Posts Tagged ‘buying’

Consume This

This Christmas season and this Great Recession combine to focus media attention on this critical question: Are Americans spending enough? News anchors breathlessly report Black Friday receipts, trends in online shopping, and FedEx shipping loads. If only people would stretch their budgets, use their credit cards more, take a fling or two, and buy! — then the economy would start up, employers would hire more people, and we’d be on our way back to prosperity and full employment. Even sober economists agree.


At the same time, many of us (sometimes the same people) worry that all that buying is highly wasteful and highly polluting. Making, shipping, and shopping for all those goods are literally ruining the planet. Critiques of consumption as being immorally wasteful go back centuries (see this earlier post). So, is spending our salvation or our doom? (more…)

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