In Praise of Thrift: An Old Idea for a New Economy

Lori Blatzheim, Get Rich Slowly, 2/8/2011

A forthcoming study by the John Templeton Center for Thrift and Generosity at the Institute for American Values shows that many Americans associate thrift with penny-pinching and money-hoarding. In the nationally representative sample, 54% of respondents believe that being generous is the opposite of being thrifty, and 48% of respondents think that if Americans became more thrifty, it would either hurt the economy or wouldn't make much difference... Far from hurting their economic well-being, thrift is the value that enabled my grandparents to enter the American middle class. And now, after nearly fifty years of neglect, Americans are once again celebrating thrift. A once-vibrant social movement from 1916-1966, National Thrift Week is back, starting in Philadelphia and poised to go viral across America with its message that "thrift is the friend of sustainable prosperity, broad economic opportunity, beautiful neighborhoods, and a healthy planet."

Subject: Thrift


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