Higher saving rates are a GOOD thing!

The U.S. saving rate recently hit 5.7%, and all types of commentators have been saying this is bad for the economy. I think this is a load of hooey!

One of the most famous economists of the last century, John Maynard Keynes, made this fallacy main stream with his “Paradox of Thrift.”

I’ll spare you the details, but the gist is that savings aren’t spent in the economy, and therefore prevent growth, employment, all good things.

This fallacy has all kinds of people, including economists and commentators with IQs that are much higher than mine, saying that more savings will crush the economy.

But, I think they are full of baloney. Saving stuffed under a mattress, as they were during Keynes time, aren’t spent in the economy. But who puts their savings under a mattress nowadays?

No, most people put their saving into the bank, bonds or stocks.

If savings go to the bank, they are lent out again and used for consumption or investment in productive capacity. I call that spending.

If the money goes into bonds, then whoever sold the bond will either spend the money, which is consumption, or invest the money elsewhere, which will turn into an investment in productive capacity.

If the money goes into stocks, you get the same thing as with bonds.

If people save their money (and don’t stick it under the mattress), it gets invested. Investment is where higher productivity, new jobs, and growth come from.

We shouldn’t be encouraging people to spend, we should be encouraging them to save and invest. Consumption, especially consumption paid for with debt, is what got us into this economic mess to begin with!

What we need is more, not less savings. That will create new jobs, higher productivity and higher growth. This will not prevent growth, but is the necessary precursor to growth.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap-box now…

Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, financial, tax, or legal advice. The opinions, estimates and projections contained herein are subject to change without notice. Information throughout this blog has been obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable, but such accuracy cannot be guaranteed.