I don't want to start a flame war here - this is a serious attempt by me to understand a mindset I can't fathom - but I really have a problem with the automatic aggression that being even moderately successful attracts from some folks.
I remember, a few years ago, being offered a rather nice, top-end Rover SD1 for totally silly money and, as the seller was a friend who wanted some liquid dosh quick, I bought it from him. The almost instant hostility I then encountered from neighbours and customers alike forced me to sell it within 6 months, just to stop the flak. The damage to my reputation as a fair businessman took years to fix, and I got tarred with a "Thatcher-lover" brush that proved remarkably indelible. I learned something from that.
So, given the fact that we now have a shiny new government that's driven, it would seem, by naked capitalism, I've a small theoretical question:
Imagine 2 people, in identical financial circumstances, who each have gifted to them £500.
Person 1 celebrates with a few pints down the pub with his mates and a slap-up Chinese dinner, treats himself to some new trainers, buys an ultra-wide screen TV and puts £100 aside for a rainy day as a sensible precaution.
Person 2 goes to the supermarket and, for £100, lays in a large stock of beans and washing powder on special offer so he saves money on the purchase and also won’t have to replenish them for 6 months. Then he buys a clearance stock of LED light bulbs from Ebay for £150 with which he equips his house in order to reduce his electricity bill by 50% for the next 5 years. Finally he buys a bicycle with the remainder so he doesn’t have to pay for bus fares to get to work any more.
6 months later Person 1 has £100 in his rainy day fund which has remained static.
Person 2 meanwhile has £100 in his rainy day fund from the savings he’s made on the beans, washing powder, LED lights and the bus fare savings from using his bicycle.
2 years down the line and person 1 has £100 in his rainy day fund which has remained static.
Person 2 now has £300 in his rainy day fund from the ongoing savings from his earlier purchases. He DID have £400 but spent £100 on more special offer consumables which will save him more money.
6 years down the line and person 1 has £100 in his rainy day fund which has remained static and his trainers and TV have worn out.
Person 2 is now a rich Tory trougher because he’s got loads more money than person 1 and ought to be forced to share it with person 1 so he can buy new shoes and a telly.