Wednesday, May 25, 2016


There are, it is said, four ways of spending money:

1) Spending one’s own money on one’s self.
2) Spending one’s own money on others.
3) Spending the money of other’s on one’s self.
4) Spending the money of other’s on still yet others.

We will here consider them separately.

When spending one’s own money on one’s self a prudent person is always very careful. The money was not easily earned and will not replace itself once it has exited the wallet. The value of the goods or services purchased is carefully considered for this very reason. A goal, is to maximize the quality or quantity of the goods received while minimizing the cost. A person is careful not to squander their scarce resources.

When spending one’s own money on others, as one might while involved in charitable giving, frugality is again a major consideration. One wants to be sure that value is being had for the money expended, that the hard earned money is being well spent.

But while spending the money of other’s on oneself the logic of a transaction breaks down. Frugality is no longer a concern. What does one care if the good or service costs twice, three, or four times what they would personally pay? The expense belongs to unknown “others”.

Spending the money of unknown other’s on others still is the most perverse way to spend as there is no concern for the cost or quality either of the goods and services involved, or the eventual consequences of those expenditures. Those that provide the money receive no benefit for that provision, and those that receive are often saddled with goods and services which are inadequate, inappropriate, or unneeded at all. But there is no mechanism by which the services can be improved because the people who provide the funding, and who receive them have no say in the transaction, and the only people to benefit are those who have taken money from one group and given it to another.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

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