Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Thrift Was a Greater Virtue When We Were a More Modest People

David Brooks gave an excellent lecture at Centre College last night on how our politics today reflects a change in our culture.

During World War II, he argued, we placed more value on modesty, self-control, and limiting our self-assertion.  The cultural revolution since then produced many good things, especially in overcoming the oppression and self-suppression of African-Americans and women.

But some things have been lost, which has contributed to the polarization and mistrust of the current moment.

This talk led me to make a connection that I had not seen before.  People who are personally modest are more likely to be thrifty.  If it seems wrong to spend lavishly on yourself, you are less likely to go into debt for things.  If you think that your present comfort and status are not more worthy than your children's and their children's, you are more likely to save.

Thrift is not only a good personal virtue and family virtue. Thrift is a humble virtue.

1 comment:

flinn said...