Saturday, January 19, 2008

Economists are starting to worry about the American consumer. We're not buying enough plasma TVs to make the powers that be happy with the one or two percent they can skim from the top. If we choose to simplify our lives, it has dire consequences, forcing a reduction in the national cash flow, an increase in the national debt, and a reduction of the impact we have on the global environment. They call it recession and are talking about cutting checks to American taxpayers to get us to spend more and more.

People seem to be learning to do other things: Working with their hands to build communities, finding simple pleasures to replace what they no longer care to see on TV.

Warning, warning! It might get worse. Much worse. We might learn to walk and cycle more leaving our cars at home. Walking, we might become fit and lose the fat and live longer, reducing medical expenses and have further dire impact on the GNP. Walking, we might meet our neighbors and develop friendships, overcoming barriers of race and sexual orientation and thence be no longer subject to the bizarre manipulations of fanatics. Needing less gas, and almost no plastics, we might reconsider our hunger for world domination and insist on the restoration of our position as an example of real working democracy.

I am sorry to present such a doomsday scenario on a beautiful but cold Arkansas morning. But behind some dark clouds there are silver linings.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:11 AM

    So what if we use that check to pay off debt instead of buying stuff? We'd throw the whole plan off!

    And I'm starting to think of GNP from a different perspective, as a Gross Notional Product, a measure of the output of ideas rather than stuff.