It isn’t only those who’ve lost jobs or have been laid off taking up the cause of thrift. It’s as if consumerism itself is taking a back seat to a healthy foresightedness.
Will we continue to think this way when the economy recovers? Perhaps we’re like the proverbial boatman who, about to drown, vows to God that he will turn over a new leaf if only the Almighty would intervene and save him — then, when the crisis passes, he reverts to his old self.
We will see. As for Washington, however, it’s impossible to revert to anything if it refuses to even make the vow.