“Meanness inherits a set of silverware and keeps it in the bank. Economy uses it only on important occasions, for fear of loss. Thrift sets the table with it every night for pure pleasure, but counts the butter spreaders before they are put away” — Phyllis McGinley
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In this quote, McGinley is contrasting different attitudes towards possessions and money. “Meanness” refers to being stingy or miserly, only keeping the silverware in a bank vault without using it at all. “Economy” means being frugal, only taking the silverware out on special occasions to avoid any potential loss or damage. But “Thrift” indicates prudence instead of penny-pinching.
A thrifty person sets the table with the full silverware set for everyday use, enjoying what they have, but also takes care to account for everything afterwards. So in essence, McGinley is saying true thrift is using what you have to its full potential and taking pleasure from possessions, not just hoarding or using them sparingly out of fear like meanness and economy represent.