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Un-Merry Christmas: The Perverse Incentives to Over-Consume and Over-Spend

Un-Merry Christmas: The Perverse Incentives to Over-Consume and Over-Spend

Isn’t it obvious that if we set out to design the most perverse, toxic and doomed system possible, we’d end up with the Keynesian Cargo Cult’s insane permanent growth/Landfill Economy?

Few topics are off-limits nowadays: the personal and private are now splashed everywhere for all to see.

One topic is still taboo: the holiday’s perverse incentives to over-consume and over-spend,lest our economy implode. This topic is taboo because it strikes at the very heart of our socio-economic system, which is fundamentally based on permanent growth, the faster the better, as if unlimited expansion on a finite planet is not just possible, but desirable.

In the current Mode of Production, the solution to every social and economic ill is to “grow our way out of it.”

The solution to unemployment: jump-start growth by expanding consumption, spending and borrowing.

The solution to stagnant wages: jump-start growth.

The solution to declining profits: jump-start growth.

The solution to government deficit spending: jump-start growth.

And so on.

So what happens when most people have not just the basics of life, but a surplus of stuff? Where is the growth going to come from if people already have everything?

The answer is three-fold:

1. Replace a perfectly good product with a new product and dump the old one in the landfill.

2. Buy duplicates and put the surplus products in the closet or storage facility.

3. Buy gimmicks (Pet Rocks, etc.) that are tossed in the dump shortly after the holiday gift-giving season ends.

But does this Landfill Economy make sense?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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