The Tallahassee Democrat prints JMI Resident Fellow William Mattox’s opinion editorial “Bringing Thrifty Back: A Forgotten Concept”.I don’t know if Justin Timberlake succeeded in “Bringing Sexy Back.”  But if 50 Cent or some other recording artist were interested in “Bringing Thrifty Back,” he’d probably find a youthful audience in the state of Florida.That’s because the Sunshine State is in the forefront of a movement to revive a cultural appreciation for the time-honored (but almost-forgotten) concept of thrift.Mention the word “thrift” today and you’re apt to get a blank stare – or instructions on where to find the nearest used clothing store frequented by hipsters looking for “vintage” attire.But the word thrift actually has a rich history in American life and a far more robust meaning than many people imagine.  Benjamin Franklin first popularized the concept in Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Way to Wealth.  He believed Americans ought to be industrious and frugal – not just to facilitate upward mobility, but also because economic dependency and chronic debt hinders one’s personal freedom.More recently, social reformers in the early 20th Century celebrated “Thrift Week” every January (to coincide with Franklin’s birthday) as a way of encouraging the wise use of economic resources.  Since the word “thrift” comes from the same root as “thriving,” these reformers saw the “thrift ethic” – working hard, saving for unforeseen needs, and giving generously to others – as a key to human flourishing.Sadly, America’s thrift ethic has declined in recent years.  Social historian Barbara Dafoe Whitehead reports that the term “thrift” is rarely associated with industriousness anymore.  And frugality is no longer prized by many in our day, especially government officials in Washington.Thankfully, the John Templeton Foundation is seeking to “bring thrifty back.”  In recent years, Templeton-funded thrift projects have arisen in several places, including Florida.  As a result, thousands of Florida high school students have studied, All About the Benjamins, a supplemental curriculum produced by the News-in-Education departments at a number of Florida newspapers.  Hundreds of younger Floridians have played a thrift-themed quiz game, “R U Smarter than a Franklin County 5th Grader?”  And the Republican Governor of Florida has joined the Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia in signing “Thrift Week” proclamations tied to Franklin’s Jan. 17 birthday.As part of this year’s Thrift Week celebration, the James Madison Institute (JMI) is distributing a series of eye-catching InfoGraphics that help Floridians understand what thrift is, why thrift matters, and how Ben Franklin helped early Americans cultivate thrift habits.  In addition, JMI is tweeting a series of “daily benjamins” (thrift sayings made popular by Franklin) during Thrift Week, including “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”Hopefully, educational efforts like these will help young (and old) Floridians to follow the thrifty advice of John Wesley:  “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”  And, who knows, these efforts just might inspire 50 Cent or others to get busy “Bringing Thrifty Back.”William Mattox is a resident fellow at The James Madison Institute and the project director for “All About the Benjamins.”