How It Will Keep You Poor
One quibble: I often see articles saying how little Americans have put away for retirement. I agree completely with the ultimately point: Americans don't save enough. But the numbers are often misleading. When you say the "average American" has only $65,000 saved for retirement (I just looked it up), that sounds terrible. How long could you live on $65,000? Maybe 3 years if you stretched it? But that leaves out the key question, the average American of what age? If someone who's in his 60s and is planning to retire next year has only $65,000, that's not going to work. But if someone who is 22 has $65,000 saved for retirement, he's doing very well. When I was in my 30s my retirement savings was still only about $30,000. For people aged 55 to 64, median retirement savings is $134,000. I'd say that's still way too small but not as pathetic as $65,000.
Yes. RE #3: I was on a forum once where someone said that if you gave everyone in the world $1000 (ignoring the question of where the money comes from -- let's suppose it appears by magic), some people would invest it and a year later have $2000, while others would spend it immediately. This generated a storm of protest from people saying that some people are so poor that they would just have no choice but to spend it immediately on necessities of life. To which I replied, That's why they stay poor. Because they think that all the little luxuries they buy are "necessities". Will you die if you don't buy a new cell phone, or a new video game? No. Or even something more mundane, like a new pair of shoes. Maybe your present pair are absolutely on their last legs (or their last feet?), the soles are about to wear through, they're falling apart and you just have to get a new pair or go barefoot. But probably not. You wouldn't die if you turned down the air conditioning, or ate hot dogs and beans instead of that convenient microwave meal tonight, or dozens of other little luxuries you enjoy. People who get rich learn to make do without. People who stay poor think of all these things as "necessities".
Very good distillation of why the financial liquidity of most Americans is zero to negative. MMT - what a joke. No, worse. What a lie it is, and most highly educated people under the age of 50 believe in it, thanks to our schools of miseducation.