Rick Moranis: “How much of this country’s economy am I personally destroying by my consumption preferences?”

He’s thrifty, like me, and wonders if he’s destroying the economy as a result. A snippet from the WSJ:

This morning, while I was grinding my blend of French, Colombian and Italian coffee beans, it occurred to me that I could be doing harm to the coffee shop and diner businesses in my neighborhood by making my own coffee at home. Might I have a responsibility and obligation to consume their product, either within their premises or brought right to my door by one of their speedy, undocumented-alien delivery men?

I also wondered whether still using my old, reliable German-brand coffee grinder, manufactured in China, might be an unpatriotic betrayal of American kitchen-appliance makers by choosing not to buy their Chinese-made grinder.

As I poured some house-brand almond milk into my homemade granola, I thought about the depressed demand and earnings on the higher-priced product manufacturers that I wasn’t patronizing, their resulting order and production declines, and the backlogged inventories and possible layoffs at their factories.

How much of this country’s economy am I personally destroying by my consumption preferences? I honestly never intended to do so much harm.

I ran a hot iron quickly over the front of a previously worn shirt, saddened at the thought of the jolly staff at my local dry cleaner who will suffer because of my thrifty initiative and tolerance for rumpled, mildly aromatic haberdashery.

Heh. I needed that this morning after wading through hundreds of rental houses online.

Moranis jokingly points out a simple truth, though: how much consumption is necessary to support the economy? Or could his thriftiness in some ways–homemade granola and coffee at home–lead to greater consumption in others, i.e. stock purchases? That’s my line and I’m sticking to it. We’ve forgotten how to save money because of the endless lines of credit available. Don’t have the money for those great jeans? Get a store credit card with a low introductory rate of 22%! Buy it anyway, even though you don’t really own it and will pay much more for it. Can’t pay for college? Go get that useless degree at the highly expensive liberal arts college best known for it’s marijuana reputation and finance the entire bit so that you’re never able to overcome the debt in your lifetime! It’s such a contrast from the attitude of my immigrant grandparents, who didn’t buy a thing they couldn’t pay for in cash, including cars.




6 Responses

  1. I don’t buy very much on credit either. We did finance one car, but we put down more than 50%, so it was affordable.

    I have two cards, one visa with a very small credit limit and the Amex that is paid off at the end of every month. Generally speaking I use my debit card for everything else. If I can’t pay for it, I probably don’t really need it.

    I refuse to pay store credit card interest. What a royal rip off.

  2. Amen sister! You (and Rick) are singing my song. I am pretty sure we could easily live without 80% of the possessions we have. And I’m tired of hearing how people justify their purchases, and their requirements of “things”. They are just things.

    Anyway… love this whole train of thought.

    • LOL. The last two PCS moves, I’ve rather enjoyed the freedom before our household shipment arrives. When it does catch up with me, I’m more annoyed than happy! Only need about 20% myself, I reckon.

      Being raised by Silent Generation parents that grew up in the shadow of the Great Depression, I’ll be a scrimper/saver til the day I die. Unnecessary spending is waste, period.


  3. The Lefties would have us believe that it us our responsibility to up our consumption to keep the economy going, even to our own detriment.

    It’s just another ploy to impoverish us so that they can control us.

    Savings are good, and so is independence and self-reliance.

  4. Sometimes I wonder about my favorite consignment store. On one hand, I bring in clothes that they can sell, but on the other, I leave very little cash there. But they still love me, so I guess it all works out.

    • I love yard sales. I buy most of pjKid’s clothes–gymboree, gap kids, etc–used. It’s … SO much cheaper. Either that or hand-me-downs. That and books–to keep her in books (that we cycle through new/old in the garage) yard sales and hand-me-downs. If it’s new, it had to have been purchased by a grandma ; ) (or, in an occasional fit of weakness, if it’s on super clearance… lol)

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