“I don’t think frugality is about not spending, it’s about not wasting. Often the two seem synonymous because so much stuff is pretty terrible value when it comes down to it. But ultimately, money in the bank does nothing for you once you’re dead. The reason to be frugal is so you have money to get or do the things you really want, rather than wasting your money on things that don’t give commensurate value. Having an experience has value both in the experience itself, and in the having of it (e.g. I really want to go skydiving, if I go and it turns out to be really boring or not fun, I have still been skydiving which is worth something to me) so it’s really up to you to decide what the experience is worth to you. I can be frugal not because I skipped skydiving, but because I skipped buying drinks at the bar so I could go skydiving.”
Full discussion http://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/comments/1y2x1g/how_do_you_reconcile_frugality_with_wanting_to/cfgz1mr
A Reddit who traveled to Madagascar relates how the locals viewed western society:
- “They think we are pretty silly. We have virtually endless sources of education from the internet and yet we spend our time doing other things. Likewise, we have access to doctors but don’t use them that much.
- “In no way do we appreciate the amount of money we have. Even the poorest people of the Western world are lucky compared to them. I felt incredibly guilty when spending an entire day’s wages on coca cola.
- “We are also (this is all according to them) very wasteful. After buying my coke, I drank it and handed the bottle back, where it could be cleaned and used again. How often does that happen here?
- “Do they hate us? The people I spent most of my time around were Merina (a Malagasy tribe) and very polite, so I don’t really know. You can’t really generalise. Some – especially those on farms being exploited by the US (yes, the US are complete bastards in Madagascar) had reason to dislike America. Others were fascinated and genuinely happy to see us. Ask yourself this, do you hate Saudi Arabia? Probably. Do you hate Saudi Arabians? No, not most of them.
- “Even in rural, remote areas of the country Western influence is felt. The image of the white woman being the most beautiful is something projected everywhere.
- “They generally presume we are intelligent, but also domineering. Many will be surprised upon seeing a white person doing work.”
Image from http://madagasikaratour.wordpress.com/
Why would anyone ever, ever take on that much college debt? “People do this because for fucking decades everybody middle class has been told that you have to go to university, you have to go to law school or study medicine to get a good job and make a decent living, been told that you shouldn’t worry about debt because it’s an investment and as long as you do a proper, serious study, you’ll be rich someday. Most of that has been said by the same people now tuttutting that all these students are dumb dumbs for going into debt so much for a degree everybody knows is worthless. It is of course all the fault of these feckless students, not that of greedy universities jacking up tuiton fees, a government uninterested in paying for the education they insist people need and a whole industry build up around feeding them to the loan sharks.”
Commenter on Metafilter
Image from http://blogs.aspect.com/2013/08/29/can-collections-and-higher-learning-keep-pace-with-student-loan-debt/
“I am increasingly of the opinion that the central problem is that the American people do not care what works. They care which “solutions” feel morally sound when summed up in a dozen words or less. And they hate the idea that someone, somewhere might get some benefit they do not deserve.
“They do not care that sex education and free distribution of prophylactics dramatically decrease teen pregnancy and STDs. They care whether some shiftless kids might get laid and their money might have helped. They don’t care if food stamps have a remarkable multiplier effect and are effective not just as public assistance, but as economic stimulus. They care whether or not someone, somewhere might be getting free money they don’t deserve and then spending it on things they find frivolous. And they certainly don’t care whether there are penal system models that could reduce recidivism at a lower cost to tax payers. They care whether whether the less than human prisoners in our system might be enjoying some benefit somehow that “rewards” them for their crime.
“I don’t even know how you argue with this view of the world with logic and facts, because people don’t give a shit.”
Commenter on Metafilter.
“Yet some of the things you say about being rich remind me of how it is to be poor. While you can travel anywhere and experience nothing, I couldn’t travel anywhere and still experience nothing. When I was at home, I stared at the same blank 4 walls daily, and when I went into the world I was a foreigner to the majority of the population. You see, being poor has a stigma. Everyone else with a basic level of perception can tell you’re poor. You have an aura of being lower than them…. Everybody sees this. The fact you are poor is clear. You are different, and everyone who isn’t poor can tell. This is a major point, so I’m mentioning it again. The feeling that you are less, that you are worthless and that other people are looking down on your is very very real.”
ddgdfgregrg comments on “Rich Kids of Instagram”