Abstinence Only Education: Credit Card Edition

Gloria Lucas
Coping with Capitalism
5 min readMay 8, 2024

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/roll-of-american-dollar-banknotes-tightened-with-band-4386476/

My oldest son flashes me a tight-lipped smile and shrugs. We’re looking at his latest Econ homework. I see it’s an abridged version of Dave Ramsey’s advice and I cringe. I haven’t looked deep into his methods, but am of the mind that if general advice sent to the masses is making someone extremely rich…it’s likely too vague to be of any use and full of flashy words that do nothing but sound good.

I realize I’m a cynic…

Still, it’s difficult not to harshly criticize vague advice, especially when it has echoes of “you can be anything when you grow up!” without the proper resources and support attached to the statement. As a child who experienced transient homelessness, food insecurity, and many other symptoms of chronic poverty, I heard these words over and over again. If I worked hard, I’d climb the ladder. That’s the whole American dream, no?

Except, I later found out I was playing by different rules than children who grew up in middle-class or upper-class households. I don’t point out privileges I didn’t have to have others feel sorry me, it’s simply a fact.

I wrote more about this experience in a piece titled Social Classes via a Fuel Gauge.

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Gloria Lucas
Coping with Capitalism

I write about trauma and mental health. Sometimes parenting. Also, short stories. Daydreamer. Always behind on laundry. She/her