Our American culture of consumption has happily made Ebenezer Scrooge into public enemy number one. Him and his miserly ways has been branded as the antithesis of all things good about Christmas.
Think about it. Is that really justified?
Is it so wrong that his wisdom and prudence in spending is suddenly unpopular in the holiday season? Is it so wrong that he suffers personal discomfort in an attempt to conserve scarce resources like fuel for his lamps and coal for his fire?
According to economist Steven Landsburg, the anwer is NO! Here is an exerpt from an awesome article he wrote about our good old friend Ebenezer Scrooge:
Here’s what I like about Ebenezer Scrooge: His meager lodgings were dark because darkness is cheap, and barely heated because coal is not free. His dinner was gruel, which he prepared himself. Scrooge paid no man to wait on him. Scrooge has been called ungenerous. I say that’s a bum rap…
Put a dollar in the bank and you’ll bid down the interest rate by just enough so someone somewhere can afford an extra dollar’s worth of vacation or home improvement. Put a dollar in your mattress and (by effectively reducing the money supply) you’ll drive down prices by just enough so someone somewhere can have an extra dollar’s worth of coffee with his dinner. Scrooge, no doubt a canny investor, lent his money at interest. His less conventional namesake Scrooge McDuck filled a vault with dollar bills to roll around in. No matter. Ebenezer Scrooge lowered interest rates. Scrooge McDuck lowered prices.
Check out the link for the rest of the article:
Merry Christmas, everyone.