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Whatever Happened to Thrift?: Why Americans Don't Save and What to Do about It Hardcover – June 24, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
At a time when the government is sending all Americans generous stimulus checks along with instructions to "spend, spend, spend" Wilcox points out the importance of savings at both a national and a personal level.
According to the author, the widening income gap between the very wealthy and everyone else is a contributing factor to the historically low levels of savings in America.
Wilcox goes on to talk about various policies that both governmental and corporate leaders can adopt to encourage savings. While Some of these policies such as a consumption tax and a partial privatization of social security suggest a conservative agenda, the book reads more as a common-sense analysis than a political screed.
Wilcox's writing style makes subject matter that would ordinarily be both depressing and dry very readable. I found it an entertaining, if depressing, read that made me personally insecure in my savings and will hopefully have the same affect on our nation's leaders.
If you check the USA today, you will find Pareto's Rule is still alive and well. 20% of the population has about 80% of the income and about 90% of the financial wealth.
I have been interested in finding out why this phenomenon has held across 3 countries for over 100 years. I have searched for why 20% of the people save and invest their money versus spending it all.
Wilcox starts out his book disproving what he calls 2 cocktail party theories for why Americans don't save more.
His first cocktail party theory is that Americans don't save enough because of easy access to credit cards. He argues that most Americans handle credit cards responsibly.
His second cocktail party theory is that American's don't save enough because greedy U.S. corporations overwork Americans.......and therefore we spend recklessly with the little free time that we have. He argues that other societies work more hours per year and they save more.
Wilcox then places most of the causation for America's low savings rates on two linked factors. He contends that Americans are driven to keep up with the next door Joneses in terms of buying things versus saving. He then argues their has been a huge increase in income inequality in the US from 1980 until 2003.Read more ›
I urge others to buy this book and then pass it only to others for them to read.
More important, Wilcox made me realize the tricks I've been playing on myself that can sabotage my financial future. I'll never think about money the same way again.
This is a perfect book for anyone who's concerned about the savings crisis or wants to save more and make better investment choices. Parents should buy it for their children who are in college, recently employed or starting a family - and then read it themselves. This book is a wealth of information for people at all stages of life.
This is NOT the same old personal finance advice you've heard before. Wilcox's advice is uniquely tailored because he draws from research in many fields (psychology, economics, finance, etc.) to give readers useful information about one topic - how to save more money.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first thing to notice is that there is no question mark, meaning that professor Wilcox thinks he knows the answers. Maybe he does. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gderf
I love this book! It talks about American attitudes about saving, and how things have changed over the years - and probably why. Read morePublished on July 22, 2010 by Dennis J. Faulkner
If you are interested in your financial future and the economy of the US and the world, this is a great starting place. Read morePublished on November 23, 2008 by Joel M. Stopha
So people in the US don't save enough! Do you want to save some money? Don't buy this book! Instead open a savings account at one of those online banks and earn around 3. Read morePublished on August 19, 2008 by T. Kaufmann