For some readers, this Megan McArdle post at The Atlantic is the most important thing you will read all year. Her subject is savings, and why you need to save much more than you are currently socking away.Most older readers haven’t saved enough; most younger readers will need to save more (as government retirement programs hit the wall and unavoidable cuts must be made). McArdle shows you how much you need to save and, more importantly, helps you figure out how it is done. Warning: she also dismantles some common excuses for not saving.The blue social model is a consumption model. Government debt and private householder debt are the keys to making the blue system work. From the thirty year mortgage to the student loan to the ubiquitous credit card, the blue social model aimed to facilitate and promote consumer debt.That needs to change. We have overextended ourselves as a nation and as families and individuals, and we need to get back to sane and sustainable patterns of spending and consumption. We need to define ourselves less as a people and as individuals by what and how we consume, and derive our identity and self confidence from what we produce and invest.McArdle offers some important advice on how you can begin, whatever your age, to begin to embrace the values of thrift and prudence we are all going to need as time goes by.Read the whole thing.