October 2, 2008 · Updated 11:35 PM
Why has the bond failed twice? I think it's because there's too much personal debt and no money to give. The houses, the cars and the lattes have eaten it all up. We have very low poverty numbers in the Valley. That usually results in strong school support. Unfortunately, our community has another very unique statistic: an extremely high amount of personal debt when compared to other communities.
People borrow money for one of two reasons: either to make wealth or to fake wealth. You need a modest home and a form of transportation before you can set out to make wealth. So it may be appropriate to borrow money for these things. It may also be effective to borrow for an education, a new business venture or an income-producing asset. But if you borrow money for fancy cars, fancy houses, or even worse, eating out and vacationing, then you are probably faking wealth. Each of us has to make a personal decision as to when our borrowing is making wealth or faking wealth. A good reference for making this decision can be found on the IRS web site. Tables of estate tax returns show that the average home value for millionaires in the United States is $277,000.
The tragedy of faking wealth is that it prevents you from making wealth. Making wealth provides you with freedom. Faking wealth provides you with a prison sentence. The prison bars are made of jumbo mortgages and credit cards. The cell door closes when home prices decline.
The wealth makers are the good stewards of society that keep their expenses below their income. This practice always produces the same result, the accumulation of wealth. These good stewards exist in every community, but often they are not who you think they are. These people usually have an intuitive dislike for the inefficiencies of government, but at the same time they give great support to local police, fire and schools.
If you think the bond is too expensive, then move into a house that is assessed at a lower value and your school cost will go down. Bonus rooms and Escalades are optional; schools aren't.
Make 2008 the year you became a better steward by reducing your expenses and passing the school bond.