Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

Up Is the New Down

with 12 comments

   

‘And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.”‘  ~ Acts 17:6

One of the reasons for the economic meltdown heading down the pike–and the primary reason it will remain with us for quite some time–is that many folks (and probably most of those in the governing class) have no idea how we got here and couldn’t formulate a plan for getting us out of it if their lives depended on it. 

So, just for the record, let me boil it down to the bare bones: Profligate spending and failure to save for the future equals economic Armageddon.  Any questions?

Apparently, the chattering class at the War Street Journal (poster children for the journalistic equivalent of the Peter Principle) are unable to grasp such an elementary concept.  Following is the headline–verify it if you don’t believe me–from a recent story:

Hard-Hit Families Finally Start Saving, Aggravating Nation’s Economic Woes

You just can’t make this stuff up!  From what I can deduce from the article–better suited for the Bizzaro Gazette–is that it is our patriotic duty to spend, spend, spend already!!!  Pay no attention to the fact that the Bible tells us to save our money and to leave something as an inheritance to our grandchildren; we are told that our duty as patriotic Murikans is to consume at all costs and to live for to-day!

Sigh.

Folks, please get out of debt and start saving money.  I would urge you each payday to first pay God (tithe) and then pay yourself (save).  Learn to live without all of the bells and whistles that Wal-Mart America says you must have.  The only way out of this mess–and the right thing to do–is to begin building our savings.  Modesty of family economy is just as important as modesty of dress.  Popular culture notwithstanding, ‘thrift’ is not a dirty word.

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Written by ninepoundhammer

January 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Posted in economy

12 Responses

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  1. I agree. My parents, after all the pain and embarrassment they put me though told me over Christmas that they will “never ever” use a credit card again. They will also try a new strategy to get money: save it. And if they can’t afford something, they will save money until they can purchase it. They will also try paying their bills first and then perhaps later purchase discretionary items. I told my mom that was a pretty good strategy.

    Patricia C

    January 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm

  2. Such thinking seems revolutionary in our day, though it is really intuitive and the way things were done in ‘normal’ times.

    I remember my grandparents paying cash for everything–even cars. It seemed normal to be back then but, as I grew up and became indoctrinated with the Have-It-All-Now message of our consumer culture, I forgot how things used to be (and should be) done.

    It’s so simple: If you don’t have the money for it, don’t buy it. But that is exactly the OPPOSITE of what Madison Avenue and Wall Street push at us 24/7.

    ninepoundhammer

    January 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm

  3. If you don’t have the money – don’t buy it … brilliant!

    So does your theory hold for cars and houses too?

    em

    January 8, 2009 at 8:40 am

  4. My theory definately holds for cars. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, my grandparents paid cash for all of their cars. To be sure, you may have to drive a 10 year-old $500 Buick, but it is better than swimming in debt.

    As for houses, that is an issue I have wrestled with for some time. There is no doubt that paying cash for it would be the best idea, yet that is quite a feat. Also at issue is the distorted housing market which has perverted housing costs. When–if ever–housing prices come down to a true, market-based range, it may be easier to buy a house with cash. Of course, it may mean delaying that purchase several years while you save. And, as we know, our society not only does a poor job of saving, we have a noted aversion to delayed gratification.

    ninepoundhammer

    January 8, 2009 at 8:46 am

  5. I like your theory Matt and think it would be ideal as an economist – but I wonder if anyone of us (the people that read this) have done that. It feels like this talk is being hypocritical as we both have student loans we are paying off, car payments, you have your house – I will have one soon, etc.

    em

    January 8, 2009 at 9:55 am

  6. I feel like John Kerry in 2004 telling everyone to drive small economy-type cars while he had a Suburban and a Tahoe at home.

    em

    January 8, 2009 at 9:57 am

  7. Hypocrisy only applies inasmuch as if you are behaving in a way contradictory to what you espouse. The economic topics you mention–student loans, mortgage, etc.–that I have are a result of 1) bad economic decisions in my past and/ or 2) my previously unformed/ incomplete economic philosophy.

    In other words, if I had it to do over again, I would not have taken out school loans, etc. I would have done things much differently.

    All I (we) can do is go forward from here with what we know and understand now. That, plus try and educate my children so that they do not repeat my mistakes.

    ninepoundhammer

    January 8, 2009 at 11:16 am

  8. The only one that we are really stuck with is the student loans. The other things, my car, your car, your house, my future house, etc, we could get out off if we felt strongly about it. I could sell my car, you could sell yours and we would wash our hands of the indebtedness. If I think porn is bad, but I already have a subscription to it (which in a way is what a loan is), do I say well no one should get a subscription to Hustler or Playboy or whatever but since I have one already, and I got it before I became enlightened, it is ok for me to keep it?

    em

    January 8, 2009 at 11:42 am

  9. I think equating a mortgage with pornography is a stretch. If I thought carrying a mortgage was sinful–as opposed to merely economically unwise–then I would certainly do something about it. I did not intend to imply that those things are necessarily sinful; rather, I was making the point that they are unwise and, when placed within the Christian worldview, they should give us pause.

    Now, get rid of your porn subscription. 😉

    ninepoundhammer

    January 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm

  10. I gotcha now. If we talk about certain (most) countries around the world (maybe…even…the US!)…Habakkuk 2 is amazing. Although you and I are not personally plundering about or getting people drunk maliciously so that we can have our house or car or whatever, I sometimes wonder about vs. 6-7.

    On a different note – the only subscriptions to anything I have are to “Review of Agricultural Economics” and “American Journal of Agricultural Economics”…although I sure would like the NYTimes (I’d settle for DMN), WSJ, TIME, and Economist.

    em

    January 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm

  11. oh yeah, I have an XM Radio subscription

    em

    January 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm

  12. I did a study on Habakkuk several years ago–good stuff in there.

    ninepoundhammer

    January 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm


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