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Voluminous Money

Karen was watching the trashy reality show, Keeping up with the Kardashians last Sunday. Ok, so we both were watching it, but I'd prefer to assign channel selection blame for that to someone else. Anyhow, in the most recent episode one of the ultra rich daughters went out to a store and spent $19,723 in one shopping trip.

This made me think about how great it must have been for that store owner that day. I'm sure that would pay rent for a few months on her store. And in turn, maybe that store owner wouldn't have to worry about rent for a few months and spend that money at another store. And then that person will spend the money they get. And suddenly, everyone has more money, but really it's that same money getting passed around. It all comes down to an economic variable called the volume of money. I don't remember enough of my Econ classes to tell you what formula that plugs into, but it an interesting concept. It's the concept behind last year's stimulus checks.

Really it's just weird to imagine everyone having $5.00 and sitting in a circle. And then they keep passing that $5.00 to the left and buying something from the person next to them. Pretty soon, everyone has sold a lot of stuff. Over simplification? Yes.

Anyhow, the NYTimes just ran an interesting article called Oversaving, a Burden for Our Times that is a little ahead of the game (I think it will be a while before America saves too much), but raises some interesting points. It goes through a series of studies that researchers did to test enjoyment people got from different buying scenarios.
Dr. Keinan managed to change consumers’ behavior simply by asking a few questions to bus riders going to outlet stores and to other shoppers shortly before Black Friday.

The people who were asked to imagine how they would feel the following week about their purchases proceeded to shop thriftily for basic necessities, like underwear and socks. But people who were asked to imagine how they’d feel about their purchases in the distant future responded by spending more money and concentrating on indulgences like jewelry and designer jeans

“When I look back at my life,” one of these high rollers explained, “I like remembering myself happy. So if it makes me happy, it’s worth it.”

Also, I submitted the NYTimes article to the Consumerist today and they posted it. More commentary on their post

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