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Saturday, November 29, 2008

consumption

It seems I'm not the only one concerned by the current global call to consume more in order to save ourselves. Courtesy of Eilleen at Consumption Rebellion I found Make Wealth History. At a glance, the site looks like an invitation to analyse our values and choices. In light of the Wal-Mart worker crushed to death by 2000 determined bargain hunters in New York on Friday, it would behove us to examine our consumption habits, both as a society and as individuals.

This one in particular caught my eye:



Another thoughtful consideration of our consumption habits and their consequences for the planet is found in the Story of Stuff. This punchy little film has been around for a while, but if you haven't seen it before it's well worth a look.

On a personal note, my little maglite torch stopped working. I tried several sets of batteries with no result and decided the bulb must have blown. When I went to the hardware store and asked for a new bulb he told me they are impossible to source, I'll have to buy a new torch. I don't want to be (much of) a consumer, but the whole system makes it almost impossible not to fall into it. I might try and claw my way out by purchasing one of these instead...

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4 Comments:

At 1:58 pm, December 01, 2008, Blogger deanna said...

I showed the video to my kids. It's well done, in that creepy, Orwellian sense. We're thinking about what the future might bring and how to act differently. The future's a slippery beast; we'll just have to see what happens.

 
At 5:53 am, December 03, 2008, Blogger Carolina said...

Most excellent video, Cecily!

And perfect timing, too.

I'm passing this one around!

 
At 5:55 am, December 03, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

That was ME, Cherie, not Cassie who left that message. I was too slow on the draw once I realized she was signed in and not me.

 
At 3:59 am, December 09, 2008, Anonymous Douglas said...

Cecily

If you observe that we are consuming too much and too many people seem to be slaves to getting things then you are right - you have identified a problem.

It's important when identifying a problem to recommend a good solution - one that does not make things worse.

Part of the problem that we have in the west (and I count Tasmania and neighbouring islands in this) is that we are borrowing, spending and consuming.

Many in the east are saving, investing and making things. This has created huge imbalances.

Credit, borrowing, debt is all part of the problem. Those who are trying to fix this with more credit for more spending are just making the problem worse.

Who is to blame?

One way that politicians get elected is if the people think everything is going well. This is the reason why restrictions on credit and borrowing have been eased. When money is easy - people think that they are better off than they are - for a while. It is partly easy credit and an absence of sensible regulations on banks and financial institutions in growing that credit that allows this. Perhaps even more important than a lack of sensible regulations in certain areas has been the non enforcement of other regulations. A lot of fraud has been happening and not stopped (related to borrowing, lending and dodgy loans). It is also long periods of low interest rates from in particular, the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

This has created a boom. Bust will follow.

There is a corrupt relationship between big business and government. This is because government has allowed this to happen for the short term benefit of politicians and business people.

Long term (and the longer term is arriving) we are all stuffed.

However, simply saying that we should 'make wealth history' is not the answer? Who is going to make wealth history? Why is it wrong to be productive - it's not wrong, in fact it is necessary.

Where does wealth come from? From people working productively. That is good - not bad.

What we are experiencing now - like the 1930's - is economics that will allow evil political ideologies to rise. You must be careful not to support that. The evil ideologies won't come along with 'evil' written or their foreheads. An anti-wealth ideology will do a lot more harm to the economies and, if implemented will result in starvation, famine and war.

 

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