Our Obsession with Consumption – While Ignoring Saving and Investment – Is a Big Problem

by Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Juan Fernando Carpio

[From an interview with Hans-Hermann Hoppe conducted by Juan Fernando Carpio.]

Carpio: Why do economists in general not teach the role of saving for the economy?

Hoppe: I agree with your assessment: In the economics profession today very little attention is given to the role of savings and very much, indeed overwhelming importance is attached instead to the role of consumption. This is a very curious situation. For while it is true that the ultimate goal of all human activity is consumption, there can be little or no consumption without prior production, and there can be no production without prior saving. To explain: Nature on its own provides us with only very few consumer goods, such as apples growing on trees or berries on bushes. For anything more and above this nature-given level of possible consumption, we must first produce the goods that we then afterwards can consume.

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