Monday, August 12, 2013

Consumerism must go

Eco-transitions blog has a blog feed, which directed me to this recent post on consumerism. Early in the 20th century cheap fossil fuels and other factors led to overproduction of goods. To get rid of them the capitalists radically expanded the advertising and with it the need to consume ever more goods framed as "the American way." It was your patriotic duty to buy much more than you needed. Since most couldn't afford to pay cash for the big ticket items credit became the way to the American dream. The problem was that consuming replaced the other values and became an obsession of, as Arnsperger so aptly detailed, never enough.

While he notes it's fine to simply one's personal life via reduced consumption, much more is needed to change the system. We need a shift from a consumer to an efficiency economy based on a broader happiness index. "Governments would have to promote policies that lead to more sharing, more equity, more transparency, and more citizen participation in governance, since it is these sorts of things that tend to push happiness scores higher." Recall that the happiest nations are also the most democratic (socialist).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.