Saturday, January 31, 2009

Feeding what pig?

On my way to work yesterday, I heard a story to NPR about anti-saving commercials that have been airing in Finland. The basic premise of these commercials which feature a demonic looking piggy bank (go ahead, click through to the NPR blog and look, it's worth it. I'll wait.) and the tagline "Don't feed the recession." The basic premise is that by saving more money, frugal folks are essentially hurting the economy and furthering the recession.

I'm not an economist, but that sounds to me like a lot of bunk. Sure, spending less means fewer retail jobs available, but how many of those jobs are already taken by people who buy so much crap that they can't get by on one job? If we all just stopped spending so much, we could all work less, and there would be plenty of jobs to go around. What's more, putting money in the bank will help the banks, which I'm pretty sure have been having some trouble lately. Since congress seems to have avowed that saving the financial industry is crucial to saving our economy, maybe that's a pig that needs to be fed.

I don't know, maybe I'm totally off base with this. Are frugal folks bad for the economy? Should we feed the pig?