There are moments when I realize that I am somewhat out of touch with mainstream America. Like when I read a headline about Dave Ramsey and my immediate response is, “Oh, yeah, is that the founder of Wendy’s?” In case you, like me, have been somewhat out of it, living on the coasts for a while or whatever, the answer is no. Dave Ramsey is an incredibly successful conservative Christian financial advice guru:
famous for his gospel of “financial peace,” “Biblically based, common sense” wisdom on debt, investing, and retirement. Exploding out of the evangelical Christian world and onto the national stage, he has sold millions of books, hosts a popular radio show, and runs an organization that boasts more than 400 employees. Eight million people listen to The Dave Ramsey Show, 400 publications run his “Dave Says” column, and more than 2 million families have participated in Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. According to Ramsey, his Lampo Group sells “hope,” and that business has given him an estimated net worth of $55 million.
Wow, “hope” is pretty damn lucrative. But as this Daily Beast profile relates, in giddy detail, no amount of money can make a sensitive person immune to criticism or a crazy person less crazy. His disproportionately enraged response to “negative chatter” has some of his staff calling him Dave “Ramses II.” Which, of course, only makes him angrier. And then somehow Jesus gets involved?