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Science of Virtue: Frugality

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Plays: 65

Would you ever make your own clothing detergent? Walk twenty blocks instead of paying for the bus? How frugal could you be in your daily life?

92Y’s Science of Virtue is a look at the values that shape our world. Exploring a set of virtues championed by Benjamin Franklin throughout his life, the podcast features interviews with top thinkers on how timeless themes like temperance and tranquility impact our modern lives. In this episode, Lauren Weber, a champion of thrift, joins host Ruthie Ackerman to investigate America’s long, complicated relationship with the virtue of frugality. Lauren Weber is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of In CHEAP We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue.

In 1727, Ben Franklin launched a project he called The Mutual Improvement Club, a weekly meeting of Franklin and his peers in which they explored ways to improve themselves and others. The club centered around 13 virtues – Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility – which Franklin followed throughout his life as he aimed to be a better leader, citizen, and man. Almost 300 years later, 92Y is launching a 21st century Benjamin Franklin Club with Franklin’s virtues as a starting point to re-imagine community engagement, leadership and ways we can improve ourselves and our world.