I distinctly recall how badly I wanted to make money as a kid. I remember lemonade stands, getting $1 each for ironing my father’s shirts and, later, mowing lawns. I remember the first thing I did with my own money, too: I walked straight to Skaggs Albertson’s, which soldâ€”wait for itâ€”Charlie’s Angels trading cards. I remember once debating between Fruit Stripes gum and a book, and having my mother press me towards the book, which would last longer. I went for the gum, which, according to the commercial, would cause my world to explode into a world of color and produce a talking Toucan. The gum failed me, and I’ve regretted the book ever since.
I’ve also, ever since, thought twice about most purchases, never paid a dime of credit card interest, and understood the basic principals of running a business. I can iron shirts and mow lawns. In other words, my parents succeeded in teaching me about hard work and the the value of a dollar. President Obama says he’s trying to do the same. How impossible must that feel?
Read more on Slate’s XXFactor.