The economy as currently structured depends on every one being in a frenzy to work as hard as they can to acquire the things they think they need...
In the U.S. and most modern western countries, the people are desperately scrambling for new TV's, larger, more powerful cars, bigger houses and other important necessities that they cannot live without.
At the same time, in the third world and in many parts of the so-called second world (the ex-Soviet empire) people are working as hard as they can for such useless luxuries as food, clothing and shelter.
The system as a whole only works if everyone everywhere feels like they are in a constant state of almost desperate need.
This is why it is so funny and sad at the same time that this still occurs in the wealthier parts of the world, even among the wealthiest people in those areas.
The so-called "science" of economics (also known as the "dismal science") has not been able to solve any of the problems we would expect it to.
It fails to do anything to prevent the admittedly necessary "business cycle" (of boom and bust - necessary because it weeds out inefficient or irrelevant companies - theoretically) from hitting those at the lower end of the economic scale the hardest. These are the people who benefit the least anyway from the "necessity" of this cycle - usually they are just employees (or farmers, in the third world) struggling to survive, and do not contribute to the existence of inefficiencies in the economy.
All it can do is keep a jury-rigged system running which keeps everyone on a treadmill, admittedly creates an abundance of wealth, and yet does almost nothing to solve the problem of distributing the basic necessities of life among its participants in some proportion relative to their talent, efforts, and contribution to the production of that wealth.
6/30/01 - 3 AM
© Huw Powell