Monday, July 10, 2006


By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- OK, let's stop the charade and admit the truth. Why does America have a zero savings rate? Because America has no savings policy. Period. For more than a decade, Washington, Wall Street and Corporate America have favored a national spending policy at the expense of a national savings policy.
So when these policymakers tell us to "save more," they're happy-face hypocrites hiding their real goals. They really want you to spend, not save!
In pure economic terms, the choice is simple. You can't save and spend too. And especially since the 2000-02 recession, our policymakers have consistently voted in favor of spending, not saving. So read my lips: America's savings policy is a fake, bogus, phony, fraudulent, bankrupt and, oh yes, non-existent. Why? Because our policymakers don't want you to save, they want you to spend, spend no matter how deep you go into debt. Ignore their rhetoric, watch their actions.
No wonder the new Securities Industry Association report on retirement savings stands out like a sore thumb: From the 1950s through the 1980s, Americans were saving over 10% annually. Since then, our spirit of thrift spiraled into a negative savings rate.

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