We Catholics owe a debt to Dave Ramsey. The Evangelical Protestant has helped millions of Americans fight the scourge of usury far more fiercely than our own clerics or laymen. Ask most parishes today for a class on money management and they would turn to Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University.” His most popular book, The Total Money Makeover, is an elementary catechism for the debt-ridden in which he lays out baby steps to put your financial house in order.
Lesser known, however, is Ramsey’s vision for what comes after riches. Just as Protestants have trouble explaining what happens when you are “already-saved,” the pace of Ramsey’s advice slows for the “already-saving.” He has just one book catered to the rich who question what to do with their stockpiled assets. Unlike the rest of Ramsey’s works which mete out milk for the babes, The Legacy Journey has free rein to offer the dense meat of stewardship. Sadly, Catholics of all classes will find themselves painfully undernourished.
The first problem with Ramsey’s writing is that he constantly conflates money with wealth, easing your conscience about hoarding the former by calling it the latter. The bait-and-switch presents wealth as God’s blessing. Indeed, it is. God created the world, saw that it was good, and gave it to man. The wealthy should not apologize for accepting this gift.