Associated Press
In this Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, photo, a person passes a retail store with sale sign displayed in the window in Philadelphia. When it comes to big discounts, better late than never.

There are reasons to doubt whether Americans have learned lessons from the pain that ensued. The nation's personal savings rate fell to 3.5 percent, a decline from 5 percent in June and nearly 6 percent in June of 2010.

As a Wall Street Journal report noted, this reduction in savings could make it harder for Americans to withstand more market or political turmoil in 2012.

If Americans truly are interested in long-term recovery and prosperity, they must not return to their old over-spending ways.

Thomas Brown