Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas, materialism and the loss of our humanity

From Robert Reich's FB post:

"The deep imbalance within the American economy is not only income and wealth. It’s also between the 'stuff' economy – including all the goods we crowd into malls to buy for friends and family this holiday season – and the 'we' economy – the schools, parks, playgrounds, clean air and water, roads and public transportation, and public health and safety – that we utilize together. The stuff economy is doing better; America is producing more stuff and consumers are buying more stuff. But the 'we' economy continues to deteriorate. State and local budgets are still strained, while demands on the 'we' economy are growing.

"Of course, the two imbalances are related. As income and wealth concentrate at the top, the vast middle class and poor can’t afford to pay the taxes necessary to support the 'we' economy. Meanwhile, those at the top don’t need the 'we' economy because they buy their own private versions, and they have the political clout to reduce their taxes. So we end up with lots of private stuff that’s getting harder to enjoy because our public lives together are becoming ever more impoverished."

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