It isn't enough that our debt-ridden nation is woozy from the market's latest roller-coaster ride. Now comes word that we lag behind an economic rival in a key area of personal finance: savings. Many more Chinese families are saving money for emergencies and education than U.S. families, according to a University of Missouri study released Thursday.

The numbers paint an unflattering portrait of Americans' ability to plan ahead: 60% of Chinese households are saving for "precautionary reasons," compared to only 35% of American households.

The gap is even greater for education planning. An impressive 59% of Chinese urban households reported saving for school-related expenses, such as tuition, compared to 19% of U.S. families.

Recent reforms have put more pressure on Chinese families to subsidize higher learning, while U.S. government aid provides less incentive for Americans to sock it away for the proverbial rainy day, explains Rui Yao, an assistant professor in the university's personal financial planning department.

A Looser Safety Net

"In the U.S., unemployment insurance and other welfare programs provide a relatively sound safety net," she says, "whereas in China, there are no such social-welfare programs. As a result, Chinese households must resort to family support or previous savings in the case of an emergency."

The report found less of a difference in saving behavior for retirement. More than half of Chinese families (51%) indicated retirement as a motive for saving, as opposed to 45% of American families.

Yao culled her research from the America 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 2008 Survey of Chinese Consumer Finance and Investor Education.

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August 18 2011 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Outstanding dabrownman !!

August 14 2011 at 1:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually 97.5% of all jobs lost were never sent anywhere. They were destroyed by technological advances that allowed fewer people to be more productive. GM makes more and better cars today than then did 40 years ago with 1/5 the work force. Most companies have seen huge increases in productivity because technology and robots don't sleep, eat. have addictions, have lazy streaks, or need to be paid and padded with benefits. It will only get worse in the future. That is the new normal and it started 40 years ago in earnest.

We are now sending our manufacturing technologies to China and even they are losing manufacturing jobs today. It is worse for them when they have 400 - 500 million people out of work at any one time. That is 3 times the entire US work force.

August 13 2011 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What do you expect when the American power-elite shipped/ship all the jobs of the US
working class to China ?

August 13 2011 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


August 13 2011 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JOBS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 13 2011 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Paciorek

How about this? Everyone who has commented on this board stop buying crap that has anything to do with China. I go out of my way to purchase american made products and refuse to buy anything made in China. Everyone says the same old crap! its cheaper! Not in the long run when we are all out of work and there are no jobs. How is it cheaper? Pay now or pay tenfold later.

August 12 2011 at 8:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gordon Paciorek's comment

I agree- when you can find something that isn't made in China. Of course the best part is the consumer really isn't benefiting from what amounts to slave labor. Execs at Nike, Apple and Microsoft are. Mostly what we get are higher gas prices and higher construction costs, due to this unnatural high rate of growth in China.

The real culprit is GW Bush. Before he became Prez he was ambassador to China. When you live and work with someone, over the years you forget they are evil communists. So when Georgie boy became Prez he gave them " Most Favoured Nation Status"". That after Reagan fought for fair trade with Japan.

Bush Senior was a lunk head.

Also while goods may be cheaper, the quality is down. By now we're so used to it we don't notice, unless you have killer dry wall, killer pet food, killer pharmaceuticals or killer lead paint children's toys.

Now we do a lot more testing we didn't do before thanks to China poisoning our goods. There's another hidden cost to buying from China.

Also the ports and roads were built with my parents tax dollars so we could export goods, not jobs.

Don't blame the Chinese though, blame the CEOs and politicians of the same ilk that just about pushed our economy over the cliff a few years ago.

August 13 2011 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to trebuchetrabbi's comment

Above I meant George Herbert Walker Bush. I should have just said Bush I. They were both idiots so I get confused.

August 13 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

The press has to do something so they come up with this. It's apples vs oranges. It doesn't care as long as it catches your attention.

August 12 2011 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Americans got used of years of plenty that they got spoiled. Saving,sacrificing, frugality is not in their vocabulary. Americans are of the happy-go-lucky mindset, having the lastest style, most expensive, status, concerts, parties, & eating out. An Asian family will cook to economize enduring the heat. American family will buy or eat out costing more money. Different lifestyle really equates to different money savings. Americans are confident & optimistic in educ. & career. Asians not so so that they invest in educ./higher educ & make good to excel in competitive career market. Look at our crowded library, Asian mothers bring their kids there always, while American parents bring their kids to the park to play always. Hardly any Asian kids excel in sports, but they excel in math & sciences.

August 12 2011 at 4:15 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to royalmadz's comment

The reason for them saving more than us is simple. Their economy is doing fine while ours sucks!! There is nothing left at the end of the month with higher gas and food prices plus falling income.

August 12 2011 at 3:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to floortimellc's comment
Alice Mckelvy

and that is what it is all about ,gas, food, elec,etc , mr. govt will not do anything about it , because it is to easy.pocket liners just turn there heads!!!! just saying .

August 13 2011 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You forget that when our own economy was rolling along a lot of people were spending themselves into the ground and saving nothing for a rainy day. We could learn much from the very smart Asian populace.

August 13 2011 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply