, Income as main metrics

Credit score is important – borrowing money in the right way is how most businesses make investments

Being able to become a homeowner, financed by a loan, is essential to wealth building

Almost no successful companies are living by the Dave Ramsey method

No need to necessarily pay down all your debt immediately, if it is not a large impediment to cash flow and you have enough savings. The guilt-trip about paying off debt feeds into the low-wage trap.

Things like bankruptcy and debt settlement are good if you need them. Don’t try to pay off debts in full that are long overdue and your credit is already ruined without considering other options. This episode does not cover this issue. It’s very complex and requires professional advice.

Don’t overstress yourself with little things

Be flexible as long as you are getting to your goals

Who cares if you bought some fast food?

Who cares if you bought the proverbial gas station taquitos?

Keep away from major debt that ties you down to a job though. Have a plan and be able to leave a bad situation. What happens if you need to quit or strike?

Think about the big things first – housing, cars, large purchases, student loans, etc.

  1.  Eliminate the ways they take from you

Bank fees, insurance costs, subscriptions, overcharged on cable or phone bill, excessive interest (refinance and use 0% cards)

Choose local banks and credit unions for banking. See Claim Your Change with Kyle Theirmann

  1. Get free money

Sign up bonuses, high interest savings, cash back on credit cards, class action checks, online surveys

Class actions on

Keep money separated

Extra money from those things (cash back, bonuses, class actions) goes somewhere else other than the same bank. You keep your regular checking account in.

  1. Automate your savings and finances

Pay your credit cards often, as soon as you buy something if you can, so it works like cash. Pay yourself like you would a bill – automatically You deserve to live a good life.

  1. Consider collective action

Know the major factor in this is the system and how it eats away at your income, think and take action accordingly.

Got questions or comments about this episode? Do you want to share something from your own personal growth journey? Have you faced oppression, have a story about bad bosses, a corrupt company, or another injustice you want to vent or spread the word about? I’d love to hear from you!

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This podcast is not professional advice of any sort. This content is for entertainment and general informational purposes only. We do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of the information herein. The viewer should not rely solely upon such and consult a competent professional before deciding to follow any course of action.

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