The Ghost of February Past

Bad weather here. Lots of it. I haven’t had much time to think lately, work’s been demanding.

One thing that’s been on my mind lately is consumerism. Like so many others, I oscillate between conscientious citizen and capricious capitalist. There doesn’t seem to be any distinct pattern, aside from when payday rolls around. On that glorious Friday, my modest liberry pittance is electromagically transferred into my checking account, leaving me with a moral obligation.

An obligation to what though? I could save it, get rich slowly, as they say, but my income only allows for modest savings, which is further nibbled away by the cost of living, a black hole of financial burden. Whatever money remains could in fact be saved. Let’s do a math problem, using the ING Direct financial calculatrix:


This formula assumes a $5000 initial investment over one year, 15% federal income tax, 5% state income tax, and 3% inflation.

The result?

Screenshot 1

Congratulations! You’ve lost $4. Yes, saving money will, in fact, lose money.

The only other choice is to spend like the a french king. It has an immediate payoff, and the circumstances won’t change with the whims of the economy.

Why would anybody be dumb enough to save in our economic climate? Our financial system punishes income (which includes savings) with a 15-25% income tax, but only charges ~7.5% for sales tax. It doesn’t take an astronaut to figure out which choice is more sensible.

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