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Americans Aren't Saving Enough

Uploaded by surfchick on Feb 20, 2005

Americans Aren't Saving Enough

If you think you've had to meet some tough challengers in your time, consider the historic sales call made by Robert Fulton, the famous American who manufactured the world's first commercially successful steamboat.

His meeting was not with the average, easy-going small businessman or head-of-house-hold trying to keep his head above water. His prospective client was Napoleon Bonaparte, who was busy trying to blast all the world's ships out of the water to become ruler of all Europe.

Fulton made what he felt was a very effective presentation.

Napoleon turned on him and screamed, "What, sir? Would you have me make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you excuse me. I have not time to listen to such nonsense."

Fortunately, Mr. Fulton did make other sales calls. He produced the first money-making steamship between New York and Albany and changed the entire course of world history. And world history keeps on changing.

Surely it was sheer coincidence that Adam Smith's, The Wealth of Nations, was published in 1776, the year of the birth of the United States. His book proposed open competition, a free marketplace and the creation of wealth for the hardworking individual.

That was some year, 1776. It produced the most effective political system in the world and an economic theory that produced more personal wealth than the world had ever seen.

Now here we are, 220 years later, undergoing a full-scale national debate about the purpose and role of this very government, tying with it dire warnings about the consequences of not balancing the federal budget soon and getting our country's financial house in order.

As the debate continues - augmented by the energy of the current presidential election season - we stand on the last leg of the 20th Century. The year 2000 will be upon us before we know it.

The question is, will we be ready - as individuals and as a nation - for the challenges this new century will bring?

We have a lot of work to do.

First, savings are too low in the United States. Far behind the savings rates of other countries. Japan's personal savings rate is 15 percent. The U.S. personal savings rate is less than 5 percent.

Second, savings must be increased in the United States if we are to pay our own way as a government, and to provide the investment capital we...

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Uploaded by:   surfchick

Date:   02/20/2005

Category:   Economics

Length:   3 pages (750 words)

Views:   6589

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