NBC anchor Brian Williams makes $10 million a year, but because he’s “sensitive” to the nation’s economic woes, he’s having a hard time spending it.
He’s not going on vacation this year and he told MediaBistro:
“I’ve had no desire to walk into any store but a grocery store for months. It’s just not cool right now to be ostentatious. It doesn’t look right. It doesn’t feel right. It’s not very sensitive to all the suffering that’s happening.”
We all appreciate your sensitivity, Brian, but start spending please.
Need inspiration? Try reading “To Spend or to Save? Trick Question” from the New York Times.
The article explains something called the “paradox of thrift,” which is what we think Brian is suffering from. Basically, Brian and the rest of society are saving because they’re worried about the economy — and it’s killing the economy.
Brian? Please stop that. Start buying things that will help you save money later. Like maybe an Amazon Kindle if you’re a big reader. Solar panels on your vacation home would be good too.
Anyway, here are the first three paragraph from the Times article. Read them then click through to read the whole thing.
It’s your fault. Part of it is, anyway. You, the American consumer, spent too much money. You bought too much house, took on too much debt and generally lived beyond your means. Your free-spending ways helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
And now you’re going to have to do your part to end the crisis. How? By spending. Enough already with the saving that many of you have suddenly begun doing. This very moment, Congress and President Obama are preparing to send you a tax rebate, to inspire you to stimulate the economy. So go out and stimulate. Spend as if the future of your country depended on it.
John Maynard Keynes, the great 20th-century economist, would have appreciated the apparent absurdity in these mixed messages. He coined a phrase, “the paradox of thrift,” to point out that what was rational for an individual during hard times — saving money — could be ruinous for an entire economy. Eventually, many of the savers may end up out of work because everyone else is saving, too. It’s enough to make you wonder what exactly you’re supposed to do.