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Could the recession prompt a Renaissance of thrift in America?

Published: Monday, Nov. 12 2012 11:01 p.m. MST

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My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

The great recession is not over yet, we still have to deal with personal debts that still runs in the trillions of dollars. Four years ago the majority of debt was in fraudulent home sales and lending by banks. Now the economy is continuing to submit more losses for years to come as individuals try to swim out of their personal debit/credit card abuse and trickery to keep people in debt.

People think these cash back rewards are a big deal, but they don't realize that these banks don't give the consumers anything for free, not even cash back. Banks make up these losses on the front and back end of using debt and credit cards. The consumers pay direct cost of using a card up front with higher retail prices who must double their prices to pay the banks the user fees on debit cards. Instead of a candy bar costing 25 cents, you pay $1 dollar with a 100%+ mark up for the bank and bottle neck of cash flow for small business.

With over 80% of the consumers living in poverty it hardly seems likely that this is a sign of an improveing economy.

101Ways
Taylorsville, UT

Considering that all retails shops must increase markup 100% it can make a substantial inflationary cost on all goods and gas. The other day a guy bragged to me that he was in control of his debt as I was paying cash for my $60 worth of gas which he though foolish and time consuming.

Pay as you go consumers have never failed an economy and it is the only way to have economic growth. Pay as you go consumers are the only thing from keeping many small business from going out of business, believe it or not. Some retail business have seen the light and don't accept credit/debit cards and now offer premium low pricing for their services and doing very well.

With the economy operating at the poverty level, why does anyone want to give banks 25-30% of their take home pay in fees? Its the worst kind of economic disaster it, and illegal labor paying no taxes, is stifling our recovery.

CP
Tooele, UT

I have no complaint to living thrifty. That is how I have taught my children. And we don't own credit cards either. With the percentage rate on those cards, it's not worth it. We work hard for what we earn so why would we want to do anything dumb with it?

SME
Bountiful, UT

I always find it amusing/annoying when richest poorest comparisons. Progressives love to make those comparisons. The impression given is that these "classes" are the same poeple, that the "rich" and the "poor" are the same people year to year. They are not, yes as a percentage, those classes apply, however they don't apply to many individuals. People rise and fall in monetary class due in large part to their actions.

Mom of ten
SANBORNTON, NH

As Brigham Young said,"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." As a family, we live by this. Recession? Not for us. Thrift and self control really do work. By maintaining a life of thrift, remaining debt free, we are floating through this recession quite well. We do not go out often, but once in a while, we do. Happiness is not about who has the most things. There were two bumper stickers I saw as a kid. One said,"He who has the most toys when he dies, wins." The other said, "He who has the most toys when he dies is still dead." I have always remembered that.

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Will the Great Recession produce a renaissance of thrift? I doubt it. I can see that happening in a stagnant economy that is doing terrible and predicted to get worse. People use a bit of ingenuity to make things work. Necessity is the mother of invention. But that is not what we have. In 2008, overall inflation was at 4.3%. It is now at 2.3%. Mortgage rates were at 5.76% in 2008 and are now at 3.91%. Residential natural gas per unit was at $12.24 and is now at $9.40. Food and beverage inflation is down.The DOW Jones has gone up over three thousand points in the last 36 months, with steady job growth during that time. In January of 2009, the economy lost 800,000 jobs. In January of 2012 they added 257,000 and that growth has been steady for more than 30 months. I don't see people going into a "renaissance of thrift." Halo 4 just came out for the xbox. It made over $220 million in less than 24 hours.

Aggielove
Cache county, USA

Good point about halo four.
People never learn.
They just vote for Obama

JohnH
Cedar City, UT

This article is at least three years too late. People have long since been tightening their belts, and they're about to have to do it again due to looming tax increases.

Monk
Pleasant Grove, UT

At what point does being thrifty turn into hoarding?

Rita52
ANN ARBOR, MI

Monk, the point is dependent upon attitude and mindset. If I am stocking up to make sure my family won't go hungry, naked or cold if something happens to our income, I am being thrifty. If I am amassing piles of goods out of fear, and the amount of stuff I have interferes with my family's ability to enjoy life, then I am hoarding. Most true hoarders have psychological problems, are secretive about their hoarding, and are paralyzed by the fear that something bad will happen if they don't have "enough" stuff, regardless of whether or not the materials are usable or safe. If your family says there's a problem, then you've gone past the point.

xscribe
Colorado Springs, CO

My2Cents and 101ways: Please educate me, as I am one of those "dummies" that uses a card for practically everything I purchase, and am just about to cash my points in for $500: If you pay cash for that $1 candy bar, and I pay with a credit card the same amount and reap a reward for the credit card purchase, how exactly is your cash better than my credit card purchase? And, frankly, I have yet to see anywhere I shop that offers a discount for cash, so explain that one also. Every single gas station I know of here is the same price, cash or credit, so I still win. Now, maybe I could drive out of my way, expending my savings in gas and putting extra wear and tear on my vehicle, but I choose not to do that.

Here's the irony with Americans: Many don't believe in entitlements, but they believe they should be entitled to a prosperous life. There has never been guarantee that life would be prosperous for anyone; people have struggled to make it here in America since its inception. Some make it, some do not!

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Hopefully.

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

Picture Caption:
[Cheryl Carson pulls out a stack of ties for future gifting, bought cheaply of course, in her garage in her Pleasant Grove home]

They look cheap too. I can't stand receiving gifts from people like that; cheap, generic and they know you're never gonna use it. They don't give because they actually thought of something special for you, or because they want to make you happy (money or a gift certificate is better).

They give you their "gifts" because they can't tell the quality and they think you can't, either. They give you their cheap gift and think, "Aren't I generous and frugal? They don't realize how little money I spent on them." We do. Worse yet, we're now expected to give them a gift back, and because we don't spend all year hoarding cheap garbage to give away as "gifts", our gift is probably worth more than theirs, so they come out ahead.

I would rather a person admit they didn't care enough about me to get a gift, than one who doesn't care, but has given a generic gift and expect a "Thank you".

hermounts
Pleasanton, CA

Let's not forget what economists call "the paradox of thrift." This means that when people don't spend money, it drives down the economy even more.

raybies
Layton, UT

some of the pictures look like the inside of a hoarder's house.

Glen in the Bronx
Bronx, NY

I am not sure about the others here, but in my neck of the woods all the trendiest, hippest things are to be found in the thrift shops. It seems that on the occasion when someone compliments me on something I have on, it was invariably acquired at one of NYC's many thrift shops.

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