by Katy on November 5, 2008 · 6 comments




I just finished watching President-elect’s Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. 

In one part of the speech, Obama spoke of sacrifice.

Sacrifice is an interesting concept. Asked of us in times of difficulty — but only sometimes.

When the nation is in trouble, we’re asked to sacrifice.

Or, when the the nation’s in trouble we’re sent incentive checks and asked to spend, spend, spend.

I totally can groove on sacrifice, but it is a bit confusing.

So, there may be a question about what we can do to support our country.

But until that’s figured out, I’m going to keep puttering along, living my Non-Consumer lifestyle.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

SR November 5, 2008 at 6:37 am

Its confusing to me too. I think we vote every time we buy something – or dont buy it. I think these votes actually carry more weight. I really hope he will change things for the better but we need to change ourselves and habits too.


esther November 5, 2008 at 11:47 am

I don’t think it will be the spending that will help the country…I think it’s shrinking, consuming less, taking more time for eahcother. That might not help the banks, but banks can help themselves…did you know that it is because people borrow money from banks, that money exists? strange, hum?


thepennypincher November 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Let me preface this by saying that I am not American. However, in watching what happened in the past 8 years, I see a similarity between the actions of the state and the actions of individuals. The United States thought that it could both wage a war and cut taxes at the same time. Clearly, the only result could be a burgeoning deficit. Simply put, the United States was living above its means. Likewise, many families were living the high life thanks to easy credit. Now, that is gone. Both the country and the individuals will have no choice but to find ways of living within their means.


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl November 5, 2008 at 7:07 pm

You know, I sometimes worry that spending very little is bad for the economy, but then again, I’ve read a lot of stuff saying the opposite. When countries and companies and individuals live spend more than they earn, it’s bad news for the economy.

So, I’m going to keep my belt buckled tight and still feel patriotic. 😉


thepennypincher November 5, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Well, spending doesn’t have to be consumers spending to buy plasma televisions. Businesses can spend to buy new equipment to improve their efficiency and governments can spend on infrastructure. Let’s say a city spends money to buy new buses. It is spending and it is also good for the economy. I would argue that in the long run it would do more good than thousands of consumers buying an extra television.


Magdalena Julie Bragdon Perks November 7, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Spending isn’t the only thing that determines the strength of the economy, and it is actually a false measure. As you have pointed out, credit increases spending, but credit is negative growth; you have to work more to pay for what you bought, and the cost is higher than the purchase price. A strong economy is better measured by what each working person produces in terms of what is useful, cotnributes to nutrition, health and sustainability. The growth of the GNP is never sustainable; it eventually becomes inflation because nothing can “grow” forever.


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