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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 06:55 AM
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How We Can Live with Less and Still Feel Rich
via AlterNet:



How We Can Live with Less and Still Feel Rich

By David Villano, Miller-McCune.com. Posted December 24, 2008.

Here's how government can help curb America's seemingly endless appetite for "more."



On a sunny weekday morning late last spring at the Mall at 163 St. in North Miami Beach, Fla., in the parking lot outside The Home Depot, Hector Portillo is loading an LG Electronics window air conditioner into his Ford F-150 pickup. Portillo, a 34-year-old who emigrated from Cuba 12 years ago, says the $279 unit (on sale) will replace a smaller one in his family's two-bedroom apartment.

The rest of the tax rebate check he just received -- a tiny part of the $152 billion economic stimulus Congress approved this year -- will soften the blow of high gasoline prices and other day-to-day expenses, including new clothes for his two children and, perhaps, a necklace for his wife. "We're supposed to spend it, right?" he says, smiling.

Inside the mall at the discount clothing retailer Steve & Barry's, Janice Jenkins is shopping for a new outfit. She used part of her $600 tax rebate to pay down credit card debt, but now she's holding two pairs of backless shoes and a blouse; three flower-print sundresses designed by Sarah Jessica Parker are draped over her shoulder. Each item -- like nearly everything in the store -- is just $8.98. "I needed a new dress," says Jenkins, a 26-year-old nursing assistant. "For that price, why not three?"

A good deal, indeed, and perhaps a short-term boost to the economy. But as designer sundresses fill our closets, the world drifts deeper into what environmental economists are calling "ecological deficit." Simply put, too much of the Earth's biosphere is engaged in production and not enough is set aside to regenerate and to accommodate the resultant waste. ........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/story/114966/how_we_can_live_wi... /




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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 08:37 AM
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1. Not meaning to be a smartass or insulting, but this is one of those "Well, d'uh" articles
Of course we're chewing through the planet at an unsustainable rate. Hell, our entire economy, along with those of many other countries, is based on consumption. You can't grow your economy unless everybody goes out and buys, buys, buys like good little lemmings. And what we're suffering from now is the hangover after that huge binge.

It's truly sad what we've become. Most products seem to be made with a built in expiration date, be it electronics, cars, or clothes. Then we've got an entire industry devoted to getting the American public to buy more. A nine hundred square foot house is no longer good enough for a young couple starting out, now they need a 2900 square foot house. No longer is a 33 inch TV good enough, but now you need 72 inches. No longer is having a stereo system enough, now you need an "entertainment center", with all the big bucks that implies. On and on it goes.

Meanwhile, in a sad sign of the times, you can hardly find any sort of repairmen anymore. Your blender die, gee, thirty years ago you go in and for a small sum you would get it fixed. Now the repair bill (and most of the cost is in parts) is almost, if not greater than the cost of a new item, so most people simply chuck their barely used stuff and buy more new stuff.

Most stuff these days seems to have built in obsolescence. Electronics tend to die within ten years, small appliances about the same. Gone are the days when your vacuum cleaner lasts for forty years, your radio last for fifty, your car last for twenty years or more. Instead, you are expected to replace these sorts of items every ten years or so, after all, gotta keep that economy going.

And frankly, you can't work on your own stuff any more. This started happening to cars about twenty years ago. The engine is arranged that you can't even change your own oil anymore because you can't even get to the oil filter anymore.

This is what happens when you base your economy on consumption. We've absolutely got to get away from this consumption based economy. First of all, as we see right now, it isn't healthy for our country and our society, and as this article points out, it isn't healthy for the planet
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Most firearms are still built to last.
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Fireweed247 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. whoa, you really nailed it
You should be writing articles.
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