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Review: Debt is Slavery by Michael Mahalik

Is debt slavery? Not technically, but Debt is Practically Eternal Indentured Servitude simply wouldn’t make for a very readable title now would it? The book itself isn’t much to look at, a svelte 122 pages written by a guy who doesn’t make the personal finance talk show circuit, he doesn’t appear on television or radio, and a picture of his face isn’t even in the copy of the book I have. In that way, Michael Mahalik is exactly the type of person you want writing this type of book. Suze Orman isn’t in debt. Ben Stein certainly isn’t in debt. David Bach? No way. If a fellow like NCN wrote a book, it would be this book, it would speak to you as a regular person, and it would be helpful to someone actually in debt. Automatic Millionaire? That’s great when you’re not $15k in the hole with that hole getting even bigger every month.

The full title is Debt is Slavery and 9 Other Things I Wish My Dad Had Taught Me About Money [3] and this is where Michael started. He had $10,000 in debt on 10 credit cards, $13,000 in a car loan, $2,500 in a student loan, $535 on a medical bill, and, as if all that weren’t enough, poor guy had a $1,500 loan for an electronic keyboard. He was only 24. Yeah he knew he lived beyond his means, he doesn’t have any reservations about his foolish decisions (or at least his foolishly timed decisions), and that first step of acceptance is always the first step in dealing with anything.

Overall, I think the book comes at you from a great perspective, that of someone in debt who has overcome it; but I find it difficult to analyze from that perspective because I’ve had the fortunate luck of not having been in credit card debt (though a mortgage and student loans do at times feel quite heavy) but I feel as thought Michael isn’t speaking to me from a perch. He’s not teaching me, he’s just talking to me like an uncle who is smarter than me would, and I think that resonates with them. The book is ten bucks from Amazon, so it’s pretty afforadable, but let me give this bit of advice – if you have $10,000 in credit card debt, borrow this it from the bookstore and send the ten bucks to Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. It’s a good book, no doubt, but I bet Michael would advise the same.