What I Like about Scrooge

A pretty neat article on Slate, contributed by the one and only Womanofthelaw.

In this whole world, there is nobody more generous than the miser—the man who could deplete the world’s resources but chooses not to. The only difference between miserliness and philanthropy is that the philanthropist serves a favored few while the miser spreads his largess far and wide.

If you build a house and refuse to buy a house, the rest of the world is one house richer. If you earn a dollar and refuse to spend a dollar, the rest of the world is one dollar richer—because you produced a dollar’s worth of goods and didn’t consume them.

4 thoughts on “What I Like about Scrooge

  1. I know how fabulous I am. But, pardon my ignorance – it puzzles me why consuming goods is a bad thing. I mean, presumably, the reason why Scrooge earned a dollar was because he offered a good that someone else consumed. So if someone else decided not to consume, then Scrooge wouldn’t have gotten that dollar. Right?

  2. Nothing in the article, as far as I can tell, argues that consuming goods is bad. It’s simply a rebuttal against a common conception that saving is bad for the economy.

    Scrooge’s dollar is going to go to work for the economy regardless. It’s either going to buy coal and pay for someone’s work, or it’s going into the bank to pay for someone’s mortgage, or it’ll hide it in a mattress which, if never spent, effectively increases the value of the currency ever-so-slightly.

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