I just cannot get my mind around the thesis of this article from Sunday's New York times. Thrift has been an economic disaster for Japan? And the only reason the US will avoid Japan's fate is because our citizens will never practice thrift on the level the Japanese do?
I'm not much of an economist (that's what I get for being a liberal arts major!) and I don't pretend to fully understand the global downturn we're all in. But if, for my personal financial security (not to mention, sanity), I must cut back expenses, pay off debt and save for my retirement, it is disturbing to think that all of these things might lead to disaster for this country.
Am I being unpatriotic? Do I "owe" it to my country to save less? Spend more?
How could pauperizing myself be a good thing? Why would it be acceptable if I wind up depending upon state support in my old age rather than Social Security and my 401(K)? And since when is paying off my credit cards a BAD thing?
We live in interesting times, to be sure. I think I mean this in the Chinese curse sense!