Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 02:27:23 AM EST
This is not a terribly substantive diary, nor one which presents new information or arguments. However, it may be a place for substantive discussion, as the question posed in the title may perhaps be a gateway to a further discussion of one of ET's favorite topics . . . DOOM!!!!
So here it is - is there any point, given where the world economy and the whole of Western Civilization are headed, in saving money?
I am fairly young, steadily employed at a job that provides me with about $1500 of discretionary income a month, and have no appreciable debts. I don't have a family, or the prospect of one anytime soon. My parents are not rolling in cash, but seem stable enough. I understand the value from personal experience in having a few months income saved up, just in case. I'm also paying into a retirement fund, as is mandated by Japanese law. I try to keep a few extra bags of rice around the house, and occasionally think of putting together a basic survival kit.
But is there any point in saving beyond that? Investments don't really seem like that great of an idea, for a whole variety of reasons, the collapse of global capitalism being up amongst them. Further, it would be a long time before I'd have enough money for investment to be an even vaguely meaningful term.
Further retirement savings, which I would not begin to cash in on for another 25 to 35 years or so, also seem a bit dubious, as I kind of wonder how much of the world we know will be left in 25 to 35 years. That's well within the timeframe for catastrophic climate change, peak oil, and every other big bad boogeyman to be hitting pretty damn hard. Even if we aren't faced with catastrophe, how much can I trust that any large bank, insurance company, or other financial entity will still be in existence by the time I'd be ready to cash out?
I really do wonder if there's any point in saving anything beyond a few months income, simply because the next few years of my life may well be the last time I could ever make use of the money I'd be saving. Hyper-inflation, climate apocalypse, World War III . . . all of them would make my sacrifices now rather moot. Why not take another nice trip this summer? Why not eat, drink, and be merry, while there is still good food available at any price?
I'm not planning to quit my job, or do anything drastic. I'm not going to load up my credit cards in US debt as a bet on the collapse of the dollar. I'm not going to move to a hut in the distant mountains to await the apocalypse. Normal life will continue until it doesn't, but how much should I really prepare for the continuation of normal life beyond the next 5 years?
What do y'all think?