Limited Resources Demand Thrift

            I have raised five children.  We had an active household when the children were small and an even more vigorous one when they became teenagers.  One pearl of wisdom that I discovered early in my life of parenting was the truth of limited resources.  I regularly ran out of day before I finished all the chores.  I frequently ran out of entrees at dinner before the kids satisfied their appetites.  I normally came to the end of my budget before I finished purchasing all the back to school clothes and supplies.  At times, I even ran out of patience before resolving the conflict over who touched who first! 

            The acknowledgment of limited capital positions us for making wise decisions.  Scarcity means that assets have to be intelligently allocated and time has to be efficiently managed.  Any parent who lives in the moment without considering demands that will be placed upon future allocation of time, money, or strength will bankrupt his or her own household’s financial and relational storehouse.

            All schools of economics acknowledge the concept of limited supply or scarcity.  If any commodity is in high demand but low supply – meaning more scarce – that commodity will have a high price tag.  Conversely, any product with greater supply than demand will have a low price.  At the most basic level, the market place centers upon the concept of limited supply. 

            Money, or the currency of a society, has limited supply and must be treated as a scarce item.  Whether stewarding money at the family level or the federal level, thrift is a quality that insures the supply is not wasted.  The primary tutorial for comprehending the scarcity of money is the paycheck.  Investing the highly demanded yet sparsely available commodity of time to generate an income teaches every worker that money is limited.  Knowledge of limited funds necessitates efficiently managed funds. 

            Gaining knowledge of thrift is circumvented when money is rewarded without any price tag attached.  No price tag communicates more supply than demand.  When any commodity is viewed as unlimited, there is no need for thrift.  Both the parent who passes out allowances without requiring chores and the government that doles out entitlements without compelling labors are failing to communicate truth.  They fail to communicate that money is scarce.  Instead of training in thrift, they encourage profligacy, present verses future orientation, and lack of productivity.  When all economic resources are expended rather than proportionally allocated, the malady of scarcity is propagated.  Thrift fails with handouts.

            Acknowledging that resources are scarce demands thrift, which is one principle that minimizes the effects of scarcity upon a family and a society.  Efficiently managing funds has the positive effect of overcoming scarcity by supplying today’s needs and tomorrow’s storehouse.  A child and a citizenry shielded from the knowledge of limited resources and protected from the work ethic that creates the attribute of thrift, will live in poverty and proliferate poverty for the future.

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