The Story of Stuff, the Price of Things, Etc

Came across this awesomely done video that explains in brief what we've been doing wrong.

I'd written earlier about us not paying for the "real costs" and the need for building those into economic models so long term damage to the ecology, our health, our social structures is tougher to get away with. The video talks about that point, amongst other things. Its a very good way to understand what is really broken holistically.

The sad part is, the consumption led model and its associated economic, marketing theory was sold very aggresively through all the literature created around it, and all the institutions that sell it through multiple fora - both economic and social. Our world trade models, the basis of and assumptions for free trade, and even key economic indicators of growth, poverty and properity are influenced by these motivations and models. Its all pretty broken, and depressing. Modern economists are more or less at a loss when it comes to figuring out fixes that look beyond these problems that have led to ecological, social and more recently, even financial distress across the globe.

I think the solution is not top down, but bottom-up - like the video suggests as well. We need to move away from consumption at our individual levels, and stop identifying and defining our lives through the brands we own or consume and consumer choices we make all the time. It'll force a rethink and change at various levels, and best of all, will lower aspirational stress, improve our conenctions as producers and nourishers - not just consumers, and force the evolution of alternative models for economic success and growth.


Thejas Nair said...

I agree about the problem. Governments are taking the consumption led economic modes so far that now they portray consumption as another form of patriotism!

But am skeptical if it can be solved bottom-up, though it will certainly help. For example, you cannot figure out the ecological impact (or other factors or 'real cost')of different options you as consumer have, unless the system works that way. (Like the nutrition info on packed food items in grocery stores in some countries which is required by law.)

Thejas Nair said...

but yeah, bottom will have to force the top to change, for it to act !