Michael on March 16th, 2009
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I don’t think so.  Neither does David, as he writes in Are Savers Dooming the Economy? NO!!!

You: You don’t buy the argument that the savers among us are making the recession worse?  You don’t think people should spend more to help the country move on economically?

As I’ve said before, there’s nothing fundamentaly patriotic about spending money you don’t have.  It amazes me that some people seem to think that our climb out of a negative national savings rate to a slightly positive one is a bad thing. Presumably, they feel that in order for us to move on to a boom cycle, we’ll need to return to the days of irresponsible spending.

You: Wasn’t that what caused part of this crisis?

Yes, I believe so.

You: Then that argument that spending more again doesn’t make any sense.

Exactly.  Glad you agree.  For more interesting personal finance articles, check out this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, where I found David’s article as the first editor’s pick (I obviously agreed.)

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3 Comments to “Is spending your patriotic duty?”

  1. I’ve heard people making the argument that we need to spend spend spend to get us out this recession and I can’t help but think how absolutely ridiculous that sounds. Major financial institutions spent irresponsibly, and now, to help them out of the mess they created for themselves, I’m supposed to risk my family’s security?

    Beyond that, as an Environmental Sciences teacher and a sustainability ambassador at Temple University, I see clearly that the mass consumerism of the past 50 years has led to mass ecological collapse. Despite the popular sentiment that it would hurt the economy to do things differently than we’ve been doing them, just wait to see how expensive it will be if we don’t change our ways! Being Economically responsible and Environmentally responsible are two sides of the same coin. It’s not just some ironic twist of fate that the indulgent way of life we’ve had for decades and the biggest ecological challenge we’ve ever faced are happening at the same time.

    Point is, save your money and go for a hike. You will be wealthier and healthier.

  2. Michael says:

    @Jeff: I actually just said “Amen, brother!” out loud after reading your post, and not just because it’s nearly warm enough to (finally) go for a hike here in NH.

    I find it intriguing how much of the resistance to the “green” revolution started to wain once companies realized how much money there was to be made by paying attention. Reducing packaging expense for manufacturers and retailers, thereby reducing consumer prices and landfill space requirements was one early notable example.

    Let’s see who else is paying attention.

  3. Al says:

    You have to have integrity with money or you won’t have any. Doesn’t that kind of ring a bell with the large banks and Washington today? Take care of your personal business so nothing knocks you off your rock. It is patriotic to be safe and secure.

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