On the surface frugality is a wise decision to make. Waste less, gain more. Makes perfect sense. Waste not, want not. I'm sure there are many other little saying you can recall.
To me frugality imlplies a balance between wants and needs in resource allocation. Resources can be anything from time, money, effort, natural resources - almost anything we need/use in our daily lives. The risk/reward relationship in the activities of our lives.
Many things we do are done out of habit. Stop on red, go on green, look before crossing, etc. That's by design - can you imagine having to make a conscious decision about everything every day? There's be a flashing light and siren in our head screaming meltdown - danger Will Robinson, danger by 9AM.
It's all about resource allocation. A prime example is food and world hunger. We've produced sufficient food supplies worldwide to feed the entire population of the planet since the Green Revolution. That begs the question why so many starving children around the world? Indeed why starving children in this country? Allocation. Or - more appropriately misallocation of resources. The distribution system is broken. Too many people along the distribution channel takling their cut so the allocated resource - food - never makes it to the targeted population. Greed and corruption.
Of course there's a segment here in this country claiming it's abuse of the system that causes the problem - too many people feel they are entitled to a free ride consuming too much of our very limited supply of money to address the problem of hunger. We cannot afford to do more. In the long run the resulting misallocation of our most precious resource - our children - is simply collateral damage. Say what??? Well what the hell - they're probably here illegally anyway. What's mine is mine and to hell with the rest of 'em. Let 'em get a gun and hunt their own food. Indeed. Scuse me while I head to a Tea Party meeting.
Resource allocation. It's the key. Got $10.00 in your pocket? Spend it quick. Don't bother saving some of it in case you might need it later. Oil? well that one is political. Natural gas? That's political too. That means the odds of rational thought entering into the discussion are slim and none - sound bites do not count. Oh - unless of course that rational thought concerns profit for the oil companies. Then there is an abundance of "rational" thought. Medicine? Oh - remember - we have the greatest medical system in the world. Really. The WHO is lying when they rank us at #37 and everybody knows France - #1 - is nearly bankrupt so what good does it matter having a healthy population. Truth is - if you are extremely wealthy our system may be one of the best. If you can afford it. Affordable healthcare. Where have I heard that term before?
So where does all of this lead us? How does it apply to Fos's topic? Admittedly I've taken a somewhat sardonic approach to the topic. Its resource allocation, stupid. If we don't get batter at it our grandkids may be in trouble.
Check out the other LBCers - see what they have to say about frugality.