I had to go to Maine yesterday unexpectedly so I tried to jam in some posts in the very early morning. Got a few in and then hit the wall trying to figure out what I could do quickly (but meaningfully) and couldn’t find anything.
I dashed off a couple of replies to posts at (“What Happens If the World Stops Shopping?”).
The premise is that the predicted post-pandemic shopping boom SHOULDN’T happen. We should be spending less to support Earth’s “sustainability.” Buy better, but buy less.
After all, carbon emissions will go up if we don’t and that will hasten the dystopic Eco-apocalypse that they’ve been predicting will happen in 5-10 years (or so as they’ve been saying it for the last 50 years, and not ONE prediction has come true).
Reformatted, emphasis mine:
Economists and central bankers around the world are forecasting a post-pandemic economic boom, predicting that pent-up demand, unspent savings, and government incentives will drive us to the stores in droves. And indeed, in the U.S., retail sales increased 7.5% in June while in the United Kingdom, retailers report their best month since November 2016. It’s one of the reasons that our global carbon emissions will likely shoot back up to where they were before the pandemic; there is a big carbon footprint to making all that stuff. That’s why many are questioning our consuming ways and suggest we resist the urge.
But what WOULD happen if the World stopped shopping, or even just decreased it far below our current pandemic levels?
In SPECIFICS? These folks never address all of the issues required to “reimagine” anything especially a wholesale revamp of a country’s economy the size of America’s (or for the most hubristic, the entire world).
They throw around all kinds of platitudes and “we can do this” and “do that” at high levels that resemble wishful thinking instead of serious discussions of every single type of decision necessary for this overhaul.
So, a couple of us decided to call them out on it starting with a quote from the post and a call out by “Vindaloo Bugaboo (aka VB):
“A world that stops shopping needs new products and services, new theories of how an economy can function, new ways of making meaning in our lives, new models for doing business, new habits, new policies, new protest movements, new infrastructure.”
Great, hit all the high points of what the world needs … can we just once have one of these fame-chasing pundits give us, the TH readers, some actual, concrete examples of what that looks like since we live in the real world and not some mythological place without consequence, EROI, cost containment, and feasibility? Please? Just once???
So, the “ask” was made, and being the contrarian, I threw a damper on VB ever getting an answer – and to bait them anyways:
They can’t. It would give the game away.
Oh sure, perhaps “the first level” and maybe the second one as well. But they all fall for the Great Mind Fallacy when they believe they can “reimagine” (hate that word!) the economy in their own image.
They have NO idea of the consequences and ramifications for what they wish for.
They don’t. To be rather truthful, no one does – or can.
The Law of Unintended Consequence is both laughing at them and crying for the rest of us that have to endure their decisions if they gain such Power. And then someone who goes by the handle of “CTrombly” decided the HE knows the answers to everything – and he tries to take me apart but ends up getting his butt handed to him.
And note, once again, that he doesn’t answer the original question – what are your “actual, concrete examples” of changing our economic system. But he does return to the normal deflection as well as the blame game (Collective good, Freedom of Individuals bad):
They have NO idea of the consequences and ramification for what they wish for.
Oh, but we do! There is no one promoting these massive changes who doesn’t realize it would turn life on its ear. Do you honestly believe anyone wants that? Of course not!! It’s always easier to continue as we are. The lazier among us are more than willing to leave it at that. Unfortunately, leaving things alone only guarantees they get worse, with severe consequences for all of us. It is the more mature and responsible among us who recognize the madness we are wreaking on ourselves, and see viable ways to change to stop the madness.
This is not a matter of freedom – except insofar as it is a matter of survival, and those who whine about their so-called “freedom” being violated are standing in the way of genuine solutions. Freedom stops at harm. Standing in the way does harm, just as standing in the way of the exits when a building is on fire causes harm. Just as feeding the flames because you like a good fire causes harm.
As always, willing to throw Freedom under the bus and to the wind. You see, it never matters to the Collective – NEVER.
Back to the topic at hand, yes, we do understand that if everyone stopped shopping it would wreak havoc on the world economy. That’s why we’re starting discussions on how to structure society so it functions without absolutely depending on burning up every last resource and upending the climate on this spinning rock to the point of another mass extinction.
And all they do is talk and talk – and NEVER give specifics as to HOW that restructuring will happen, who will be in charge, and where is the money coming from. The following from him is typical – sure, anything is possible – I could blow up the entire thing in a couple of months – just look at what Biden has already done in 5 months!
And you know what? It’s possible. Life would be different. Better in many ways. Worse in others, but we’re humans, so those would improve. Bottom line, our species would last indefinitely. (ONLY if we can do it sustainably, which is really the same thing.) Some wouldn’t like it, but many of those wouldn’t like any change at all – because it’s change. Survival doesn’t matter to them. They hate change so much that they’re willing to make up all sorts of fantasies about how there really isn’t any problem at all, and it’s all just a big conspiracy bent on world domination. Sorry, but we’re not living in a comic book. This is reality, and it’s going sideways fast. Who is it that is not grasping consequences and ramifications?
How many among us are living proof that this species is truly too imbecilic to last, who would ignore the warnings of our best minds that we’re causing our own destruction? Who among us is so self-centered as to not care about any of that because it’ll all happen after we’re dead? And how many of those pretend to be religious?
Do we deserve this planet? Sadly, it is comments like yours that convince me that we, as a species, do not.
Once again, a lot of words but it comes down to this: “I got nothin’ but wishful hope”. Yeah…..details….but this sets him up for some fearsome takedowns.
I’ll stop here for this iteration. However, the argument always comes down to: you’re selfish. It’s the only one that Collectivists have. We heard it during the pandemic “You’re selfish if you don’t wear a mask (even if you’re fully vaccinated”) and now again, “you’re selfish” if you don’t do what we tell you to do. It’s always forcing by guilt and shame.