I’m reading a Newsweek article entitled “Stop Saving Now!” It’s overall message, if you couldn’t guess from the title, is that in order from our economy to recover we – as a society – need to start taking more risks and throwing our fiscal caution to the wind.
This brings to mind a time when I received an allowance and I had a choice to save the money or spend it. My parents would advise to save it so I could buy something bigger than what I could with just a few dollars. At that point, there was no risk in not receiving more allowance, but nonetheless the general principle was that risk-free “saving is good.”
It almost makes me ill to think that our entire economy revolves around – well – greed and bad decision making. Not that penny pinching is the way to go, but when an article compares our entire society to Las Vegas casinos (where gambling revenue is down — in January, Nevada’s casinos reported, gamblers lost 14.6 percent less money than they did in January 2008, notes the article), I start to get a bit queasy. Why should we be expected to live our lives with such high risk in order for our economy to work? Isn’t there something wrong with that equation?
“It’s tempting in this period of contraction to mimic Thoreau, to live simply and deliberately. But if we lose our penchant for gain and risk, we’ll lose some of the essence of what makes us American.”