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April 8, 2009

Dr. Robi Ludwig on relationships and money

Posted: 03:35 PM ET

By frequent LKL guest and psycotherapist, Dr. Robi Ludwig

You’d have to be living in Siberia right now to not know about the financial crises felt around the world. It seems like no profession has been untouched by the new economic climate we’ve all found ourselves in.

Everyone seems to have a theory as to what caused this financial disaster, how long it will last, and what we need to do, in order to get ourselves out of it. I’ll be honest with you; the last thing I am is an economist. And the truth is, I still count on my fingers when no one’s looking, but I certainly know about finances and relationships, and how not having enough money (whatever that subjective number is) can cause a heck of a lot of stress in people’s lives. Whether we want to admit it or not, money does make life easier, and when there’s less of it, certain adjustments have to be made.

Money is the third wheel in a relationship, and it’s not a particularly romantic third wheel either. Especially when a couple has to talk about what they need to cut back on and/or what they can no longer do or have (at least for their immediate future). It can feel like a huge loss and embarrasses and assaults one’s ego. After all, who wants to have or do less? Who wants to give up on their dreams for the future? This “having less” idea is an understandably upsetting one. I know I don’t like it. Yet, many people have to make some pretty tough, yet necessary choices when it comes to altering the way they look at their finances these days.

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Filed under: Finance • Robi Ludwig


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Dodie from Irvine CA   April 8th, 2009 8:18 pm ET

Good Evening Larry!

My question is:

Robi Ludwig, Psy. D. identifies herself as a psychotherapist which is usually a catch-all label for someone who is NOT licensed to practice and usually working under someone else's license.

My question would be, what California approved license does she obtain; thus, allowing her to perform psychotherapy?


JIM CARROLL INTERNET FREE PRESS   April 8th, 2009 8:37 pm ET

MIXTURISM
The rational economic, ethical and political philosophy for the 21st century and beyond
Authored by James M. Carroll, First Printing, September 1996
President Obama will make my vision for the 21st century come true.
My Vision For the 21st Century and Beyond
For many people around the world, the coming of the year 2000 seems to have little significance...nothing more than a change of numbers on the calendar or a different set of digits on a computer screen or in a personal checkbook. But I view the approach of the new millennium quite differently. To me, it seems a most auspicious occasion, truly a time for a new beginning for humankind...a time when human hearts, minds and souls will be receptive to a new philosophy, a time when people around the world will long for and finally achieve a common mindset...leading to a collective attitude that, for the first time in human history, will usher in a long-lasting era of peace and prosperity for all citizens of planet earth.
Indeed, by the year 2000, many factors favoring an instant mindset change will already be in place...communicative, scientific, and technological advancements; improved worldwide economic conditions; settlement of geographic disputes; and growing political and religious tolerance. These factors will give citizens of planet earth cause to reflect, to adopt a new mindset one making it possible for those who have plenty to have even more and those who have not, to have plenty.
At the center of this new mindset are three fundamental principles: One, the world is now, more than ever before, an interdependent society, one where citizens of one country need the products and services of many others. Two, supplies of both people resources and natural resources already exist which are sufficient for supplying goods and services to satisfy the needs and desires of the entire world. Three, the United Nations can be restructured in the following ways: It should be empowered with authority to function as the world s police, with the ability for enforcing a new world order; it should have the right to hold leaders of any nation responsible for conflicts they might cause; and it should have powers of indictment for the purpose of bringing them to justice. The United Nations should dedicate itself to helping nations to work together to bring about practical solutions to common problems.

But how can we bring about a spirit of cooperation between government, business and the people? How can we unite public and private sectors in a working relationship such that the doors to individual opportunity will be flung wide open for all? How can we reshape our community so that all people will be able to find their way into society and reap fully the rewards of their labors? The answer, mixturism, a philosophy that blends the best features of public and private enterprise where pragmatism, not labels, rules.

History has shown that pure capitalism and pure socialism are deeply flawed. When one or the other system is practiced exclusively, problems are created, not solved. On the other hand, mixturism applies whichever approach seems most likely to solve a problem, regardless of whether it involves the private sector, the public sector, or joint private and public sectors working together.
The philosophy of mixturism recognizes that there are five basic human needs which must be met: First, we must have a health-care system that will provide the very best in medical care for everyone, from conception to death. Individual personal income should not determine eligibility. Second, we must develop a public and private system of education that will provide the best possible academic and vocational training for all people. Third, we must establish a reserve-retraining work-force system, surrounded and supported by full-service child-care capabilities. With such a system in place, no one who wants a job will ever be without one. Fourth, we must make it possible for every person to have a decent place to live, be it a house, an apartment or a condominium. To achieve this, we must be courageous enough to limit the number of people through sensible population control. Fifth, we must have a monetary system that will provide a balanced money supply at all times, one that is equivalent to the goods and services people’s hands and minds can produce.
Mixturism addresses all these basic human needs. But to maximize the effectiveness of this philosophy, individuals must assume responsibility for their own success in life, recognizing that the family is paramount and that concern for the well-being of others is crucial to maintaining a civilized order. Each nation must work toward becoming a democratic society and must guarantee its people an individual bill of rights. The United Nations must protect these rights. But we must also ensure that the U.S. military can reinforce the United Nations and be independently capable of halting any aggression on its own.
With the dawning of the new millennium, humankind has the opportunity to embrace a new mindset...one which sets aside ideology and selfishness in favor of pragmatic problem solving and cooperation. So, let us look forward to the 21st century. Let us view it as a new beginning as we strive to create a new era of lasting peace and prosperity.
Eight years of the Bush administration has slowed the world down, but we are now back on track with President Obama. Go to the internetfreepress and print you a copy of Mixturism—FREE.


Terry, TX   April 8th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

To Jim Carroll....quit writing books...it is just moronic to do that while blogging. Mixturism....just like the Democrats...where's the plan...who is paying... from your lofty tower...sounds like
1) free health care...is not sustainable...should be treated like car insurance...I don't owe anyone free insurance
2) Education....I pay high school district taxes...where's your plan...my plan quit funding the illegal population...regardless of unions fire bad teachers and parents need to step up to the plate with their non graduating students...not a govt problem...not a taxpayer problem.
3)Child Care...No...one has the children they can afford...I've worked all my life and raised my kids ...the taxpayer should not be paying for this.
4) Everyone should have a decent place to live....they can...taxpayers should not have to pay for it....educate your children...raise them right and they will turn out to be good citizens. I don't own them a house.
5) Monetary system....you had no plan....this is just blabbering.
6) UN....we need to pull out ....throw them out of our building and keep our money...they couldn't and wouldn't protect squat...they just send letters of disapproval.
I wouldn't waste my time looking at internetfreepress...your blabbering here had no point and no plan...just rhetoric....but that's the Democratic Party we have now...I am just an American Taxpayer & voter.


Herb   April 8th, 2009 11:33 pm ET

Dodie actually asked my question in a better, more informed way than I could have put it anyway – so thanks for that Dodie. However, I was shocked to stumble across the blatant plug-piece [though to be fair, it is a freebie apparently...] by Mr Carroll. After reading this piece, I was a bit lost – as it's obviously very optimistic .[I thought it was to meant to be about DJs at first... I know, I'm slow...] But I would love to hear from Mr Carroll if what he thinks he is saying here – via Mixturism – is actually anything new? I wonder if he has heard of evolutionary approaches? I was going to suggest Fabianism[as in Fabian Socialism] – but that's been rumbled too often as do nothing and hope for the best [though loads of smart-boffin-polymath-type-people laud it]. This always reminds me of sweetly sick and ever positive Champagne Socialism[common throughout downturns; like posh and affluent "anarchists"] – it might spring to mind here...
Mixturism has this similar blending. It's not really an ideology you posit, Mr Carroll, but a policy. It's very academic, of course and lots of big ideas are involved and hugely generalized; but dogmatic ideology seems to be dead post-Cold War. I'm sure Mr Carroll will use some historical examples there, right? Technically, [and I'm not defending it] Soviet-Style communism was not pure communism, or even primitive communism – whereas was 1920s or even 1950s USA ever caught in pure capitalism? Probably not as much as the 1980s...but then again what about the dotcom boom? Centralism is dominant now – and no-one seems to know what that stands for really – within most Westernized liberal capitalist-democracies. But let's face it: I'm really shocked you've gone to the trouble to stick this piece here – I'm assuming you want people to deliberately disagree with you? But you have got me thinking, to be honest [and I try not to think too much – it's dangerous, isn't it?]

But, seriously, I don't disagree with the Utopian points [a strong U.N., a basic framework of healthcare, housing and monetary stability for every democratic state, childcare provision, retraining, education, etc; definitely what's slowly happening – but way too slowly]; but you have too many of these impractical points. I hate to say it, but the UN is damaged; it's useless now. I reckon something else needs to take it's place that actually recruits it's own forces and services more directly and becomes more involved within the cultural politics of a globalized 21st century [though it's charity bases should remain functional]. It owes too much of itself to it's awful precursor, the League of Nations. It's looking weak and out of touch – and where does all that fat go? They're bureaucracy-laden and top-heavy; they do little when they intervene also. I hate to say you've lifted Bertrand Russell's point about a world police via world government – but people will realistically view it as some anti-democratic entity; even more so now when our civil liberties are constantly being infringed by our respectives States – despite living in a so-called "liberal capitalist democracy". The problem with democracy is actually capitalism. You can never really have a pure democracy, as someone has to pay for it – and let's face money keeps anarchy at bay, right?[so it can't be that bad!]

The problem I have with Mixturism is that it's some pick and mix bag of a vague policy set-up [you want to be part of thinktank, don't you?] Democracy has a problem at the moment with this – people can't tell what respective politicans stand for [I can't speak totally for the US, but in the UK I'm baffled if there's any point in voting at all – the current political parties are all so useless they've devalued our vote, it's a disgrace!] What do you get when you elect a Mixturist? What is the decision-making mechnism? You're going to test all current functions of government surely?[I won't go into repressive state apparatus, etc – too neo-Marxist now; but it's one of the few realistic and applicable Marxist points].Importantly, if something doesn't work how quickly will the changes occur? Who are the unknown guinea pig generation, too? But in all honestly, you probably have three or four different monographs in there: restructuring the UN, Housing, Child-Care provision [it's a mess in the UK too, so I don't know how you can offer a better alternative from the US?]; state-funded high-tech-healthcare provision, and a monetary system that remains constant? [You're referring to a Bradbury of some type situation – I do not know the American version of a Bradbury, so I can't help you there; I'm sure you'll let me know, though...however, for all I know you could be looking into time-banking.] Another monograph for you in there: The spirit of co-operation between government, business and individuals [I agree it is fundamental, but you don't look at the problem of human nature, unfortunately. Is there any room for differing/dissenting opinions? I mean if someone really hated Mixturism would that be fine? I'm assuming they would be laugh at for being old -fashioned and "principled"?] Also Mixturism does sound like a fad label – doesn't it? You're saying it blends the best, but how do you know what is the best – what is the decision making process to discover the best? How transparent is that process? And ultimately, is it possible...I think there are current signs of Mixturism that already slightly exists; though I can only speak for myself, of course! But I don't understand what the majority of politicians in the UK actually stand for – apart from pocket-lining and well-rehearsed buzz words.

Also, to throw an e-dart at Mixturism's mixing/blending Kenco effect: PPP [public-private-partnership – where public contracts are bidded by private companies that usually realize there's no real profit to be made in the public sector; but still try to squeeze it for all it's worth!] – in the UK it has been an awful failure; it's close to meltdown now obviously. It's ruined everything from healthcare to transportation. But what you're alluding to is a ridiculously[possibly unrealistically] flexible co-operative system, borrowing heavily from the old-fashioned model of co-operative movements[where some still exist to this day]; but you want – mixed into the, erm, mix – with direct Big State Welfarism [I feel that might be close to impossible, as these co-operative movements are usually very localized and eventually get swallowed up by a Centralized Big State or a Big Company].

I don't know if Obama is advocating this – it's great that you place hope in him, I wish I could say the same of a UK politician – though you seem to think he is a Mixturist. I doubt that Obama is looking for labels, too – but he is looking for a long-term solution to get back to something like[at a guess – I'm not a economist so I've got nothing to lose!] early 2002[roughly, I add]. It wasn't exactly robust then, but there was a lot more wealth creation then. Unfortunately, he's got to make sure this financial situation doesn't occur again [is historical repetition inevitable?A long revolution or what?]; but if you look at it, despite huge deficits, through constant bailout[s] and global bailout[s], we are technically all living under a form of unlabelled socialism. And with so many things going on in the rest of the world – terrorism, rogue states, nation-building, selling our brand of Westernized democracy, natural disasters, disease, etc, – the Big State solution will be back for a while[I don't know if you dig Will Hutton, or have heard of him at all; but he's pretty clued up on this and he isn't afraid to put his views on the line whereas most experts are mincing around horribly. But disagreement flourishes now which is a good thing, though also worrying as no-one has a panacea; the dry-as-dust economics lecturer is really earning that pay-packet now!]. But I honestly can't imagine anything getting done under Mixturism, but it sounds great [in parts] on paper. I suppose you could always look at China, too [they must feel smug at the mo – though their oil consumption is a huge worry for us all]. But I don't know if you want to discuss possible alternatives to socialism – or how a purer, more direct, form of globalized democracy can be evolved – as you're keen for pragmatism!? [Please don't play semantics over the philosophy of money with me though! You'll lose me!] I'll check out the full version, though – as I've nibbled at your pitch – where's the link?


Marybeth Pallante   April 9th, 2009 12:53 am ET

What do you think all us working Mom's are working for. If you worked on an Econmy that allows Moms to stay at home and have a house in a nice neighborhood and good schools I too would stay at home!!!!!

I've been working for 15 years to do this!!!! Maybe if we all had a colume to give advice on issues our economic stading give us no working knowledge of we could all stay at home.


Michael C. McHugh   April 9th, 2009 10:04 am ET

A silly "story" typical of the right wing, that we know will criticize Obama no matter what he does. We can expect "stories" like these every day as long as he's president. I understand that they are just trying to derail all his reforms, so these attacks mean zero to me.

By the way, if they think we don't have a caste system in this country, they have forgotten all about slavery and segregation, and also about our long history of discrimination against all non-WASPS.


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