22 March 2003
Spending more now and enjoying it less
[T]he rate of increase which was running at 8.3% a year in the 80's slowed to about 4.3% a year in the 90's. But this hardly seems tragic.
It's a phenomenon we've seen before. How is it that spending more money less quickly can be equated to spending less money? If it takes me eleven seconds to get from zero to sixty and twenty seconds to get from sixty to ninety, at what point during those 31 seconds did I actually slow down?
You'd expect this from advocates of Really Big Government, who see commitment to be directly proportional to dollars. Curiously, you can also expect it from investors and fund managers, who start to bail out when growth rates start to flatten; it is, after all, their fiduciary responsibility to go for the highest growth rates possible, even if they have to spend their last dime in trade commissions to get them.