Deferred consumption (i.e., savings) on a gigantic scale is required to keep
industrial production going. Savings pay for machines which enable men to
produce in a day an amount of goods they would not be able to produce by hand
in a year (if at all). This enables the workers in turn to defer consumption
and to save some of their income for their future needs or goals. The hallmark
of an industrial society is its members’ distance from a hand-to-mouth mode of
living; the greater this distance, the greater men’s progress.
The major part of this country’s stock seed is not the fortunes of the rich
(who are a small minority), but the savings of the middle class—i.e., of
responsible men who have the ability to grasp the concept “future” and to
deposit one dollar (or more) into a bank account. A man of this type saves
money for his own future, but the bank invests his money in productive
enterprises; thus, the goods he did not consume today, are available to him
when he needs them tomorrow—and, in the meantime, these goods serve as fuel
for the country’s productive process.