Letter to the Editor

U.S. dilemma: To save or to spend

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

To the editor:The U.S. is a consuming nation. It purchases one out of every five goods manufactured in the world. We are led to believe by those in government that if we spend more we will increase employment and make this nation richer. We took their advice and spent beyond our paychecks, cashed in our savings, maxed out our credit cards and borrowed against our homes. Credit was expanded even further by a mischievous Federal Reserve to keep, in the Fed's words, the economy growing. Someone should have pointed out to the Fed that an economy built on a hot-air bubble risks being punctured. Furthermore, military Keynesianism has robbed this nation of its wealth.

As it turns out, we increased employment in other nations and made them richer. Now we turn to them for credit to continue to spend beyond our means. Some of America's largest financial firms have turned to the Gulf States and Asia to bail them out. Foreign investors bought up a record $414 billion, nearly 1 percent of all of America's assets last year. This year, they are on a pace to surpass that. There is a drawback to this. The lender is master of the borrower. Our empire is their empire. They are purchasing it with their savings.

Have we learned that wealth is stored in savings, or will we continue with the absurdity that you can spend yourself rich? The times are telling.

JAMES NALL, Marble Hill, Mo.