Now first, I must admit that most Americans really don't have any trouble doing this. We are, after all, the country that turned Lost Wages into a city.
That said, we do a great job of throwing away money in a lot of other areas; by buying far more than we can reasonably use, by buying cheap junk that we need to replace often, and by being stingy.
Yes, by being stingy. Look at Proverbs 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself." Look at Proverbs 22:9; "He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor."
Gary North commented on this principle with a pithy comment; to the effect that the generous man interacts with people who will say "let's do this again." Not so the miser. At the risk of offending fans of Dickens, I think that that great writer got it wrong; wealth isn't accumulated by always trying to squeeze the last penny out of a deal. It's accumulated by making deals that benefit both parties.
Lots of applications here, but one that particularly comes to mind is the modern idea that a good businessman is one who squeezes the most out of every deal, paying the bare minimum; someone like Scrooge or Donald Trump. What's lost is that the squeezed have other ways of exacting a price from the squeezer.
Which might have something to do, for what it's worth, with Trump's two filings for bankruptcy.
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