In the News

'Sketching the Budget in Sonic Pensions' - At Last, An Anthem

By Maria Sotero
April 9, 2010

Issues: Financial Crisis,Financial Services,Family & Children,Ownership & Assets

This hip tune is making its way around the asset building community in California - we got wind of it from our friends at Tax-Aid - and let's just say that New America is clearly not the only source of new voices and new ideas.

No, Tennessee hip-hop/ambient/electronic producers and rappers have voices too- and the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville has just posted the track Earn It Keep It Save It, by Quiet Entertainer. There's something wonderful about this new kind of collaboration and community spirit, plus, these words have flow.

"We know income flows in/ flows out/ no doubt- better keep a close watch," raps James Fate. "I keep at least a G for emergencies/ predatory lenders they can't punk me." What great advice- and we couldn't have said it better ourselves. Personal responsibility, knowledge, common sense- the financial system (and rap music) could use a lot more of those things.

J. Prodigal follows, "My money goes deep into tax brackets/ Where income residual brings good potential." He speaks to what Einstein called the most powerful force in the universe- compound interest. The line "Be careful how you borrow/ Make sure you know this stuff/ at any given time you could never have enough," speaks to the pain and troubles of people who are trapped in debt, or signed onto an adjustable-rate mortgage.

The song creates a new perspective, adds a new set of words and tone to our wonky world of asset building. Warning people about the downsides of quick cash and instant gratification has never sounded this good: "Don't count your eggs before they hatch or you'll be sleeping with the hens."

They speak the truth, and they say it plain. Who else can see these guys performing at a free community tax preparation event, or a community forum? How about the upcoming Financial Literacy Fair, to be held April 20 at the California State Capitol?

"If it's too good to be true, then it's probably a scam," warns the cleverly-named Spoken Nerd. "Release me from these cuffs of collection/...We'll all have an intervention/ I'm sketching my budget out in sonic pensions/ so I can enjoy life and show this world affection."

Some people know what it's like to be completely broke, have no money coming in, no nest egg for emergencies, and thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Some people have forgotten, or never knew- but that last line reminds us. We are all just pursuing happiness, and financial security is just a means to that end.

Article by New America Foundation. ::Link:: to story at




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