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This book surveys ‘thrift’ through its moral, religious, ethical, political, spiritual and philosophical expressions, focusing in on key moments such as the early Puritans and postwar rationing, and key characters such as Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Henry Thoreau. The relationships between thrift and frugality, mindfulness, sustainability and alternative consumption practices are explained, and connections made between myriad conceptions of thrift and contemporary concerns for how consumer cultures impact scarce resources, wealth distribution and the Anthropocene. Ultimately, the book returns the reader to an understanding of thrift as it was originally used – to ‘thrive’ – and attempts to re-cast thrift in more collective, economically egalitarian terms, reclaiming it as a genuinely resistant practice. Students, scholars and general readers across all disciplines and interest areas will find much of interest in this book, which provides a multi-disciplinary look at a highly topical concept.

Open Access (free)
Issues, debates and an overview of the crisis

markets and country financial sectors (in particular, the banking system), timely dissemination of financial information under internationally agreed standards, greater transparency in both public and private sector activity, including greater private-sector burden-sharing in order to eliminate (or at least keep within permissible limits) the problems associated with asymmetric information and moral hazard, there is also much disagreement.28 Policy-makers, financial analysts, academic economists and others have been engaged in intense and usually instructive debates

in The Asian financial crisis

The chapter provides an assessment of the two Memoranda that accompanied Greece’s bailouts. It is argued that initial assessments over the sustainability of the Greek debt were overly optimistic and based on projections that did not account for the realities of the Greek economy. The same is also true for some of the assumptions of the second Memorandum. The severe austerity paradigm that underpinned the two programmes was based on a defensive reading of the crisis and a high degree of moralism. Fiscal discipline, although necessary, does not, on its own, constitute a credible exit strategy from the crisis.

in The European debt crisis
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independence and self-​rule, environmental conservation, racial hegemony, philanthropy, manhood 3 Introduction 3 and womanhood, collective security, and social protest’ (2011:10). Regardless, Calder’s contention remains true –​‘no concept has been more important than thrift for shaping the moral culture of economic life under capitalism’ (2013:363). It is also worth noting that this book is largely about Western thinkers on, and versions of, thrift. There is a tangible historical conversation between the Western and the non-​Western world, and Western and non

in A brief history of thrift

satisfaction of particular individual desires, and the shopper regards it as an extravagance that lies outside the constraints of necessity. For Miller, then, hedonic shopping is about self-​indulgence and ‘treat’, whilst provisional shopping is concerned with thrift and short-​term sacrifice in order to reach more substantial long-​term goals, making it a more ‘moral’ act (2013).1 Key to Miller’s overall argument is the idea that thrift defers the ‘treat’ to a future moment and that this deferral is pleasurable for the shopper as part of sacrifice, in similar ways to which

in A brief history of thrift
Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Victorian moralism

35 3 Individualist thrift: Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Victorian moralism Benjamin Franklin and the secularisation of thrift The onset of a more individualistic rationale for thrift can in large part be attributed to a secularisation of the concept. The direct aim of Puritan thrift was not to make profit, but to do what was moral and right under the eyes of God. However, as the Augustinian sense of Puritan thought began to win through, making profit became increasingly acceptable as a way to guard against other ‘evils’  –​even in the eyes of the

in A brief history of thrift
Problems of polysemy and idealism

economic theory’s emphasis on self-interest has led it to ignore or overlook the role of trust in economic relationships, the significance of trust can also be overestimated, especially where markets and competitive economic behaviour are concerned. Trust differs from mere confidence or expectations of consistency in that it involves social relations and has a moral dimension.10 Trust is relational: it is always dependent on trustworthiness, and the latter involves a sense of moral obligation. In most of the literature trustworthiness is mentioned only rarely or in

in Market relations and the competitive process
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Thoreau in the city

Working Class: ‘When one class is subject to another class, the thrift of the subject class only adds to the wealth of the master class … [this is why] in the morality of the working class the word thrift will not be found’ (1914). Marx himself was also, not surprisingly, against thrift (as frugality), describing political economy as a ‘science of wealth’ whose ‘true ideal is the ascetic but 10 110 A brief history of thrift productive slave’. He goes on to say, ‘Its moral idea is the worker who puts a part of his wages into savings … The less you eat, drink, buy

in A brief history of thrift
Open Access (free)
The evolving international financial architecture

via more intensive surveillance and monitoring of capital markets and country financial sectors (in particular, the banking systems), timely dissemination of financial information under internationally agreed standards, and greater transparency in both public and private sector activity, including greater private-sector burden-sharing in order to eliminate (or at least keep within permissible limits) the problems associated with “asymmetric information” and “moral hazard,” there is also much disagreement.3 This chapter discusses some of the core areas of debate

in The Asian financial crisis
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Making do, rationing and nostalgic austerity

69 5 Nationalist thrift: making do, rationing and nostalgic austerity ‘Make do and mend’: thrift in the name of democracy So far, this book has tackled the religious thrift of the Puritans with its Providentialist and later more pragmatic concerns, the strict moral thrift of the Victorians with its grounding in individualism and social righteousness, and the spiritual individualism and communal vision of Thoreau. This chapter will explore examples of thrift quintessentially different from those witnessed so far, due to their emphasis on social solidarity based

in A brief history of thrift