Grabbing the headlines this week is the negotiation over the "fiscal cliff."
Creeping into the news are reports of education budget plans and projections. The Superintendent of Bland County is actually holding public information sessions on the "Impact of the Recession on Schools."
While some economists have started to describe the "cliff" as a "slope," the interface of tax cut expirations, debt-ceiling negotiations, payroll taxes, healthcare reform, and sequestration still seem like a perfect storm.
The projections may be worse than the reality, BUT over the next three weeks family will be making major decisions regarding their personal finances and how best to protect themselves against the unknown.
What are the potential lessons?
First, parents should talk with their young people about money. How you treat your bankbook describes your very core values. This does not mean that money is the driver, but it does mean that money is the gauge.
In the book of Matthew (a tax collector), we find, "Where your treasure is, your heart will be also." Again, this does not refer simply to money.
It is perhaps a good time to teach young people about the relationship between money and work. Congress and the President are beginning to acknowledge that it takes both revenue and reductions in expenses to balance a budget.
Inherent in this discussion should be that people "in need" should be helped by the government (you and me), but not dependent upon the government (you and me).
As for the "cliff", if we go over a fiscal cliff, we will likely recover, but if we go over a moral cliff, we may not.