I have several things on my mind this morning, one of them being economic growth. I run into this phrase all the time. But most people seem to be clueless as to what it engenders.
Economic growth is actually a contest to see who can accumulate the most materialism. It starts with the judicious use of envy and progresses to conflict and competition by any means available.
I drive these roads around our area only rarely these days. The price of fuel is just ridiculous and my pick-up truck only gets 17 mpg. It's nice. It is comfortable. It does NOT have electric windows or power seats or electric locks. I personally despise these so called luxury options and I bought my truck accordingly. I will not have to go have expensive repairs at an automotive electrical repair shop.
Some people must have these things, however. They feel that without these conveniences their vehicle is inadequate, that it somehow doesn't measure up to what a truck should be. And how do they know this? Why, they are told by the dealership that sells the damn trucks, that's how.
And how about the window glass in a vehicle these days! You can't even get a little side vent window on your door. There is no air circulation that you can adjust with any simple little flick of the wrist. You take what the big window will give you or you most likely do without. Or you turn on the AIR CONDITIONER for fresh air or you turn on the HEATER. Both of these devices lower your mpg. You want to breath better air while you are traveling, you are gonna pay for it in extra gasoline. But the dealership will tell you that these options will increase the trade-in value of your vehicle.
What about those crew-cab pick-ups that congest our highways? Can you imagine anything so stupid? Thirty years ago a crew-cab was just that. A crew assembled and they all got into one vehicle and went to work. All tools and lunch boxes and what not were carried in the back of the truck. That was what a truck was for, remember. It was to haul stuff. But not any more. Out here in rural America we have thousands, maybe millions, of one occupant four door pick-up trucks on the highway. And the extra seat is loaded with the stuff they don't carry in the hauling bed. We have become a nation of spoiled idiots.
I can go on and on about trucks and their idiot drivers. But that is not the subject of this blog this morning. The story is about growth, economic growth.
Our media keeps track of our economic growth and tells us quite frequently how we are measuring up. If we get behind in growth we are supposed to go out and spend more. And this way we have more business and more income, supposedly. And with more income and lots of employment opportunities, we get growth. And we can all go out and buy McMansions and live happily ever after. Of course, it takes two incomes to do this and our wives must work outside the home so we can afford all this stuff, but we are told we are being successful and that is what matters. And the media companies sell advertising to the makers of all the things we spend money on. Is that sorta like a twofold child of Hell as mentioned in the Bible?
But what does growth really get us? It gets us into sub-prime banking. It gets us into currency devaluation. It creates economic bubbles and I taught my kids a long time ago that bubbles always end up popping. The drive for social acceptance, the drive for social admiration, is what fuels these bubbles. We have an enormous industry called advertising that pushes us towards the ultimate goal of living the good life on an English estate. It shows our wife and kids all the latest gadgets that they need to be where "its " at.
And it always shows other people enjoying these things. Aha! "Other folks are enjoying these goodies so why can't we?" says the family. So the latest gadget is dutifully purchased and contentment sets in for another day or two. And a day or two is all the peace we get, because there is always another gadget or another concert or another movie to spend money on. Then it will be another vehicle and an addition to the home and a vacation and on and on and on. And we call this growth. How stupid. And all because an industry raises the bar from the low level of what we really need to the high level of what we want or think we want. I believe I said something about "stupid"?
We need food, shelter, clothing, water, sewer, and air. That's what we need. And these things are not too hard to come by. We can do these things with not too much trouble.
And after this we can stop the battle. We can stop the false practice of growth. You get most of these things taken care of and all you need to do is grow food. In this day and age you will have to pay property taxes but that might stop in a few years too.
The human self is insatiable. You can never repress its wants and desires. So don't even try. Just don't spend any money on them. Don't bother making enought money to afford them. Relax. Enjoy life. Work in the garden. Talk with your friends. Commune with God. I remember a few years ago that William F. Buckley said he never wanted the stale calm of Utopia. Ol' William F. was an idiot.
AN old preacher told me that the oldest people he generally ran into were feeble people who lived in nursing homes. They were feeble and never worried about a damn thing. Their needs were looked after and they had no stress in their lives. AND I AM NOT SAYING WE SHOULD ALL GET A LOBOTOMY SO WE WON'T WORRY. I am merely pointing out that escape from stress can prolong your life. Escape from the rat race. Escape from keeping up with the Joneses. Escape the bills and the high costs of living in this "modern" world. Let a little peace come into your life. The Bible says to never let the Sun go down on your wrath. That just means to ask God to take care of all the problems the morons you can't control have created. And you let the problems slide off your back and fall to the ground. Growth is an approved term for stress. Don't fall for the propaganda.
http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/ has had some dynamite articles this week. Be sure and check him out. You will not be sorry.
You might check out Dragon at http://circleoftheoroborous-dragon.blogspot.com/. The man has brought up some very interesting points to address. He's thinking!
I saw an article on Drudge this week, it may still be up, and it was about the man who started the weather.com page and then sold it in the 80's or whenever. He is advocating suing Al Gore for his global warming bullshit. I concur. It's been a cold Winter and I am getting tired of it.
I read Alas, Babylon this week. Pretty good tale. Some interesting ideas as to how society will act in times of high danger. It was written back in the late 50's but the BOMB was around then and that part hasn't changed.
The ducks on our pond are active this week. Trying to breed and all that stuff. Canadian Geese flew in and landed on Monday and Tuesday. Signs of life are popping up! Gardens in 2 months.
Everybody take care and I will do my utmost to get back for another blog. Stay alive!