1/07/2009

Cannot afford to be frugal

How could it be that people cannot afford to be frugal? Frugality used to be a fad in the era of the hippies. Scions of wealthy families went around in torn and tattered jackets and jeans and looked scruffily poor, like children of working class. It was not that they had to be frugal. They were just making a statement. They were dissociating themselves from their wealthy background as if it was a shameful thing, They were denouncing the decadence lifestyle of the bourgeoisie. Then there was the legendary Tan Kah Kee, probably the richest man in the island whose daily meals were plain porridge, salted peanuts and vegetables. He died penniless after giving away his wealth. He was frugal to a fault. The financial crisis has made some of the affected rich to cut down on a holiday or two, drink cheaper wine etc. There is no need to be frugal but a little less lavish living. For those who were living quite comfortably or just getting by may need to be frugal to save a little. Life will go on practically unchanged. But for those who have been making ends meet, whose income are stagnant or falling, the rising cost in everything will make frugality a meaningless word. They cannot afford to be frugal. There is nothing left to be frugal. To them, living frugally is not about making a statement. It is poverty in a rich oasis.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Troubled German billionaire killed himself(Adolf Merckle).

US tycoon found dead (Steven Good).

redbean said...

he chose not to live frugally. only the losers in the hardland will resign to the fate of living frugally and try to be happy, and count their blessings.

Anonymous said...

Tan Kah Kee was frugal by choice. There are those who are frugal by neccessity, because they really cannot afford it. And I would say that both can be equally happy with what and who they are. Some may be poor in material things but blessed in other ways. Happiness is not the domain of only the rich.

redbean said...

for the poor i doubt there is much happiness even if they try their best to count their blessings. but if they can continue to live a life of ignorant bliss, then they could be happy in a way.

and the media could do them a favour by not glamourising someone spending $46k to learn cooking when they don't even have $46 in their savings accounts. thank god that they may not be privileged to read the papers.

Anonymous said...

I am quite happy though poor

but,

my happiness are sometimes
spoil by some people who want to run my livings.

Money, on the other hand always leave me alone, unless I look for it of course. It(money) does not fall from the sky.

patriot

redbean said...

a govt should make it its goal to turn the people into haves and not have nots. that was what dengxiaoping told his communist comrades. to make everyone rich rather than to impoverish them. of course it is not easy to make everyone rich. it is a long process.

but why keep grabbing money from the people when there is no need to? or really the need to grab is so overpowering that if it is not done, the system will fall to pieces?

it is good to be the 'haves' and the other intangible things in life can fill the rest of the emptiness.