Friday, January 9, 2009

the problem is...

I actually heard a commentator on CNN describing the current economic situation and the data on lower consumer spending in December say...

"The problem is that people are only buying what they need. That's not the route to prosperity."

Buying more than we need leads to homes filled with trash, obesity and sloth, starvation in other parts of the world because of our consuming more than our share, pollution and habitat destruction as we force the earth to produce more than it can sustain and to take back more waste than it can re-absorb.

What if we put fulfilling human "needs" ahead of propping up an artificially robust economy, and realized that people need meaning and purpose and self-agency and beauty and joy and human connection more than they need big cars and game systems and new sweaters and luxury trips and giant houses?

The solution to our economic woes is not to encourage people to buy stuff they don't need. The solution is to create an economy that doesn't depend on constant growth enabled only by exploiting cheap labor and non-renewable natural resources.

1 comment:

Robin Edgar said...


That most subversive Egyptian god. . . ;-)