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.