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My daughter outlines her position on the accumulation and distribution of capital in a market economy

For the third time in her seven years on this planet, my daughter has saved more than $100. 

On all three occasions, she has saved this money for specific items. In the past it was a dollhouse from Barnes & Noble and a Playmobile mall. 

This time she was saving for a Playmobile petting zoo. 

And because she earns $1.25 per week in allowance, it takes a long time to save this money. For this most recent purchase, it took more than eight months, and that included birthday money, tooth fairy money, found money, and occasional bonuses that she can earn for completing additional chores.

When we counted her money and discovered that she had finally exceeded $100 ($114 in all), I told her how impressed I was with her ability to save. 

“But Daddy,” she said. “Doesn’t everyone save their money?”

I explained that in many cases, people seek immediate gratification. They buy small items that make them happy in the moment but don’t save for big items like houses and cars and retirement and emergencies. “Some people can’t stop spending money on clothing and restaurants and gadgets, so they never get what they really want.”

She was quiet for a moment. I could tell she was processing this. Thinking about this new reality that I had presented to her. 

I waited. 

Finally she spoke. “Well, that’s kind of dumb, I think. I think saving for what you want is fun. And you don’t have to just buy stuff all the time to be happy.”

If only everyone adhered to the wisdom of my seven year-old girl.