Needs, wants and this

The United States economy is driven primarily by consumer spending. Us companies spend about 230 billion dollars a year in advertising. All that money and time to get someone somewhere to buy something that will be used and “thrown away”.

Today is Halloween and very shortly we will be right into the Holiday season, Christmas and Hanukah. The average cost of the holidays as in girt giving is 887. That is how many gifts are bought.

71% of the United States economy is in consumption. Buying stuff that we usually try to dispose of. I use the word try because nothing is every really thrown away. Landfills are filled up, eco systems destroyed and all because of what?

We do it because it makes up happy giving and receiving stuff. But does it? Since the 50’s America has gotten bigger stuff. Bigger and more cars, bigger and more houses. more clothes, more food, more everything and happiness still seems to allude most Americans. As of 2020 Americans are at the most unhappy level they have ever been. One of the major reasons cited for being so unhappy was the standard of living.. Wait that makes no sense if stuff makes you happy. Consumption has gone up so fast but no one is happier. Stuff will not make you happy.

Photo by Natallia Rak on

There is a movement called the Slow Movement. Slow living is about consuming less and taking a slower approach to everyday life. This year for the holidays maybe we can give our loved ones less things and the few things we do give them we could build for them. Building something as a gift show thoughts and love.

Hand made Christmas gifts are the best. You learn something new and feel accomplished and the gift receiver gets something unique and special. A great idea is to include before during and after photos of you making the gift for your loved one as well.

Lets end this year with a commitment not to the economy but to ourselves and the environment. Let’s commit to make the world and ourselves better.

Consumers and or Citizens

Just recently in the United States the government signed into law a pretty extensive budget package. The money in the package will go towards combating climate change and inflation.

Some people are very vocal about the law because this will involve a tax to help pay for the changes made. The tax is minimum almost non existent for most of the population and actually not an abhorrent amount for the wealthy. By wealthy I mean anyone making over 400000 dollars a year.

When I hear citizens complain about taxes that they will not pay or are less that 2 % of their income I start to wonder why. The climate crisis that our world is facing is one of the largest crisis that humanity has ever faced and it is existential. To pay just a little bit of money in taxes is well worth the continued existence of the human race.

I think part of the problem is that in the United States many of the citizens have been conditioned to be Consumers first then citizens. I have seen this ideology with Union votes in factories and warehouses. The major reason most people vote against unionization in a warehouse or factory is that the employer promises that they will raise the cost of their goods if a Union is voted in. A good citizen would support safe working conditions and equitable pay that comes with a good workers union, however a consumer would only care what a good cost them. The same attitude seems to be going on with the climate. A good citizen would support laws that address climate change but a consumer would care less bot the climate and more about the cost of goods produced.

Money is a medium of exchange, it is a payment for resources or services. The resources that money can buy like clean water and safe food those are what matters not really the money. Being a good citizen should have very little to do with money and everything to do with how a nation or world divides and uses their natural resources.

I wonder how much better would our world be if as a society we focused less on money and more on.. well everything else?

Photo by Alexander Mils on