10 Ways to Get Americans Spending Again – But Why?

July 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Spending

Amid fears that we are entering the second dip of a double-dip recession, the “why don’t we spend more” hand-wringers are at it again. They want to know why American consumers aren’t prowling the store aisles and throwing crap in their carts.  They also want to know what can be done to make them throw more crap in their shopping carts.

Maybe the answer is that some consumers have finally learned that putting more crap in their carts will not improve their lives or make them happier. They have discovered that spending less and saving more is an excellent personal finance strategy.

The “spend to our economy is healthy again” advocates argue that we need more consumer spending so that more people will have jobs.

Sorry – that’s not persuasive.

I’m not responsible for your job. My first obligation is to manage the finances of my family. If that means spending less so that we have more personal cash reserves, then that’s what I will do. With that strategy, we don’t have to look to others for help when economic times get tough for us.

I’m all in favor of jobs for everyone who needs one. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of full employment for lawyers or MBA students. Indeed, we need fewer of them so that some of those cash-cow unneeded degree factories might shut down.

But I will not spend more (or rationalize reckless spending) to “get our economy moving again.”  You get your economy moving again. I’ll worry about mine.

Here is a link to the article that provoked this rant: 10 Ways to Get Americans Spending Again

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3 Responses to “10 Ways to Get Americans Spending Again – But Why?”
  1. Great post! It makes my blood boil when I read articles like the one you cited. Reckless spending and a lack of understanding of all things financial are what started the most recent crisis in the first place. We’re finally starting to hear about people paying down debt and getting a grip on their finances… the LAST thing we need right now is a bunch of people racking up even more debt – and needing another bailout.


  2. You reminded me of the recent “Made in America” series on ABC’s World News. I’ve been watching that, as I was raised by my dad to buy American. It’s not easy to do that and has not been easy, for quite some time.

    I agree with you that we, in general, buy way too much crap. But what I like about the Made in America series is that at least they are getting us to think about buying American-made crap!

    And while the A-MC usually costs more, well, I always say, look at where we get to live!

  3. MasterPo says:

    I am shocked that you say you don’t favor “full employment” for lawyers, MBAs etc.

    What business is it of your the occupation someone else chooses?
    Who are you to pick and choose what occupations are favored over others?

    I know you’re speaking rhetorically but do you *really* want to get into such a managed society and economy?!

    If an industry is going the way of the horse&buggy that’s fine. It shouldn’t be kept alive just for the sake of the jobs. But that isn’t the case for lawyers, MBAs etc.

    Do I smell some VERY sour grapes coming from you?

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