Click here for COVID-19 updates affecting the campus community

LETTER: Financial literacy more important than ever

I’m sure you would agree with me that CMU is a very fine institution. I certainly pride the alumnus status that awaits me in May.

But to further Central’s vision as a nationally prominent university, I believe it needs to take a statewide initiative to implement a budgeting class for all freshman students.

The proposed initiative includes mandating all incoming freshman to take the FIN 201: Personal Finance course instead of an elective University Program course.

At his recent State of the Union address, President Obama made it clear that the devaluing of the dollar and America’s reliance on credit are both continuing and disconcerting issues as we steam ahead in 2011.

As a personal financial planning major, I understand the need for people to get financial advice as investing and budgeting are very complex topics.

In light of all this, I see a huge problem: My peers are out of touch of with what is going on around them.

The recent “Great Recession” will linger for years to come but unfortunately many are unaware of its severity.

I am the first to admit my generation should be called the “entitlement generation.” My peers feel they are entitled to certain things — Social Security, health benefits, a job, etc. — but in reality, these should not be viewed as guaranteed anymore.

In short, I believe my peers are spoiled brats.

I’m worried about the non-business school students who don’t get the same views on economy and politics that I or my fellows get. I’m worried they don’t realize the implications of financial aspects of life such as taxes, budgeting, inflation, insurance of all kinds, savings and investing.

Let me give you an example:

Just the other day, a friend of mine who is an English major began to rattle off questions about my opinions of certain business and political issues. He said the country’s current economic situation is simply “out of control” and that the “end-of-times are upon us!”

He said Uncle Sam doesn’t watch his spending, so why should he?

I feel like my peers are totally disregarding the fact that our kids will have to grow up in this financial and political mess and, frankly, it makes me sick with worry!

No matter what walk of life one comes from, the common denominator is money. Unfortunately, my generation has lost the meaning behind the value of money.

Financial literacy is the beginning of financial change. This is exactly what our great university needs and exactly what our great country calls for.

Keith Maskell

Alpena senior