Jul 052015 4 Responses

Trans-Affluent: The Great American Deception

When Rachel Dolezal was exposed as having deceived the public about her race, intentionally misleading others, and knowingly allowing media outlets to wrongly describe her ethnic background, Dolezal defended her actions by describing herself as transracial. Taking a commonly-used term meant to describe an adoption involving differing races, Dolezal attempted to use the term as a defense of appearing to be something she was not. She claimed to identify more as a person of a race differing her own. On the heels of Bruce Jenner’s claims that he identifies more as a woman rather than a man, it seems as though we face a deep identity crisis in America.

Yet this crisis is nothing new. Many Americans have long identified as something they are not. They have attempted to live in the appearance of their identity even at the denial of evidence disputing their claim. Many Americans could be described as Trans-Affluent. (See: Don’t Be a Social Media Hypocrite)

We identify as people of wealth even when our bank accounts and retirement accounts reveal no evidence affirming our identity. We give the appearance of affluence even though it’s a mirage built on debt and deception. When you aren’t paying for what you are possessing, you are trans-affluent. You are pretending to be something you are not.

The American government is trans-affluent. As a country, America is not paying for the resources we are enjoying. While we demand a robust Defense Department, sprawling entitlements, and a big government, we refuse to pay for it. Check out the 18 trillion dollar debt of the American government which is expanding with increasing speed. (Click here for the U.S. Debt clock.) America’s greatest generation gave birth to America’s greediest generation. We are stealing from our children and grandchildren, expecting them to fund our current lifestyles.

American business is trans-affluent. Consider healthcare and college. In neither area does the consumer feel the true weight of the cost of what they are receiving. In both, the sticker price is inflated and the real price is off-set by a combination of public money and discounts. Whether I’m taking a class in economics or having an MRI, I don’t truly understand the price structure for either. So the prices of both are exploding since no real price-competition exists.

Many American families and individuals are trans-affluent. The 2008 recession exposed the trans-affluence of many. As property values plummeted, it revealed many families who owed more money on their homes than the homes were actually worth. With homes, cars, boats, and other toys, many Americans posses many things, but they own very few of them. Instead of aggressively attacking personal debt and saving for retirement, too many people continue to use credit cards to give the appearance of an affluence they will never actually possess.

The remedy for trans-affluence is simple. Live an authentic life. Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Accept your current financial restraints and live within them. If you don’t like your current income, allow the frustration to motivate you to figure out how to change your circumstance. But whatever you do, do not identify with a wealthy lifestyle when you lack the funds to truly create that life. As Dave Ramsey would say, “Act your wage.”

A Simple Money Solution

While money issues may not be easy, they are simple. Assuming there is not an unusual event—dramatic illness, sudden disability, etc—the average person has two money choices. (See: Never Ignore the Money)


1. Determine the lifestyle you want and find a way to fund that lifestyle.


2. Define your income and choose a lifestyle which fits within those economic boundaries.

That’s it. There is not a valid third option. Nearly every money problem is a violation of this simple choice. If you are currently living a trans-affluent lifestyle, either make more money or spend less money, but stop pretending to be something you are not.

I don’t know the future of a trans-affluent country like the U.S. I’m not hopeful about it. But as an individual, there isn’t much I can do about it. However, I am certain about the future of a trans-affluent individual or family. It is just a matter of time before the deception is revealed. While they may appear successful and wealthy today, a moment will come in which the debt will catch up with them and the mirage will be seen for what it is.

While the future isn’t bright for the trans-affluent, it can be changed. A person can admit their true circumstance, make changes, and never have to endure the painful experience of being exposed. (See: Start Making Good Decisions)

Consider: is the life you project your real life? Are you identifying with who you actually are or are you trying to be something you are not?

America has a problem. We are trans-affluent and the clock is ticking toward the day where our deception will be revealed.



4 Responses to Trans-Affluent: The Great American Deception
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