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Thrive through Thrift

June 7, 2009

You will enjoy reading this piece by David Blankenhorn in which he names five reasons why there is no such thing as a “paradox of thrift”. Summarised in bullet points they are:

– One man’s savings are another man’s investment capital

– Society doesn’t gain from families living outside of their means

– The spending that matters is the government’s not the private households’

– Being anti-thrift means being pro-waste

– “Properly understood, thrift means the ethic and practice of wise use” –  not abstinence and passivity.

In his conclusion Blankenhorn writes:

Put the pieces together, and the concept of thrift turns out to be a sophisticated call for the ethics and practice of wise use. Thrift is the art of making the wisest use of all that we have–time, money, possessions, our health, and our society’s natural resources–to promote both our own flourishing and the social good. The concepts most contrary to thrift are idleness and waste.

Ah, how refreshingly old-fashioned – and how true. So please, do not believe one word of what the well-meaning Neo-Keynesians like Paul Krugman are telling you about the benefits of spending during economic downturns. Just use your common sense when it comes to your economic decisions. No one wants to risk ending up dependent on a government relief programme. Especially not when the nation is headed for bankruptcy itself.

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