Sun Mar 24, 2013, 10:20 AM
Left Turn Only (74 posts)
We Must Believe in Magic
The economics of capitalism appears to be predicated on an ever-increasing number of consumers through growing populations, opening new markets such as Asia, and developing new consumer products that people cannot live without. Is it just me, or does this line of thought bring to mind the metaphor of the periodic mass suicide of lemmings? No matter how you look at it, growing populations and selling more and more needless consumer products is going to catch up to us like a bad hangover. If fixing the Great Recession is dependent on the global-economy dream of the corporate elite by making all of the world's economies more like our own, wouldn't that be similar to taking a stiff drink to quell those not-so-pleasant feelings the morning after a good party?
Americans waste (even by conservative estimates) thousands of pounds of resources per person every year. Billions of pounds of things like carpet, polystyrene, food, chemicals, and other resources annually end up in landfills (if we're lucky). In addition, even more waste is produced by industry in the making of all those precious items. And, when you stop and think of all the electronic items, batteries, etc. that we all discard during our lives, each of us has a very personal involvement in the garbage and pollution produced in this country and around the world.
This seems hard for many to grasp, but, believe it or not, all the resources we waste and consume are not being continually replaced by god, and the earth really does have a limit to how much pollution it can absorb and recycle. Obviously, we cannot turn back the clock, so we need an economy in which everyone can contribute where a balance is struck between realistic needs, available resources, and inevitable waste production. Instead of producing so many products that end up in landfills, we need to be producing jobs in all kinds of research to expand the knowledge of human-kind, which will produce benefits in health, food production, energy, infrastructure, housing, etc.. Also, expanding scientific knowledge for no apparent immediate use other than the understanding of the earth and the universe could provide more than just jobs. Having everyone gainfully employed on a sinking luxury ship is only good while the party lasts. All the air, water, food, shelter -- everything that keeps industry and ourselves alive -- is provided by the living systems of our planet. As the Biosphere II fiasco in the 90's had shown us, science and 200 million dollars could not even produce a three-acre living system to keep eight people and some animals alive for two years.
If we are to rise above our lemming-inspired leap of faith, we must coordinate our hard-earned intelligence and technology toward real solutions. Earning money to stay alive is a concept developed by humans; and, since we created the system, we can alter it to fit the reality of the world we live in. It is time to stop trying to pull rabbits out of a hat and accept the fact that to take more than can be given even goes beyond our own laws of physics.
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We Must Believe in Magic (Original post)
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