I was trying to decide the subject of this week’s column when I glanced at a TV screen and the quandary disappeared. “The Suze Orman Show,” airing on CNBC at prime time, exerted a powerful force in my hotel room. And the fate of this column was sealed.
Orman made a big splash many years ago on public television – the incubating environment for her as a national phenom. With articulate calls for intelligent self-determination of one’s own financial future, she is a master of the long form. Rational and impassioned, she makes deft use of humor and dramatic pauses to punch up the impacts of her performances.
Seeing her the other night, within a matter of seconds, I realized that the jig was up. How could a mere underachieving syndicated columnist hope to withstand the blandishments and certainties of Suze Orman, bestselling author and ever-present eminence from the erudite bastions of PBS to the hard-boiled financial realms of General Electric’s CNBC?
To resist was pointless. What if I tried to write about Suze Orman as a carping critic? After all, she has already explained that such critics, particularly the males of the species, simply resent a strong woman with the guts, smarts and determination to cast off the shackles of a retrograde past. “Ladies,” I could hear her say from the stage, with one of her magnificent flourishes, “don’t let that old nonsense wreck your future.”
So, in hopes of putting myself in sync with her redemptive power, I turn the rest of this particular column over to a distillation of Suze Orman’s messaging: Your money, your life. It’s as simple as that. Ladies – and you men, too – the time is past when we hold back. Not having control over our own money is something we can’t afford, and I mean that literally – we just cannot afford it.
I’ll be blunt here. Anyone who tells you there’s something wrong with getting rich and then richer has some serious unresolved problems. Heh heh.
If you want a solution, you go out and grab it. You rule money or money will rule you. People who can’t wrap their minds around that simple concept – they get nowhere.
You want to solve social problems, start with yourself. If you can’t get rich, you’re part of a social problem – like I used to be. Now I do very well, thank you, and I don’t want to hear about how some financial company is making money from my self-help website. Sure, I’m getting richer all the time. You got a problem with that?
The more people get rich, the happier I am. Even a leader of the Chinese Communists (and you know what dummies they were) said it straight out maybe 30 years ago – “it’s glorious to be rich.” The baggage we’re still carrying around tells us not to mind if some guy says it, but if I as a woman make the same point, the knives come out. Ladies, to hell with that. We’re not going back.
It’s not glorious to be low-income, that’s for damn sure. I know what that’s like. Now I go back to PBS at pledge time, and they welcome me with open arms. Public broadcasting. Makes me almost sentimental. But catch me on CNBC these days, and you’ll see that I’m swimming with the big-money fish.
I don’t just want you to plan for the future. I want you to make enough money to buy your fu-
(Continued on Page 11) ture, lock, stock and barrel. Money money money. I’ve got it on the brain, and I make no apology. I love money. It’s freedom, and ladies – you can earn freedom if you apply yourselves.
Some people can’t stop complaining about a system of winners and losers. Well, whether they realize it or not, that’s probably because they’re bound and determined to be losers. Well, I think it’s a heck of a lot better to be a winner.
What kind of media future do you think I’d have if I kept complaining about the system because of losers? I’d probably be a loser, too! Not if I can help it. And I can, obviously.
So, I’m rich. And I’m trying to inform you about how to get rich, too. If you can’t make it happen, maybe you haven’t listened to my wisdom closely enough. You got a problem with that?
©2007 Creators Syndicate, Inc.