Finland is fighting the effects of the economic meltdown with a marketing campaign to get people to “continue spending as usual.” Never mind the irony, that this news reaches us via the China Daily News website.
But I digress…
For 90 percent of Finns, there is no need to reduce expenditure,” said Jukka Kurttila, chairman of the marketing agency Bob Helsinki.
Kurttila doesn’t say who those other 10-percenters are (rich people? poor people?). But what he does do, is show a picture of a demented piggy bank (left) with the words: “Don’t feed depression by saving” or “Saving is not always a good thing.”
WTF? Do you live in Bizarro World?
Shouldn’t we at least consider the opposite idea — that it might just be better if people saved MORE of their money instead of spending it?
For one thing, isn’t that how banks get the money they need to lend to businesses — the same businesses we keep hearing are the ones that will, you know, expand and hire more people? And not only that — maybe then we wouldn’t have to hand over all our money for ugly programs like TARP. In other words, the credit freeze wouldn’t be so bad. And isn’t that what this is all about?
Of course, before people can save, they have to have, you know, income that exceeds their expenses. And to do that you need a job that pays a decent wage — something that has been found in smaller and smaller measure over the last 30 years or so.
And/But if industry cannot provide that, then you need government to spend money to hire people to rebuild our infrastructure because it allows us — you and I — to get back to doing what made this country great: building and saving.
Instead, we get Republicans telling us that what we need is another tax cut because we know better than the government does about what we want and need to buy, buy, buy, buy.
Of course, what happens is that people simply borrow more, spending money they clearly don’t have, getting further into debt, paying exorbitant interest costs while getting less and less for their money.
Jon STEWART: Is there no greater metaphor of the dysfunction of our economy than a $35 thousand toilet that you cannot take a sh-t in?
As a society, we should be encouraging people to save and invest — and when you do buy something, we should be encouraging you to pay cash for everything. And if you can’t afford to buy it right now, then you should wait — and save your money — until you can pay for it.
You’ll pay less for everything in the long run and it’s the best way to get back at guys like John Thain and his $35 thousand toilet.