WaPo columnist Michelle Singletary says:
Ironically, Jackson and his father in 1999 co-authored a book on personal finance, “It’s About the Money!: How You Can Get Out of Debt, Build Wealth, and Achieve Your Financial Dreams.” The Jacksons wrote: “Many of our churches breed material needs, as do many of our public schools, with peer pressure to buy expensive clothing.”Hmm. Using debt to buy stuff is hugely different from diverting money that isn't yours to spend that way. But I guess we can look at Jackson's list of items and use it as an occasion to reflect on the idiotic crap we've felt tempted to buy. Get some distance. What if the newspapers published a list of the 100 stupidest things you've thrown your money away on over the course of a lifetime?
I was critical of the portions of the book in which the Jacksons found it necessary to chide blacks for what they characterize as shameless spending....
At least the Jacksons are showing remorse....
Before you pass judgment on the Jacksons, think about the mess you might have made of your finances or the financial follies of people you know. It might not be a crime to get what you want (not what you need), but acting as if you are rich without being able to afford it can ruin your life.
Look around. If you could snap your fingers and cause any item in your house to transform into the cash you spent on it (or even only half of what you spent), what percentage of your possessions would be left? The items suddenly turn into piles of dollar bills. Better gather them up quickly. How much have you got there? Now, bills disappear to eradicate your debts. What do you have left now in your hands and in your house? How do you feel?
And by the way, Singletary said she chided the Jesse Jacksons, Sr. and Jr., for chiding black people for spending too much money on stuff, but then she turned around and chided her readers for spending too much money on stuff. Isn't that a contradiction? Or is it a problem to speak specifically to black people? The Jacksons shouldn't write a book talking specifically to black people? What are the rules here?