If I get a $1,200 rebate this Spring from Uncle Sam (and it looks like I might) I will probably use it to offset some of the cost of my sons’ college tuitions.  However, I might just go shopping with it as the rebate, I believe, is meant to help stimulate the economy by increasing my purchasing power.

If I spend it I will try my hardest to spend it on products made or services rendered in the U.S.  A vacation to some city not close to where I live might be appropriate.  Or perhaps a down payment on a GM car.  Or 10 cords of wood to burn next winter.

I will try my best not to spend it on goods manufactured in Asia, because Asia is certainly from whom we are borrowing the money in the first place to pay for the rebates.  And it strikes me that if Americans spend most of their rebate checks purchasing electronics or anything from Walmart, Asia will reap the benefit twice while we merely stick it to our next generation.

The U.S. chooses to go into more debt in an attempt to get itself out of an economic stall.  I feel like this will be a Pyrrhic victory for us, at best.


3 Responses to Rebates

  1. The best thing people could do is NOT spend it. If the government can’t stop it’s excessive borrowing, the citizens should. There mere concept of borrowing money to save the economy is ridiculous. If you were buried under personal financial debt, would you tack on more debt to save yourself?

  2. Paul says:

    I’m sorry? This is exactly what the average American is doing! When they start getting into credit trouble, like maxing out their cards, they are able take out a line of credit on their house to pay them down (and get lower interest, of course; that’s the hook). Then they start spending again.

    The recent mortgage crisis is due, in great part, to the fact that home buyers did not have to put a penny down on their mortgage and in fact, were able to borrow more than the home was worth, allowing them to take that (unnecessary) vacation or buy that 42″ plasma for their new living room.

    My question is this: Do we look to our politicians for guidance on our behavior, or do our politicians look to us?

  3. Show me a governmental body not operating under debt, and then I’ll consider taking financial advice from their leaders.

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