Spend $20 on the 20th

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There’s a movement underfoot nationwide to help the economy. It’s good for folks who shop and it’s good for the retailers they do business with. The movement is “Spend Twenty Dollars.”

Here’s the way it works: Every month on the 20th, take $20 and spend it locally. Don’t hang on to it, just spend it. $20. An Andrew Jackson. Take a look in today’s edition of The Selma Times-Journal. You’ll see two pages of advertisements that’ll help you make up your mind about how to spend the money.

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The idea was borne out of a blog, www.spendtwentydollars.com by Michael Katz. The premise is simple. During hard times we decide about money issues based on what we think might happen to us and to the economy. We hold on to our money.

But, as economists have told us, when we spend less, we’re complicating the problem of the economy. It’s like a vicious cycle: don’t spend and the economy gets worse.

Yet, economists tell us something else. If we all act together and spend, we have a positive local impact. It doesn’t take much. $20 is fine.

Here’s the rub. You take $20 extra. This isn’t about groceries or paying the water bill. It’s about something you’ve done without. And, you put the money right back into the local economy; right here in Selma.

That gives our friends, neighbors and us an economic boost.

Here’s what Slate Magazine has to say about the plan, “For the economy to recover and thrive, hoarders must open their wallets and become consumers, business must once again be willing to roll the dice.”

The magazine goes on to say, “In our economy, in which 70 percent of activity is derived from consumers, we do need our neighbors to spend. Otherwise we fall into what economist John Maynard Keynes called ‘paradox of thrift.’ If everyone saves during a slack period, economic activity will decrease, thus making everyone poorer.”

Wednesday is $20 day. We’ll see you in the stores.