Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to Thriftiness

Back to Thriftiness
“ It’s a belt tightening out of necessity, but I predict and hope that one would begin to embrace thrift as a path to sustainable prosperity…It’s not just poorer people or lower middle class. This is an across the board effort to get your house in order for the seven lean years”. David Blankenhorn of Thrift: a Cyclopedia.

The financial crisis sweeping the globe is changing the habit of the Americans. Gone are the days of buying whimsically anything that suits their taste. “Eating in the fancy restaurant?”. Later. “Buying Gucci?. Not today. “Plasma TV?”. No way. “New car?”. Kidding me.
What is happening now awaken the Americans that they are drowning in the sea of debt. The Americans saving rate is zero. They are over leveraged by $1 to $33.(Meaning for every dollar they earned they borrowed $33.). They have no choice now but to be thrifty or else they will go bankrupt.
They are now feeling the pain of their unregulated market fuelled by credit cards.
For the Filipinos who are not earning much as the Americans we are also suffering but on a different level. But it is also time to visit the value of thriftiness.
Our ancestors before the Europeans came have a high regard on thriftiness. Somewhere along the way it got lost. It is time to instill it back to our minds and to our souls.
Before buying any high ticket items such as appliances or car. Save First and be thrifty.
Before your 10 month old baby go to college. Save First and be thrifty.
Before you get married. Save First and be thrifty.
Start with you. We can not find a real good role model.
The government?. Sorry. Our government is one expensive and one of the most inefficient in Asia. If you will take seriously the controversial Macapagal Boulevard, the fertilizer scam, the Eurogenerals and the countless charges thrown at Malacañang you can conclude the absence of thriftiness and self-restraint.
The church? Hmmm. Maybe. But how can you reconcile it when the youth sees their Bishop,Minister or pastor driving a P1M car.
The job losses rampaging in America will hit our shore sooner or later. The announcement of CITIGROUP that they will axe up to 52,000 jobs including their Philippine unit is a testimony that we will not be spared.
Thriftiness is not an option but a necessity.
We have nowhere else to go but up and thriftiness will carry us there.

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