SPEND, SPEND, SPEND (It's Your Duty)

Even in the best of times is our economy well-designed? There is an oft-cited statistic about the percentage of our economy that is driven by consumer spending. The percentage is a staggering 70%. I find myself wondering, is this the way to design any economy? Does it make sense for our economic prosperity to be almost entirely predicated on our ability and willingness to spend?

It seems to me that saving is a certain losing proposition in this type of economy, despite its unquestioned importance. We need to spend in order for our economy to prosper so that our savings can compound. But how do we save when we need to be spending? In fact, I can't count the number of times I've heard an expert make a comment to the effect of "get out and spend!" since our current economic malaise began. That might be great advice for our collective economy, but horrible advice for an individual.

I don't have any answers, just questions today. (As if I ever have answers!) How do we find balance? Does it require a social agreement that growth has to be muted so that we have the ability to save for our future selves?


Chad said...

I'm sorry Nate, I was struck by the old Monty Python tune "Spam Spam Spam" when I saw the title of this blog post!

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